transmedia storytelling: superman.

Transmedia storytelling is basically the telling of a narrative or story across multiple media platforms. Transmedia stories allow for the same story to be explained and engaged with differently by audiences depending on their medium – as the medium is the message. This is effective as audiences can contribute to the narrative by adding content, discover different aspects of the story on different platforms, and motivates engagement from likeminded people.

An example of transmedia storytelling in action is through comics. Comic books have transformed from short “pulps” (small books of a variety of comic strips) such as Popeye (1929), into lengthy narratives such as that of The Phantom (1936) – the first ever costumed superhero.

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In June 1938, the first full comic book was released: Action Comics #1, now better known as Superman. He was the first comic character to have superhuman powers, shocking readers with his incredible strength, speed, and ability to deflect bullets off his chest.


Now we are in 2017 and Superman is a multimedia science fiction franchise. This massive franchise owned by Detective Comics (DC) consists of comic books, movies, TV series, novels, games, theme park rides, toys, clothes, and more. In licensing fees and global merchandise sales for 2016, Superman accrued $277 million for DC.

The Man of Steel is an icon for thousands of comic books fanatics and superhero lovers worldwide; and it is through a variety of mediums that his legacy remains so strong. Information and stories about the beloved hero are available via many platforms, (as previously mentioned; e.g. books & movies) meaning fans have readily available content at their fingertips 24/7.

 

Stay Curious,

Ruby

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Author: rubytoohey

curious. inquisitive. thinker. creator. student.

4 thoughts on “transmedia storytelling: superman.”

  1. Hey Ruby!
    Transmedia also has the ability to tell multiple stories across multiple platforms. (That’s what I gained from the lecture and my own research). In the end it will form one cohesive whole, but there may be multiple different sections of the story which need to be discovered through different platforms in order to gain full understanding of the end story. Does that make sense? Your explanation is also correct, but there are many layers to transmedia storytelling. It’s like a parfait. 😉

    Henry Jenkins uploaded a further explanation of his theory, as it was highly debated over the last few years.

    Check it out here if you’re interested in gaining more insight into the subject! http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/defining_transmedia_further_re.html

    He also explains: “Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.”

    Sorry for the massive comment, but I think transmedia is quite an interesting topic! Your examples of the comics are strong however, and it is a really informative post which explains your understanding well!- V

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your response! And don’t worry about the lengthy comment haha I appreciate it. Thank you for pointing that out, I was attempting to demonstrate a sort of aspect of transmedia storytelling and I’m glad you were able to pick up on that. I’ll be sure to check out what Henry Jenkins said, I still need to wrap my head around this a little haha. Thank you again xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a great way of explaining this! I have always been a little confused about the topic, but your post is so clear and has such great examples, I think I finally get it! My only question is, do you think certain stories are told best through transmedia vs multimedia? or is it just a preference?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your feedback, and to answer your question, I think it’s mostly preference but I believe transmedia storytelling can strengthen the narrative because it can be accessed in a variety of places and formats, thus filling in any gaps for audiences. But at the end of the day it’s a preference I think xx

      Like

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