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Convergent Wrestling: The Nature of Professional Wrestling

Professional wrestling has been criticized for its emphasis on the fiction of its entertainment rather than the reality of its sport. My partner, Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me), and I argue that professional wrestling functions as a convergent media product, representing a vital text for examining the media landscape of the 21st century. The true nature of professional wrestling is in how it combines … Continue reading Convergent Wrestling: The Nature of Professional Wrestling

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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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My partner and I with former professional wrestler, current comic book author, and all around social activist, Mick Foley. (C2E2 2014)

Genre Mashing in Professional Wrestling

After the event of this weekend, where normally we are only needing to remember our veterans but must now also remember those young men and women who died at the whim of a terrorist — of a misogynist extremist — I need to take a break from discussing fractured fandom and the sexist, and misogynist, tensions in geekdom to talk about something else. We could … Continue reading Genre Mashing in Professional Wrestling

Representations of Women in Japanese and American Pop Culture

(From a 2004 paper on a cross-cultural examination of the superheroine)

            In their article on children and role models, Anderson and Cavallaro (2002) say that superheroes are “larger-than-life symbols of American values and ‘maleness’.” (p. 162).  From a socialization point of view, is there reason to be concerned about the ‘superhero’-centeredness of a segment of the American pop culture to which many children are exposed?   And if this is the case in America, where many believe women are on a more equal alignment with men, what is the situation in other societies, such as Japan, where inequality is perceived to be more common?  Both the United States and Japan have a segment of their pop culture devoted to fantastic stories about individuals with superhuman powers.  These stories tell of heroes with strengths that children may identify with in the hope becoming as successful as these characters (Anderson & Cavallaro, 2002).  It then becomes imperative to understand how these heroes are portrayed.  Are the women in media, which is directed towards tomorrow’s women, being portrayed as strong and independent rather than as victims and damsels-in-distress?

American Superheroines
Japanese Superheroines

Continue reading “Representations of Women in Japanese and American Pop Culture”

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