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The Pop Culture Lens Episode 11: Captain Midnight

In the eleventh episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I welcome friend of the podcast Blair Davis of DePaul University to discuss a pulp hero from the radio era, Captain Midnight. Captain Midnight began as a radio serial in 1938 (which you can listen to here), at the dawn of the age of superheroes, and the character appeared in numerous other … Continue reading The Pop Culture Lens Episode 11: Captain Midnight

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Comics Adaptations Causing Fractured Fandom

We are now full swing into the summer blockbuster season for Hollywood, and let’s take a tally of movies that are currently out or soon to arrive that originate from the pages of comic books.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Hercules.  Guardians of the Galaxy.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.  Kingsman: The Secret Service.  Big Hero 6. 

I am so looking forward to this one.
I am so looking forward to this one.

All of this, without mentioning the big hitters coming soon, such as the second Avengers movie, or the one that finally brings Wonder Woman to the screen while pitting Batman v. Superman.  All of this, a range of titles for the young to the mature.  And these are only Hollywood films.  Consider all of the movies made from comic books around the world, and the numbers are staggering.  The top ten comic book adaptation movies have grossed around $4.05 billion dollars in just over a decade, proving their dominance at the box office in the United States and around the world.

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Comics Versus Literary Adaptations

Back in 2007, I attended Comic-Con.  At the time, I presented a paper on comics adaptations into films and the roles of “true believers” at the Comics Arts Conference.  However, it was while I was at that venerable convention, surrounded by the fans and true believers Hollywood was hoping to capture (their energy, their money, their time) by making these adaptations, that I really pondered the ideas I was espousing in the presentation.

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What follows are my thoughts on these ideas from then.  I write them down as I am transcribing from my notebook to a source of more, in all honesty, security and longevity.  And because I want to get myself into the habit of writing my thoughts on the research process down as they come to me.  So to get into the habit for the future, I turn to remembering what I’ve done in the past.

And so, it began…

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Comics Adaptations and True Believers

Think about all of the movies being made lately adapting a comic book or graphic novel.  The superhero movie has become it’s own genre, with every major Hollywood studio trying to create tentpole franchises on well known, and not well known, superheroes.  The studios are even “re-imagining” superheroes who have been in franchises, or attempt at franchises, that have failed or petered our.  X-Men, SpiderMan, Superman, the … Continue reading Comics Adaptations and True Believers