Rowena Sunder, still an artist in 2018, composes a meta auto-biographical book about five years of her life in New York City between 1965 and 1970. She escapes Toledo and her father’s idea that she should marry and paint on Sundays and drives away in her VW bug. She sells one painting on the way, and arrives in the big city during one of its most exciting times. She works at the (invented) Museum of Invention, sublets on E. 94th Street, makes friends, acquires a cat named Kittyhawk, and finds NYC much to her liking.
After selling paintings to a psychotherapist, he listens while she struggles with mixed feelings about focus. She finally rejoices in the swarm of ideas that come to her from everywhere. Now, a half-century later, she draws her book, and talks directly to the reader in a series of vignettes, all connected by her gift of too many ideas. Rowena loves words and puns and little jokes and these add other perspectives to every page.
For three years during the 1920s, in an attic in Potsdam, a young woman crafted what is today the oldest surviving animated feature film. Equipped with scissors, cardboard, sheets of lead, glass panes and a camera, animation pioneer Lotte Reiniger filmed Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed) using a technique of frame-by-frame silhouette animation she developed, inspired by Chinese shadow puppetry.
As the result of a number of factors—her gender, her German ethnicity, World War II and a lack of funding—Reiniger became a footnote in animation history. Yet her 60–plus films plainly show her skill and dedication to her craft. This detailed account of her life and work describes her significant contributions to animation, puppetry, Weimar cinema and modern filmmaking.
A significant expansion of the critically acclaimed first edition, Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, 2d ed., carries the story of the Kanter family’s series of comics-style adaptations of literary masterpieces from 1941 into the 21st century. This book features additional material on the 70-year history of Classics Illustrated and the careers and contributions of such artists as Alex A. Blum, Lou Cameron, George Evans, Henry C. Kiefer, Gray Morrow, Rudolph Palais, and Louis Zansky. New chapters cover the recent Jack Lake and Papercutz revivals of the series, the evolution of Classics collecting, and the unsung role of William Kanter in advancing the fortunes of his father Albert’s worldwide enterprise. Enhancing the lively account of the growth of “the World’s Finest Juvenile Publication” are new interviews and correspondence with editor Helene Lecar, publicist Eleanor Lidofsky, artist Mort Künstler, and the founder’s grandson John “Buzz” Kanter.
Detailed appendices provide artist attributions, issue contents and, for the principal Classics Illustrated–related series, a listing of each printing identified by month, year, and highest reorder number. New U.S., Canadian and British series have been added. More than 300 illustrations—most of them new to this edition—include photographs of artists and production staff, comic-book covers and interiors, and a substantial number of original cover paintings and line drawings.
The heroine’s journey echoes throughout ancient legend. Each young woman combats her dark side and emerges stronger. This quest is also a staple of American comic books. Wonder Woman with semi-divine powers gives us a new female-centered creation story. Batgirl, Batwoman and Black Widow discover their enemy is the dark mother or shadow twin, with the savagery they’ve rejected in themselves. Supergirl similarly struggles but keeps harmony with her sister.
From Jessica Jones and Catwoman to the new superwomen of cutting-edge webcomics, each heroine must go into the dark, to become not a warrior but a savior. Women like Captain Marvel and Storm sacrifice all to join the ranks of superheroes, while their feminine powers and dazzling costumes reflect the most ancient tales.
Beloved by young girls around the world, Hasbro’s My Little Pony franchise has been mired in controversy since its debut in the early 1980s. Critics dismissed the cartoons as toy advertisements, and derided their embrace of femininity. The 2010 debut of the openly feminist My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic renewed the backlash, as its broad appeal challenged entrenched notions about gendered entertainment.
This first comprehensive study of My Little Pony explores the history and cultural significance of the franchise through Season 5 of Friendship Is Magic and the first three Equestria Girls films. The brand has continued to be on the receiving end of a sexist double standard regarding commercialism in children’s entertainment, while masculine cartoons such as the Transformers have been spared similar criticism.
First appearing in Marvel Comics in the 1960s, Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, was introduced to movie audiences in Iron Man 2 (2010). Her character has grown in popularity with subsequent Marvel films, and fans have been vocal about wanting to see Black Widow in a titular role. Romanoff has potent appeal: a strong female character who is not defined by her looks or her romantic relationships, with the skill set of a veteran spy first for the KGB, then for S.H.I.E.L.D. This collection of new essays is the first to examine Black Widow and her development, from Cold War era comics to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The first superhero team from the Silver Age of comics, DC’s Justice League has seen many iterations since its first appearance in 1960. As the original comic book continued and spin-off titles proliferated, talented writers, artists and editors adapted the team to appeal to changing audience tastes.
This collection of new essays examines more than five decades of Justice League comics and related titles. Each essay considers a storyline or era of the franchise in its historical and social contexts.
