Texas Tech University

The Joker: Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime

Lawrence Brenner

August 23, 2016

San Diego Comic Con 2016 - Comics Arts Conference #1 featured Texas Tech panelists discussing The Joker in pop culture.


The Joker has menaced Batman for nearly 77 years. Since the Joker's first appearance in Batman #1 in 1940, he has appeared thousands of times in comics, films, video games, television series, toy aisles, and other arenas of mediated and material culture. While a powerful antagonist, the character is nevertheless fascinating to children and adults alike.

Join the contributors to the first book-length scholarly study of the Joker as they ask why the Joker has become the most important and interesting supervillain in popular culture and what it is about the Joker that makes the character so iconic.

  • Rob Weiner (Texas Tech University),
  • Robert Peaslee (Texas Tech University),
  • Travis Langley (Henderson State University),
  • Hannah Means-Shannon (Dark Horse Comics),
  • Len Wein (Batman) 
  • Ryan Litsey (Texas Tech University)

The panel discusses the nature of the Joker, his history, and why Batman refuses to kill a character that causes so much misery to the citizens of Gotham.

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