Diagram for Delinquents Update #10:

America’s Pastime

I have some great news to announce this week.

First, the crew and I are traveling to visit Broadcast Thought in Los Angeles. This group of three physicians will play an important part in the film’s segment on media, violence, and children.

The Broadcast Thought website does an excellent job describing who they are and what they do, so please visit it here. In brief (from their website):

Broadcast Thought is a group of three physicians, specializing in forensic, child and adolescent, and adult psychiatry, who provide expert consultation to the media and entertainment industries. At Broadcast Thought, we are both medical professionals and fans of film, television, comic books, and other mass media. We add new dimensions to portrayals of mental illness, evolve perceptions of mental health matters, and advance popular media in innovative directions. Broadcast Thought’s goal is to provide “Accuracy in Entertainment and Entertainment in Accuracy.

Second, two very important names in comics history have agreed to appear in the film. When the crew travels to L.A. in the first week of August to interview the doctors of Broadcast Thought, we will also be visiting with Mark Evanier and Jim Trombetta.

Jim Trombetta has compiled a compelling anthology of those early horror comics that are so important to my story. Also, in his book, The Horror, The Horror, Mr. Trombetta provides a very lucid analysis of the time period that surrounds these creepy comics.

So, needless to say we are looking forward to a fruitful trip out west as we gather more material for the picture.

Finally, I have another teaser clip from the film. If the below clip doesn’t make your comics taste buds water you may be more similar to the walking corpses that appeared in many a comic book page than you thought!

It was so special to spend time with Stephen O’Day. When he opened his collection to us, it was as if history had opened its chest to reveal its beating heart. It was real, tactile; it was the pulp that gathered time on its pages and let us hold it. Material history is living history. It’s organic. It gives you arms to the past. And that is not lost to us documentary filmmakers.

In seeing those “all in color for a dime” original comic books and holding them next to Dr. Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, we were transported to the day that Wertham observed them for himself. Without being trite… it was magical.

Enough talk. Observe:

Once again, that concludes this week’s update. It is our hope that with each week your excitement and interest builds for the film, just as it does for us!

As we say around the Diagram for Delinquents office, more in a week!

Diagram for Delinquents is an upcoming documentary film, produced by Sequart Research & Literacy Organization, in association with Gambino Boys Studios and Scifidelity Pictures. For more information, visit fredricwertham.com.

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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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