In 2013, Christina Blanch shook the foundations of comics scholarship when she offered a free online course through Ball State University entitled Gender Through Comics.
The course was wildly successful and the effects have been widespread. Participants, who ranged from newcomers to longtime comics fans to education professionals, all gained a new appreciation of the role that comics can play in the classroom, some for the first time. As a result of that resounding success, Christina announced in October that she would be running a second class in 2014.
This year’s offering, which will run from March 10 to August 14, is entitled Social Issues Through Comics. If you’re a regular on this site, you know that this is the sort of opportunity that the staff here at Capeless absolutely live for. With that in mind, we’ll be providing continuing coverage and analysis as the class progresses.
I will be keeping up on all the reading and offering my thoughts on the issues through reviews, as well as sharing my coursework with our readers. One nice thing about the fact that this is a free course with no grades attached is that there is more reason to share all the work we do coming out of it.
The course schedule can be found here, and below you can find the reading list as well as links to download the books on ComiXology or publishers’ digital stores, which I’ve included for your convenience. If you’re a diehard believer in ink and paper, a complete list of stores partnering with SuperMOOC2 can be found here.
Green Lantern V2 #85 & #86
Batman: Venom (The Dark Knight #16, 17, 18, 19 & 20)
Sex Criminals #1 (FREE on ComiXology)
Swamp Thing: Rot World
The Massive V1
Hinterkind V1 (Releasing April 2, 2014)
X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (Unavailable Digitally At This Time)
American Born Chinese
Action Comics #900
Superman Unchained #1
Skin Horse V1
Global Frequency V1
Nightly News V1
Daredevil V3 #4,5,& 6
On behalf of Capeless Crusader, I recommend that all of our readers enroll. If nothing else, the reading list that Christina has put together encompasses some of the best comics of the last thirty years, as well as some of the best books on shelves today. Simply completing the reading list will provide anyone a great grounding in some of the best, most relevant books from both independent and mainstream publishers. We also want as many of our readers as possible to be able to join in what is sure to be a fantastic discussion surrounding the class. To that end, I will be opening the doors of Capeless to any of our readers who want to submit editorials regarding the topics of SuperMOOC2, the readings, and the assigned comics.
See you all in class!
Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He also hosts the weekly Infinite Crossover podcast in cooperation with Fanboys Inc. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville.