Over the past year, a number of surprising (and stunning) lost comics studies have come to light. Carol Tilley (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Brad Ricca (Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster) present and discuss the 1942 comics thesis of Superman artist Paul Cassidy, newly discovered by Sean Howe. Tilley will reveal additional comics theses from the 1930s and 1940s that expand our understanding of comics production practices, readership trends, and practical applications. So who did the first real work on comics? What can we learn from them? What do we do with their work? And, most provocatively, is there more out there? This panel will debate why this question strikes such a nerve with scholars, fans, and readers. Why is it so important to find the first scholar, and does that tell us something about why comics studies started in the first place?