I was back at SKOOL last night for the latest Supervisory Meeting for my PhD. The main topic of conversation was the PAPER wot I am writing about the influence of The Cold War on the development of Doctor Doom's personality, based on the TALK I did in Dundee back in the summer. I tell you what, I now know a LOT more about The Cold War than I did before, even as someone who LIVED through huge great chunks of it. I find myself having new sympathy for RONALD REAGAN of all people, a great affection for KHRUSHCHEV and his shoe banging, but thankfully have read nothing to free me of my lifelong hatred of THATCHER. PHEW!
We had a lengthy and GRATE discussion about final amendments to make to the paper before I submit it in the hope of publication, and once again I find myself being sent off on RESEARCH AVENUES that I never thought I'd be strolling along. I thought it was going to be all about reading comics, but I seem to have spent a HUGE amount of time discussing the representations of Eastern Europe in American media in the 1960s instead. It's interesting, although maybe not QUITE as much fun!
Having said that, there HAS been some comics reading, all of which will lead to a SUPER EXCITING NEW THING coming your way in 2018. I'm doing a CLOSE READING of EVERY appearance of Doctor Doom in Marvel comics between 1961 and 1987, and in order to keep track of it all (there is a LOT) I'm going to be starting a BLOG called "Marvel Age Doom". I've started work on it already and there's been a TONNE of things to discuss, so I'm planning to get myself a good old backlog built up in order to maintain a goodly stream of FACTS when it officially launches. The current plan is to pubish one blog every week about each of Doom's in-person appearances in the Marvel Universe, with extra blogs on other days about other appearances (where he's just mentioned, for instance, or appears in a recap) OR my Fascinating Research Methods OR other relevant items. It will be an Informative Scholarly Work but will also feature LOADS of GRATE pictures, also some GAGS.
Everyone seemed jolly KEEN on this during the meeting, which also covered the NEXT thing I'm going to do - a look at "The Marvel Age Of Comics" as an Actual Thing. Comics fans will be familiar with the phrase (and possibly the Marvel magazine of the same name from the 1980s) but I'm hoping to NAIL IT DOWN as a PERiOD and also a DESCRIPTION of a type of superhero storytelling. I'm ALSO also hoping to use it as a way to JUSTIFY terms like "The Golden Age" and "The Bronze Age" which comics fans all use but which seem to WIND UP academics something chronic. LARKS AHOY!
I must say, some 15 months in, I am RIGHT enjoying this post-graduate RESEARCH business. All the PhD people I have worked with over the years have seemed dead STRESSED about it, but I'm finding it DELIGHTFUL. Maybe, just maybe, this is because they were all looking at topics such as Psychology or Statistics rather than SUPER COOL things like COMICS, in which case WELL DONE ME!!