Emmy Award-nominated writer and producer Jeph Loeb, head of the television division for Marvel Entertainment, will launch the 2015-16 Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speaker Series at California State University, Northridge with an exploration of the ever-merging worlds of comic books and television entertainment.
Loeb — a four-time Eisner Award winner and a five-time Wizard Fan Awards winner as a writer of comic books for such characters as Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Hulk, Captain America, Daredevil, Iron Man, Supergirl, the Avengers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer — will talk with CSUN English professor Charles Hatfield, himself an Eisner winner, and CSUN cinema and television arts professor Jon Stahl at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, in the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall. The hall is located in the University Student Union, on the east side of the campus off Zelzah Street.
“Comic books and fandom are going through huge changes right now, and the Marvel television and film phenomenon is a crucial part of that,” said Hatfield. “Jeph Loeb’s career is in television, film and comic books epitomizes the expanding crossover of comics and other media.
“I know from teaching ‘Comics and Graphic Novels’ for the past 10 years that many of our students have a strong interest in the world of Marvel,” Hatfield added, “so Jeph Loeb’s talk is a great event for CSUN.”
“Jeph Loeb’s career reflects the merging of three of the most significant forms of entertainment in our society — comic books, film and television,” Stahl said. “It suggests to our students that the flexibility to embrace multiple forms, media and business models is the appropriate mindset that will enable them to succeed as the entertainment industry continues to evolve, and as previously separate models of expression converge.”
Loeb began his entertainment career collaborating on the script for the 1985 film, “Teen Wolf,” starring Michael J. Fox. He also co-wrote the film “Commando,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. He spent a number of years as screenwriter before catching the eye of DC Comics publisher Jenette Kahn.
His first comic work for DC was “Challengers of the Unknown” vol. 2 #1, the first of many collaborations with artist Tim Sale. Their later DC works include “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Specials,” “Batman: Long Halloween” (which is said to be among the inspirations for the film “Batman Begins”), “Batman: Dark Victory,” “Superman for All Seasons” and “Catwoman: When in Rome.” Loeb also wrote for “Superman. His work on “Superman/Batman” inspired the new “Supergirl” television series.
At Marvel Comics, Loeb worked on the “Age of Apocalypse” crossover storyline and co-created the X-Man character with artist Steve Skroce. Loeb wrote the “Heroes Reborn” version of Captain America. He and Sale crafted several limited series for Marvel, including “Daredevil: Yellow,” “Spider-Man: Blue” and “Hulk: Grey.” He also wrote the miniseries “Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America.” He signed an exclusive contract with Marvel in 2005.
In 2002, Loeb wrote the script for an episode of “Smallville,” and he eventually rose to become supervising producer of the series. He later became a writer and producer for the television series “Lost.” He left that show to co-executive produce and write the NBC drama “Heroes,” which went on to earn a 2007 Emmy Award nomination for outstanding drama series.
In 2010, Loeb was named head of television for Marvel and is currently executive producer for “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Marvel’s Agent Carter” for ABC, as well as “Marvel’s Daredevil” and “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” for Netflix.
Loeb’s talk at CSUN coincides the university’s much-heralded “Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby” exhibition at the CSUN Art Galleries. The exhibition, which runs through Oct. 10, features the works of comic book artist Jack Kirby, co-creator, designer and original artist of famous characters such as Captain America, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the Black Panther. About 100 pieces of Kirby’s work are displayed and a roughly 200-page, full-color catalog accompanies the exhibition. Loeb’s first comic book work, “Challengers of the Unknown” in 1991 was a revival of a Jack Kirby comic from 1957. Many of Loeb’s comics are based partly on Kirby creations.
The Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speaker Series is organized by the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication to connect members of the campus, alumni and community with compelling and creative storytellers who have made a significant contribution to the art of creative communication and the art of business.
The speaker series is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. To reserve a seat or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication is inspired by the shared belief that arts are community, community is art, and art and communication are essential pillars for building and maintaining community. Its programs, including those in art, music, theater, cinema and television arts, communication studies and journalism, have an international reputation for graduating skilled professionals who succeed in their respective fields.