Heroes and Comic Book Aesthetics

Curator's Note

As these five clips (all but the last from the pilot episode, “Genesis”) demonstrate, the hit NBC television series Heroes has imported the aesthetics of comic book art into television in unprecedented ways. Although Heroes’ creator Tim Kring has not, because of dyslexia, been a comic book reader, collaborators Jeph Loeb and Tim sale (a veteran writer and artist respectfully) have supplied the series with its comic book touches.

In Clips One and Two, we see how the mise-en-scene of individual frames replicates the structure of a typical comic book page, with a stair frame and a wall standing in for the comic book frame.

In Clips Three and Four we see how the free-floating subtitles of Hiro and Ando’s translated Japanese result in an approximation of comic book speech bubbles. (Kring admits in an interview that this effect was not planned but discovered in the editing room.)

In Clip Five (from “Don’t Look,” Episode 2), we see Hiro reading precog artist Isaac Mendez’s comic book (drawn in reality by Sale), in which he is himself the hero.

Do you see other comic book influences in Heroes?

Further Reading Kring, Tim. “Interview with Josh Weiland.” The Comic Reel . Kring, Tim. Interview (with Edward Douglas). Superhero Hype . Lindelof, Damon. “Heroic Origins: An Interview with Tim Kring.” 9th Wonders.

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