The Marvel Studios Phenomenon: Inside a Transmedia Universe

Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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Marvel Studios has provided some of the biggest worldwide cinematic hits of the last eight years, from Iron Man (2008) to the record-breaking The Avengers (2012), and beyond. Having announced plans to extend its production of connected texts in cinema, network and online television until at least 2028, the new aesthetic patterns brought about by Marvel's 'shared' media universe demand analysis and understanding.

The Marvel Studios Phenomenon evaluates the studio's identity, as well as its status within the structures of parent Disney. In a new set of readings of key texts such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the thematics of superhero fiction and the role of fandom are considered. The authors identify milestones from Marvel's complex and controversial business history, allowing us to appraise its industrial status: from a comic publisher keen to exploit its intellectual property, to an independent producer, to successful subsidiary of a vast entertainment empire.
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About the author

Martin Flanagan is Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Salford, UK. His work studies the forms of contemporary Hollywood entertainment. As an author he has contributed to the New Review of Film and Television Studies and Scope, and the edited collections Web-Spinning Heroics (2012) and Film and Comic Books (2007). His monograph, Bakhtin and the Movies: New Ways of Understanding Hollywood Film (2009), explores and situates superheroic narratives within wider Hollywood generic traditions.

Andy Livingstone is a writer for Cinema 22 magazine and neophyte documentary filmmaker, working in Manchester's independent cinema scene. Areas of focus in his academic program included transmedia and the marketing and genre placement of comic book adaptations, both of which subjects he considered in extended projects.

Mike McKenny has covered the UK festival sector and provided feature articles for Film and Festivals. As a film programmer, he led community cinema Miniciné to win the national (UK) award for Best Film Programming in 2012. His academic training in Film and Business Studies has fostered a keen focus and understanding of business environments as they specifically pertain to modern entertainment organisations.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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Published on
Jun 2, 2016
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781501311857
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Industries / Media & Communications
Comics & Graphic Novels / Media Tie-In
Humor / Form / Comic Strips & Cartoons
Performing Arts / Film / Direction & Production
Performing Arts / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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"There is no better, smarter examination of the relationship between comics and film."

--Mark Waid, Eisner Award-winning writer of Kingdom Come and Daredevil

In the summer of 2000 X-Men surpassed all box office expectations and ushered in an era of unprecedented production of comic book film adaptations. This trend, now in its second decade, has blossomed into Hollywood's leading genre. From superheroes to Spartan warriors, The Comic Book Film Adaptation offers the first dedicated study to examine how comic books moved from the fringes of popular culture to the center of mainstream film production.

Through in-depth analysis, industry interviews, and audience research, this book charts the cause-and-effect of this influential trend. It considers the cultural traumas, business demands, and digital possibilities that Hollywood faced at the dawn of the twenty-first century. The industry managed to meet these challenges by exploiting comics and their existing audiences. However, studios were caught off-guard when these comic book fans, empowered by digital media, began to influence the success of these adaptations. Nonetheless, filmmakers soon developed strategies to take advantage of this intense fanbase, while codifying the trend into a more lucrative genre, the comic book movie, which appealed to an even wider audience. Central to this vibrant trend is a comic aesthetic in which filmmakers utilize digital filmmaking technologies to engage with the language and conventions of comics like never before.

The Comic Book Film Adaptation explores this unique moment in which cinema is stimulated, challenged, and enriched by the once-dismissed medium of comics.

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