Marvel Comics into Film: Essays on Adaptations Since the 1940s

Three Texas Tech faculty members edited a book that explores the history of film adaptations of Marvel comics.

Since 2013, moviegoers have been able to watch at least two new Marvel movies every year. Recently, three Texas Tech faculty members explored the history of film adaptations of Marvel comics from the 1940s to the present in the book “Marvel Comics into Film: Essays on Adaptations since the 1940s.”

Robert Peaslee, the chair of the Department of Journalism & Electronic Media, edited the book with Robert Weiner, a popular culture and humanities librarian, and Matthew McEniry, an assistant metadata librarian.

The book, which was published by McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers in the spring of 2016, explores the evolution of Marvel characters, stories, and film adaptations between 1940 and the early 2000s. Ultimately, this study will help readers understand how Marvel characters reflect society.

“We hope readers will come away with a greater understanding of how sequential art characters are translated to film throughout history and come away with just how important these characters are to the collective consciousness of our global society,” Weiner said.

Many of the chapters focus on lesser-known characters and the adaptation of Marvel’s properties into feature films.

“If you’ve always wanted to know more about the Japanese and Toei influence on Marvel, the rock-and-roll adventure in ‘Transformers: the Movie’ (1988), critical and post feminism commentary of the superheroine Elektra, Captain America’s journey to the silver screen, or why ‘Howard the Duck’ (1986) was a really bad movie, then this book has something in it that will be sure to grab your attention,” McEniry said.

A Witness to History

In her most recent book, Janet M. Neugebauer, deputy director of the Southwest Collections Library at Texas Tech, tells the story of George H. Mahon, a West Texas lawyer who became one of the most powerful men in the US House of Representatives.  During his 44-year-long Congressional career, Mahon served on the House Committee on Appropriations and witnessed military purchases evolve from horses to bombers capable of traveling 2,000 miles per hour.

The book, which is made possible in part by a grant from the CH Foundation, includes a forward by Chancellor Emeritus Kent Hance.

Lone Star Law

Michael Ariens’ book “Lone Star Law: A Legal History of Texas” earned the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize for 2011 and the Ray and Pat Browne Award for Best Reference/Primary Source Work in 2012. It is now available in paperback from Texas Tech University Press.

“Lone Star Law” chronicles the transformation of legal systems in Texas from Spanish and French colonization to the era of large law firms. Ariens explores the influences of Spanish, French, English, US, and Confederate rule on Texas’ complex legal history. Throughout the book, anecdotes explain the colorful and unique history of justice in Texas.

Lone Star Law is an effort to provide a different lens for viewing the unique history of Texas.

A Promise Fulfilled: The Kitty Anderson Diary and Civil War Texas, 1861

Kitty Anderson, the daughter of a prominent Union sympathizer from San Antonio, sheds light on life in Texas at the beginning of the Civil War. In her personal diary, Anderson recounts her experiences following Texas’ secession. Her story includes Confederate soldiers arresting her father, her family fleeing to Mexico to escape the dangers of being Unionists in Civil War San Antonio, and an account of her father’s eventual escape from prison.

Nearly 150 years after Anderson wrote her diary, Texas historian Nancy Draves stumbled upon it at a public auction.

Of Bulletins and Booze: A Newsman’s Story of Recovery

Throughout his career as reporter for the Lubbock Avalanche Journal and later a correspondent for the Associated Press and Reuters news agency, Bob Horton witnessed history. He reported on the Pentagon during the Vietnam War, watched the Watergate trials, and waited Israel’s expected attack on Egypt from a Navy ship. While his career was marked by success, Horton battled alcoholism in secret.

In “Of Bulletins and Booze: A Newsman’s Story of Recovery” from Texas Tech University Press, Horton shares of both successes and failures. He recounts major victories in his 50-year career and reveals his struggle with stress and addiction.

Bob Horton has been in the news business for more than fifty years. Today he is a radio news anchor with shows in Lubbock and Victoria, Texas. He lives in Lubbock.