“Pointer’s account of Fleischer’s life and work draws on his own experience in film and animation as well as interviews with Fleischer family members. It is also stocked with previously unpublished photographs and artwork, including trade ads and patent diagrams…The story of this artist-inventor and the early days of animation will appeal to all interested in film history and iconic cartoons.”—Booklist
Elaborate cinematic universes and sophisticated marketing tie-ins are commonplace in entertainment today. It’s easy to forget that the transmedia trend began in 1982 with a barbarian action figure. He-Man and the other characters in Mattel’s popular Masters of the Universe toy line quickly found their way into comic books, video games, multiple television series and a Hollywood film. The original animated series (1983–1985) was the first based on an action figure, and the cult classic Masters of the Universe (1987) was the first toy-inspired live-action feature film.
But it wasn’t easy. He-Man faced adversaries more dangerous than Skeletor: entertainment lawyers, Hollywood executives, even the Reagan administration. The heroes and villains of Eternia did more than shape the childhoods of the toy-buying public—they formed the modern entertainment landscape.
Joss Whedon is known for exploring philosophical questions through socially progressive narratives in his films, television shows and comics. His work critiques racial stereotypes, sometimes repudiating them, sometimes reinvesting in them (sometimes both at once). This collection of new essays explores his representations of racial power dynamics between individuals and institutions and how the Whedonverse constructs race, ethnicity and nationality relationships.
This work takes an in-depth look at the world of comic books through the eyes of a Native American reader and offers frank commentary on the medium’s cultural representation of the Native American people. It addresses a range of portrayals, from the bloodthirsty barbarians and noble savages of dime novels, to formulaic secondary characters and sidekicks, and, occasionally, protagonists sans paternal white hero, examining how and why Native Americans have been consistently marginalized and misrepresented in comics. Chapters cover early representations of Native Americans in popular culture and newspaper comic strips, the Fenimore Cooper legacy, the “white” Indian, the shaman, revisionist portrayals, and Native American comics from small publishers, among other topics.
If you couldn’t wait to see [SPOILER REDACTED] on The Walking Dead last night, then this Weekly Deal is for you! Through October 30, 2016, get 20% off all books about zombie studies when you enter the coupon code SPOILER!
All Hallow’s Read is a new tradition, started by the great Neil Gaiman, that encourages gifting a scary book during the week of Halloween. If you’re curious about its origins, read this blog post, helpfully titled “A MODEST PROPOSAL (THAT DOESN’T ACTUALLY INVOLVE EATING ANYONE).” Rather than selecting a handful of our more than 100 books about horror in popular culture and literature, we’re putting ALL of our horror books on sale, this week only! Order now for delivery in time for your All Hallow’s Read gift, and get 20% off when you use the coupon code HALLOW!
This weekend in Nashville, we’re exhibiting at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association in the South 2016 conference! Visit our book exhibit to shop and to discuss your book proposal with Dylan Lightfoot.
We’re excited to announce a new book series on the Whedonverses (official title to be determined).
McFarland seeks proposals for book-length works to be published as part of a new series about the works of Joss Whedon, to be edited by Sherry Ginn. We welcome new perspectives on old favorites as well as explorations of Whedon’s less recognized work.
Proposals should include a detailed outline, a tentative table of contents, draft introduction and sample chapter. Also useful at this stage would be a length estimate (75,000-word to 100,000-word projects are preferred), comments on special elements (such as artwork or photos), and a resume or curriculum vitae.
From automatons to zombies, many elements of fantasy and science fiction have been cross-pollinated with the Western movie genre. In its second edition, this encyclopedia of the Weird Western includes many new entries covering film, television, animation, novels, pulp fiction, short stories, comic books, graphic novels and video and role-playing games. Categories include Weird, Weird Menace, Science Fiction, Space, Steampunk and Romance Westerns.
The Incredible Hulk is one of the earliest Marvel Comics superheroes. Through the decades, the character and his narrative elements—the causes of Bruce Banner’s transformations, the Hulk’s strength, intelligence and skin color, the stories’ tone, theme and sources of conflict—have been continually reinvented to remain relevant.
This collection of new essays explores Marvel’s more than five decades of Hulk comics. The contributors analyze the Hulk and his supporting cast in their shifting historical contexts, offering insights into both our popular entertainment and our cultural history. Topics include the Cold War’s influence on early Incredible Hulk issues, a feminist reading of She-Hulk and writer Peter David’s focus on the AIDS crisis.
Our brand-new holiday catalog is in the mail, but we’re giving you a sneak preview this morning—click here for great holiday gift ideas before the catalog hits your mailbox!
And, because it’s never too early to start your holiday shopping, we’re offering our biggest sale of the year! Get 30% off your purchase of two or more books when you enter the coupon code HOLIDAY2015 at checkout!
