Tell Me Something I Don't Know 020: Joe Lupo and the The Invincible Iron Man

In this episode of Boing Boing's Tell Me Something I Don't Know podcast, we speak with Joseph Lupo, a printmaker and professor at West Virginia University. His work focuses on how writers and artists communicate through comics. For more than a decade, he has deconstructed and examined a single volume of The Invincible Iron Man comic book: Volume 01, Issue 178, published in 1984.

"It is a different kind of superhero issue for a few reasons," says Lupo. "For one, never in this story does the superhero Iron Man ever directly appear. Also, this issue is split into two different story lines."

Using that single issue as source material, he invited 23 nationally-recognized artists to create new work inspired by that original comic. The result: a curated group exhibition, "Shame of the City: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Comic Book Narratives," which opens at Future Tenant in Pittsburgh on December 13, 2013.

We speak with Lupo about the show, and what we can learn about communication from studying comics.

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Tell Me Something I Don't Know is produced and hosted by three talented cartoonists and illustrators:

Jim Rugg, a Pittsburgh-based comic book artist, graphic designer, zinemaker, and writer best known for Afrodisiac, The Plain Janes, and Street Angel. His latest project is SUPERMAG.

Jasen Lex is a designer and illustrator from Pittsburgh. He is currently working on a graphic novel called Washington Unbound. All of his art and comics can be found at

Ed Piskor is the cartoonist who drew the comic, Wizzywig, and draws the Brain Rot/ Hip Hop Family Tree comic strip at this very site, soon to be collected by Fantagraphics Books and available for pre-order now.