Drawing comics is time-consuming, sometimes crushing, occasionally rewarding, and almost impossible to quit if you love it. And it helps if you get to do it around other artists who love it as much as you do.
Those are some of the key takeaways from Comic Book Artists: Next Generation, an AT&T U-Verse documentary about the artists at Toronto's R.A.I.D. Studio (a.k.a. the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design; though it's not a real Royal Academy in the strictest sense). The studio has ten resident artists, but the half-hour documentary shines a light on four key players: Ramón Pérez, Marcus To, Francis Manapul and Kalman Andrasofszky.
Presented by an uncharacteristically reverent Harlan Ellison, Masters of Comic Book Art is a documentary film that offers insightful on-camera remarks from some of the medium's most gifted artists: Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, Will Eisner, Jean Giraud aka Moebius, Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, Frank Miller and Bernie Wrightson, all of whom muse on their most famous works and the medium that they love. Released on video in 1987, the film is something I'd always heard about but had never seen until it reappeared on YouTube earlier this week. It's especially interesting to listen to the creators
We seem to be living in a Golden Age of comic book documentaries. The ball got rolling with 2003's The Mindscape of Alan Moore by DeZ Vylenz and in the years hence we've seen In Search of Steve Ditko by Jonathan Ross, The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, Bone and the Changing Face of Comics by Ken Mills, Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods by Patrick Meaney, Adventures Into Digital Comics by Sébastien Dumesnil, Stripped: The Comics Documentary by Fred Schroeder and Meany's in-prog
A documentary about Grant Morrison has gained a distributor, and comic book fans have gained one more thing to be excited about. The documentary is entitled "Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods"; a good title that hints at not only Morrison's reputation as the ecstatic mystic of the comic book world but the awe he inspires in the vast majority of comic book fans.
Joss Whedon is part of a team of filmmakers shooting a documentary at the 2010 Comic-Con, and if you're going to be in the area, you could be part of it. "Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope," is looking for a few good fans with obsession, charisma, and a story to tell about why they want to spend four days milling around a convention center.
A upcoming biopic on comics writer Grant Morrison ("The Invisibles," "Final Crisis") has released a trailer, and is now scheduled to debut at San Diego Comic-Con 2010. The documentary-style feature, which was created in collaboration with Morrison himself, sounds like it will be pretty thorough, and not shy about exploring some of the more eccentric aspects of Morrison's personal life, including his experiments with magic and sexuality:
"He was game for doing pretty much whatever we had in mind," Meaney said of the initial shooting. "We covered stories about his family, childhood and
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