Live-action film, animation and the modern comic all originated during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This course will examine how the three media interact. You will write three short papers that will train you to think critically about different forms of visual culture. Required screenings will be held on Monday afternoons. Comics readings will include work by Lee and Ditko, Lee and Romita, McCay, McCloud and Siegel and Shuster. Animated films will include work by Bakshi, Fleischer, Khitruk, McCay and Ruttmann. Live-action films will include work by Donner, Fellini, Raimi, Resnais and Ruttmann.
Live-action film, animation and the modern comic all originated during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This course will examine how these three media interact. We will begin by studying direct adaptations of comics, such as Winsor McCay’s animated versions of his comic strips and Sam Raimi’s adaptation of Lee and Romita’s Spider-Man comics, and then progress to looking at more subtle affinities between the three forms. We will consider, for instance, how watching a superhero movie compares to watching a superhero cartoon or reading a superhero comic and whether a comic can tell jokes a live-action movie can’t. You will write different types of short papers that will train you to think critically about different forms of visual culture. We will read Shuster and Siegel’s Superman comics from the 1930s, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and John Romita’s Spider-Man comics from the 1960s and Neal Adams’s Batman comics from the 1970s. We will watch various animated cartoon appearances of each of the three characters, and we will watch at least one of the following live-action films: Spider-Man 2, Batman Returns and Superman. We will also watch either Ruttmann’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City or Fellini’s Roma.