The Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, sponsored by Comic Book Classroom, the same organization that supports the Denver Comic Con, celebrates its first anniversary this year from May 28th-30th and takes on a subject close to the heart of the Denver community, the role and place of violence in comics. The Aurora shootings at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises took place less than a year ago, with details still emerging as news items, but the conference has seized the opportunity to gather comics scholars together to consider the social impact of violence, trauma, and healing in comics at a time when the conversation is so painfully relevant. Studying comics in academia is not a new thing, though it is a growing trend of impressive proportions, and if anyone wonders how the academic sphere can be relevant to daily life, this is certainly one of those instances. Reflecting on the cultural products we create and considering what they say our obsessions, concerns, and preoccupations can pave the way for preventing tragedies like Aurora, and also positively influence the healing process not only in Denver, but throughout the pop culture community.
“Recent tragedies, including the Aurora shooting that struck close to the heart of the ROMOCOCO and Denver Comic Con family, have turned the national conversation towards the roots and consequences of violence. Though there are many sociological and psychological areas of study that theorize about the relationship between violence in the media and “real world” violence, it is also important to examine this pervasive topic through literary analysis”.