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Arrow and Superhero Television: Essays on Themes and Characters of the Series

Arrow and Superhero Television: Essays on Themes and Characters of the Series


This collection of new essays focuses on The CW network's hit television series Arrow--based on DC Comic's Green Arrow--and its spin-offs The Flash, DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. Comic book adaptations have been big business for film studios since Superman (1978) and in recent years have dominated at the box office--five of the 11 highest grossing films of 2016 were adapted from comics....   [click here for more]
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Superheroines and the Epic Journey: Mythic Themes in Comics, Film and Television

Superheroines and the Epic Journey: Mythic Themes in Comics, Film and Television


The heroine's journey echoes throughout ancient legend. Each young woman combats her dark side and emerges stronger. This quest is also a staple of American comic books. Wonder Woman with semi-divine powers gives us a new female-centered creation story. Batgirl, Batwoman and Black Widow discover their enemy is the dark mother or shadow twin, with the savagery they've rejected in themselves. Supergirl...   [click here for more]
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Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe


Essays on the Social, Cultural and Geopolitical Domains The Marvel Cinematic Universe—comprised of films, broadcast television and streaming series and digital shorts—has generated considerable fan engagement with its emphasis on socially relevant characters and plots. Beyond considerable box office achievements, the success of Marvel’s movie studios has opened up dialogue on...   [click here for more]
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Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas

Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas


An Insider's View of the Birth of a Pop Culture Phenomenon The first generation of American television programmers had few choices of Saturday morning children's offerings. That changed dramatically in 1963 when a Japanese animated television series called Tetsuan Atom was acquired for distribution by NBC. Fred Ladd adapted the show for American television and--rechristened Astro...   [click here for more]
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Imagination and Meaning in Calvin and Hobbes

Imagination and Meaning in Calvin and Hobbes


From 1985 to 1995, the syndicated comic strip Calvin and Hobbes followed the antics of a precocious six-year-old boy and his sardonic stuffed tiger. At the height of its popularity, the strip ran in more than 2,400 newspapers and generated a fan base that continues to run in the millions. This critical analysis of Calvin and Hobbes explores Calvin's world and its deep reservoir of meanings. Close...   [click here for more]
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Joss Whedon Versus the Corporation

Joss Whedon Versus the Corporation


Big Business Critiqued in the Films and Television Programs Screenwriter, director, producer and comic book author Joss Whedon is best known for his television series and films featuring villainous vampires, angry gods and even bloggers who wish to rule the world. Within these works is a prevalent yet commonly overlooked theme—the corporate antagonist. This book examines the effects of this...   [click here for more]
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Marvel's Black Widow from Spy to Superhero: Essays on an Avenger with a Very Specific Skill Set

Marvel's Black Widow from Spy to Superhero: Essays on an Avenger with a Very Specific Skill Set


First appearing in Marvel Comics in the 1960s, Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, was introduced to movie audiences in Iron Man 2 (2010). Her character has grown in popularity with subsequent Marvel films, and fans have been vocal about wanting to see Black Widow in a titular role. Romanoff has potent appeal: a strong female character who is not defined by her looks or her romantic relationships,...   [click here for more]
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The Ages of the Justice League: Essays on America's Greatest Superheroes in Changing Times

The Ages of the Justice League: Essays on America's Greatest Superheroes in Changing Times


The first superhero team from the Silver Age of comics, DC's Justice League has seen many iterations since its first appearance in 1960. As the original comic book continued and spin-off titles proliferated, talented writers, artists and editors adapted the team to appeal to changing audience tastes. This collection of new essays examines more than five decades of Justice League comics and related...   [click here for more]
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The Ascendance of Harley Quinn: Essays on DC's Enigmatic Villain

The Ascendance of Harley Quinn: Essays on DC's Enigmatic Villain


Since her first appearance in 1992, Harley Quinn—eccentric sidekick to the Joker—has captured the attention of readers like few new characters have in eight decades of Batman comics. Her bubbly yet malicious persona has earned her a loyal and growing fan base as she has crossed over into television, theater, video games, and film. In this collection of new essays, contributors explore...   [click here for more]
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The Politics of Race, Gender and Sexuality in The Walking Dead: Essays on the Television Series and Comics

The Politics of Race, Gender and Sexuality in The Walking Dead: Essays on the Television Series and Comics


