Diagram for Delinquents Update #22:


In the past few days there has been an EXPLOSION of updates for Diagram for Delinquents.

Most of which is the acquisition of new interview subjects for the film.

Our next interview trip will include meetings with James Gilbert and the legendary Roy Thomas.

It looks like the crew will be traveling south in two weeks to first interview James Gilbert, author of the very important book A Cycle of  Outrage: America’s Reaction to the Juvenile Delinquent in the 1950s. Dr. Gilbert’s book is an exploration of popular culture and its impact on American society and behavior. It is an expertly crafted historical analysis on the decade that we will spend the most time on in our film: the 1950s. As a study in youth culture and juvenile delinquency, it is an original. The book was Oxford University Press’s entry for the Pulitzer Prize.

Also, and most importantly, as far as I or Dr. Gilbert know he is the only living person to have interviewed Dr. Fredric Wertham… twice! This will most certainly provide a unique perspective of the man! It is one I am excited to capture on film.

From there, we will be off to meet with Roy Thomas. Certainly Mr. Thomas’ reputation precedes him. I mean, this was Stan Lee’s first successor as Editor-in-Chief at Marvel! He is one of the most prolific writers in comics, turning in scripts for both D.C. and Marvel Comics, and he is a recent inductee into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.

Roy’s roll in the film is essential and multi-tiered.

First, he was there for the transition of comics coming out of the crime and horror trend of the fifties into the silver age of the sixties. This was the rebirth of the superhero in American comics.

During this period Roy was a part of Jerry Bails’ comics fanzine Alter Ego. As a comics fan, writer, and illustrator, Roy was a frequent contributor.

He later transitioned into the comics business in the mid-sixties. This makes Roy part of the elite class of comics fans that transitioned into comics creators.

In 1997, Roy resurrected Alter Ego, and it is still being published.

As a writer at DC and writer / editor at Marvel, Roy will be able to share his experiences with creating comics and more importantly creating comics under the Code.

Needles to say the crew and I are excited to be traveling to see these important players in our story!

Also, we have received interview confirmation from Richard Arndt, who has written an in-depth story in Alter Ego on the Comics Code. Richard’s article is rich with detail and anecdotes. He has really distilled the period and the code into a comprehensible narrative and I am confident he, along with Amy Nyberg, will do the same for Diagram for Delinquents.

Finally, I am ecstatic to announce that Bradford W. Wright, author of Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America has agreed to be in the film! Dr. Wright’s contribution to the film will be tremendous as his book is an essential outline and analysis of comics from the forties through today. I am looking forward to working with him as he will be the narrative backbone of the film.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the final act of the documentary will explore comics creation and readership today. I want to know who the cutting edge comics writers and writing for and how they see the evolution of comics over the past six decades.

As an example of what that part of the film will be like, please enjoy this brief clip of the great Matt Fraction (X-Men, The Invincible Iron Man, Thor, Fear Itself, Casanova, Defenders, and my personal favorite run EVER, The Immortal Iron Fist!) on the lobotomization of comics:

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Robert A. Emmons Jr. is a documentary filmmaker focusing on American popular culture and history. His films include Enthusiast: The 9th Art, Wolf at the Door, Yardsale!, Goodwill: The Flight of Emilio Carranza, and De Luxe: The Tale of Blue Comet. His Goodwill was screened as part of the Smithsonian exhibition "Our Journeys / Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement," won Best Homegrown Documentary Feature at the 2008 Garden State Film Festival, and led to him receiving Mexico's Lindbergh-Carranza International Goodwill Award as a "Messenger of Peace." From February to August 2010, Emmons created two short documentaries a week; the 52 short documentaries formed the weekly internet series MINICONCEPTDOCS. His print work focusing on electronic media, documentary film, and comic books include Who's Responsible Here? Media, Audience, and Ethics (Cognella, 2009), The Encyclopedia of Documentary Film (Routletdge, 2005), Small Tech: The Culture of Digital Tools (University of Minnesota 2007), and The Encyclopedia of Latino and Latina History (Facts on File, 2010). He teaches film, new media, and comics history at Rutgers University-Camden, where he is also the Associate Director of the Honors College. For more information, visit robertemmons.com.

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Also by Robert A. Emmons, Jr.:

director, producer, executive producer

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