The universe of comic books is a worldwide pop mythology, a Pantheon in cheap newsprint and saturated colors. For almost 100 years comic books have provided fantasy, escape, and compensation for adolescents who often feel powerless and misunderstood in their daily lives. Fantasies of power are inevitably violent, but the violence in comic books has no consequences. After all, it's just the stroke of a pen... But what happens when the comic book meets real war? In this age of hundreds of television stations, 24-hour news, worldwide instantaneous satellite transmission and thousands of web sites updated hourly, the lowly comic book has become a documentary medium, providing a real understanding of the human dimensions of war, genocide and revolution. It's a new journalistic form. Comic Books Go To War explores the journalistic, aesthetic and political implications of reporting the most violent and terrible of human experiences through "comix." Written by
This is a recent documentary, and it consists of narration, interviews(mainly with creators of comics), real-life footage and plenty of frames, strips and stills, occasionally animated(...I guess for the sense of something dynamic?). I hadn't really heard of this, in spite of my interest in the medium, and caught it on TV tonight. This is about graphic novels being used as a journalistic means, to tell stories, usually personal ones, first-hand accounts of experiences during war-time(both soldiers and civilians, and from WWII to the current efforts in Afghanistan). The facepalm-inducing glorifying ones, including the ones that actually featured well-known superheroes(...I wish I was kidding) are briefly mentioned, and other than that, this spends its energy on the more adult-oriented, realistic and gripping "funny books", and we hear a ton about the inspiration, the focus, and the approach of them, from the writers themselves. This is very competently put together, and it never loses your attention, with a very tight 54 minute running time. It raises important points, such as that sequential art allows a great deal of freedom that a novel might not, because of how it's viewed, and this goes into the history of this trend(it's not as new as you might think). There is disturbing content and violence in this(and some of it is neither drawn nor staged). I recommend this to everyone who can handle the subject matter. 9/10
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