Visual semiotics applied to the evolution process of cross-media adaptations

Raúl Gisbert Cantó

Punctum, 3(2): 76-91, 2017
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2017.0016


The concept of visual semiotics seems to have been framed in the field of static images, such as publicity or photography; however, this branch of semiotics offers an undeniable range of approaches to be applied to other media, such as the comic book or the cinema. Both products share a number of factors proper to their own features and origins, of which we highlight the adaptation processes they both present; in this sense, the concept of cross-media adaptation seeks to reflect how some features from one specific medium are adapted to another, even if they are alike in form and/or content. The process of adapting both images and text from a comic book to a film could involve the use of semiotics to explain how these processes take place. Thus, by the application of Peircean theories on semiotics to these two cross-media adaptations, we will try to analyse, in the present article, to what extent these theories provide the appropriate tools to carry out an extensive analysis of both comic book and film adaptations. To do so, a number of comic books and their adaptations to the cinema will be the corpus of the analysis. Finally, as a result, we will arrive at conclusions showing how the theories on visual semiotics could be applied to the audiovisual media and what repercussions this process of adaptation has had throughout the history of both the comic book and the cinema.

KEYWORDS: visual semiotics, comic book, cinema, adaptation, cross-media productions
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