Superheroes, Orphans and Origins

by Foundling Museum

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LoveReading Expert Review of Superheroes, Orphans and Origins

This LoveReading Star Book is a captivating and inspirational exploration of comics and graphic novels featuring orphans, foundlings, adoptees and foster children.

What a fascinating, thought-provoking, and fabulous book this is! I am a bit of a comic fan, have been since I was a child, and yet I’d never, not once, considered just how many of the characters found in comics and graphic novels were orphaned or abandoned children. Just think about some of the iconic superheroes, Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Wolverine, and there are many more who are also orphaned, adopted, and fostered. The Foundling Museum and Unicorn Publishing explore the last 125 years of comics and graphic novels, travelling to nine different countries and three continents in order to encourage: "a new way to experience comics”. In her foreword, Caro Howell the Foundling Museum Director mentions Lemn Sissay’s poem, Superman was a Foundling, which sits as a mural in the museum, and says it: “presents an implicit challenge to the viewer: Why, when looked-after children have such a powerful presence in culture, are they so marginalised in real life?” she hopes to: “raise awareness of the immense resilience needed to overcome separation, loss, stigma and society’s indifference, and to build a sense of self and self-worth”. Brilliant, vividly vibrant artwork appears, along with the thoughts and perspectives from different contributors who have been in care. I found my thoughts exploring new paths, and I want to stand up and applaud this book. Superheroes, Orphans and Origins is an eye-opening exploration that I can highly recommend, and it’s been chosen to sit as a LoveReading Star Book.

Liz Robinson

Superheroes, Orphans and Origins Synopsis

Many of the most inspiring characters in comics and graphic novels began their epic journeys as orphaned or abandoned children. In these stories, the loss of a parent inflicts challenges that even superpowers cannot easily resolve. For over a century and millions of readers, the comic strip is a space in which this narrative has been continuously reimagined. Superheroes, Orphans & Origins: 125 Years in Comics offers a richly illustrated and thought-provoking exploration of the representation of orphans, foundlings, adoptees and foster children in sequential art. Surveying 125 years of creative practice and an international cast of characters, this book examines how care-experience is depicted in early comic strips like Little Orphan Annie, celebrated superhero narratives including Superman and Batman, and popular Japanese manga, among other examples. The complex issues and identities that feature in these stories are considered from a variety of perspectives, ranging from art historical to activist. Contributing authors include Lemn Sissay, MBE and award-winning artists Carlos Gimenez and Lisa Wool- Rim Sjoeblom, all drawing inspiration from their own experiences in care. Bringing together critical essays, candid conversations and outstanding artwork, this book encourages a new way to experience comics. This book is published on the occasion of the first major exhibition to focus on the representation of care experience in comics, produced by the Foundling Museum in London (April - August 2022).

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781914414244
Publication date: 28th March 2022
Author: Foundling Museum
Publisher: Unicorn Publishing Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 144 pages
Primary Genre Gift books
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Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781914414244
Publication date: 28/03/2022
Format: Paperback

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