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Packaged As Other Medium
The box/cover of a physical release of some work is made to look like something from another medium
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(permanent link) added: 2013-08-15 06:51:24 sponsor: EponymousKid (last reply: 2013-09-25 22:01:36)

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A physical release or copy of something is designed to look like it's from another medium; for instance, a DVD case that looks like a comic book cover. Comic book covers and movie posters are especially popular subjects for this trope.

Sometimes it's a specific homage to something or other, but it's this trope if the image has the trappings of a typical cover for that other medium, such as credits at the bottom of a 'movie poster' cover for a game.

Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • The English version of the manga STONe has covers that present it as a movie poster, "presented in Mangascope", with the writer/artist getting a production credit and the characters listed as actors at the bottom.
  • FUNimation's release of Armitage III has a sci-fi pulp inspired case, including blurbs for stories inside
  • The covers of collected volumes of BTOOOM are based on Xbox 360 game cases.
  • ADV's English release of the Kekko Kamen OVAs has a cover based on your typical EC Comics Vault of Horror cover

Comic Books

  • Gen13 vol. #1 shipped with 13 different covers; of these, five fit this trope. Two were based on magazine covers (one Rolling Stone, the other Heavy Metal), one on a movie poster (that of Pulp Fiction, complete with a real live model), one on an ad for a TV show (namely The Brady Bunch), and the last one on a Victoria's Secret catalogue. Whew!
  • Every issue of The Intimates (except #6 and #12) has a cover made to look like that of a magazine for teen superheroes, with headlines either to that effect, or about characters or events in the comic.
  • Similarly, the short-lived Thunderbolts revamp that ran from #76-#81 featured covers styled after men's magazines like Stuff, FHM, and Maxim. For instance.
  • The cover of X-Men Legacy #10 looks like a pharmaceutical print ad or pamphlet promoting a mutant cure, as you can see.
  • The covers of Fearless Defenders #2, Batman: Gotham Adventures #3, and Angel #26 are all designed after action figure cards.

Film

  • The packaging for Borat made it look like a cheap, foreign bootleg rather than a polished official DVD release. The disc itself looks like a blank disc that was recorded over, with the movie's title written on it in marker. It serves to highlight the films' Mockumentary status
  • The poster for Pulp Fiction, and by extension the cover for its DVD and VHS releases, is designed to look like a worn pulp fiction book (including the 10c price).
  • The packaging for the Criterion DVD edition of Videodrome is designed to look like (and be the exact same size as) a VHS tape, as a Mythology Gag.

Music
  • Some of Blackmores Night albums are made to look like books instead of CD cases.
  • Joy Electric's The White Songbook. Externally, it looks like a standard CD jewel case, but the liner notes were designed like an actual book—complete with a book-style page of copyright and printing information, and a table of contents.
  • Starflyer 59's album Gold (specifically the original edition). The pages of the liner notes had fake vinyl labels for every song on the album, as if they were all 45rpm singles released by a variety of fictitious record labels.
  • Mini LP CDs are CD reissues that exactly replicate the original vinyl LP packaging, shrunken down to CD size. A lot of them are made for the Japanese market.
  • Diablo Swing Orchestra's Pandora's Pinata was sold in a CD digipak which was meant to look like a vinyl album. Every panel of the package had fake ring wear, and the inner panels resembled paper sleeves with fake vinyl labels visible through center holes.
  • Some really esoteric examples can be seen here. Of particular note are the packages that look like a concertina and a full size boom box.
  • The cover art of The Bee Gees album Their Greatest Hits: The Record looks like an LP. The same theme continues on the actual CD discs themselves.
  • Spiritualized's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space was designed to resemble medicine. The packaging has a minimalist design of blue text against a white background. The liner notes list the musicians under the heading "Active Ingredients" and includes information about the intended dosage and possible side effects. Some of the Special Editions go a step further: the album is divided into 12 mini-CDs (one for each song) and each is in a medicine-style blister pack.

Tabletop Games

  • Fantasy Games Unlimited's (FGU) game Daredevils. The covers of the game and its supplements were designed to look like old pulp adventure magazines. There were even fake price markers reading "NOT 10 Cents". Also, some supplements had wording like "Vol. 2 #3" as if they were magazines.

Video Games

  • The Halo: Reach Legendary Edition box is designed to emulate a metal UNSC crate.
  • House of the Dead: Overkill has a cover meant to look like a movie poster. The whole game is presented as a movie, with each level having its own poster (complete with credits) and a "missing reel" in the final boss fight.
  • Freedom Force is an homage game to the golden age of superhero comics. This is plainly apparent from the comicbookesque cover, storytelling (complete with comic book boxes and narrative style) as well as the loading screens which portray the 'issue' of the next level, often in the misleading way of comic book cover gimmicks to boost sales.

Western Animation

  • The DVD case of Titan Maximum is based on a comic book cover, including top left corner inlet. It seems specifically inspired by 1980s Marvel toy/TV cartoon tie-in comics.
  • The second Sealab 2021 DVD's case is also styled after a comic cover, in this case one in particular, Uncanny X-Men #100
  • The Venture Bros. third season DVD is presented like an Atari 2600 game box, including Atari graphics in the menus.
  • The Robot Chicken DC Comics special DVD has a cover in the style of a 1960s DC comic, complete with the checkered bar on top.
  • What is it with [adult swim] and this trope? The DVD cases for Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law are all made to look like legal texts.
  • Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 doesn't do the "credits at the bottom" thing, but its DVD cover is non-specifically a movie poster. See?
  • Yet again with Adult Swim is Minoriteam's (Australia-exclusive) DVD release. It's only natural that a show with such a comic-inspired art style would get a comic style DVD case, complete with a parody of the Comics Code approval stamp.
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