Ben Saunders tells the tale of the JSMA EC comics exhibit

Comics aren’t all superheroes. They tell tales of crime, war, drama, horror and politics and they are about to take the UO campus by storm.

“Aliens, Monsters and Madmen: The Art of EC Comics” opens at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on Friday, May 13. Ben Saunders, an English professor at the UO and founder off the Comics and Cartoon Studies program, curated the show.

In interviews with KEZI and the Eugene Weekly, Saunders describes the pivotal role the 1950s publisher Entertainment Comics played in exploring social issues. The company ultimately imploded under the pressure of the industry’s self-censorship.

“It’s a story about the relationship between creativity and capitalism, which is a really interesting and nuanced story,” Saunders said to the Eugene Weekly. “Commerce won out against creativity.”

For the full story see, “Raising Eyebrows” in Eugene Weekly and “Interview: The Art of EC Comics” on KEZI.


Ben Saunders is an Oregon expert in comic studies, pop culture and English literature. Learn more about UO experts on the Media Relations website.