Rosemann directs fun in comics and video games

Rosemann directs fun in comics and video games

Rosemann directs fun in comics and video games
February 23
23:36 2015

Kayleigh Bywater / Staff Writer

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, Bill Rosemann’s speech has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 31. All original tickets will be honored.

From the web-slinging action of Spiderman to the high tech equipment Batman uses, the realm of heroes and comics is a centerpiece in today’s society.

Creative director of Marvel Games and superhero enthusiast Bill Rosemann will speak on campus as part of the UNT Fine Arts Series this Friday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. 

Rosemann has been part of the Marvel family for more than 20 years but has had a love for superheroes for as long as he can remember.

“The first memory of actually seeing a superhero was when my mom took me to a local mall in kindergarten or first grade,” Rosemann said. “I looked up at a big shoe store window and saw a big cardboard cutout of Superman. From the moment I saw that cutout, superheroes became my No. 1 love.”

At the University of Notre Dame, Rosemann said he studied journalism in order to be like Peter Parker, Clark Kent and Lois Lane. He was writing for both the school newspaper and magazine, but said his love of comics showed when he put out the university’s first student-produced comic book alongside friend Jay Hosler.

During spring break his senior year of college, Rosemann said he went to interview for a position at Marvel because of his journalism experience and love for comics.

Soon after, he said the job was his. After graduating, Rosemann moved to the East Coast and began writing articles for Marvel. His experience blossomed past writing articles and elevated him to where he is today.

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A Darth Vader comic book sits on display inside More Fun Comics and Games on the Square. Photo by Byron Thompson – Senior Staff Photographer

Rosemann said he did freelance writing for ‘Marvel Age,’ an in-house magazine for Marvel. After that, he was a copywriter and editor for a monthly sales catalog before previous editor-in-chief and current chief creative officer Joe Quesada asked Rosemann if he wanted to edit full-time.

“I came back home and became the creative director for Marvel Custom Solutions,” Rosemann said. “I created comics, videos, posters and more for our outside partners.”

Rosemann said he recently made the leap to Marvel Games as creative director.

Like Rosemann, students at UNT share a similar love for comics and are excited to hear what he has to say Friday.

“People like Bill know and understand what comics are all about,” radio, television and film junior Herbert Moran said. “It is important that there are people like him to lead the future of comics and readers in the right direction and to keep the imagination alive.”

Rosemann’s experiences

Although Rosemann said he spends most of his time overseeing Marvel video games instead of editing comics, he said the two go hand in hand.

When he was editor for Marvel Comics, he said he did a lot of behind-the-scenes work. He would talk to those working on a project, make sure that everything was colored and check that cover art was finished and edited, all while making sure there were no errors throughout the  publication.

“There are a ton of ways we can make sure the video games are extremely authentic,” Rosemann said. “From making sure we get the right people to write the dialogue of the characters to the outfits that the heroes and villains wear.”

Rosemann said he is grateful for the opportunities Marvel has presented him with.

“Sometimes I wish that I could clone myself or that there were more hours in a day,” Rosemann said. “But I honestly do not think my job is hard. I have done everything from wait tables to move furniture, and that is hard. Teachers who manage a classroom full of students have it hard. People who risk their lives to protect their cities have it hard. I am lucky. I get to do what I love.”

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Dozens of people dressed in Marvel cosplay fight Galactus, top, in 2013 at the San Diego Comic Con. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Rosemann said he also lectures at colleges around the country. Since his first guest appearance two years ago, he has spoken at 36 universities.

“It is easy to do the guest speaking because I am talking about something that I love,” Rosemann said. “I do not find it nerve-racking. I find it easy. The audience is full of Marvel fans, just like me.”

Rosemann said his goal is to help build the next generation of Marvel fans.

“I am so honored and happy to be able to speak at colleges, and I want to do my part in keeping the Marvel fandom going,” Rosemann said. “Marvel made me who I am today, and I want to keep that cycle going.”

More Fun Comics and Games employee Sam Bruce said he feels people like Rosemann can cultivate a new audience for the medium.

“Having Mr. Rosemann come to UNT has definitely increased traffic at the store,” Bruce said. “People are more inclined to learn more about this amazing following and I know Rosemann will greatly encourage people to go out and explore the world of superheroes.”

The meaning behind the story

For the people who follow comics and superheroes, Bruce said fandom can be an adventure into a different world or a constant companion throughout life. He said comics allow people to explore many different aspects of life through the pages of a book.

“One of the most important aspects of comic books and superhero video games are that it allows an escape for the people reading or playing it,” Bruce said. “The people who work on these books and games can open up a whole new world and an expanded imagination for the people that read them.”

Rosemann said the thing that matters to him is how people feel about the finished product.

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The Hulk, a creation of Marvel Comics, has been portrayed in various television shows, video games and movies. The character even had cameos in TV shows like Dexter’s Laboratory and The Simpsons. Photo by Christina Ulsh – Contributing Photographer

“Video games, like any successful medium, are all about the story,” Rosemann said. “No one cares if two characters are just punching each other. There needs to be motivation behind each side. If there is a history and a premise behind the reason the characters are fighting, then people get interested.”

Behind all of the masks and battles, the world of superheroes follows ordinary people. Rosemann said even though it may not seem like it, every person has a power.

“Even though comics are not real, they can still inspire people,” Rosemann said. “Marvel’s stance is that ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ No matter what power you have, you need to use it wisely. You need to pursue your passion and go wherever your powers take you.” 

Featured Image: Creative director at Marvel Comics Bill Rosemann will speak at UNT Feb. 27 as part of the Fine Arts Series. Photo courtesy of UNT News

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