Fan Phenomena: Batman

Edited by Liam Burke

Fan Phenomena: Batman
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Edited by Liam Burke

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

224 pages | 50 color plates | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2
Paper $22.00 ISBN: 9781783200177 Published October 2013
From his debut in a six-page comic in 1939 and to his most recent portrayal by Christian Bale in the blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises, Batman is perhaps the world’s most popular superhero. The continued relevance of the caped crusader could be attributed to his complex character, his dual identity, or his commitment to revenge and justice. But, as the contributors to this collection argue, it is the fans who, with the patience of Alfred, the loyalty of Commissioner Gordon, and the unbridled enthusiasm of Robin, have kept Batman at the forefront of popular culture for more than seven decades.
Fan Phenomena: Batman explores the unlikely devotion to the Dark Knight, from his inauspicious beginnings on the comic book page to the cult television series of the 1960s and on to critically-acclaimed films and video games of today. Considering everything from convention cosplay to fan fiction that imagines the Joker as a romantic lead, the essays here acknowledge and celebrate fan responses that go far beyond the scope of the source material. And, the contributors contend, despite occasional dips in popularity, Batman’s sustained presence in popular culture for more than seventy years is thanks in no small part to his fans’ ardor.
Packed with revealing interviews from all corners of the fan spectrum—including Paul Levitz, who rose through the ranks of fan culture to become the president of DC Comics, and Michael Uslan, who has executive produced every Batman adaptation since Tim Burton’s blockbuster in 1989, as well as film reviewers, academics, movie buffs, comic store clerks, and costume-clad convention attendees—this book is sure to be a bestseller in Gotham City, as well as everywhere Bruce Wayne’s alter ego continues to intrigue and inspire.

Contents

Foreword

 

Introduction

 

A Fan’s History

 

Part 1: Being Batman

 

Fan Appreciation Interview: Paul Levitz

 

Dark Hero Rising: How Online Batman Fandom Helped Create a Cultural Archetype

 

Heroes with Issues: Fan Identification with Batman

 

Being Batman: From Board Games to Computer Platforms

 

Fan Appreciation Interview: E. Paul Zehr

 

Part 2: Embracing the Knight

 

Fan Appreciation Interview: Josh Hoko and Kendal Coombs

 

The Passive Case: How Warner Bros. Employed Viral Marketing and Alternate Reality Gaming to Bring Fandom Back into the Culture Industry

 

Canonizing The Dark Knight: A Digital Fandom Response

 

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know: The Nolan/Ledger Joke, Morality, and the Hetero-Fictional Fan Impulse

 

Fan Appreciation Interview: Dennis and Elijah Vasquez

 

Part 3: Representations of Fandom

 

Fan Appreciation Interview: Travis Langley

 

Inspired, Obsessive and Nostalgic: The Facets of Fandom in ‘Beware the Gray Ghost’

 

Villainous Adoration: The Role of Foe as Fan in Batman Narratives

 

Fan Appreciation Interview: Seamus Keane

 

Part 4: Inspirations and Adaptations

 

Fan Appreciation Interview: Kim Newman

 

“Elementary, My Dear Robin!”: Batman, Sherlock Holmes, and Detective Fiction Fandom

 

Dark Knight Triumphant: Fandom, Hegemony, and the Rebirth of Batman on Film

 

Fan Appreciation Interview: Michael E. Uslan

 

Contributor Biographies

 

Image Credits

 

 

 

 

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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