GUEST PANELIST: DENVER COMIC CON 2018
This year, Prof. Scahill brought his cinematic exepertise to Denver Comic Con 2018, held downtown at the Convention Center. Comic Cons are national events held in every major city which cater to sci-fi, fantasy, and horror fans in a variety of mediums, including comic books, cinema, television, and video games. Fans are encouraged to "cosplay" (dress as their favorite characters), meet artists and celebrities in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, shop at hundreds of vendors, and attend panels and workshops.
Dr. Scahill was asked by organizers to be on two panels this year, both organized by the SIE FilmCenter in Denver. The first drew upon his expertise in youth representation on screen and his current research into the films of John Hughes. Titled "The Evolution of the Teen Pic," the co-panelists included castmates from the the 1980s cult classic Monster Squad. Panelists considered the rise of the Teen Pic in the 1950s with films such as Rock Around the Clock or Rebel Without a Cause and the changes it underwent to give rise to the John Hughes era of the 1980s, as well as genre hybrid films like Monster Squad and The Goonies. The panelists also examined contemporary iterations of the Teen Pic like Attack the Block and Call Me By Your Name, which allowed for more minority voices.
The second panel drew upon Dr. Scahill's more nerdy side. "The Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe" panel was one of the most well-attended of the Denver ComicCon, and panelists offered their perspectives on the hits and misses of the MCU. In the lively discussion, panelists offered their thoughts on where the MCU is headed and what challenges they may face along the way. Dr. Scahill offered his perspective grounded in genre history and theory: he recalled the rise and fall of past genres like the Pirate Film and the Western, and suggested that for the Superhero Genre to survive, it must continue to hybridize with other genres such as horror, sci-fi, and and film noir in order to survive audience fatigue.