We’re exhibiting at the biennial North Carolina Library Association conference in Greensboro, North Carolina this week! Our own Dylan Lightfoot and Stephanie Nichols are exhibiting books, and several McFarland authors are among the NC librarians attending the convention.
We’re exhibiting at the sold-out New York Comic Con this week! NYCC—the East Coast’s largest pop culture event–is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and McFarland is celebrating its fifth year exhibiting. Stop by booth 2104 to browse the best pop culture scholarship and to chat with our Lisa Camp.
It’s that time of year again! McFarland is in Indy for Gen Con: the original, longest-running, and best-attended gaming convention in the world! It’s no small thing to keep up with gamers from all 50 states and more than 40 countries, but we’ll do our best.
At Comic-Con, Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews took home the Eisner Award for Best Scholarly/Academic Work! This is the second award Graphic Details has garnered, with the Eisner following the Popular Culture Association’s Susan Koppelman Best Anthology Award. Congratulations to editor Sarah Lightman, the 18 artists she covers, and to all the women around the world who are bravely making comics about their own lives. #Eisner # SDCC #ComicCon2015
Comic-Con International San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.
It Happens at Comic-Con: Ethnographic Essays on a Pop Culture Phenomenon
This “engrossing” (Midwest Book Review) collection seeks to expand fan studies, exploring Comic-Con International more deeply than any publication before it. Ben Bolling is a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Matthew J. Smith is a professor of communication and director of cinema studies at Wittenberg University, where he teaches courses in media, including television criticism and graphic storytelling.
Founders of Comic Fandom: Profiles of 90 Publishers, Dealers, Collectors, Writers, Artists and Other Luminaries of the 1950s and 1960s
In the 1950s and ’60s, a grassroots movement arose to celebrate comic books and strips, which were becoming increasingly important to American popular culture. “Meticulously researched and thoroughly documented” (School Library Journal), profiled here are the people at the heart of the movement. Bill Schelly has been chronicling the history of popular culture since the 1960s, beginning with his magazine Sense of Wonder. He has written or edited several books, and is associate editor of the Eisner Award–winning magazine Alter Ego.
Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century
This “highly recommended” (Choice) collection explores how present-day fans interact with the films, television shows, books, and pop culture artifacts they love. Kristin M. Barton is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia. Jonathan Malcolm Lampley is a prolific contributor to many popular-culture periodicals and publications.
Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays
The essays in this “useful and thought-provoking” (SFRA Review) volume explore the world of fan fiction—its purposes, how it is created, how the fan experiences it. Karen Hellekson is a copy editor and independent scholar. She writes book reviews for Publishers Weekly and lives in Jay, Maine. Kristina Busse teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Alabama and has previously written about fan fiction and fan culture. She is the founding coeditor of Transformative Works and Cultures.
Authors, customers, friends, and fans: if you’ve ever wondered what McF’s mountain town is like, have a look at this neat response about our area from a recent vacationer. (A special nod, too, to our Boondocks friends who regularly support us in a number of ways.) We love where we live!
There is much to celebrate today! Our publishing duty, however, is to equip you with industry intel (some of which is less likely to be in your news feed today). Therefore, as we witness historic decisions in our country, we’d be remiss not to mention the Annual American Library Association conference, which meets over the weekend in San Francisco. Themed “TRANSFORMING our libraries, ourselves, McFarland looks forward to several days’ worth of terrific conversations about all things librarianship.
A happy coincidence—assistant sales manager Adam Phillips has THIS hotel view, providing opportunities to share the goings-on of an historic Pride Week in San Francisco.
McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of theOrigins game FairJune 3rd-7th in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to our book display and sale, editors will be on hand to discuss manuscript ideas. Click here to browse McFarland’s books about popular culture.
It’s no secret that we at McFarland are fans of sf and fantasy (and horror, gaming, cosplay, and all the rest!). So we’re very excited to attend this year’s ConCarolinas in Concord, NC., May 29-31. Klingon Karaoke, anyone? See you there!
McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of the Popular Culture Association April 1-4 in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to our book display and sale, editors will be on hand to discuss manuscript ideas. Click here to browse McFarland’s books about popular culture. #pcaaca2015
Csenge Virág Zalka, a Hungarian storyteller, has collected 55 foltktales from around the world about supernatural abilities like superhuman strength, invulnerability, flying, heightened senses, speed, invisibility, healing, agility, precognition, telepathy, fire manipulation, teleportation, water powers, and shifting. These tales represent powers that people have dreamed of, conjured up and strived for through the ages. Many of the powers are present in popular culture, making the superheroes who wield them the direct descendants of characters such as the princess who could see through walls or the invulnerable Isfandiyar. Zalka excluded stories about magic or about gods with divine powers, and focused on less well-known stories. She included information on similar heroes, the ability in the story, sources of the powers, the origin of the story, teachings in it, the recommended age group, sources, variants, and comments.
