Presentation Title

God Probably Wears a Cape: Visualizing Divinity in Greek Culture

Moderator

Dr. Andrei Orlov

Location

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Start Date

28-5-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

28-5-2015 11:00 AM

Abstract

America has an obsession with all things geek. One can hardly go ten minutes without hearing a reference to Spiderman, Iron-Man, or Thor. From Dr. Who to Dr. Strange, American have surrounded themselves with quasi-divine beings that save the day, and in many regards, have become our modern gods. These modern day gods are represented in a variety of costumes, from chainmail to spandex, with a wide variety of societal backgrounds. What do they have in common? What links these character together? It’s how they’re drawn. Every costume design from Superman to Wiccan share a formulaic design that invokes a strong emotional reaction to the audience.

This formulaic design process will be examined and proven through interviews with prominent artists and costume designers that have worked for Marvel, DC, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and Magic: The Gathering. Additional sources include Graven Images, Our Gods Wear Spandex, and The Myth of the Superhero.

Analyzing and categorizing the costume designs of the most prominent characters in geek culture (specifically comics and roleplaying games) provides a visual guide to how we view divine beings in America, allowing us to see the changing perceptions of the divine in American culture over the past 75 years.

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May 28th, 10:00 AM May 28th, 11:00 AM

God Probably Wears a Cape: Visualizing Divinity in Greek Culture

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

America has an obsession with all things geek. One can hardly go ten minutes without hearing a reference to Spiderman, Iron-Man, or Thor. From Dr. Who to Dr. Strange, American have surrounded themselves with quasi-divine beings that save the day, and in many regards, have become our modern gods. These modern day gods are represented in a variety of costumes, from chainmail to spandex, with a wide variety of societal backgrounds. What do they have in common? What links these character together? It’s how they’re drawn. Every costume design from Superman to Wiccan share a formulaic design that invokes a strong emotional reaction to the audience.

This formulaic design process will be examined and proven through interviews with prominent artists and costume designers that have worked for Marvel, DC, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and Magic: The Gathering. Additional sources include Graven Images, Our Gods Wear Spandex, and The Myth of the Superhero.

Analyzing and categorizing the costume designs of the most prominent characters in geek culture (specifically comics and roleplaying games) provides a visual guide to how we view divine beings in America, allowing us to see the changing perceptions of the divine in American culture over the past 75 years.