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The Superhero Reader$
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Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Kent Worcester

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038068

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038068.001.0001

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Fandom and Authorship

Fandom and Authorship

(p.61) Fandom and Authorship
The Superhero Reader

Will Brooker

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter presents a case study of the origins and development of superhero fan discourse in the letter pages of comics. It shows that the letter columns that DC Comics introduced in the early 1960s were designed to be sites of fan-building activity. While early columns focused on relatively narrow questions of authorial identity and the development of connoisseurial expertise in recognizing the hidden hand of uncredited writers and artists, later fan letters were devoted to complex critical explications. Perhaps fittingly, the secret origins of superhero scholarship are to be found in these letter pages.

Keywords:   superhero fans, comics, comic book fans, letter pages, DC Comics, fan letters

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