So it’s one of those weeks where real life gets in the way of my fun, and I just don’t have the time or energy for my usual long-winded meanderings. So instead, I thought I’d share someone else’s, in the form of a some funnybook documentaries that have made their way past my eyes recently. Enjoy, and we’ll (hopefully) resume regular service next week.
First up, we’ve got a video that’s been making the rounds on social media of late, ever since Sean Howe (author of Marvel Comics: the Untold Story) shared it to his Twitter. The video is entitled “Stock Footage,” but in reality it’s the 1978 Canadian television documentary The World of Comic Books. It’s not a long film (about 17 minutes in total), but in it you get interviews with the likes of Neal Adams, Archie Goodwin, Stan Lee, and Jim Steranko. You get to see Adams going through a story session for Superman vs Muhammad Ali with Denny O’Neil and Julie Schwartz. Goodwin gives constructive criticism to John Romita Jr. A 17-year-old Trevor von Eeden works through the creation of Black Lightning. Stan Lee Stan Lees all over the place. There’s a discussion of Full-Script vs Marvel Style. And it’s all narrated, if I’m not mistaken, by Jonathan Winters (!). Lots of fun. Check it out!
Next up, we’ve got another short film, Comic Book Heaven, about an aging New York comic shop owner who wants to retire, but can’t quite seem to make it happen:
Moving on to some long-form stuff, we have Jack Kirby: Storyteller, an hour-long look at the life and work of the King of Comics, as told by his family, friends, and admirers. Among those interviewed are Mark Evanier, Neal Adams, Jim Lee, Bruce Timm, Walt Simonson, Alex Ross, and Barry Windsor-Smith (who’s responsible for my favorite moment in the film, when he becomes so speechless in his admiration for a Kirby cover that he just puts the comic down in exasperation). Great stuff if you like Kirby, and informative. I’ve read biographies of the man, and still learned some things I didn’t know.
And finally, we have something for serious dorks only: a two-hour conversation between Frank Miller and Klaus Janson on the subject of Will Eisner. I’m only about halfway through it myself, but so far it’s great stuff. Miller tells stories about his often-combative friendship with Eisner, and both men offer a fascinating appreciation of his work. They ramble a bit. Tell stories about their own collaborations. But that’s okay. Once they settle in and get used to the microphones, it turns into a talk between old friends about subjects that interest me. Looking forward to finishing it, just as soon as I get done here…
(Note: there’s about 12 minutes of introduction that you can probably skip. If you’re interested in watching this at all, you probably already know everything they’re going to tell you.)