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U.S. Department of State Hosts Superheroes@State, Web Chat on Comics, Superheroes and Shared Values


Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 18, 2014

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On February 19, the U.S. Department of State’s Alumni Affairs Division will host a Superheroes@State web chat with Comic-Con International, at 7:30 a.m. EST. Participants will discuss comic books and superheroes as they relate to shared values in countries around the world. The Alumni Affairs Division is partnering with the Bureau of International Information Programs’ CO.NX team to create a virtual space to engage foreign publics in an interactive exchange of ideas. This is the latest in a series of web chats that promote dialogue on topics of interest to previous participants of exchange programs and their peers.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Evan Ryan will moderate Superheroes@State, and David Glanzer, the Director of Marketing for Comic-Con International, will join her in the CO.NX studio. Exchange alumnus Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, the creator of the comic series THE 99, will participate remotely from Kuwait. Dan Panosian, the illustrator for THE 99, will select his favorite art submissions from an earlier art contest during which exchange alumni and the public submitted their own sketches of superheroes. To learn more about the virtual event, and art contest, please visit the International Exchange Alumni Facebook event page.

CO.NX is an online diplomacy team in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs that engages audiences around the world through interactive webchat programs. Comic-Con International is a nonprofit education corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms. Annual Comic-Con conventions host hundreds of thousands of comics fans, industry specialists, filmmakers, and actors.

THE 99 was created by ECA alumnus Dr. Naif Al- Mutawa of Teshkeel Media Group. THE 99 offers new role models of superheroes born of Middle East history and Islamic archetypes who possess values shared by the entire world. In 2010, during the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, President Obama made special mention of Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa and THE 99.

Media Contact: ECA-Press@state.gov.



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