Prof. Blair Davis
' Comic Book Movies
(Rutgers University Press, March 2018, 200 pages)
explores how this genre of film offers audiences modern-day myths, sometimes even incorporating ancient mythic figures while also engaging with the questions that haunt a post-9/11 world: How do we define heroism and morality today? How far are we willing to go when fighting terror? How can we resist a dystopian state? The genre's visual style is equally important as its weighty themes, with advances in digital effects allowing filmmakers to incorporate elements of comic book art in innovative ways. Movies based on comic books and their characters have inspired just as many innovations to Hollywood's business model, with film franchises and transmedia storytelling helping to ensure the genre will continue its reign over popular culture for years to come.
What inspired you to write this book?
After chronicling the early history of how film and comics intersected in the first half of the 20th century, I wanted to look at the more recent years of comic book cinema and trace patterns and themes across the genre's entire history.
Comic book movies aren't really a single genre, but a constant negotiation between multiple genres - action, sci-fi, crime, war, horror. They update older myths about the body and technology, they allow for rich allegories about society, politics and the threat of dystopia, and they've changed the very way that Hollywood does business.
About the Author
Blair Davis is an associate professor of Media and Cinema Studies in the College of Communication at DePaul. His other books include The Battle for the Bs: 1950s Hollywood and the Rebirth of Low-Budget Cinema and Movie Comics: Page to Screen/Screen to Page. He edited an "In Focus" section for a 2017 issue of Cinema Journal on the graphic novel Watchmen and a roundtable on comics and methodology for the inaugural issue of the journal Inks that same year. He has co-chaired the Comics Studies SIG with SCMS since 2012 and is currently on the executive board of the Comics Studies Society.