Dave Gibbons' School Burnt All Their Comics – BBC Radio 4 Looks at Changing Comics Culture

Okay, so it managed to conflate superheroes and comic books. It also conflated superhero films and comic books. And it went to The Big Bang Theory for references too easily.

But last night's Front Row magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music on BBC Radio 4 did also go to Bleeding Cool's regular comic store Orbital Comics, with presenter Stig Abell talking to comic book critics and fans including Louise Blain and Orbital's Adam Karenina Sherif about the rise in comic book culture.

Dave Gibbons' School Burnt All Their Comics – BBC Radio 4 Looks at Changing Comics Culture

The show went to talk to Dave "Watchmen" Gibbons about changing comics culture – and how Dave Gibbons' role as Comics Laureate saw him go into schools that already had graphic novel libraries, where at his old school they gathered up American comics from the kids, put them in a pile and set them on fire – including a copy of Green Lantern from another kid that Gibbons really wanted.

Then talking to Den Of Geek's Simon Brew about the relationship and performances of superhero films.

And finally sitting down with Kieron Gillen, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw and Nikesh Shukla to talk about the whole damn thing, with Gavia praising Young Avengers. And also bringing up Captain America being a fascist Hydra agent in Secret Empire, with Kieron telling us "I've not actually read the book, but you can see an argument for a story where you question anyone who wears a flag but it all depends on the execution"… with Nikesh seeing a greater tension between comic fans now that the characters are in the mainstream, "you see tensions between nerd fandom and a quite right-wing MRA fandom who sees these characters as masculine red pilled demigods who are going to lead the revolution against diversity and where the battlefield for this is really inane conversations about whether we're going to have a black James Bond."

And, of course, still burning comics. The episode of Front Row can be streamed here and downloaded here.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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