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SDCC 2016: Broadcast Thought’s Breaking Badder & “Crazy” Talk

broadcast thoughtFor the eighth consecutive year, the forensic psychiatrists of Broadcast Thought will once again bring their unique expertise in mental health and pop culture to San Diego Comic-Con for a fun and informative panel!

On Thursday, July 21, 2016, from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm in Room 28DE, Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., of Broadcast Thought team up with former FBI profiler Mark E. Safarik, M.S., V.S.M., to present “Breaking Badder: Suicide Squad and the Dawn of the Heroic Villain.”

Unlike classic protagonists, contemporary leading roles are filled with flawed characters who favor their own agendas over society’s rules.  We’re fascinated by sociopathy, but do we really want to cheer for the bad guy? DC’s Suicide Squad blurs the lines between hero, anti-hero, and villain beyond distinction.  Are these concepts obsolete?

Criminal profiler Mark E. Safarik, M.S., V.S.M., (FBI Ret., Supervisory Special Agent, Behavioral Analysis Unit) will draw distinctions between killers as disparate as Deadshot and the Joker, using examples from real-life cases.

Delving deep into the minds of villains and fans alike, forensic psychiatrists Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., will explore fandom’s fascination with villains, reveal how real-life criminals may actually view themselves, and share how fictional characters – including villains – can inspire us through life’s darkest challenges.

Attorney Jeff Trexler will moderate, highlighting how fans – and creators – can find inspiration in these characters we love to loathe.


Then, on Saturday, July 23, 2016, from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm in Room 24ABC, Broadcast Thought, joined by graphic novelist Nate Powell and psychologist Janina Scarlet, Ph.D., presents “‘Crazy’ Talk: Mental Health, Pop Culture, and Empowerment.”

Pop culture’s ability to empower people with mental illnesses is reaching new heights, from celebrated depictions of superhero struggles to the personal stories of creators themselves.  Does mental health represent the next wave of diversity in comics, or is that just “crazy” talk?

Eisner Award winner and New York Times best-selling graphic novelist Nate Powell (March, Swallow Me Whole) will discuss the current state of mental health representation in comic books and graphic novels, as well as the progress that still needs to be made.

Psychologist Janina Scarlet, Ph.D., (Superhero Therapy) will share moving stories of patients inspired by accurate comic book depictions of mental disorders in their recovery from mental illnesses.

Forensic psychiatrist Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., will discuss Aura, his PRISM Award-winning short story about a stigmatized superhero with bipolar disorder, published in RISE: Comics Against Bullying #2 from Northwest Press.

Forensic psychiatrist Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., will discuss how entertainment can be a force for good in mental health and why more accurate and less stigmatizing mental health representations are a “win-win” for media outlets and people with mental illnesses alike.

Attorney Jeff Trexler (The Beat, The Comics Journal) moderates.

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