Many people think of comic books as standalone issues similar to magazines, but this is of course not correct. Not only do comics generally have a storyline that stretches across several issues but lots of titles actually link with other forms of media. Using comics as a part of a transmedia approach is becoming more and more common as the reputation of the once called ‘funny books’ is ever approaching where it should rightly be. What this means is that your favourite film, TV series or videogame could have a comic component that adds more depth to your experience. Here are some great examples of that done well.
The franchise started by British director Ridley Scott from back in the late 70’s has a huge fan following thanks to its importance in both cinema and horror. What not a lot of fans know is that there are several comic series that accompany the films telling further tales of encounters with the dark and frightening creatures. Crossovers in these commonly include battles with their rivals the predators and recently even a three way mix up with comic legend Judge Dredd.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
For fans of the hit TV series about a high school girl who is chosen to become (almost) every vampire’s worst nightmare, the series ending on its seventh season was heartbreaking. This however was remedied by the creators by using comics to continue the story. Buffy season 8 is a series of graphic novels which allow the story to keep rolling without the greenlight from the TV stations. This means that fans get to have more time with their characters and writers get to do what they love and keep writing.
Gears of War
The Xbox videogame that helped pull many players over to the console was a big hit and its story still continues today as Gears 5 is planned to be released late this year. Set on a war torn planet attacked by an alien army that seemed to come from nowhere, Gears of War is filled with history and rich characters amongst its gory action. In the comic book tales, the first of which was co-created by one of the games lead artists, helps players dive into the back story leading up to the game as well as events that occur of screen. Videogames such as Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Sonic also use this idea to help along story they cant fit into games.
No doubt one of the best uses of this medium comes from one of the most widespread extended universes in film history. The globally adored Star Wars franchise not only has a seemingly endless pool of films, animated shows and games but also comics. Here side characters that may be glossed over on screen get some breathing room and depth added to their own galaxy spanning adventure. Also thanks to not having to pay out for huge actors, sets and millions worth of CGI, fan favourite characters such as Darth Vader can reveal elements of their past that inquisitive fans have been eager to learn about.