From the beginning, both Robert Kirkman's comics and AMC's series of The Walking Dead have brought controversy in their presentations of race, gender and sexuality. Critics and fans have contended that the show's identity politics have veered toward the decidedly conservative, offering up traditional understandings of masculinity, femininity, heterosexuality, racial hierarchy and white supremacy. ...   [click here for more]
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The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times

The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times


Since Superman first appeared on the cover of Action Comics #1 in 1938, the superhero has changed with the times to remain a relevant icon of American popular culture. This collection explores the evolution of the Superman character and demonstrates how his alterations mirror historical changes in American society. Beginning with the original comic book and ending with the 2011 Grounded storyline,...   [click here for more]
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Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, 2d ed.

Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, 2d ed.


A significant expansion of the critically acclaimed first edition, Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, 2d ed., carries the story of the Kanter family's series of comics-style adaptations of literary masterpieces from 1941 into the 21st century. This book features additional material on the 70-year history of Classics Illustrated and the careers and contributions of such artists as Alex A....   [click here for more]
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Comic Books and the Cold War, 1946–1962: Essays on Graphic Treatment of Communism, the Code and Social Concerns

Comic Books and the Cold War, 1946–1962: Essays on Graphic Treatment of Communism, the Code and Social Concerns


Conventional wisdom holds that comic books of the post-World War II era are poorly drawn and poorly written publications, notable only for the furor they raised. Contributors to this thoughtful collection, however, demonstrate that these comics constitute complex cultural documents that create a dialogue between mainstream values and alternative beliefs that question or complicate the grand narratives...   [click here for more]
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Fantasy Media in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching with Film, Television, Literature, Graphic Novels and Video Games

Fantasy Media in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching with Film, Television, Literature, Graphic Novels and Video Games


A common misconception is that professors who use popular culture and fantasy in the classroom have abandoned the classics, yet in a variety of contexts--high school, college freshman composition, senior seminars, literature, computer science, philosophy and politics--fantasy materials can expand and enrich an established curriculum. The new essays in this book combine analyses of popular television...   [click here for more]
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The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki

The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki


The thought-provoking, aesthetically pleasing animated films of Hayao Miyazaki attract audiences well beyond the director's native Japan. Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away were critically acclaimed upon U.S. release, and the earlier My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service have found popularity with Americans on DVD. This critical study of Miyazaki's work begins with an analysis of the...   [click here for more]
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Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays

Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays


For more than 60 years, Captain America was one of Marvel Comics' flagship characters, representing truth, strength, liberty, and justice. The assassination of his alter ego, Steve Rogers, rocked the comic world, leaving numerous questions about his life and death. This book discusses topics including the representation of Nazi Germany in Captain America Comics from the 1940s to the 1960s; the creation...   [click here for more]
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Class, Please Open Your Comics: Essays on Teaching with Graphic Narratives

Class, Please Open Your Comics: Essays on Teaching with Graphic Narratives


Comics and sequential art are increasingly in use in college classrooms. Multimodal, multimedia and often collaborative, the graphic narrative format has entered all kinds of subject areas and its potential as a teaching tool is still being realized. This collection of new essays presents best practices for using comics in various educational settings, beginning with the basics. Contributors explain...   [click here for more]
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How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture

How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture


The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century Since the early 2000s, popular culture has experienced a "Zombie Renaissance," beginning in film and expanding into books, television, video games, theatre productions, phone apps, collectibles and toys. Zombies have become allegorical figures embodying cultural anxieties, but they also serve as models for concepts in economics, political...   [click here for more]
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Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics

Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics


This is the first book devoted entirely to the rarely studied world of romance comics. The text includes information on several types of romance comics and their creators, plus the history, numbers, and publishing frequency of dozens of romance titles. The author examines several significant periods in the development of the romance genre, including the origins of Archie Comics...   [click here for more]
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Riddle Me This, Batman!: Essays on the Universe of the Dark Knight

Riddle Me This, Batman!: Essays on the Universe of the Dark Knight


From his first comic-book appearance in 1939 through his many incarnations on the big screen, the archetypal superhero known as The Batman has never been far from the American consciousness. The character shaped the way we read comics and graphic novels, view motion pictures, and analyze the motifs of the Hero, the Anti-Hero and the Villain. He has also captured the scholarly imagination, telling us...   [click here for more]
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Taking South Park Seriously

