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

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crumb (1994)
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb
Grass (1999)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The history of the American government's war on marijuana in the 20th century.

Director: Ron Mann
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Harry J. Anslinger, George Bush
Lionheart (1987)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A young knight sets out to join King Richard's crusaders. Along the way, he encounters The Black Prince who captures children and sells them as slaves to the Muslims. It is Robert Narra's ... See full summary »

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Eric Stoltz, Gabriel Byrne, Nicola Cowper
Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle (TV Mini-Series 2013)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A comprehensive history of the superhero comic book fantasy genre and its influence on American culture.

Stars: Liev Schreiber, Danny Fingeroth, Mark Waid
American Pop (1981)
Animation | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music in the 20th century.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Mews Small, Ron Thompson, Jerry Holland
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Philosopher, pop-icon, shaman and story teller - as one of the most influential comic book writers in the market today, Grant Morrison is all of these things. His explosive and often ... See full summary »

Director: Patrick Meaney
Stars: Jason Aaron, Abigail Bader, Amber Benson
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A profile of cartoonist Jeff Smith and his acclaimed fantasy comic book series, Bone.

Director: Ken Mills
Stars: Beth Emery, Jeff Smith, Scott McCloud
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Alan Moore writer, artist and performer is the world's most critically acclaimed and widely admired creator of comic books and graphic novels.

Directors: Dez Vylenz, Moritz Winkler
Stars: Glenn Doherty, Florian Fischer, Alan Moore
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In L.A.'s Chinatown, the crime cartel known as K.O. hatches a plot to bring down Ron Tayan and the 108 Dragons. Ron joins forces with the computer-savvy daughter of the local boss; she ... See full summary »

Director: Harunisa Okamoto
Stars: Toshio Furukawa, Chiharu Kataishi, Gara Takashima
Animation | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

With the blessing of the 108 Dragons, Yo and Emu marry and receive new names, Ron Tayan and Fu Ching Ran. The elders send them to Macau to find out who's behind a new attack. Fu is kidnaped... See full summary »

Director: Nobutaka Nishizawa
Stars: Toshio Furukawa, Steve Bulen, Chiharu Kataishi
Animation | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ron Tayan now leads the 108 Dragons; Fu Ching Ran is his loyal wife. As their body tattoos show, he's the dragon, she's the tiger. The 108 Dragons are attacked by African Tusk, a syndicate ... See full summary »

Director: Jôhei Matsuura
Stars: Toshio Furukawa, Chiharu Kataishi, Kôhei Miyauchi
Animation | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Naitai, the evil head of the Great Bear God religion, hatches a plot to destroy the 108 Dragons. His henchman, Oshu Togoku, the world wrestling champion, squeezes Ron Tayan unconscious in a... See full summary »

Director: Shigemori Yamauchi
Stars: Toshio Furukawa, Chiharu Kataishi, Masako Katsuki
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

27 April 1989 (West Germany)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

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 »

Connections

Features Confidential File (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Noise from Winnetka
Performed by Bob Crosby and the Bobcats
Music by Bob Haggart and Ray Bauduc and lyrics by Gil Rodin and Bob Crosby
(C) 1939 THE CROSBY MUSIC AGENCY
Courtesy of Steve Crosby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Soundtrack Question paul-allen40
My name was in COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL... tcaseybrennan2002
Where can I find that Zippy live action video??? frubis
Discuss Comic Book Confidential (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?