Event Title

Guitar Heroes: Depictions of the Electric Guitar and Rock Music in the Comics

Start Date

27-3-2015 11:00 AM

Description

During the 1950s as rock and roll was emerging as the dominant musical genre with America’s youth, the comic book industry was attacked by critics for producing stories filled with violence, sex, mayhem, and gore. Comics were seen as a leading cause of juvenile delinquency. In an effort to save itself the industry formed the Comics Code Authority, a self-censoring agency that effectively made comics suitable only for children for several decades. The rebellious impulses and themes inherent in rock were, therefore, absent from many comics until the late 1960s. This presentation will examine the evolution of both the electric guitar and the rock genre from the Golden Age of comics until the present. It will be divided into several sections. An initial section will discuss musical themed and guitar-centric characters within the superhero genre titles published by DC and Marvel Comics. These include characters appearing in X-Men, The Teen Titans, Hawk and Dove, and Justice League of America. We shall also examine songs featuring the electric guitar that were inspired by the superheroes. A second section focuses upon representations of actual guitar players and rock groups (Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Monkees, KISS, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and others). A third section looks at Archie Comics, Josie & the Pussycats, and the incorporation of the electric guitar and rock into their stories, which ultimately led to a number one hit record (“Sugar, Sugar”) in 1969. We will discuss more recent comics like Scott Pilgrim and Run By the Gun that feature guitar players at the center of their adventures. Finally, we shall look at how manufacturers of electric guitars (and their accompanying merchandise) have incorporated comic book superheroes into their items for sale.

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Mar 27th, 11:00 AM

Guitar Heroes: Depictions of the Electric Guitar and Rock Music in the Comics

During the 1950s as rock and roll was emerging as the dominant musical genre with America’s youth, the comic book industry was attacked by critics for producing stories filled with violence, sex, mayhem, and gore. Comics were seen as a leading cause of juvenile delinquency. In an effort to save itself the industry formed the Comics Code Authority, a self-censoring agency that effectively made comics suitable only for children for several decades. The rebellious impulses and themes inherent in rock were, therefore, absent from many comics until the late 1960s. This presentation will examine the evolution of both the electric guitar and the rock genre from the Golden Age of comics until the present. It will be divided into several sections. An initial section will discuss musical themed and guitar-centric characters within the superhero genre titles published by DC and Marvel Comics. These include characters appearing in X-Men, The Teen Titans, Hawk and Dove, and Justice League of America. We shall also examine songs featuring the electric guitar that were inspired by the superheroes. A second section focuses upon representations of actual guitar players and rock groups (Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Monkees, KISS, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and others). A third section looks at Archie Comics, Josie & the Pussycats, and the incorporation of the electric guitar and rock into their stories, which ultimately led to a number one hit record (“Sugar, Sugar”) in 1969. We will discuss more recent comics like Scott Pilgrim and Run By the Gun that feature guitar players at the center of their adventures. Finally, we shall look at how manufacturers of electric guitars (and their accompanying merchandise) have incorporated comic book superheroes into their items for sale.