Thursday, August 09, 2012

What is Will Brooker reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Will Brooker, author of Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-First Century Batman.

His entry begins:
The truth is that for relaxation, I mainly grab my iPad these days, and browse blogs, Reddit and Twitter links – I have a shelf of beautiful hardback books which are waiting for some point in the future when I hope I’ll be able to enjoy them properly. Immersing yourself in a proper book and giving it the attention it deserves – sinking into its language and its world – takes time, space and energy, and too often this year, I’m too wiped out by work to do much more than check out bite-size articles and post 140 character comments in return.

I have reached a point where I can read Batman comics almost entirely for pleasure again, after eighteen months (during the preparation of my book) where they were more like research and analysis. I enjoyed Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s The Court of Owls story-arc in hardback; the first Batman narrative of DC Comics’ ‘New 52’ reboot, which was announced – I’m not sure if this was horribly inconvenient or quite fitting – the day I finished writing the conclusion to Hunting the Dark Knight. The New 52 changes all the internal history and back-story of the DC Universe, so Snyder is making a fresh start after Grant Morrison dominated the Batman titles from 2006 to 2011. It feels appropriately different. Batman has a new voice: educated, self-taught and...[read on]
About Hunting the Dark Knight, from the publisher:
Publishing alongside the world premiere of Christopher Nolan's third Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises", Will Brooker's new book explores Batman's twenty-first century incarnations. Brooker's close analysis of "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" offers a rigorous, accessible account of the complex relationship between popular films, audiences, and producers in our age of media convergence. By exploring themes of authorship, adaptation and intertextuality, he addresses a myriad of questions raised by these films: did "Batman Begins" end when "The Dark Knight began? Does its story include the Gotham Knight DVD, or the 'Why So Serious' viral marketing campaign? Is it separate from the parallel narratives of the Arkham Asylum videogame, the monthly comic books, the animated series and the graphic novels? Can the brightly campy incarnations of the Batman ever be fully repressed by "The Dark Knight", or are they an intrinsic part of the character? Do all of these various manifestations feed into a single Batman metanarrative? This will be a vital text for film students and academics, as well as legions of Batman fans.
Learn more about Hunting the Dark Knight at the publisher's website.

Will Brooker is Reader and Director of Research in Film and Television at Kingston University, London. He is a leading expert on the Dark Knight, and author of the cultural history of Batman, Batman Unmasked.

The Page 99 Test: Hunting the Dark Knight.

Writers Read: Will Brooker.

--Marshal Zeringue