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In the 20th century, no artistic medium in North America with so much potential for creative expression has had a more turbulent history plagued with less respect than comic books. Through animated montages, readings and interviews, this film guides us through the history of the medium from the late 1930s and 1940s with the first explosion of popularity with the superheroes created by great talents like Jack Kirby and hitting its first artistic zenith with Will Eisner's "Spirit". It then shifts to the post war comics world with the rising popularity of crime and horror comics, especially those published by EC Comics under the editorship of William B. Gaines until it came crashing down the rise of censorship with the imposition of the Comics Code. In its wake of the devastation of the medium's creative freedom, we also explore EC's defiant survival with the creation of the singular "Mad Magazine" by Harvey Kurtzman. We then move to the resurgence of the superheroes in the late 1950's ...Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
At the end of the credits the following paragraph can be found: There are over 6000 comic book stores across North America. Check one in your neighbourhood. See more »
Available on CD-ROM with additional footage. Comic Book Confidential was re-released on CD-ROM in 1994. The video quality of the film is significantly degraded since the CD's storage capacity is very limited. The film's video resolution is 224x168. The CD also contains short FMV interviews with the film's director Ron Mann, sample pages from the comics mentioned in the film, artists index as well as further reading materials such as the biographies and publishing histories of the artists involved and the actual Comics Code in its entirety. See more »
This is a documentary about comic books starting with the funnies from the early 1930's. The breakout star is 1938's Superman and we're off with a galaxy of characters. It has small interview clips with legends such as Jack Kirby, Will Eisner with his Spirit, William B. Gaines with EC Comics, Harvey Kurtzman with Mad Magazine, Stan Lee with Marvel, Robert Crumb, and many others. It covers various evolutionary periods, the changing tastes, and the ever-present threat of censorship such as the Comics Code. This is by no means exhaustive but it touches most of the areas. It spends the second half on the newer comics of the 80's which is probably too much. That part doesn't quite stand up. It's hard to know what's important when one is in the middle of it. Although, it does get to the most important Frank Miller's Batman. Of course, there is more to come in the future such as the collapse of Marvel and the explosion of the cinematic superhero genre. That needs to be covered in future docs.
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