7.1/10
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16 user 21 critic

Comic Book Confidential (1988)

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>

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Unrated | See all certifications »

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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 »

Connections

References Leave It to Beaver (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Diggin' On Comix
Written by Dr. John
Performed by Dr. John (as Mac Rebenault), Richard Crooks, Wilbur Bascomb and Steve Burgin
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User Reviews

 
Sure, not perfect. But still crucial viewing for people who want to understand comics in the U.S.
30 October 2010 | by (Taichung, Taiwan) – See all my reviews

Really, my summary line sez it all.

This film does a valiant, necessary job: In its scant 80ish minutes, it gives a passable broad view of the evolution of the comic medium in the U.S.

Take it from me, if you grew up with comics in the 60s thru the 80s, this film covers an impressive array of the essential bases. One of the highlights, to me, is basking in Will Eisner's beautiful visionary mind.

And the other minds you see are lovely variations on that central theme.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Lovely production values, highlighting--just like comics! Fancy that!--the power of wild, middling production values coupled with untrammeled creativity to speak simple, direct truths that touch your heart and free your mind.

Check it out.


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