Behold! Prince Adam of Eternia and a masked luchador Thundercat pose for a pre-fight picture in the McFarland booth at #NYCC14. By the power of Greyskull! Thunder, thunder, Thundercats, Ho! McWrestleMania 2014! Which will prevail? (If you are wondering, why yes, all of our He-Man action figures were also wrestlers.)
If you can’t hang with us at San Diego Comic-Con (or even if you can), we highly recommend you check out It Happens at Comic-Con!, edited by Ben Bolling and Matthew J. Smith. Let us help you help yourselves with a better understanding of the pop cultural phenomenon that is this event. Enter the coupon code PHENOM in the shopping cart of our online catalog (or call our toll free 800-253-2187 during business hours Friday and Monday) for a 20% discount now through Monday, July 27.
With the onset of Comic-Con International, throngs of fans, media companies, celebrities and others are descending upon San Diego. Expect the San Diego Convention Center to be filled to capacity with pop culture providers and seekers.
As usual, McFarland has arrived (snuck in during the night under a “MacFarlane’s Lantern”!) and will be stationed in the exhibit hall, this time in booth #1501. At our book stand, two of the staff have notable middle names…there’s a “McFarland” and a “McRae” at the book stand! We’re not the only ones with a connection to the Scottish Highlands, however. Jamie Fraser and his Outlander fellows are making there way to San Diego, as well.
The Outlander panel takes place Friday, July 25, at 2:15 P.M., in Room 6A. If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with Outlander, the seven subsequent novels, or the upcoming television series, be assured that they “lavishly evoke the land and lore of Scotland” as the critics put it.
June 27-30, the American Library Association is gathering in Las Vegas for Annual. We’re still trying to get our book display set up in the exhibit hall, with some “help” from early browsers like Allan Greenburg of Diamond Comic Distributors (pictured). McFarland is in Booth #1423, and our friends at Diamond are in Booth #2015.
Authors, readers and book reviewers: We find ourselves in the unusual yet happy situation of having an overage of popular culture catalogs. Tell us about your organization, journal/magazine, con, or professional society that would be interested in receiving catalogs chockfull of books about pop culture!
On April 1st, 1979, founder Robert McFarland Franklin departed Plainfield, New Jersey, heading south in a Volkswagen bug towing a U-Haul. With wife Cheryl behind the wheel, Robert began company operations on a yellow pad in his lap.
Thirty-five years ago, libraries provided almost the sole market (but a robust one!) for the heavily-researched books that McFarland made its specialty. Over the decades, the company won ever-growing numbers of devoted readers who appreciated the care McFarland and its authors lavished on our books. Our authors, a throng of thousands now, teach us something new every day.
We’re having an open house Friday, June 20, from noon until 5:00. Join us for tours, conversation, punch, finger food, art and books.
Our holiday sale ends today, Dec. 31st, so don’t delay! Best wishes to all from your McFarland friends…happy reading! Enjoy 20% off your order through today. On the McFarland website, use coupon code HOLIDAY in the cart as you are checking out. Or, call toll-free 800-253-2187 (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm Eastern Time). http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/2013/11/holiday-sale/
This book reveals the life of R. Clay Crawford, his dreams, his schemes, his successes and his failures, as he launched himself into many of the most turbulent episodes of 19th century United States history. Like everyone, he was born with a family history, not just genetic but also cultural determinants; this book reveals the influences on his behavior inherited from his father and his grandfathers. He likewise passed on to his children a model, not just genetic but cultural. Even so, Clay Crawford’s story is not just a family affair. He was a “self-made man” living in an age when such was thought to be a national asset—and thus stands out as a warning that the worship of the “self-made man” may produce more rogues than Rockefellers.
Created in 1941 by the psychologist William Marston, Wonder Woman would go on to have one of the longest continuous run of published comic book adventures in the history of the industry. More than 70 years after her debut, Wonder Woman remains a popular culture icon. Throughout the intervening years many comic book creators have had a hand in guiding her story, resulting in different interpretations of the Amazon Princess. But the changes in tone, theme or subject matter in Wonder Woman’s fictional adventures are the result not only of new creators. Wars, the feminist movement, politics and evolving social opinions and concerns can be seen influencing the stories found in Wonder Woman’s comic books.
Folks, the first couple of Pinterest search options are called: “Popular” and “Everything.” Overwhelming? We think so, too. So here’s our latest popular culture catalog that covers both. You can thank us later with an order.
Speaking of orders, on the McFarland website, use coupon code HOLIDAY in the cart as you are checking out for 20% off your entire order. Or, call toll-free 800-253-2187 (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm Eastern Time) and ask for your holiday discount.