What is "spi-fi"?

Spi-fi (or spiritual fiction) defines stories that go beyond ordinary reality and leave a powerful impact on the reader.

As part of a Kone Foundation research project, comparative religion scholar Albion M. Butters, Ph.D. is currently engaged in a study of spi-fi in comics. In particular, he is interested in: 1) stories that are explicitly religious; 2) adoption of material by readers in a way that can be defined as spiritual or religious (i.e., spiritualization); or 3) use of a range of innovative methods to incite or inspire transformation or awakening. From Superman to Slaine, Promethea to Dr. Manhattan, superheroes inspire and inform -- and open new doors into the imagination.

So who is your favorite superhero? And if you could be one, who would it be?

Comics fans of all ages are invited to take part in the study through a short online survey. To join the study, send an email to albion@spi-fi.com. Those who participate will receive a copy of the results, as well as a free first issue of the spi-fi comic Mandala (Dark Horse, 2014).