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Latest Topics

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Are comic book movie and TV adaptations more realistic than the source material?

It seems as though, when comic books (Japanese or Western) get adapted into movies or TV series, they become less over-the-top and stylized. The visuals may be toned down, for instance, and some of the characters may talk, act, or even look more like real people would in their situations. For instance, many of the characters in the "Deadman Wonderland" anime talk and act much more realistically than their manga counterparts did. The Netflix adaptation of "The Umbrella Academy" is also supposed to be more realistic and restrained than the original comics, and makes more of an effort to flesh out the characters’ personalities and motivations. Are most comic book adaptations like this, or does it depend on the individual adaptation? If indeed it is a trend, what are some of the factors driving it? For instance, do characters simply have to become more realistic once a real person is charged with bringing them to life?

  • This would be a good topic to write on. However, the perspective of the reader/viewer should also be included to lay emphasis on the change in expectation level if any when a comic book is adapted into a movie or TV series. Also, if there is much difference when an animation adaption of a comic book is compared with anime adaption of a manga. – Abhilash Roy 3 months ago
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  • It's a good topic, definitely! For me, the term "realistic" needs to be defined. Obviously the characters are usually going to be depicted more realistically, if they're actors being filmed rather than figures being drawn, but that's not the meaning of "realistic" that you have in mind here. Do you mean something like "round" (in the sense of round characters versus flat characters), "developed," and "psychologically complex"? – JamesBKelley 2 months ago
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  • I think this a topic important to write about. – Diani 2 months ago
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The Usage (or Lack Therof) of Page Layouts in Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes is a widely well regarded comic that is liked by the young and old alike. While the comic has much to say about art and philosophy, it can also be noted for it’s deliberate usage or occasional abandonment of a standard layout of it’s panels. While a good deal of the strips adhere to a more rigid and standard layout and let their content shine through, as the comic went on Watterson began to explore more novel layouts, allowing the interweaving of Calvin’s fantastic imagination his mundane world together in new and compelling ways, or creating strips that exist in a much more dynamic fashion with very few actual panels at all.

An article could discuss how these panels and strips make use of both the traditional and the irregular to better serve the comic’s storytelling and narrative capabilities.

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    The Rise of Comic Culture

    In its early days, comics were mainly for kids as a way for them to be intrested in the newspaper. Later it evolved as a nerdy activity, that evolved into a cultural phenomenon. Famous comic writers like the late Stan Lee became millionaires as big film companies adapted their comics as films. Now DC and Marvel have their own movie cinematic universe, and are making millions.
    Examine how did this niche grew into what it is today.

    • Interesting topic! The French movie “The Intouchables” / “Untouchable” may be another example, as it tackles the relationship between two very different men, one of the differences between them being the fact that one is quadriplegic, while is other is able-bodied. – Gavroche 8 months ago
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    • I love this topic. There are also several series on Netflix based on other less-known comics. I think it'd be interesting to talk about the evolution of the comic medium and how it might impact the popularity of on-paper comics since they have been adapted. Do the comics now attract more readers? – hazalse 8 months ago
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    • There are so many sources available to you regarding this topic— and so many viewpoints to take about where the rise started and where it is globally! – espadaccini 8 months ago
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    The (In)Humanity of Superheros

    What DC and Marvel seem to differ between is style of superheros, the way in which they exist. Superman for instance is basically invincible and is also almost always right and just, which is part of the appeal to some people. While if you take Tony Stark from Marvel he has human faults and characteristics. There are many other characters that could fit into one category or another between the new universes. However, with Captain Marvel in the field now some say that she too is just too powerful, not relatable. Take the difference between Inhuman and Human archetypes of comic book/movie characters and explore why people find such interest in one or the other, is one more entertaining, or emotionally connecting? Are ‘human’ characters more emotional to the reader/audience because of the relatability? Or is the ‘inhuman’ character more appealing because it plays to people’s wildest dreams and fantasies?

    • This is why I love Marvel. People by design are social creatures. They love to connect with people on an emotional level, which is why when they read a book or watch a movie or TV show, they have a better connection with fictional characters that have a sense of human nature within them. That does not mean they need to be human per se, but they must have human characteristics. Such as vulnerabilities that anyone on earth can relate to (the loss of a love one, feeling cheated, having a disability, falling in love, being bullied etc. The more human experiences the character has, the more relatble they are and the more the audience will like them. – Amelia Arrows 10 months ago
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    Out of the Ashes: Building New Societies in The Walking Dead

    The Walking Dead comic series shows various groups of people trying to form new societies in order to survive the zombie apocalypse. Examine the different types of societies in the show (Woodbury, The Kingdom, The Hill, Terminus, etc.) and how they form and sustain their societies as well as the flaws that inevitably lead to their downfall at the hands of the Walkers.

