Several weeks ago, Henry Jenkins started a new blog to coincide with the release of his forthcoming book, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. I find his work smart, original, and accessible, and since Jenkins often defends the kinds of pursuits I enjoy, such as gaming, I've been following his blog steadily.
Over the course of two days, Jenkins recently posted two essays on comic books and U.S. foreign policy that I think most comic book bloggers and fans would want to read. They are based on a chapter Jenkins contributed to a book called Terror, Culture, Politics: Rethinking 9/11, and he has promised a third part to the series will be coming soon.
Jenkins posted the essays partially in response to an article published in the political journal The American Prospect comparing the actions of the Bush Administration to the Green Lantern Corps. In this article, author Matthew Yglesias claims that Bush and his cohorts have a "comic book view of how international relations works."
Jenkins's essays demonstrate that the attitudes expressed in comic books after 9/11 regarding U.S. foreign policy are more sophisticated and more progressive than those of the Bush administration. In Jenkins's first essay, I was fascinated by his precise reporting of how the major comic book publishers and individuals within the industry were affected by 9/11 based on their physical proximity to ground zero.
It was also refreshing to read Jenkins's account of how mainstream and independent publishers collaborated and were influenced by each other in the period after 9/11. That's what I like about Jenkins's work--although he writes about popular culture topics that are often discussed in the media, his approach is always a nonobvious one. If you're interested in comics, games, fan fiction, or fandom, you should really check out his blog and his other work as well.