Hi! Welcome to my Superpowered Society. My name is Ryan Blake and I, maybe like you, have a love for the superhero culture and the excitement they bring to what seems like an impossible reality. I’ve always questioned that reality and through life experiences, I’ve noticed that impossible reality is closer than many may think.
I grew up in a single parent home for all but two years of my life. Similar to some superheroes, my father passed away before it was his time and was taken by a villain society has yet to defeat, cancer. My older brother and I latched onto the mainstream superheroes primarily in the Marvel and DC Universes, seeing these character as roles models. We didn’t always like the same characters, but maybe that had something to do with “sibling rivalry”. While superheroes was a daily conversation for us, we grew up watching a strong-willed, hard-working mother who was (and still is) a teacher with a passion for working with underprivileged and misguided youth. She was there for the both of us as much as she could be and gave us more guidance than what one would expect from a single parent home. We still didn’t have a consistent male role model in our lives, which was challenging as multi-racial boys in a racially divided time in the 90s (Rodney King, OJ Simpson, LA Riots, etc). I struggled finding my place in society as I wasn’t “white” enough or “black” enough for certain groups and I wasn’t extraordinary at any one particular thing. Where did I find people who struggled to be accepted or are challenged in the 90s? In Saturday morning cartoons with X-Men, The Adventure of Batman, Dark Wing Duck, Yu-Gi-Oh and Captain Planet as well as movies like The Meteor Man, Blade, and The Mask. Watching these shows (and many others) ended up having an impact on how I visualized myself in the world and who I wanted to be.
I graduated from Park Center High School and immediately attended the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. I received a B.A. in Communication Studies where I had a large emphasis on rhetoric and public relations. For me public relations was the career path and rhetoric was the passion. It was in college that I dug deeper into the rhetorical aspect of superheroes in today’s society and the basis of this entire endeavor.
I’m sure you’ll learn a lot more about me through the podcasts, but don’t hesitate to ask questions. Here are some of my favorites, but you’ll have to listen to learn why!
- Superhero: Green Lantern (John Stewart)
- Recent Superhero TV Series: Luke Cake
- Recent Superhero Movie: The Dark Knight
University of St. Thomas, 2009
B.A. Communication Studies
University of Northern Colorado, 2010
M.S. Sport Administration