Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg is a comic book and pop culture historian, author, educator, book designer, and former museum curator who has provided commentary for a majority of the Asgard Press Marvel Vintage Calendars and products we’ve carried. He was the editor of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide for several years and teaches courses in comic book literature and zombies in popular media. Andy from Team Asgard sat down with Dr. Blumberg to thank him for all he’s done for us. Check out the brief interview below….
Andy: What would you say has been the most fun and rewarding experience in bringing the history of Marvel comics to our customers for which we are forever grateful?
Doc: I’ve always loved the history of the Marvel Universe – all of those colorful characters and their many intertwining adventures that built an entire universe of storytelling that readers could immerse themselves in for years and years. The chance to offer my take on those stories, share trivia and fun tidbits, and to do it all in a punchy, Stan Lee-like style is a dream come true for a comics historian and writer. I hope folks find the calendars a welcome addition to their day – just don’t put a Post-It with a doctor’s appointment over my month’s blurb or you’ll miss it!
Andy: We serve blurb coverers to the Zombies! You taught a few different college courses on Comic books. Can you elaborate on what the titles of the courses were and tell us about the types of assignments you gave and interactions you had with the students?
Doc: A little less than 20 years ago, I started teaching at University of Maryland Baltimore County and created a course in Comic Book Literature, covering not just superhero comics but publications across all genres and from the 1930s to the present. When I later began teaching at University of Baltimore as well, offering a number of media literacy courses in general theory and specific genres, I became world-renowned for a course in Zombies in Popular Media that incorporated comics like The Walking Dead. I’ve also taught courses specifically about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which also garnered worldwide press coverage), superhero mythology, and more. In those classes, we read and watch a lot of material and apply critical thinking skills to all of it – what does it represent? How do these texts reflect our culture, our nation, ourselves? How does media communicate culturally, and how can we decode those messages inherent in everything we experience? Most students respond very well to the classes – naturally they enjoy getting a chance to work with something a bit more fun or familiar, but the results still wind up being very productive and gratifying. A single day in my zombie class could wind up becoming an in-depth, dynamic, student-led conversation on race, gender and other vital issues, all through the lens of zombies, comics, and pop culture.
Andy: I believe a private tutoring session is in order… Do you have a favorite Marvel character and can you explain why?
Doc: Spider-Man, no question. Maybe I identified – as so many did – with the glasses – wearing geeky kid, or maybe I just thought he was the coolest hero ever with the greatest costume. But he was my number one guy growing up, and I still love the character as a great summation of how Marvel’s take on heroism captures the perfect blend of fantasy and reality.
Andy: Can’t argue with that choice one bit, sir. Your twitter bio reads as follows: “The DOCTOR OF THE DEAD is your friendly neighborhood zombie expert. Publisher. Author. Educator. Pop Culture & Comics Historian. The more zombies the merrier!” Sounds like fun!! I’d like to focus on the Doctor of the Dead – Zombie connection. Time to elaborate again Doc!
Doc: I mentioned my popular zombie college course before. That came about in 2010 after I co-authored one of the first-ever comprehensive guides to zombie cinema, ZOMBIEMANIA (which I’m hoping to revise in a new edition in a year or so). That also led to TV and radio interviews, appearances in a few documentaries like DOC OF THE DEAD (no relation!), and contributions to many other books and magazines on the zombie genre. Then a few years ago, my producer and partner in many creative enterprises, Scott Alan Woodard, suggested we launch a podcast in which I pontificate about everything zombie in every episode. And so far DOCTOR OF THE DEAD has racked up nearly 100 episodes! You can find it on iTunes or at g2vpodcast.com I’m also on Twitter regularly talking zombies, comics, and quite a bit of politics lately, at @DoctoroftheDead.
Andy: Everybody make sure to click those links above to check out the podcast and follow Dr. Blumberg on Twitter! I want to sincerely thank you for your time today Doc and one more time for all the fantastic work you’ve done for us over the years. Clearly our products are so well received due in large part to your outstanding and in depth writings.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our interview with Dr. Arnold T Blumberg. Follow our blog for more Zap-Boom-Pow just like this. In fact, we interview Super Hero Comic Book expert Bill Jourdain in just a few weeks. Like Dr. Arnold, Bill has written commentary for Asgard Press products too – DC Comics to be specific. You won’t want to miss it…..