Charles Hatfield is a comics scholar, teacher, and lifelong Jack Kirby fan who lives in greater Los Angeles. Hand of Fire is his second book.
More specifically, Charles is an Associate Professor of English at California State University, Northridge specializing in popular culture, media studies, word/image studies, children’s culture—and comics. He has been teaching university classes for more than twenty years. His perennial course, Comics & Graphic Novels, is one of the most popular English electives at CSUN.
Charles has published widely in comics studies, including his first book Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature (UP of Mississippi, 2005), widely hailed as a landmark study, and articles in several journals: The Lion and the Unicorn, the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, ImageTexT, English Language Notes, Transatlantica, and, most recently, SubStance. In addition, Charles has contributed chapters to Teaching the Graphic Novel (MLA, 2009), The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Literature (2011), and Keywords for Children’s Literature (NYU Press, 2011).
Besides his academic publications, Charles has written quite a bit for the comics press, notably for The Comics Journal and of course The Jack Kirby Collector. He has blogged at The Panelists, Thought Balloonists,and other sites.
Charles serves on the executive committee of the Modern Language Association’s Comics and Graphic Narratives Discussion Group, and from 1997 to 2009 served on the executive committee of the International Comic Arts Forum. He is on the editorial board of the new Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics as well as ImageTexT and the International Journal of Comic Art.
Currently Charles is collaborating with Dr. Craig Fischer on a book about the Scots cartoonist Eddie Campbell, and to that end has been researching the history of British small press comics.
Charles (Charlie, Chuck, Professor H, etc.) was born in Alaska and raised an Air Force brat in various places, particularly Panama and the American Southwest. He has family roots and branches in California, Texas, and New England. His favorite comics—besides Kirby—include Love & Rockets by Los Bros Hernandez, Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary by Justin Green, and Peanuts by Charles Schulz. And others.