Adi Shankar hero

Castlevania producer defends comic book culture after Bill Maher takedown: ‘Founders of nerd culture must be celebrated’

Contributed by
Dec 4, 2018

Up, up, and away! Adi Shankar is coming to geek culture’s rescue. Okay, not that a culture that generates billions of dollars in revenue across multiple industries is in need of saving, but the producer behind Netflix’s Castlevania is defending geek culture — particularly comic books and video games — in response to late-night talk-show host Bill Maher’s recent attack on comics and comic book fans.

In an interview with Deadline, Shankar said his upcoming project, Superman vs The Ku Klux Klan, was indirectly energized by Maher’s takedown of geek culture and comments about the late Stan Lee.

“The comic-book/video game industry needs our Shakespeare in Love, we need our Capote and Finding Neverland,” Shankar said. “The founders of nerd culture must be celebrated as much as the franchises they have given birth to. It’s our history. We also need to tell stories about how these myths have had a tangible impact on our material world. That’s where Superman vs KKK comes in.”

Following the death of Stan Lee, Maher weighed in, using the comic legend's passing to correlate the world’s problems with the fact that people over the age of 10 read comic books. (“I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important,” the comedian concluded in his blog entry.)

Shankar (obviously) disagrees, stating: “Fandom was built on a blueprint of mortality, and the stories of people grappling with godlike power are more relevant now in the age of limitless technology than before.”

Shankar is developing Rick Bowers’ 2012 book, Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan, into a movie. The book chronicles the true story of Stetson Kennedy, a man who went undercover to infiltrate the KKK in 1946 and teamed up with the producers of the Superman Radio Show to use the show to expose the Klan’s secrets and damage their credibility.

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