Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Creighton prof studies comics religiously

I KNEW THIS WAS LEONARD when I saw the headline:
Creighton prof studies comics religiously

By Howard K. Marcus
« Metro/Region

Leonard J. Greenspoon is serious about the funny papers — especially when it comes to religion.

“Each comic strip has its own sort of language,” said Greenspoon, who holds the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization and is professor of classical and Near Eastern languages at Creighton University. “You have to know how to read comic strips in the same way you have to know how to read everything else.”

His familiarity with ongoing stories in strips makes it easier for him to follow as many as he does. Each day he reads more than 100.

For him, looking at comic strips is something of a ritual.

“I need to do it,” said Greenspoon, who is also a theology professor at Creighton. “I don't let a day pass. If I do let a day pass — if I'm not feeling well or something — then I have to go back. I don't want to miss anything.”

He's hardly a casual reader.

“I read the comic strips more carefully than the average reader. But that's what my professional life is, really. I analyze manuscripts. Greek manuscripts, mainly, biblical manuscripts and Hebrew manuscripts,” he said. “I'm used to analyzing life down to the smallest elements, which is not a bad thing to do, because I have to imagine that cartoonists and those responsible for comic strips think through what they do.”

He also has a column called "The Bible in the News" at BAR, noted, e.g., here.