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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.


2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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


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>

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Release Date:

27 April 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Comic Book Confidential CD-ROM  »

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

In the introductory credits the artists portrayed in the film are presented by a comic artist who is working on a comic page, filling the frames with the name and a typical comic character of each artist. When introductory credits are over and the page has just been finished, the comic artist makes such a clumsy move that his ink pot overturns loosing all its ink over the page. See more »


References Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) See more »


I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Written by Annette Tucker (uncredited) and Nancie Mantz (uncredited)
Performed by The Electric Prunes
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting, but good have been better...
26 February 2000 | by (Kentucky, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a very interesting video, especially for people that are new to comics or just a general audience. My biggest reservation is that it didn't concentrate enough on the BIG companies and creators. I would have liked to seen more of Frank Miller's Dark Knight, and Art Spiegleman's Maus, and Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, and Stan Lee, instead of the whole list of people I've never heard of that work on underground comics. Heck, this video spends a disproportionate amount of time on undergrounds, and then hardly mentions the other big names.

Still, there is very interesting stuff about Frederick Werthem and the CCA, and it's a serious video about comics. It gets a 5 out of 10 just for that.

Maybe next time, we'll have a video for non-underground comics.

7 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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My name was in COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL... tcaseybrennan2002
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