Graphic novels are a huge part of popular culture, from movies to TV shows to songs.

Batman

In addition to being one of the most well known comic book superheroes of all time, Batman is also one of the most often portrayed in other mediums. From the campy 1960s Adam West TV series to the gritty uber realistic Christopher Nolan movies, Batman has appeared in a variety of incarnations.

A public service announcement for the Federal Equal Pay Act from the 1960s starring Batman, Robin, and Batgirl:

Tim Burton took the caped crusader back to his dark roots in his 1992 film Batman Returns. Below is a music video of the song Face to Face, by Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees (and co-written by Danny Elfman), that features clips from the movie:

A scene from Batman Beyond (an another animated Batman series) in which the main characters watch a musical about the origins of Batman:

(Click for scene.)

The newer Batman movies starring Christian Bale have been ripe for fan created parody. Below is a parody of The Dark Knight that pokes fun at some of the film’s plot holes, as well as Bale’s portrayal of Batman:

Batman has also translated well into the world of video games. See the trailer for the recent game Batman: Arkham City:

American Splendor

A movie about how writer Harvey Pekar created his American Splendor series. Interspersed throughout the narrative are interviews with the actual Harvey Pekar. Additionally, Pekar made himself a big part of American pop culture through his frequent visits to the David Letterman show.

Harvey Pekar in a guest appearance on Letterman:

Death Note

An anime based on the popular manga series. In addition to the TV series, Death Note has also spawned movies, spin-off books, and an extensive online community where fans debate plot points. There are also fan made comics, alternate endings, and videos. For example, see below for a fan made alternate ending to the series.

Crumb

A documentary from director Terry Zwigoff of the life of indie comic book artist, Robert Crumb. The film explores not only Crumb’s art but also his bizarre family life and unorthodox sexuality.

Ghost World and Art School Confidential

Two films based on the work of comic book artist Daniel Clowes. Both are not only based on graphic novels but are also about young artists. The protagonist of Ghost World carries around a notebook in which she draws her own artwork, while the main character of Art School Confidential is an aspiring artist and freshman at a thinly veiled version of Pratt Institute. (Side note: the notebook in which Enid constantly draws in Ghost World was in fact created by Robert Crumb’s daughter, Sophie.)

Comic Book Confidential

A documentary on the history of comic books. Covers the Comics Code Authority, the rise of superhero comics, and indie comics. Also includes interviews with various artists, such as Robert Crumb, Stan Lee, Frank Miller, William Gaines, and many others.

Comic Con San Diego

The biggest comic book convention takes place every year in San Diego. Below are some highlights from the 2011 convention. Includes a look at AMC’s The Walking Dead, Transformers, Alice in Wonderland, an interview with Andy Serkis, and more.

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