How inspiring and educational can comic books be?

Oct 8, 2013

Protesters at the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt.
Credit Courtesy of Shehab El Den

When artist Jim Lee and his family came to America from South Korea, he didn't know any English. That posed problems for a young immigrant in a preppy, upper-class neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri. He says he often felt like an outsider. On occasion his parents would buy him comic books, and he could follow the story by looking at the pictures. He also began to learn English through the graphic stories. Lee would be inspired enough by the comic books with their superheroes to forge his way into the competitive world of comic book artist.

Inspiration, from comic books? The three-hour documentary Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle will attempt to dispel any pre-conceived ideas people have or have had about the comic book industry. Airing on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m., on WV PBS, we will present interviews with people in the industry and those outside discussing the impact comic books and superheroes have had on our culture.

Lee's is only one of those stories. For some, these superheroes may represent what it means to be an American. During World War II, the comic book publishers often used their superheroes to help boost morale on the home front and provide inspiration.

Truth. Justice. The American way. Found in comic book superheroes? Tune in and decide for yourself.

In this clip, artist Jim Lee talks about how comic books helped him learn English and how they inspired his career path:

 

Chances to watch:

On WV PBS
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1 a.m.
Sunday, Oct. 20, 2 a.m.

On WV PBS.2
Sunday, Oct. 20, 5 a.m.

For more information, visit the Official Superheroes website on PBS.org