Taking South Park Seriously


Critical Essays on Television's Shocking Cartoon Series No American television show of the past decade has been vilified as has Comedy Central's South Park. This is the show that has featured, in turn, a nine-year-old boy enmeshed in an affair with Ben Affleck, a maniacal Mel Gibson smearing feces everywhere, and the misadventures of Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo, a talking, bouncing,...   [click here for more]
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Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books

Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books


1920-1960 In this thorough history, the author demonstrates, via the popular literature (primarily pulp magazines and comic books) of the 1920s to about 1960, that the stories therein drew their definitions of heroism and villainy from an overarching, nativist fear of outsiders that had existed before World War I but intensified afterwards. These depictions were transferred to America's "new"...   [click here for more]
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Arthurian Animation

Arthurian Animation


A Study of Cartoon Camelots on Film and Television This is an exploration of the potent blend of Arthurian legend, cartoon animation, and cultural and artistic trends from 1933 to the present. In more than 170 theatrical and televised short cartoons, televised series and specials, and feature-length films from The Sword in the Stone to Shrek the Third--all covered in this book--animators...   [click here for more]
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Feminism in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman

Feminism in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman


Essays on the Comics, Poetry and Prose This collection of new essays looks carefully at the broad spectrum of Neil Gaiman’s work and how he interacts with feminism. Sixteen diverse essays from Gaiman scholars examine highlights from Gaiman’s graphic novels, short stories, novels, poems and screenplays, and confront the difficult issues he raises, including femininity,...   [click here for more]
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Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels

Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels


This book explores the connections between comics and Gothic from four different angles: historical, formal, cultural and textual. It identifies structures, styles and themes drawn from literary gothic traditions and discusses their presence in British and American comics today, with particular attention to the DC Vertigo imprint. Part One offers an historical approach to British and American comics...   [click here for more]
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Graphic Novels and Comics in the Classroom

Graphic Novels and Comics in the Classroom


Essays on the Educational Power of Sequential Art Sequential art combines the visual and the narrative in a way that readers have to interpret the images with the writing. Comics make a good fit with education because students are using a format that provides active engagement. This collection of essays is a wide-ranging look at current practices using comics and graphic novels in educational settings,...   [click here for more]
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It Happens at Comic-Con

It Happens at Comic-Con


Ethnographic Essays on a Pop Culture Phenomenon This collection of 13 new essays employs ethnographic methods to investigate San Diego's Comic-Con International, the largest annual celebration of the popular arts in North America. Working from a common grounding in fan studies, these individual explorations examine a range of cultural practices at an event drawing crowds of nearly...   [click here for more]
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Neil Gaiman in the 21st Century

Neil Gaiman in the 21st Century


Essays on the Novels, Children's Stories, Online Writings, Comics and Other Works Neil Gaiman has emerged as one of the most influential literary figures of the 21st century. To borrow a phrase from his viral 2012 University of the Arts commencement speech, Gaiman "makes good art," from his graphic novels to his social media collaborations, award-winning fantasy fiction...   [click here for more]
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The Ages of the Avengers: Essays on the Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Changing Times

The Ages of the Avengers: Essays on the Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Changing Times


Comic book audience expectations have fluctuated dramatically through the years, and comic book creators have had to adapt to shifting hopes, fears and concerns among readers. One of Marvel Comic's most popular franchises for five decades, The Avengers have always been reflective of their times, and have adapted to an evolving readership to remain relevant. This collection of fresh essays by popular...   [click here for more]
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The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times

The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times


Created in 1941 by the psychologist William Marston, Wonder Woman would go on to have one of the longest continuous runs of published comic book adventures in the history of the industry. More than 70 years after her debut, Wonder Woman remains a popular culture icon. Throughout the intervening years many comic book creators have had a hand in guiding her story, resulting in different interpretations...   [click here for more]
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The Forensic Comicologist: Insights from a Life in Comics

The Forensic Comicologist: Insights from a Life in Comics


A childhood comic book fan turned comic book retailer, the author soon discovered the prevalence of scams in the world of comics collecting. This book is his tutorial on how to collect wisely and reduce risks. Drawing on skills learned from twenty years with the San Diego Police Department and as a Comic-Con attendee since 1972, he covers in detail the history and culture of collecting comic books...   [click here for more]
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The World of Shaft: A Complete Guide to the Novels, Comic Strip, Films and Television Series

