Comic Book Confidential (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Comic Book Confidential (1999)

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Movie Info

This opinionated documentary provides a surface look at both the history of comic books and the unique subculture of their fanatical collectors. Interviews with comic artists, both mainstream and underground, are included, as a look at the rise of the comic collectibles industry.

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Critic Reviews for Comic Book Confidential

All Critics (8)

Affectionate, gentle and nostalgic

Full Review… | January 8, 2013
Tribune News Service

The highest compliment I can pay the picture is that it makes me want to delve further into the research and discussion of comic books, to continue exploring where Mann's work ends.

Full Review… | December 12, 2012
Blu-ray.com

Excessively kind look at the obsessive fans who descend on San Diego's popular Comic-Con convention.

Full Review… | April 6, 2012
Film Journal International

Just as much for those not familiar with comics as it is for hardcore fan boys.

November 23, 2002
Apollo Guide

an enjoyable and informative documentary

August 4, 2002
Q Network Film Desk

The comics themselves are the least interesting part of the movie.

July 14, 2002
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for Comic Book Confidential

I was happy to re-watch this documentary, one of the first that I ever saw on the subject of comic book history, as told by a lot of the influential artists of that time. There's some fun, light interviews with the heavy-hitters of the medium, covering the subject up to the late 80's in relatively decent detail. I have a lot of nostalgia for this one, and would recommend it highly as a result. Check it out.

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant
½

Comic books have long been a most under-appreciated medium, long thought of as mere children's entertainment when the truth is they've been subversive since the first time Superman took flight, on through the perverse fun of the EC Comics' Tales From The Crypt. Director Ron Mann's Comic Book Confidential seeks to encapsulate the magic of comic books through the words and images of their creators. It's a treasure trove of comic history, told by those who made it. In 1954, a Senate subcommittee termed comic books 'an important contributing factor in juvenile delinquency', but Mann and his subjects see them as an art form. His extraordinary doc includes archival footage, animation and of course interviews with twenty-two writers and artists who made the industry what it is today. The film opens with Jack Kirby's patriotic World War II-era icon Captain America. Kirby says 'What I was doing was putting my dreams down on paper.' EC Comics founder William M. Gaines of course had different sorts of dreams, which forced him to work around government censorship. The film abounds with terrific interviews with comic book icons like Will Eisner, Stan Lee, Harvey Pekar, Robert Crumb and more, with footage of their iconic works animated and set to rousing scores referential of their particular times. The best is Gaines, telling the story of his father folding up the Sunday funnies and selling them for a dime, essentially creating comic books as we know them. As great as the anecdotes are, what's even more stark is what isn't discussed, namely the great Brit writers of the 80's like Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore who forever changed comic book storytelling (Watchmen isn't mentioned at all). Also, the film was released in 1989, just before the comic bubble of the 90's nearly sunk the industry, but it still serves as a fine starting point for comic aficionados. Get crackin'.

Manny Casillas
Manny Casillas
½

There's been a lot happen in the comic book industry since 1989 but this is great resource material for fans (like me).

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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