Damien Swarbrick

Email: 2505330S@student.gla.ac.uk


Research title: Translating Comic Aesthetics into Cinematic Aesthetics

Research Summary


My current research is concerned with the question of why have comic book film adaptations become so popular today and looks at whether the popularity of these adaptations have changed the way original works in comics are created. Over the past 20 years the popularity and appeal of the comic book film has grown and the superhero film is now the genre leader at the modern box office. While comic book sales struggle, the adapted work continues to thrive with each release becoming more anticipated by its fan base and casual movie goers alike. I am researching what is happening societally that has drawn viewers to the world of superheroes discussing whether Zeitgeist can really exist or if there is some other reasons for the immense popularity in comic book adaptations.

Looking at film and television based on the comic books and graphic novels of Mark Millar, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, my research addresses questions relating to the issues of audience appreciation, fandom and criticisms of comic book adaptations. The research looks at why this is the case and why is Glasgow producing writers whose work continue to be adapted more than anywhere else in the UK.

My research draws comparisons between sequential art and films, looking at formalistic elements of film such as cinematography, sound and lighting. As well as transitions, angles, conveyance of motion, framing, passage of time, economy of detail and colour. A key question is whether comic book films adaptations have changed the way comic books are written. Do authors and illustrators lean more on filmic conventions, with adaptation in mind, when creating their work and does the idea of adaptation change the way original works are created?


In addition to my current research I have interests in film and gender, horror film aesthetics, sequential art and cinematography.


Msc Film Studies, The University of Edinburgh.

PGDip Tertiary Education with TQFE, University of Stirling.

BA(Hons) Film and Television, Edinburgh College of Art.


Broadcast Media, Film and Television, Edinburgh College, 2018 - Present

Additional Information


Damien Swarbrick is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. He acheived an MSc in Film Studies (2017) from the University of Edinburgh before graduating with a PGDip in Tertiary Education with a Teaching Qualification Further Education (2018) from the University of Stirling. Previously he was awarded a BA (Hons) in Film and Television (2016) from Edinburgh College of Art, specialising in film directing and cinematography.

Damien has experience in teaching film, television and broadcast media to learners in further education and has worked in learning development at Edinburgh College where he continues to be employed as a Broadcast Media Lecturer. He has industry experience in film and television production, creating a production company; Sad Bear Productions, that specialised in filming and editing live sports events, stand up comedy, corporate videos and short films.