The World of Shaft: A Complete Guide to the Novels, Comic Strip, Films and Television Series


Mention Shaft and most people think of Gordon Parks' seminal 1971 film starring Richard Roundtree in a leather coat, walking the streets of Manhattan to Isaac Hayes' iconic theme music. But the black private dick who inspired the blaxploitation film genre actually made his debut on the printed page as the creation of a white novelist. Ernest Tidyman was a seasoned journalist down on his luck when...   [click here for more]
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Toy Stories: The Toy as Hero in Literature, Comics and Film

Toy Stories: The Toy as Hero in Literature, Comics and Film


Toys--those celebrated childhood cohorts and lead actors in children's imaginative play--have a fantastic history of heroism in fiction. From teddy bears that guard sleeping babies to plastic soldiers and cowboys who lay siege to wooden block castles, toys are often the heroes of the stories children inspire authors to tell. In this collection of new essays, scholars from a range of disciplines...   [click here for more]
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Unraveling Resident Evil: Essays on the Complex Universe of the Games and Films

Unraveling Resident Evil: Essays on the Complex Universe of the Games and Films


Resident Evil is a multidimensional as well as multimedia universe: various books, graphic novels, games and movies (the fifth one came out in 2012) all contribute to this enormous universe. The essays written for this volume will focus on this particular zombie manifestation and its significance in popular culture. The essayists come from very different fields, so it was possible to cover a wide...   [click here for more]
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Untamed: The Psychology of Marvel's Wolverine

Untamed: The Psychology of Marvel's Wolverine


Wolverine. Logan. Weapon X. By any name, Marvel Comic's savage, brooding antihero is, in his own words, the best at what he does--killing with gratuitous precision. Paradoxically violent yet humane, the beer-swilling, cigar-smoking mutant with retractable claws is universally misjudged in the Marvel Universe yet esteemed by fans worldwide. The author explores Wolverine's development from bit character...   [click here for more]
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War, Politics and Superheroes: Ethics and Propaganda in Comics and Film

War, Politics and Superheroes: Ethics and Propaganda in Comics and Film


Superhero adventure comics have a long history of commenting upon American public opinion and government policy, and the surge in the popularity of comics since the events of September 11, 2001, ensures their continued relevance. This critical text examines the seventy-year history of comic book superheroes on film and in comic books and their reflections of the politics of their time. Superheroes...   [click here for more]
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Anime and Memory

Anime and Memory


Aesthetic, Cultural and Thematic Perspectives The theme of memory has played a significant role in anime throughout its evolution as an art form and as popular entertainment. Anime's handling of memory is multifaceted, weaving it into diverse symbolic motifs, narratives and aesthetic issues. This study aims to provide a detailed analysis of a range of anime titles wherein different...   [click here for more]
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Anime and the Art of Adaptation

Anime and the Art of Adaptation


Eight Famous Works from Page to Screen Exploring a selection of anime adaptations of famous works of both Eastern and Western provenance, this book is concerned with appreciating their significance and appeal as independent texts. The author evaluates three aspects of anime adaptation--how anime adaptations develop their original sources in stylistic, aesthetic, and psychological...   [click here for more]
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Archie's Rivals in Teen Comics, 1940s-1970s: An Illustrated History

Archie's Rivals in Teen Comics, 1940s-1970s: An Illustrated History


This is the first book to comprehensively examine the multitude of non-Archie teen humor comic books, including girls and boys such as Patsy Walker, Hedy Wolfe, Buzz Baxter and Wendy Parker from Marvel; Judy Foster, Buzzy, Binky and Scribbly from DC; Candy from Quality Comics; and Hap Hazard from Ace Comics. It covers, often for the first time, the history of the characters, who drew them, why (or...   [click here for more]
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CLAMP in Context

CLAMP in Context


A Critical Study of the Manga and Anime Since its debut manga RG Veda, CLAMP has steadily asserted itself as one of the most widely renowned teams of manga artists, leaving a durable imprint in every established genre while also devising novel formulas along the way. Endowed not only with stylistic distinctiveness but also comprehensive cultural structure, CLAMP's output is distinguished...   [click here for more]
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Comic Strip Artists in American Newspapers, 1945-1980

