Former Marvel Comics executive to speak at Ball State about comic book industry

Topics: Speakers, College of Communication Information and Media

February 7, 2007

From "Superman" to "Spider-Man," the success of many recent major motion pictures have one thing in common: comic books, according to a former Marvel Entertainment executive.

Shirrel Rhoades, a well-known publishing consultant, will discuss "Comic Books: Is Sequential Art Storytelling 'The Literature of Our Age' or Simply Harmless Entertainment?" as part of the professionals in residence lecture series in the College of Communication, Information, and Media. The lecture — which is free and open to the public — will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 in Ball State's Art and Journalism Building, room 175.

Rhoades will trace the development of comic books from their accidental beginnings in the 1930s to today's multimedia bonanza. He will use anecdotes, personal observations and a touch of history to bring an insider's tour of what has been called the rock 'n' roll of literature.

Rhoades currently serves as senior adviser at Dynamic Resources Group, Inc., in Berne, Ind., which is Indiana's largest magazine publisher with 15 titles. He previously held executive positions with companies ranging from Harper's to Scholastic to Reader's Digest, and he worked with legendary comic book creator Stan Lee while serving as executive vice president of Marvel Entertainment, which publishes Marvel Comics.

He also is co-author of the textbook "Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry," written with Ball State journalism professor David Sumner. Currently, Rhoades is completing two books on the comic book industry for Peter Lang Publishing.

For more information, contact the Ball State's Department of Journalism at (765) 285-8200.

By Kim Jackson

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