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Resounds: Robert K. Elder

Anna Paige
Robert K. Elder in the YPR studios

Robert K. Elder is the author of 15 books, including The Best Films You’ve Never Seen, Conversations with Ken Kesey, and The Mixtape of my Life. His work has appeared in the New York Times, LA Times, the Boston Globe, and The Paris Review. He is the chief digital officer for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the founder of Odd Hours Media. Originally from Billings, Robert now lives and writes in Chicago.

His 2016 book, Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Ernest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park, won a Gold Medal at the Independent Publisher Book Awards. The book included never-before-published photos and letters, high school assignments; adolescent diaries; and some of the final letters Hemingway wrote, as he was undergoing electroshock treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

Robert K. Elder’s latest book, Hemingway in Comics, provides a unique lens for reconsidering one of America’s most influential authors. Elder’s in-depth research demonstrates how Ernest Hemingway’s status as a giant of 20th-century fiction and a Nobel Prize winner extends even into the pages of comic books. Hemingway becomes a pop culture icon.

The book contains more than 120 appearances in numerous languages. Hemingway is portrayed as the bearded hyper-masculine legend as well as a sensitive artist seeking literary validation. The book features artwork and interviews with dozens of comic book creators such as Peter Milligan, Chris Ware, Garry Trudeau, Rick Geary, Colleen Doran, and Sophie Campbell. The comic portrayal of “Papa” Hemingway ranges from the superhero to the ridiculous, as various illustrators glorify, distort, and lampoon the essential characteristics of the legend.

Corby Skinner is an independent marketing professional with an enormous capacity for assessing issues and creating positive, effective messages.
Anna Paige is a Montana-based journalist, poet and educator. She is originally from Wyoming and has lived in Billings for more than a decade, where she co-founded Young Poets, winner of the 2021 Library of Congress Award for Literacy.