Thursday, June 4, 2009
COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL
COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL (1988). Director: Ron Mann.
In one sense this documentary does provide a kind of overview of the comic book industry, noting all the trends and high spots, but it also has such a bias in favor of counter-culture "comix" that it seems not only unbalanced but a bit boring. The graphics that are meant to make the film visually interesting only seem to get in the way -- you just want to hear what people have to say. There are interviews with rather unknown modern-day comics artists/writers, but don't expect any mention of giants such as Carmine Infantino or Gil Kane. On the other hand, there are interviews (however brief in some cases) with Jack "King" Kirby, Will Eisner (of Spirit fame) and William Gaines (Mad magazine; E.C. Comics), but Stan Lee is only allowed one quote! Robert Crumb and Harvey Pekar are given more extensive interviews, as is Frank Miller. Many of the "comix" creators look like refugees from the sixties. Some good stuff in here, but hardly the last word on the comic book industry and certainly not on the industry's mainstay, super-heroes.
Verdict: Read a comic book instead. **.