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Singer, Marc: "The myth of Eco. Cultural populism and comics studies." In: Studies in Comics 4.2 (2013), S. 355–366.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Singer2013
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Keywords: Comicforschung, Eco. Umberto, Populärkultur, Superheld
Collection: Studies in Comics
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For decades, Umberto Eco’s essay ‘The myth of Superman’ has been cited as the authoritative study of superhero comics. More recently, however, Eco’s work has been a site of argument as cultural and media studies scholars such as Angela Ndalianis and Henry Jenkins contend that the narrative logic of contemporary superhero comics has become more complex than Eco imagines. These scholars replace Eco’s ‘oneiric climate’ of suspended time with models of multiple and intertextual narratives that extend across diverse media. While Eco’s observations are more historically contingent than he acknowledges, his analysis remains more applicable than his critics allow. Some scholars have misread Eco’s arguments and overstated the radicalism of contemporary superhero narratives. This article argues that it is time to re-evaluate Eco’s work and move beyond the populist, predominantly celebratory tone of his critics.