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Comics Remixed: Adaptation and Graphic Narrative

Posted 25 Apr, 2018

The ongoing blockbuster expansions of the Marvel and DC comics universes into parallel cinematic and television universes have brought to mainstream attention the adaptation of print comics into other media. However, comics have long formed the basis for films of a variety of genres, including such diverse titles as Ghost World, Road to Perdition, and Fritz the Cat. In addition, manga titles have formed the basis of several acclaimed films and TV series, both live-action and animated, in Japan, with Hollywood also attempting manga adaptations with films like Speed Racer and Ghost in the Shell.

Comics scholars are also paying closer attention to the importance of adaptation as an aspect of comics production and reception. Liam Burke's The Comic Book Film Adaptation (2015) has addressed the boom in Hollywood comic book movies during the 21st century. Stephen Tabachnick and Esther Bendit Saltzman's 2015 collection Drawn From the Classics analyzes comic adaptations of literary classics. In 2015, the University of Leicester hosted the symposium "Comics and Adaptation in the European Context," seeking to "bring the fields of comics and adaptation studies into critical dialogue." Blair Davis's 2017 book Movie Comics: Page to Screen/Screen to Page examines both comics-to-film and film-to-comics adaptations, focusing on American output from the 1930s to the 1950s.

When traditionally print-based comics are adapted to other media, or when comics adapt works from other media, how does this change our understanding of what comics can accomplish? Comics adaptations, and adaptations of comics, are not limited to only visual and/or lexical source material; for example, P. Craig Russell has authored a successful series of comics adaptations of operas, and Alison Bechdel's graphic novel Fun Home has been adapted into a hit Broadway musical. Comics have a long history of borrowing from other media without, strictly speaking, adapting plot lines or character biographies, as seen in Bob Kane and Bill Finger's adoption of techniques from German Expressionist film in the early Batman stories. In addition, comics culture may be viewed as long having undergone a process of adaptation as a consequence of changes in media ecologies: as the Internet allows fans to connect in different ways, how does this affect the construction of comics fandoms? Moreover, how does the evolution of comics production contribute to a process of adaptation?

The goal of "Comics Remixed" is to invite more extensive and nuanced investigation into these and other problems of comics adaptation. What are the known possible relationships between comics and other media, including but not limited to alphabetic texts, film and television, music, fine art, street art, videogames, and photography? How does the process of adaptation affect our understanding of the genres, themes, or political/aesthetic concerns of works being adapted, and the results of adaptation (for example, the controversy over whitewashing in American manga adaptations)? The scope of a submitted essay is not limited to trans-media adaptation. Are there instances where comics may influence and borrow from actual life? What is the place of comics adaptations in the multiple media landscapes of the 21st century and beyond?

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Comics-to-film adaptation (Black Panther, Persepolis, Akira, Oldboy)
  • Film-to-comics adaptations (Jack Kirby's 2001, Dark Horse's Alien comics, Mike Mignola's Dracula)
  • Comics and TV (Jessica Jones, Arrow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who Magazine, Neon Genesis Evangelion)
  • Film's influence on comics (German Expressionism and Batman)
  • Comics-to-music and music-to-comics (Fun Home, P. Craig Russell's The Ring of Nibelung)
  • Literature-to-comics (Classics Illustrated, Charles Vess's The Book of Ballads and Sagas, The Graphic Canon)
  • Comics-to-literature (Elliot S. Maggin's Superman: Last Son of Krypton, Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Book of Dreams)
  • Comics and video games (Injustice: Gods Among Us, The Wolf Among Us, Mass Effect: Redemption)
  • Comics-to-radio/audio (Superman radio show)
  • Comics that adapt news stories (Marvel 9/11 issue, Torso, Green River Killers, Rick Geary's Treasury of Victorian Murder)
  • Nonfiction/Comics journalism (Joe Sacco's graphic novels)
  • Fanfiction, fan art, and other fan works

Please submit full articles of no more than 10,000 words to Spencer Chalifour ( by June 30, 2018. Please also read the ImageTexT submission guidelines:



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