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Comic Book Confidential (1988) July 31, 2006

Posted by Eury in Documentary, Movies.
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shoot me now!

Dir. Ron Mann

starring: Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, Frank Miller etc.,

I’m a person that is curious about many things and quite enjoy documentaries. I just knew this was going to be great, right? Comic books… who hasn’t read one? If you were alive in the last 50 years, there is a good chance you had a neat (or not so neat) pile in your bedroom. Some people read superhero comic books or war stories and others, just fun teen stuff like Archie and Veronica. There was something for everyone.
As a history lesson, there was much to learn. I had no idea that there was such terror that comic books would turn us or our children into violent, crazy, gun-toting, rock-hitting friends over the head psychopaths. There was also censorship. Each comic had to pass the “Comic Book Code” and were checked by some puritanical groups. Whatever they didn’t like they either edited out with white paint or simply did not allow to be published.

There were a few funny little videos included to show us examples of the hysteria that the advent of comic books created but on the whole, I was bored. The pace was slow and sluggish… I wish they would have mixed it up a little… it was very logical going forward in chronological order, but I couldn’t wait to get out of the gritty, smudged images and the bad sound. I understand the need for showing us the underground material that was produced, but I wanted to see comics that I recognized and thought were fun. Instead, the last 20 minutes felt like torture to me… I just wanted it to be over.

As I stated before, I usually really like documentaries… I often find that they make me interested in a subject I may little or no knowledge about. Although I could certainly not be considered a huge comic book aficionado, I have had my share of reading comics as a teen and even later in life. I wanted to like this… I really did; I just didn’t. As a historical document that states facts … yes, it does it’s job…, as a piece of work that I found interesting… except for a few funny videos, I’m afraid not. 😛
I would have called this documentary “The Comic Book Blues” because, sadly, it just got me down.

Keywords: Superheroes, Comic Books, Censorship

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Comic Book Confidential (1988) July 31, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Documentary, Movies.
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I think there ought to be a law against them

Dir. Ron Mann

Starring Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, Frank Miller, Stan Lee etc

We can laugh at it now. In the fifties, comics were turning kids into juvenile delinquents panel by panel. This movie starts off echoing the sentiments of the times, with clips from a PSA-type information film about the dangers of comics. It is a shadow not unlike the one currently hovering over videogames, usually cast by confused parents of irreverent children.

Comic Book Confidential flips the pages of comics history, with candid, informative interviews with people who were in the business as things happened. How comics evolved from sunday funnies for the kids, into the diverse multi-market of today (well.. 1988 anyway). Talking heads can make a documentary tedious, but there’s no danger of that here. The interviews are mixed with samplings of the authors’ work, the comics themselves, complete with narration and sound-effects. It’s a treat to see and hear Frank Miller, pretty much finding his feet at the time, knowing his recent success as a movie director.

The movie manages fairly well to portray and explain a world that has spread it’s tendrils into many areas of entertainment nowadays. You don’t need to know about comics, or the people in this movie to get the point. It’s better than anything on Discovery Channel, except less sex on the savanna.

Keywords: Superheroes, Comic Books, Censorship

Keywords July 26, 2006

Posted by Eury in .
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