Its ironic how closely “She Makes Comics” has tied in to a key event in history, as Marisa Stotter’s documentary was released almost at the same time Joan Lee, wife of Stan Lee died. Stan Lee is of course widely considered one of the godfathers of the comic book medium and superheroes. After Lee died, husband Stan was widely quoted as crediting much of his success and the success of Marvel to his wife, who acted as his muse and advisor for decades. So without Joan’s influence comic books would have looked wildly different from today and “She Makes Comics” celebrates the female influence of the medium.
Eric Dow’s “Behind the Mask” should be seen by every aspiring filmmaker out there as a course on how to navigate Hollywood and how to basically approach any kind of endeavor involving the Hollywood system. Sandy Collora is a consistently fascinating and interesting artist who has been making waves online for years thanks to his amazing special effects and consistent efforts to get a movie made. He’s also one of the forefathers of the fan film who helped make fan films not only legitimate works of cinematic art, but also a cause for Hollywood to take notice. Sandy Collora, for those unaware, is a brilliant and talented special effects artist who spent years hoping to emulate his favorite creators including Batman artist Neal Adams.
I was glad to see the documentary “The Image Revolution.” Seriously, if you grew up during the nineties, you’ll fondly remember how Image dominated pop culture for a while. They were so popular even Marvel and DC began imitating them, even though Image primarily trotted out Marvel clones when they ran out of ideas. Which is not a statement meant to devalue their influence or impact, but come on.
Director Patrick Meaney’s chronicle of the group of innovative artists that gave Marvel and DC the collective bird and took control of their own lives is a wonderful insight and word of warning at what happens when there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Surely, no one person is to blame for helping Image nearly drop out of the scope of pop culture and crash, but when you team a group of artists together who could walk the walk and talk the talk, there is bound to be conflict and inevitable resentment. I consider myself lucky enough to have grown up during the Image Revolution, where most of my money was spent on DC and Marvel, and immediately went over to Image. I bought titles like “Prophet,” “Youngblood,” and “WildCATS” religiously, while cutting my teeth in Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld’s art for many years.
“Tigers will do anything for a tuna fish sandwich!”
I first discovered “Calvin and Hobbes” in high school, where a curious glance in to one of their trade collections led to a love for the comic that’s lasted for many years. “Calvin and Hobbes” ended in 1995, but has continued to be an important part of many people’s lives. From fans, to modern cartoonists, Biller Watterson has left a large legacy behind, after “Calvin and Hobbes” went exploring. “Dear, Mr. Watterson” isn’t just a wonderful and insightful exploration in to the popularity of the comic, but why the comic has been so influential, years after its end.
“The Comic Bucket List” is a limited column where we review 25 comic books and graphic novels we’ve been meaning to read for years. We discover if they were worth waiting for, or if they never quite lived up to the hype they promised.
SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS
Jeph Loeb, Tim Sales
Every fan has their dream match ups, the heroes or villains from different pop culture sensations that they’d love to see do battle. And we’ve seen them all over the course of many decades. Superman met the Xenomorphs, Batman fought Dracula, GI Joe teamed with Transformers, and did you know Archie battled The Punisher? Yes, that was a dark time where comic companies were out of ideas. Good thing they’re filed with amazing new ideas today–er–never mind. In either case, I, like every other fan boy, has his ideas for fantasy battle royales. And here are ten that I think would be quite incredible.
Whom among these competitors would be your choice for victor among these battles? And what individual or team would you pair in a fight?