This book offers the first comprehensive study of the many interfaces shaping the relationship between comics and videogames. It combines in-depth conceptual reflection with a rich selection of paradigmatic case studies from contemporary media culture.
The editors have gathered a distinguished group of international scholars working at the interstices of comics studies and game studies to explore two interrelated areas of inquiry: The first part of the book focuses on hybrid medialities and experimental aesthetics "between" comics and videogames; the second part zooms in on how comics and videogames function as transmedia expansions within an increasingly convergent and participatory media culture. The individual chapters address synergies and intersections between comics and videogames via a diverse set of case studies ranging from independent and experimental projects via popular franchises from the corporate worlds of DC and Marvel to the more playful forms of media mix prominent in Japan.
Offering an innovative intervention into a number of salient issues in current media culture, Comics and Videogames will be of interest to scholars and students of comics studies, game studies, popular culture studies, transmedia studies, and visual culture studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Comics and videogames
Andreas Rauscher, Daniel Stein, and Jan-Noël Thon
Part I: Hybrid medialities
2. Of Pac-Men and Star Raiders: Early mutual representations between comics and videogames (1981–1983)
3. Interfacing comics and games: A socio-affective multimodal approach
4. Game comics: Theory and design
Daniel Merlin Goodbrey
5. Game-comics and comic-games: Against the concept of hybrids
6. Building stories: The interplay of comics and games in Chris Ware’s works
7. Homestuck as a game: A webcomic between playful participation, digital technostalgia, and irritating inventory systems
8. Metal Gear Solid and its comic adaptations
Part II: Transmedia expansions
9. Many Spider-Men are better than one: Referencing as narrative strategy
10. The not-so Fantastic Four franchise: A critical history of the comic, the films, and the Disney/Fox merger
Robert Alan Brookey and Nan Zhang
11. The road to Arkham Asylum: Batman: Dark Tomorrow and transitional transmedia
12. When rules collide: Definitional strategies for superheroes across comic books and games
13. The manifestations of game characters in a media mix strategy
14. Creating Lara Croft: The meaning of the comic books for the Tomb Raider franchise
15. Beyond immersion: Gin Tama and palimpsestuous reception
Andreas Rauscher is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Siegen, Germany. He is the author of Das Phänomen Star Trek [The Star Trek Phenomenon] (2003), Spielerische Fiktionen: Transmediale Genrekonzepte in Videospielen [Ludic Fictions: Transmedial Genre Concepts in Videogames] (2012), and Star Wars: 100 Seiten [Star Wars: 100 Pages] (2019).
Daniel Stein is Professor of North American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Siegen, Germany. He is the author of Music Is My Life: Louis Armstrong, Autobiography, and American Jazz (2012), co-editor of From Comic Strips to Graphic Novels (2013/²2015), and one of the editors of Anglia: Journal of English Philology.
Jan-Noël Thon is Professor of Media Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Guest Professor of Media Studies at the University of Cologne, Germany, and Professorial Fellow at the University for the Creative Arts, UK. He has published widely in comics studies, game studies, and media studies.