Exploring the Many Worlds of Transmedia

Posts Tagged "adaptation"

“Marvel Illustrated: The Picture of Dorian Gray” questions about authorship

“Marvel Illustrated: The Picture of Dorian Gray” questions about authorship

By on Dec 7, 2013 in Featured |

For my Oscar Wilde Seminar this semester I’ve been working on an essay that deals with an interesting concept; adaptation.  In my essay, I look at the Marvel Illustrated: The Picture of Dorian Gray with the aim of evaluating its effectiveness as an adaptation. One of the points that has been really fascinating to think about however has been the question of authorship.  A graphic novel is a text that has many contributors to get it off the ground and make it into an effective vessel for narrative.  If there are many people contributing to the creation of the narrative and the artifact that conveys it who then do we call the author? All of them? None of them? Is Wilde still the only author? First lets consider some of the hands that go into producing a graphic novel: we’ve got a “writer”, an “artist”, a “colorist”, a “letterer” and one or more “editors”.  Ok so of this list let’s remove the editors, they don’t really go into “producing” the narrative they really are more involved in the process of “refining” it. Now For this particular text this leaves the writer: Roy Thomas, the artist: Sebastian Fiumara, The colorist: Giulia Brusco, and the letterer: Dave Sharpe.  Each of these individuals contributes to the way a reader experiences the adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray.  However, does that really let us say that they are authors in their own right? Thomas is the adaptive writer; it’s his job to take Wilde’s initial text and generate from it a version that is usable in comic form.  In the introduction to the trade hardback of Marvel Illustrated: The Picture of Dorian Gray Thomas states that the “aim was to tell Wilde’s story, in the author’s own words wherever possible.” Thomas set out not to retell Wilde’s story but rather to adapt what existed into a form that was readily usable in the comic form.  This resulted in the truncation of many of the longer philosophical dialogs but still, Thomas added very little “text” to Wilde’s initial work while converting it into a form that allowed the rest of the team to build a comic around it. Fiumara, Brusco and Sharpe have...

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Transitioning to Comics: The Expanding Frontier

Transitioning to Comics: The Expanding Frontier

By on Dec 5, 2013 in Featured | 1 comment

A growing trend in multiple entertainment franchises such as television, film, and video games is to have comic book continuations/prequels/filler as part of their transmedia campaigns, which relates to tquattle’s article on Language as a Rabbit Hole, since such continuations pull fans into different parts of the story worlds involved. The trend also allows for many different kinds of creators to be involved in a franchise (e.g., a comic artist could be involved in a film franchise), encourages fan curiosity and serves as additional advertising. “Young Justice” (from the recent animated televisions series) and “Heroes” used their companion comics principally for filler content to expand on details presented in each show that were not given enough on-screen time. The “Young Justice” comic filled in gaps between episodes and explained certain references in the show, like Superboy’s hate of monkeys and the Terror Twins. The “Heroes” comics explained the backstories of several characters that appeared only briefly in the television series, like Hana Gitelman, who was referred to by her online alias in the television series and otherwise appears in only one episode of the series. In the graphic novels, we learn that she is actually well known to a large number of the “Heroes” cast, including Mr. Bennet, who recruits her for the Company and trains her for some time, treating her like a second daughter. Numerous franchises use comics as prequel and sequel mediums. “Avatar the Last Airbender” filled in content between its two series with two comic book trilogies. The first trilogy, “The Promise”, takes place shortly after the end of the first television series, and is a sort of epilogue for the show. Following “The Promise,” “The Search” was meant to answer the important question of what happened to Fire Lady Ursa, Zuko and Azula’s mother. This is a question that has haunted ATLA fans for a long time. The recent “Tomb Raider” (2013) video game is slated to have a comic continuation written by Gail Simone and set between that game and the next in the series. Comics can also introduce new fictional aspects for their story worlds that go back into the core franchise. The video game series “Assassin’s Creed” introduced Daniel Cross and...

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As Seen on TV

As Seen on TV

By on Dec 5, 2013 in Featured | 1 comment

Throughout television history, producers have experimented with bringing the big screen to the small screen. These projects have been met with varying degrees of success, from outright failure (both of the Casablanca series) to commercial and critical success (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The transition from movie to television can be difficult to maneuver, with audience expectations, limited budgets, and restrictive plots, but producers continue crafting these episodic adaptations. One of the oldest examples of these series is Casablanca, based on the movie of the same name, which aired from 1955 to 1956. The series was set after the events of the movie, focusing on Rick’s life and the bar after Ilsa leaves. The series used sets from the movie and featured actors who had minor parts in the movie, but gave them bigger roles; Dan Seymour, who played Ferrari’s bodyguard in the movie, played Ferrari on the show and Marcel Dalio, who played a crooked roulette table dealer in the movie, played Captain Renahult. The series only lasted ten episodes, due to low ratings. There are a number of reasons why the audience failed to connect with the show; the major problem, however, was that the main actors and the story viewers fell in love with were replaced with cheap imitations. Casablanca is regarded as one of the classics of American cinema (the American Film Institute named it as the second best American movie in cinematic history), so audiences were unwilling to accept alterations to the story; they felt that the movie should remain untouched. As my mother said when I told her of this series’ creation, “Why would anybody do that?” This clip is from the first episode of the 1955 series Casablanca. It was posted by YouTube user verbusen and is used in accordance with Fair Use Laws. However, producers did not learn from this initial failure, as a second Casablanca series, also titled Casablanca, aired in 1983. It stared David Soul, of Starsky & Hutch fame, as Rick Blane and lasted five episodes. Unlike it’s predecessor, this series was a prequel to the movie. Audiences refused to watch this series for the same reason they refused to watch the 1955 version: both tampered with the integrity of the original movie. This version also faced the problem...

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