I’ve spent a lot of time over the past eight or nine years or so thinking about New York City and comics. A lot of time. This thinking even brought me to New York for three years, to live and do research at the Gotham Center for New York City History as a Swedish Research Council International Postdoc.

The basic outline of my thinking is this. That New York City is a comics staple is as undeniable as it is unsurprising. Some of USAmerican comics’ most influential actors have lived and operated there since the comic strip industry’s beginnings. New…

I always find it interesting to see pundits evoke history in ways that lose touch with the past. It’s a fairly common form of rhetoric that speaks volumes through omission. In an opinion piece from August 28th, after having seen a Spider-Man figure on a skateboard and a Hulk on a motorcycle in a local toy store, Swedish opinion writer Fredrik Strage calls for a boycott of toys that do not portray superheroes in a way that he deems “authentic.” The headline that appears on the Google search results page goes so far as to claim that the superheroes are…

A blog post titled “New York is dead forever… here’s why” has been making the rounds recently. Written by a hedge fund manager, it tells a story about how and why the city will not recover from the COVID-19 lockdown and what that means for the city’s future. It is a pretty interesting example of catastrophic rhetoric and symbolic annihilation of the poor and people of color.

Full disclosure: I don’t particularly like NYC. I lived there and it wasn’t for me, for a variety of reasons. It has some things I like, but it also embodies many dark sides…

Martin Lund

Martin Lund is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Malmö University who mostly researches comics.

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