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Comic Book Confidential (1988)

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A survey of the artistic history of the comic book medium and some of the major talents associated with it.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lynda Barry ...
Herself
Charles Burns ...
Himself
Sue Coe ...
Herself
Robert Crumb ...
Himself
Will Eisner ...
Himself
Al Feldstein ...
Himself
Shary Flenniken ...
Herself
William M. Gaines ...
Himself
Bill Griffith ...
Himself / Zippy the Pinhead
Jaime Hernández ...
Himself
Jack Kirby ...
Himself
Harvey Kurtzman ...
Himself
...
Himself
Paul Mavrides ...
Himself
...
Himself
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Storyline

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 editorshiop 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 <kchishol@rogers.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

27 April 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Comic Book Confidential CD-ROM  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

References Godzilla (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Dark Star
Lyrics by Robert Hunter and music by Jerry Garcia; also co-attributed to Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Ron McKernan and Bob Weir
Performed by Grateful Dead
from LIVE / DEAD (C)ICE NINE PUBLISHING COMPANY
Courtesy of ICE NINE PUBLISHING COMPANY
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User Reviews

 
The best overview of the medium so far, but it needs refining.
8 January 2000 | by (London, Ontario) – See all my reviews

When this film came out, it was a refreshing and enjoyable movie. It treats comics with some real respect and takes the time to explore the medium in some detail.

However, there are some flaws. Some of the talents interviewed do not work in comic books per se, but in comic STRIPS, a variant of the medium that has gotten much more respect over the years than comic books. However, that variant has it's own history and dicipline that is distinct from comic books and should not have been included. This is meaning no disrespect talents like Bill Griffith, but it's like having a film discussing the art and history of movies and having TV series producers interviewed. They are part of a related medium, but are really not relevant to the main subject of the film.

Otherwise, it does cover a fairly complete view of the form with giants like Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Robert Crumb, although I would have liked to have seen talents like Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Watchmen) or the Pini's (Elfquest) being interviewed. The animated sequences were a neat way to get the atmosphere of the comics in their different eras as well as the major characters. The footage of the pages from "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" was particularly effective.

In short, if you need a quick overview of the comic book as a form of art, then this film is well worth your time.


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