We are having our first contest giveaway!
I've been wanting to hold off on doing a contest until I had something really unique to give away, and I can safely say this is pretty good.
The great folks down at New Video Digital have been kind enough to give us a copy of their documentary film "Comic Book Confidential" that we can give away to one lucky reader! The documentary deals with the history of the American comic book and includes interviews with some of the greats like Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, William Gaines, and Stan Lee. It's especially good to see these guys get to talk about their craft since 3 of those 4 are now dead and gone.
This isn't some boring documentary like you'd have to watch in school. Keeping in mind the potential audience, Ron Mann has kept this thing moving like a real-life comic book! Historic comic book scenes are creatively animated or narrated to give you a feel of the time. The music playing in each scene sets the mood for that particular decade and for the interviews that follow.
For one of my college classes, I did a 15 page report on the history of the American comic book (I keep threatening to post the thing here someday as a monster post that should answer any questions about where this stuff comes from). During my research, I thought I'd found out most everything about comic books, but there were things in this film I'd missed. Not only that, the interviews and insights allowed those major events like the creation of horror comics and the death of hero comics to make room for cowboys and Disney characters as World War 2 ended really added depth.
Eventually, comic books were seen as a danger to children since the gruesome crime comics depicted some pretty harrowing things. Horror comics were attacked next, which led to the infamous banning and burning of comics during the 50's after the release of "Seduction of the Innocent". Real news footage is interjected throughout and in all honesty, the examples they use are valid. If I were to see my kids pulling out some of those books, I'd throw them away myself. However, they really went to the extreme back then. At one point, a black-and-white news reel shows boys reading crime and horror comics in the woods. One boy gets up after reading and begins to stab a tree with his pocket knife, while another picks up a big rock and looks like he's about to kill another little boy with it. It's laughable today, but back then I guess it really scared those parents good.
Eventually comics were saved by the advent of the humor format. The origin of "Mad" magazine is here, and it makes for an interesting viewing.
An interview with Frank Miller gives insight into his contributions to comic books, and the movie brings us into the age of the graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns" before it all ends.
Here are the rules of the contest: If you have a comic book topic you'd love to see us cover here, send an email to ComicsInCrisis@yahoo.com with the subject line "Contest Entry". On May 30th, I'll draw a random winner from those submissions and we'll award them the free copy of "Comic Book Confidential", along with a few other comic book goodies from my personal collection. On top of all that, any idea submitted might just get written up here if it's something I can work with.
So send those ideas in to me! You've got until the end of the month. If you've ever thought "Why doesn't he ever talk about _______?", then here's your chance to make me write it up!
By the way, if you're interested in learning more about "Comic Book Confidential", you can follow the link below to find it in the ITunes store.