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Convergence Culture: Breaking Bad and Fan Art

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on 20 February 2014

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Transcript of Convergence Culture: Breaking Bad and Fan Art

Participatory Culture
A part of convergence,
participatory culture
is the exact opposite of passive consumer viewing. Jenkins states that the "circulation of media content depends heavily on consumer's active participation."
Sources
"Breaking Bad - Pilot." AMC TV. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

Catcher, Jessica. "Every Outfit That Walter White Wore on 'Breaking Bad' in One Image." Mashable. N.p., 16 Oct. 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

Hibberd, James. "'Breaking Bad' Series Finale Ratings Smash All Records." Entertainment Weekly. N.p., 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

Jenkins, Henry. Introduction. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006. N. pag. Print.

Peters, Nathan. The Wardrobe of Walter White. N.p., 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

Robinson, Joanna. "Breaking Bad Now Has Gorgeous Posters For Every Single Episode." Vanity Fair. Conde Nast, 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

Walker, Danny. "Breaking Bad Characters 'Simpsonized' by Adrien Noterdaem." Mirror. N.p., 11 Oct. 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

Zsolt, Molnár. "Posterology." Posterology. Tumblr, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

Example #2: Walt's Wardrobe
Created by Brooklyn artist Nathan Peters, the project is composed of illustrations of every outfit that White wore during the series. Peters' work appeals not only to fans of the show and fans of art, but also to those in the fashion industry as well. This makes it an excellent example of convergence because the content flows across different forms of media.
Background
Breaking Bad
, a hit television show on AMC, follows the story of high-school chemistry teacher Walter White, a seemingly average husband and father diagnosed with Stage III cancer. Given only two years left to live, he uses his scientific knowledge to cook and, with the help of his partner, Jesse, sell drugs to both afford his medical bills and gather enough money to leave for his family when he dies.
Example #1: Episode Poster Series
After completing the show, Hungarian designer Molnár Zsolt, also known as Zsutti, was inspired to create a collection of posters for every episode of the series. He designed a total of 62 posters over 400 hours, and watched each episode three to four times to get the illustrations just right.
Convergence Culture:
Breaking Bad
and Fan Art

Popularity
The Emmy-award winning show gained notable popularity during its fifth season, and the series finale episode had a record-breaking 10.3 million viewers. Since the show's finale, many fans have kept Walter White's memory alive through art.

This phenomenon is a key characteristic of Henry Jenkin's term
convergence
, which he defines as the coexistence of old and new media to create a product that can be used across many platforms.
Fan Art
Fan art is an excellent example of participatory culture, because viewers are inspired to actively participate in a given media by creating posters, paintings, and drawings. Old media, like sketches on paper, interacts with new media (ie.
Breaking Bad
) to produce a product destined for success even after the show's end.
Zsutti's poster for the Pilot episode depicts the opening scene of the show, where we are introduced to a pants-less Walter White in the middle of the desert with three (potentially) dead bodies in his RV.

See more here: http://posterology.tumblr.com/
White's wardrobe from Season 4 is depicted above. (Note his iconic yellow hazmat suit.)

See more here: http://www.waltswardrobe.com/
By: Nicola Wood
Example #3: "Simpsonized"
Brussels-based artist Adrien Noterdaem is best known for transforming existing TV characters into a Simpsons-style cast. His work brings together two different shows and multiple types of media (online illustration, television, and cartoons).

See more here: http://drawthesimpsons.tumblr.com/
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