May 26, 2007

More comic book history

Continuing with my occasional theme of the history of comic books, today we take a look at the documentary Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked.

The documentary - reviewed here - is a pretty standard History Channel production. It uses well-read naration over still pictures of the medium (other subjects might have more video, but comics aren't really a moving picture kind of medium) interlaced with clips from interviews of experts in the field - here Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, Joe Quesada, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, and others - to tell the story of comic books since their first major boom and Golden Age of the mid-1930's. Heck, the History Channel's website even throws in a classroom study guide for the teachers out there who like to just show videos all day in class. ...not that I know any of those folks...

All in all, it's a good primer for folks who aren't comic book junkies, but it does have enough fresh quotes and stories for the afficionados in the audience. It's not something that I'd watch all in one setting, but in ten- and twenty-minute bits, I've worked my way through its entirety.

You can get yourself a copy from Amazon or just watch the full two-hour doc (in eight- and nine-minute segments) over at YouTube: