Holy academia, Batman! BGSU hosting conference on Caped Crusader

Head librarian Nancy Down cuts the Batman-themed cake at the celebration of the Browne Popular Culture Library at BGSU in March.


In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Batman, Bowling Green State University’s Department of Popular Culture and the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies will host the Batman in Popular Culture Conference April 12-13 at Jerome Library.

March 30, 2019, marked the actual 80th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in the 1939 Detective Comics No. 27, which was written by Bill Finger and penciled by Bob Kane. The story, “The Case of the Criminal Syndicate!” was only six pages long and introduced audiences to Batman and Commissioner Gordon and revealed Batman’s secret identity as wealthy bachelor Bruce Wayne.

Registration is closed for the conference, which will feature more than 20 sessions on Batman, including Girls of Gotham, Batman and Popular Music, Batman and Modern Technology, and Batman and Villains.

Keynote presentations are outlined below. The conference will also include an appearance by Marc Racop from Fiberglas Freaks, who builds authentic Batmobiles. In addition, Marc Sumerak, comic book writer/creator and BGSU alumnus, will present a community event, “The Craft of Comics,” from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the Wood County Public Library, Bowling Green.

WHAT: Batman in Popular Culture Conference

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 12 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 13

WHERE: BGSU Jerome Library, Pallister Conference Room and Room 142B


  • 3:20-3:55 p.m. April 12, Pallister Conference Room: Growing Gotham, Making Metropolis: Building the DC Universe – Dan Mishkin, comic book writer/creator
  • 11:20-11:55 a.m. April 12, Pallister Conference Room: Holy Bat Heartbreak: The Long Dark Knight of the Soul – Dr. Jenny Swartz-Levine, dean, Lake Erie College
  • 11:20-11:55 a.m. April 13, Pallister Conference Room: Batman and Sons: Family and Patriarchal Authority – Dr. Jeffrey Brown, BGSU popular culture faculty
  • 3:20-3:55 p.m. April 13, Pallister Conference Room: A Conversation with a Bat-writer – Mike Barr, comic book writer/creator