Polygon interviews fan behind unofficial Black Panther print media blitz. The convergence of fandom, and the social media/ information age, has resulted in an unprecedented level of power in the hands of ascendant geek culture (just ask Ang Lee & Universal Pictures). Fans have not only become emboldened, in voicing their regard for how source properties are adapted to different media, they are now willing/ able to take matters into their own hands. If you’re not satisfied with an official character design, casting decision, or final production, mock-up your own, and let your peers decide.
One example of DIY fandom would be Darian Robbins, as his fan-fic promo images – done in the stylings of an accompanying promo blitz, for Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther film – has generated enough attention to be worthy of an official effort. Three of the four mock-mag covers/ articles highlight the titular character of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), and were inspired by the docu-styled introduction to Tony Stark, for the first Iron Man film. The fourth could likely be considered Robbins’ call for key source details to get their due in the final official product.
Darian Robbins’ Black Panther promo image mock-ups:
Hint, hint, Ororo Munroe (and Fox).
Don’t spend it all in one place.
– Or at all.
A history of violence to keep in mind, movie making persons
The quality of his work (and the attention it has earned) prompted Ben Kuchera, of Polygon, to pick the Mechanical Engineer’s brain, over these latest entries to his multimedia hobby (20 years’ worth of hobbying, but hobby work, all the same).
Darian Robbins on his fan-fic media blitz:
“I chose these covers because I was thinking about how to bridge the gap of fiction to reality to help world building and character introduction. The idea came from the first Iron Man movie, when they showed a montage sequence of Tony Stark on various magazine covers – Wired Magazine, for instance. It helped establish his character for the audience and how he would be covered through media outlets that exist in reality. I felt that you would have to do the same with T’Challa, as well. However, with social media, and other media outlets, you don’t have to wait for a movie to do it. In fact, Marvel shouldn’t wait to do so. The audience is waiting and in want.
In the comic book universe, T’Challa is equal to Stark in intelligence and heroism and surpasses him in others: technology, wealth, and leadership. For the non-comic book readers it might be hard to understand the latter, so hopefully the mock covers and other media would help people get up to speed.
I also have selfish reasons to do this project as well: I would love the opportunity to contribute to this movie. I know I am not in the movie industry or in a position to do so; but being a creative type, I get ideas in my head of what I would want to experience in this movie, and how I would want it marketed. Ideas so strong that it’s hard for me to let go; so I have to create it in some format, release it to the world, get it out of my head, so I can move on – but hey, Marvel, I got a few more ideas … if you want to hear them.”
Spoken like a gifted fan-boy, intent on using his powers for good. Marvel Entertainment has developed something of a hard-ass reputation, regarding how its properties are managed by others; but they have also responded positively to fan input (consider the saga of ItsJustSomeRandomGuy – more on him at a later date). As a property that both needs – and deserves – all the awareness it could get (more people were familiar with Iron Man, going into the first film – and he was considered a third tier character), Marvel has little to lose, by following Robbins’ lead (if not taking him on-board).
Now we just need a virally convincing case made for the Christopher Priest run, on the comic, to serve as the template for the film franchise….
Chadwick Boseman makes his debut, as T’Challa, in Captain America: Civil War, before taking on the mantle of the Black Panther, for a solo treatment. Captain America: Civil War is scheduled for a May 6, 2016 release, while Black Panther is slated for July 6, 2018.
Leave your thoughts, on Darian Robbins’ DIY Black Panther promo images, below, in the comments section. For more Captain America: Civil War, and Black Panther news & developments, visit our Captain America: Civil War, and Black Panther pages, subscribe to us by Email, follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, or “like” us on Facebook.