Calling comic book fans: Learn about impact of craft at upcoming NIU lecture

The Impact of Comic Books lecture runs noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at Founders Memorial Library at NIU in DeKalb

Northern Illinois University, NIU, light pole banners in DeKalb

DeKALB – Ever wondered the origins of Superman’s origin story? What about how the Caped Crusader, Lois Lane, Captain America or Spider-Man became cultural icons birthed decades ago through the pages of graphic storytelling?

Mike Korcek, avid comic book buff who worked in Northern Illinois University’s Sports Information Department for more than 20 years; and comic book collector, dealer, appraiser and historian Gary Colabuono to the rescue.

Korcek and Colabuono will present The Impact of Comic Books from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday in the staff lounge on the lower level of Founders Memorial Library on NIU campus, 217 Normal Road in DeKalb. The event is free to attend and open to all.

The lecture, sponsored by University Libraries, will take participants on “an exciting journey through the vibrant world of graphic storytelling,” according to the event listing. “Dive into the pages of iconic comics and explore their profound influence on culture, art, and literature.”

Korcek has been a major Superman fan and comic book collector since the mid-1950s, according to a news release.

“I’m not ashamed to confess, with apologies to Dick and Jane, I learned to read via comic books,” Korcek wrote in a news release. “I was the only kid in third grade at Lions Park School in Mount Prospect who could spell ‘invulnerable’, define it, and use it in a sentence. Thanks, Supes!”

Colabuono, similarly, has collected comic books since the 1950s and collected so many he eventually opened a comic book shop in 1978 in Mt. Prospect. He also has been CEO of the Chicago Comic Con.

“Telling stories in words and pictures is an original American art form,” Colabuono wrote in a news release. “Comics should be respected and celebrated and I’ve spent my entire career trying to make that happen.”

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