    • I'm not familiar with this show (not a fan of zombies, vampires, and etc.) but this sounds like a fun and informative topic. It might be worth contrasting the strengths of each society with their weaknesses (e.g., is one society weak in an area where another is strong). – Stephanie M. 3 years ago
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    • This is a very engaging idea for a topic. As a fan of the show myself, Ive noticed the recurring trend of moving from location to location in a trial and error effort to rebuild civilisation. I think the different societies depicted exhibits the different humanitarian approaches to the apocalypse itself and a discussion of this would be extremely interesting. Great Idea! – AdilYoosuf 3 years ago
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    • This topic would be interesting to look at given the last major arc in the series (with the new Governor, and the idea of poeple being placed in their pre-apocalyptic roles), and that the series is now over and it finished with somewhat retrospective ideas from Carl. More to work with. – msnfrd 1 year ago
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    The Representation of Art in "The Sculptor"

    Scott McCloud’s graphic novel "The Sculptor" gained recognition for its art and plot. "It was the best graphic novel I’ve read in years" were Neil Gaiman’s words to describe how much it is a good read. The events pivot around the protagonist David Smith who was granted the power to turn anything he imagines into reality through sculpture. That was, however, only made possible when Death manifested itself in the form of his uncle Harry to tell him that he will, in return, have just 200 days to live. As the comic book was published in 2015, it could be assumed that it questions the position of art in modern society. Considering the capitalist lifestyle in the American society, McCloud seeks to criticize how art cannot always be treated as a business and that we should not forget its primary purpose.

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      World Expanding with the Walking Dead Novels

      Both The Walking Dead television show and the comic book series are incredibly popular, sharing similarities but so different in story and character arc that they constitute separate universes. Less well known (relatively) is the series of novels, written initially by Robert Kirkman with Jay Bonansinga, and later taken over by Bonansinga as the sole writer. These novels, set in the comic universe, explore the rise of the Governor in more depth, and then follow events in Woodbury after he is gone. What ways do the novels expand the world of the comics, in terms of character and plot development, and how does the post-governor Woodbury relate to other types of societies seen in the series?

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        Superheroes: Altruists or Status Quo Apologists

        The Marvel and DC cinematic universes have created superheroes that benefitted from the US military industrial complex then turned their backs on it. Captain America became a hero from the Army’s super soldier serum in The First Avenger then rejected surveillance overreach by government agencies in The Winter Soldier. Iron Man inherited a vast fortune from Stark Industry’s weapons development then restructured the company to clean energy development at the end of the first movie. Batman’s endless array of tech toys originated as US military prototypes of Wayne tech repurposed for war on Gotham’s crime. Nonetheless, super heroic courage, genius intellect, and god like powers are always depicted preserving the status quo (late stage capitalism with grossly corrupt governments protecting global income inequality as the earth burns) and actively combatting those who strive to fix such problems. For example, Thanos aims to eradicate overpopulation and Killmonger plots to undermine white global dominance by destroying US and NATO military superiority. What can we make of this ambiguity in superhero comics and movies?

        • I think it would also be interesting to explore what Superman and Batman represent. Admittedly, I'm not very involved in the lore, but much has been made about Bruce Wayne being a wealthy man who, besides fighting supervillians, also stops people who do petty crimes who obviously are way more economically disadvantaged than him. – Emily Deibler 1 year ago
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        • Yes exactly! Superman on the other hand has the power to shut down the 100 companies producing 70% of the carbon emissions leading to climate destruction but settles for foiling jewel heists and working as a reporter – Will Nolen 1 year ago
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        • Also, we should add Batman's obsession with surveillance and information collection...If I were to tackle this topic, I would definitely bring up Robert Kirkman's Invincible, where the main character is constantly confronted with this ambiguous dichotomy. – kpfong83 1 year ago
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        • Absolutely kpfong83! Batman's surveillance and his schemes to betray each of his allies "just in case" all echo American foreign policies even with fellow NATO members (as I recall in 2015 the NSA got busted for wire tapping German chancellor Angela Merkel). – Will Nolen 1 year ago
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        • I feel like this is really a question about what's good for individual people vs. some theoretical "greater good." Superheroes like Batman and Superman, from my admittedly limited understanding, seem like what they want is to keep "the peace" by ensuring a relatively stable society in which most people can live normal lives, even if it might leave some members of that society vulnerable in certain respects. Meanwhile, the bad guys you mention have big dreams and big ideas about how to remake the world, but the only way to accomplish these goals is to cause a lot of personal suffering, even to the people they're supposedly trying to help. – Debs 1 year ago
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        • I think that you might be right Debs but this superheroic pro-status quo perspective is quite limited in that the definition of who benefits from that "relatively stable society" does NOT include a huge portion of the global population (e.g. the 99% of the population in developing countries, the poor and other disenfranchised in the developed countries- PoC, LGBTQ, poor, etc.). So these superheoes end up reflecting the pov of the ruling elites and their beneficiaries which might explain why many superheroes tend to be white males from middle and upper class backgrounds – Will Nolen 1 year ago
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        • Really great topic! I can't help but think of Roland Barthes' argument that our dominant contemporary mythologies serve to reinforce our dominant, contemporary social value systems. In his analysis Barthes looks at all sorts of things -- including advertising for detergents and professional wrestling -- and if he were writing today, he'd definitely include a short essay on recent superhero films.The film Black Panther would be a great film to focus on, with its competing ideas -- with one idea emerging as the clear victor -- about how we might address lasting economic and social disparities. – JamesBKelley 2 months ago
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