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Meanwhile, Back in the Library...Comics: Issue 4: Crossovers with other media

Crossover issues: comics and other media

Comics always did love a good crossover... and it's not all just superhero movies!

Graphic novels, comics and cartoons do not exist in a cultural vacuum: they influence, and are influenced by, many other media, such cinemaliterature, computer games, and even music or fashion. Sometimes it will be a straightforward adaptation or spin-off: in others, properties can sprawl across numerous formats and media, sometimes cross-fertilising and feeding from each other, and sometimes creating several differing concurrent canons (and frequently both simultaneously).

The nature of the different media sometimes means that a work undergoes a transformation when it moves to or from a graphic format. And even within their own medium, comics also exist across several formats, from newspapers to small presses to books to self-publishing to the web.   

In many cases, cross-overs will be straightforward adaptations from one medium to another: however, many franchises are spread over many different platforms, with different content and canons appearing across different media. In the case of The Witcher, it starts as a novel... spun off into video games...

... and then is turned into a comic!

The developments continue, with a Gwent: The Witcher Card game and series two of the Neflix Witcher series highly likley to be on many viewing lists of fans of the Witcher series!

What next for Geralt of Rivia? Maybe a rest!

Creators crossing formats

Not all those who write comics are known primarily for writing comics: several prominent prose writers and movie directors have also turned their hand to scripting comics.

If you can hum it, then I'll draw it

As comics are essentially a silent medium, they seem to be an odd fit for musical cross-overs: and yet there are surprisingly close connections. 

Quite apart from all the comics that use music or music fandom as their subject, or the musicians that have drawn on comics for inspiration- or that time the Archie comic characters had a real-world hit with 'Sugar, Sugar'- there is an even more direct link in the form of the graphic score.  

These experimental pieces forego traditional musical notation in favour of more impressionistic visual images.

Costume, Comics and Cosplay

Whether you favour manga, anime, science fiction or superheros, there is likely to be a cosplay costume in existence whether shop bought or carefully crafted at home. 

Creating your own costume creation involves a variety of skills - whether you are handsewing, machine sewing, pattern following or glue gun sticking and for some...if you decide to create wings, some keen engineering skills!

Game Art

Let's use the game, Dead Space, as an example: did you battle and upgrade through 1, 2, and 3, and still want to know more about Issac Clarke, the Ishimura and those pesky Necromorphs?

The good news is that you can by taking a look at the book The Art of Dead Space, which includes artwork and supporting information for the things you love: that iconic suit, a safe return to the Ishimura's layout without having to worry that something is about to appear around that bend in the corridor and say hello again to the tools and upgrades that saved you!

Plus the delightful Necormorphs are there in such visceral colour!

Or you may want to explore the Dead Space universe by returning to the story and we have just the comic! The story may revolve around a different protagonist but the essentials are there and it's an opportunity to see the world re-imaged by other creators and illustrators!

Game Animation

You can also find books on game animation- and their associated comics- on the exhibition Reading List Online.

Recommend something for the Library

We are always looking for new publications to support your learning and teaching, and to keep the library collections up to date with high-quality materials.  If you think we're missing something crucial though, we'd like to hear about it.  

You can suggest a purchase to the Library using the Suggest a Purchase link below.

Now a major motion picture!

The superhero movie has become a genre in its own right in recent years: just think of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the many film adaptations of comics and graphic novels in the Library cover a wide range of subjects and genres, although there are still a fare few superheroes in there. 

The exhibition Reading List Online includes several paired comics and their film adaptations available for comparison and we have handily provided a couple below to get you started!

We also have a number of comics which have been adapted into television series.

When adaptations attack...

Of course, comics and films are different mediums that work in different ways, and sometimes there are problems with adaptation:

Animators and cartoonists

Of all media, there seems to be a particularly fertile transfer of talent between animation and comics. Numerous creators have moved to comic books after a spell in screen or video game animation.

Some of these are classic writers who worked stints at Disney or Fleischer Studios:

But there have been plenty of others since then, from all areas of the animation industry!

In some cases, a work may straddle the mediums: for instance, key elements of Nausicaa were created for an abortive animation project, which were then developed into a manga, which was then turned into an anime.  

Animation Art

You can find many more animation art books listed on our exhibition reading list.

The art of comics

The obvious connections around drawing aside, comics also link into the world of fine art. Indeed, in comics, Pop Art has found a rich set of iconography upon which to draw.

Some pop artists, like the Norwegian Hariton Pushwagner, even created their own comics (and Pushwagner would late adapt it as an animation).

But comics themselves also reference and homage fine art. For example, while the plot of this installment in particular borrows from the history of early twentieth century art, Bryan Talbot's Grandville series has always included sly pastiches of 19th- and 20th-century paintings in its panels, including what may be the world's only Magritte/ James Bond crossover sightgag.