The semiotic resources of comics in movie adaptation: Ang Lee’s Hulk (2003) as a case studypurchase PDF
Authors: John A. Bateman And Francisco O. D. Veloso
film adaptations of comics,split screen,movement,film continuity,socio-semiotics,panel layout,multimodality,spatio-topical system
In this article, we apply methods under development in socio-functional semiotics to explore the transfer of resources originally developed for comics to the medium of film. We illustrate this concretely with respect to extracts taken from Ang Lee’s Hulk (2003), a film we consider unique in its particular appropriation of expressive resources from the comic medium. Hulk is often been singled out in discussions of the relations between comics and film because many of the design decisions taken in the film evoke aspects of the comic page. Here, we argue that its use of the resources of comics goes substantially beyond ‘evocation’: Hulk is best considered a highly experimental hybrid, taking resources that were initially essentially comics based and ‘translating’ these filmically in order to extend the medium of film in interesting ways. We show this in two respects: first, we consider the filmic deployment of comicbook conventions for expressing movement; second, we establish that the film’s use of split-screen techniques extends the ability of film to express narrative continuity and connection between perspectives.