Comic Strip Artists in American Newspapers, 1945-1980


Millions of Americans know and love Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Blondie and Dagwood, Doonesbury, Li'l Abner, Garfield, Cathy, Beetle Bailey and other such comic strip characters. Thanks to the cartoonists--the people who have brought and still bring these and other characters to life day after day in the newspapers--the characters have become an entertaining and important part of American culture....   [click here for more]
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Diversity in Disney Films

Diversity in Disney Films


Critical Essays on Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality and Disability Although its early films featured racial caricatures and exclusively Caucasian heroines, Disney has, in recent years, become more multicultural in its filmic fare and its image. From Aladdin and Pocahontas to the Asian American boy Russell in Up, from the first African American princess in The Princess and the Frog...   [click here for more]
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Founders of Comic Fandom: Profiles of 90 Publishers, Dealers, Collectors, Writers, Artists and Other Luminaries

Founders of Comic Fandom: Profiles of 90 Publishers, Dealers, Collectors, Writers, Artists and Other Luminaries


In the 1950s and '60s, a grassroots movement arose to celebrate comic books and strips, which were becoming increasingly important to American popular culture. This broad group of ardent readers and collectors had little formal structure until the 1950s. As the art and literary form grew in popularity, a dedicated core began building an organized network. Profiled here are 90 people at the heart...   [click here for more]
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Heroes Masked and Mythic: Echoes of Ancient Archetypes in Comic Book Characters

Heroes Masked and Mythic: Echoes of Ancient Archetypes in Comic Book Characters


Epic battles, hideous monsters and a host of petty gods--the world of Classical mythology continues to fascinate and inspire. Heroes like Herakles, Achilles and Perseus have influenced Western art and literature for centuries, and today are reinvented in the modern superhero. What does Iron Man have to do with the Homeric hero Odysseus? How does the African warrior Memnon compare with Marvel's...   [click here for more]
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Investigating Heroes: Essays on Truth, Justice and Quality TV

Investigating Heroes: Essays on Truth, Justice and Quality TV


Premiering in September of 2006, the weekly NBC television series Heroes was an immediate commercial and critical hit, lasting four successful seasons. Heroes follows a group of interrelated characters who discover they have superhuman powers, with each successive episode exploring how these people react to and utilize their powers for good or for evil. This collection of essays explores a variety...   [click here for more]
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Kermit Culture

Kermit Culture


Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson's Muppets By the end of its five-year run on television, The Muppet Show had transformed its motley cast from fistfuls of felt to multi-media celebrities. Sophisticated and highly individuated, each of the Muppets embodied a conventional character type from classic television comedy. Kermit functioned as straight man to the majority of the show's...   [click here for more]
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Kyoto Animation: A Critical Study and Filmography

Kyoto Animation: A Critical Study and Filmography


Kyoto Animation, a studio with very humble beginnings, has gained recognition the world over as a uniquely inspired and inventive enterprise. This book examines Kyoto Animation's philosophy and creative vision with close reference to its anime. It focuses on the studio's choice of genres, themes and imagery while exploring its maintenance of high production values. The analysis highlights the studio's...   [click here for more]
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Learning from Mickey, Donald and Walt

Learning from Mickey, Donald and Walt


Essays on Disney's Edutainment Films Throughout its long and colorful history, Walt Disney Studios has produced scores of films designed to educate moviegoers as well as entertain them. These productions range from the True-Life Adventures nature documentaries and such depictions of cutting-edge technology as Man in Space and Our Friend the Atom, to wartime propaganda shorts (Education...   [click here for more]
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Magic as Metaphor in Anime: A Critical Study

Magic as Metaphor in Anime: A Critical Study


Since its inception as an art form, anime has engaged with themes, symbols and narrative strategies drawn from the realm of magic. In recent years, the medium has increasingly turned to magic specifically as a metaphor for a wide range of cultural, philosophical and psychological concerns. This book first examines a range of Eastern and Western approaches to magic in anime, addressing magical thinking...   [click here for more]
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Mark Gruenwald and the Star Spangled Symbolism of Captain America, 1985-1995

Mark Gruenwald and the Star Spangled Symbolism of Captain America, 1985-1995


From 1985 to 1995, Mark Gruenwald was the head writer for Captain America. During this decade, Gruenwald wrote some of the most essential stories in Captain America's history and guided the comic through an eventful period of both world history and comic book history. This book dissects the influence of the world at large on Gruenwald's stories and the subsequent influence of Gruenwald's work on...   [click here for more]
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