Dexter: Adaptation – Biblio

Tyree, JM. “SPATTER PATTERN.” Film Quarterly. Fall 2008. Volume 62 Issue 1, pages 82- 86. <>
The article dealt with issues of Dexter being a story that spans multiple media. They also brought up one of the most important elements of the show, especially early on, which is the atmosphere or aesthetic that the author calls “film noir graphic novel.” He goes on to mention the lush colors and overexposed qualities, and explains that this can create a hyper-real space that further invokes the stylized quality of a comic book. Later, the article goes into detail involving a key episode (in season 2) in which Dexter is more straightforwardly depicted as “The Dark Defender,” a comic book adaptation of his in-show antics. I want to bring up all these issues in my paper, as well as link the show to in the comic adaptation within it.

Holzapfel, Amy. “The Body In Pieces: Contemporary Anatomy Theatre.” PAJ. May 2008. Vol. 30, No. 2 (PAJ 89), Pages 1-16.  <>
This article was interesting for its attempt to connect Dexter and similar shows to the history of Renaissance anatomy theatre. It also interrogates the desire that our culture has to see such grotesque sights, though from a perspective that spans hundreds of years of history. I am not sure if this article can be useful, though viewing Dexter through the lenses of a different genre than police procedural can very enlightening. It may speak more to the graphic aspect of the show and how it may resemble a pulp comic, as well as the mixing of genres and the lack of clear genre distinctions.

Haney, Craig. “Media Criminology and the Death Penalty.” DePaul Law Review. Fall 2008. Issue 1, pages 689-740. <>
Brings up a lot of real world effects that media has on the American public, especially concerning crime and law enforcement. Police procedurals come with the aura that they are nonfiction and yet they often feel little need to hold true to the facts. This leads me to interrogate the implications of a story like Dexter thriving simultaneously in multiple forms of media. Are the American people taking the right message away, or are they merely seeing a vigilante subverting the law? Also, this article brought me to question whether the stylization of Dexter works to bring the narrative from a real to hyper-real setting, or to simply glorify the bloodshed, as well as whether the pursuit for “realism” has brought us to these precarious places.

Jensen, Jeff. “Q&A: His Killer Books.” Entertainment Weekly. September 2009. Issue 1064, page 68. < hww/jumpstart.jhtml?recid=0bc05f7a67b1790eb0fa5fcc5e0d0664240152abb1beefbc49903c0277df6f6de50ffaa8364571d5&fmt=H Jensen, J. Q&A: His Killer Books [Interview with J. Lindsay]. Entertainment Weekly no. 1064 (September 11 2009) p. 68>
This is a small interview with the author of the Dexter book series, Jeff Lindsay. I thought he might have something to share about the interconnectivity of the different Dexter universes, but he mostly spoke about his books. He did mention that though the two Dexters have a lot in common, the divide is becoming deeper. “My Dexter pretends to be nice… their Dexter is trying to become nice,” is how he succinctly puts it. This is an interesting aspect of the two media, how the story grows depending on where it is planted. The nebulous authorship of television means that our desires are more visible than they have been at any other time, and on the other hand Lindsay needs to defend his books from rabid fans that must influence author. Compared to the rest of the interview, which is Lindsay defending his decisions concerning the life of book Dexter, it becomes evident that the two media are held to different standards of legitimacy. One hangs on the intuition of the author, while the other lies at the feet of the populace. This will definitely be at the heart of my paper.

Oppenheimer, Jean. “Dexter.” American Cinematographer. March 2009. Volume 90 issue 3, pages 30-33. < Oppenheimer, J. Dexter [Part of a special section on television cinematography; cover story]. American Cinematographer v. 90 no. 3 (March 2009) p. 30-3>
I was hoping that I would find an article about Dexter that approached it from a cinematographer perspective, and here it is. In this interview Romeo Tirone, who worked on the first three seasons, talks about different tints used to create atmosphere, and describes the look of Dexter being a “graphic-novel style with a Scorsese- Cronenberg-Kubrick influence.” He breaks down the sets and lighting, and the purpose that each element serves and what he would like the viewer coming away with. I cannot wait to rewatch the show with the cinematography distinctly in mind. It will be interesting to see how the visuals attempt to bring to life the author’s ideas. The article also has a lot of technical data which is not going to be of any use to my paper.

Moses, Lucia. “Initiative.” Adweek. June 2009. Volume 50 number 24, page 15. <        Moses, L. Initiative [Media Plan of the Year]. Adweek v. 50 no. 24 (June 15 2009) p. AM15>
This article documents the ad campaign in which Dexter is put on many different popular magazine covers. The magazines name is replaced by Dexters, but all of the patented fonts and layouts were exactly the same. What I found compelling about the article is the idea that Dexter is in yet another medium and yet subverting it in an interesting way. It is almost as though these magazine covers are creating their own narrative that is heavily incorporating mass culture. The parallels to the television show can be broken down as well. I am not sure if this is really applicable though, or whether it will merely dilute my efforts.

Nussbaum, Emily. “Men Behaving Badly.” New York. September 2009. Volume 42 issue 31, pages 80-81. < Nussbaum, E. Men Behaving Badly. New York v. 42 no. 31 (September 28 2009) p. 80-1>
This article compares Curb Your Enthusiasm, Californication, and Dexter, focusing mainly on the fact that the protagonists are concentrated examples of the anti-hero. I thought the comparison would be interesting, but ultimately the author described what happened in the different seasons and had little to say about the motivations of the characters or anything of critical value.

McCormick, Patrick. “Monster in the Mirror.” U.S. Catholic. December 2008. Volume 73 issue 12, pages 42-43. < McCormick, P. Monster in the mirror. U.S. Catholic v. 73 no. 12 (December 2008) p. 42-3>
I was pleasantly surprise by this article. I had thought that it might be a scathing review from a conservative publication, but it turned out to be a comparison of modern television to literary classics. The author links the shows My Own Worst Enemy, True Blood, and Dexter to the old horror stories Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and Frankenstein. The first two works are pretty obvious connections to make, but I was surprised by the many levels on which Mary Shelley’s beast can be compared to Lindsay’s Dexter Morgan. Ultimately, both are created by good men who ultimately betray them and leave them to face a world which they simply do not understand. This brings up issues of artifice and conformity in my mind, and which I will want to talk about in the paper.

Poniewozik, James. “A Unkind Cut.” Time. February 2008. Volume 171 issue 8, page 20. < Poniewozik, J. A Unkind Cut [Objection to airing of TV program Dexter by Parents Television Council]. Time v. 171 no. 8 (February 25 2008) p. 20>
I was glad to find this article about the Parent Television Council (PTC) objecting to the idea of the show Dexter rather than the merely the graphic actions depicted. Even after the most violent scenes were edited out of the show, the council still felt uneasy. “It’s the entire premise that’s the problem. You are in a disturbingly queasy way rooting for a mass murderer to kill somebody,” says their president. The article also talks about alternative ways of protecting children from such programming, such as parents doing their job rather than merely trying to restrict television programming. I thought it might be poignant to bring up the different standards the visual and print media are held to, and what limitations are put on both.

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