Comic book Documentaries
Just something I realized when I was months into inking full time is what to do to motivate me. while I ink I listen to music or catalonian radio, sports events, audiobooks and lots of history documentaries. I will speak about them soon.
However, the thing I find the most motivating are comic book documentaries. Some of them I found online, some other I got them asking around. I put them again and again when I need to get in touch with my inner desire to break into comics, to remind me the joy of working on the best job ever and the wonderful sensation to see my art and name printed in paper. Sometimes we are surrounded with such amount of deadlines, commitments and gigs that even inking comic books turns into a somehow dull and repetitive. So when I feel that I am like loosing focus, I ran one of these documentaries.
Here’s the list and most of ’em you’ll find by clicking the image:
– The Image Revolution: about the formation of Image Comics. My goal as an inker, my inner youth desire was to be part of LaJolla’s Wildstorm inking studio, alongside Scott Williams, Rich Friend, Sandra Hope and Alex Garner. The fellowship environment, the feeling that within a studio your work get enhanced and you can make great things made me fall in love with that San Diego Studio. In this documentary you can see how were those crazy early 90’s and its consequences at the hand of the seven Image Founders and many other artists.
PS: If you dig those years, I strongly recommend this blog: The Wildstorm Oral History. This is a blog that gathers Wildstorm history and plans to become a book. Please, help Joseph Hedges out!
– Once Upon a time the Superheroes: There are many documentaries about superheroes and plenty of them focuses on the same things: NorthAmerican post 1929 immigrant society, American Dream and the creation of a new pantheon and mythology. What I like in this one is the detail and the grandeur they bring to the subject
PS: I strongly recommend this book: Chris Ryall’s and Scott Tipton Comic Books 101: History, Method and Madness.
– Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods: This is a documentary from the same guys that made Image Comics: The Image Revolution, Respect Films. Grant Morrison has created an image from himself that is very rare in comics. Some say mystical, some say iconic, but never taken for granted. An incredible watch and makes me wonder what’s in Scotland that gives us such great masters!
– Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts: This is another Respect Films Documentary. Features extended interviews with Warren and Helen Mirren (The Queen), Wil Wheaton (Star Trek), Joss Whedon (The Avengers), Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille), Stoya (adult film star), Brea Grant (Heroes), Claudio Sanchez (Coheed & Cambria), and Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night). What I like the most is that to become a comic book writer, you don’t need to be a moronic fanboy. I mean, that’s for sure, but take a look at this guy’s influences while writing and you’ll see that life is around his books. Very, very interesting to watch and learn.
– The Mindscape of Alan Moore: Maybe the biggest brain in comics in the 80’s. Alan Moore mixes his work on comics with his studies in magic and his cloistered life in Northampton, UK. Alan takes you into a journey of his life, shamanism and written works. Some say to watch this documentary carefully. No one knows when Alan Moore would pop a concept into your brain that may change your life.
PS: There’s a book about Alan Moore focused in his works of Magic and life: Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore.
– In the Search of Steve Ditko: An amazing BBC documentary by Jonathan Ross with appearances by Neil Gaiman, Mark Millar and Stan Lee, among others. This film is about maybe the most unknown and undocumented 60’s creator, Steve Ditko, who’s departure from Marvel was almost never explained and started to live under the radar. After watching it twice I found two mistakes that makes me not believe entirely in its honesty. See it and let me know if you find it. Amazing and heartfelt watch.
PS: I strongly recommend Sean Howe’s Marvel: The Untold Story, for me the ultimate documentation about Marvel Studio and the editorial comic book business beneath them. Take a read to it closely so you can see from different points of view and make your own conclusions about the 1960’s way of making comics. Its consequences are still today noticeable.
– From The Kirby Museum, two great interviews with Jack “The King” Kirby about his career. The first one is an interview gave to a radio station in honor of his 70th birthday, where he is being asked about the peaks in his career. Amazingly, Kirby’s view over them is very down to earth: All those milestones were part of his job. At the end, surprisingly, Stan Lee calls to wish Jack a happy birthday until it develops, for me the keystone talk to understand their unusual relationship.
The other one is another radio interview, which take place 10 years after. at the radio show Hour 25. This is a well conducted interview by J. Michael Straczynski and Larry DiTillio and touches almost his entire career but focuses on his youngest years, speaking about the rough childhood years in the Lower East side of New York. Very Moving.