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‘Fan Phenomena: Batman’ – New Book by Irish Academic Dr. Liam Burke
29 Jan 2014 : Aisling Newton
Dr. Liam Burke
‘Fan Phenomena: Batman’, the new book written by Irishman Dr. Liam Burke, explores the worldwide devotion to the Dark Knight, from his inauspicious beginnings on the comic book page to his most recent portrayal by Christian Bale in the blockbuster ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, Batman is perhaps the world’s most popular superhero.

Dr. Burke, who is now a media studies lecturer at the Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, previously lectured in the Huston School of Film & Digital at NUI Galway. He is also a regular contributor at the annual John Ford Ireland Symposium.

The new book is packed with revealing interviews from all corners of the fan spectrum - including Paul Levitz, who rose through the ranks of fan culture to become the president of DC Comics, and Michael E. Uslan, who has executive produced every Batman film since Tim Burton’s blockbuster in 1989.

Interestingly, this year’s 86th Academy Awards will celebrate and honour big-screen real-life heroes, popular heroes, animated heroes and super heroes such as Batman. To coincide with the Oscar telecast theme, the Academy will present ‘The Oscars Celebrates Movie Heroes’, an exhibition in the Grand Lobby Gallery of its Beverly Hills headquarters. On display Friday, January 17th through Wednesday, March 5th, the show will feature still photographs and posters from 70 titles spanning nine decades, as well as video montages comprised of excerpts from classic and contemporary films. The exhibit will include films such as ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Superman’, animated heroes (‘Shrek’) and literary heroes (‘To Kill a Mockingbird’).

‘Fan Phenomena: Batman’ also features ten essays by Batman experts, plus a foreword from leading Batman scholar Will Brooker. The collection covers everything from costume-clad convention attendees to fan fiction in order to chart Batman’s evolution from a six-page comic to the world’s most popular superhero.

Dr. Burke put the spotlight on Batman fans saying: “They have stood vigil over a seventy year mythos, ensuring their icon has become more than a comic book character, cartoon hero or big-screen star. This book explores how the fans have elevated Batman to the status of modern myth.”

The collection is part of the Fan Phenomena series published by Intellect.

More information on the Fan Phenomena series is available here and the book can be purchased on the Intellect website here.

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