Comic Book Confidential

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Though aimed at those fastidious comic book collectors who spend exorbitant sums for old DC first editions (only to leave them unread and wrapped in plastic), Comic Book Confidential manages to convey the fanaticism and fun of this hobby to non-aficionados. Canadian director Ron Mann traces the history of the comic book industry, the idiotic purging of so-called violent comics in the 1950s, and the growth of the collectibles industry.

Throughout the film, any comic book which does not meet Mann's exacting standards is trashed (Dell and Harvey, beware!) Among those interviewed are Marvel Comics mavens Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and EC mentors William M. Gaines and Will Elder. The underground comix movement is represented by Robert Crumb.

Though he clearly loves comics, Ron Mann might have more successfully conveyed this with fewer clever camera angles.

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