Creators Pull Back The Curtain In ‘Untold Tales Of The Comics Industry’ [Video]
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-progress Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts.
While all those films document the lives and work of disparate comic book creators, what they have in common is a focus on a very specific person or subject. A new documentary produced by comics writer Brandon Jerwa (Battlestar Galactica, G.I. Joe) hopes to shine a light on something more generalized but no less fascinating, the comic book industry itself, as illuminated by those who work in it. Titled Untold Tales Of The Comics Industry, the in-progress documentary features interviews with such persons as Erik Larson, Ben Templesmith, Steven Grant, Matthew Sturges, Rob Guillory and many more, all of whom share why they love comics, why they make comics, and what goes on “behind the curtain” of the comic book business.If we’re in a Golden Age of comic book documentaries, so too are we in a Golden Age of crowd-funded creative endeavors. Naturally, there is a Kickstarter fundraising effort behind Untold Tales Of The Comics Industry, and Jerwa makes his case for your support in the video below.
There’s a lot to love about comic books. For generations, comics have offered readers of all ages fantastic stories using constantly-evolving, truly groundbreaking techniques. Today, the comic industry is gaining even greater exposure by inspiring iconic blockbuster films, TV shows, and conventions. Attendance numbers at comic conventions are growing at an unprecedented rate. But are people really getting to know the comic culture through these mass appeal translations? More and more people are finding their way to the comic world’s greatest characters via games they’ve played and movies they’ve seen…so why aren’t comics selling through the roof? Why is the industry struggling to survive?
This documentary takes a look at the comic industry from the inside out, guided by writers, illustrators, editors, distributors, Hollywood storytellers, and global fans of the art form. You’ll see the genesis of our shared love of comics, and explore the inspirations that keep creators running. You’ll learn what these creators love about the industry today, and what they hope to see improved for the industry’s survival tomorrow. No topic is off the table: economics, fan culture, the industry’s need to open its ranks to include a wider range of race and gender – it’s all discussed. This film isn’t a tell-all in the scandalous sense, but it IS full of honest stories and opinions offered up by the people behind the pages.
Like all Kickstarter projects, the most generous backers of Untold Tales Of The Comics Industry will earn special rewards. Among them, digital downloads of the film, signed DVD copies, or even producer credits. A complete breakdown of the rewards can be found on the film’s Kickstarter project page.
Creators interviewed so far include:
1. Matthew Sturges (writer: Jack of Fables, House of Mystery)
2. David Gallaher (writer: High Moon, Darkstar and the Winter Guard)
3. Sterling Gates (writer: Hawk and Dove, Supergirl)
4. Joseph Rybandt (editor: Dynamite Entertainment)
5. Brian T. Winkeler (writer: Bastard Road)
6. Steven Grant (writer: 2 Guns, Marvel Team-Up)
7. Curt Franklin (writer: Let’s Be Friends Again)
8. B. Clay Moore (writer: Hawaiian Dick, Superman Confidential)
9. Elliott Serrano (writer: The Chicago Tribune, Army of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama)
10. Erik Larsen (Publisher, Image Comics; writer/artist: Savage Dragon)
11. John Layman (writer: Chew, Godzilla: Gangsters & Goliaths)
12. Joshua Williamson (writer: Superman/Batman, Incredible Hulk)
13. Jim Zubkavich (writer: Skullkickers)
14. Tim Seeley (writer: Hack/Slash, Witchblade; artist: G.I. Joe, Heroes For Hire)
15. Rob Guillory (artist: Chew)
16. Chunk Kelly (Production Manager, Pirate Press)
17. Marc Mason (editor-in-chief: Comics Waiting Room, author: The Joker’s Advocate)
18. Heidi MacDonald (editor-in-chief: The Beat)
19. Allen Passalaqua (colorist: Justice Society of America, Batman: The Dark Knight)
20. Ben Templesmith (artist: Fell, 30 Days of Night; writer/artist: Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse)
21. Brandon Jerwa (writer: Battlestar Galactica, Mighty Crusaders, G.I. Joe)