New Documentary Film:

Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont’s X-Men

Sequart and Respect Films are proud to announce a new documentary film, the first in a new series that will take advantage of new forms of distribution. A Kickstarter campaign has been created to help fund the project.

Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont’s X-Men examines one of the most important comic books of the modern age, using new, high-profile interviews to explore both the behind-the-scenes story of the series and its influence.

Chris ClaremontDuring his 17 years writing X-MenUncanny X-Men, from 1974 to 1991, Chris Claremont took the title from the brink of cancellation to being the best-selling comic of all time, co-creating more iconic characters than any comic book writer since Stan Lee. Over the course of his run, Claremont remained remarkably fluid, changing with the times as writers like Alan Moore and Frank Miller reshaped comics.

While stories like “The Dark Phoenix Saga” remain popular to this day, the impact and legacy of Claremont’s run remains widely unexplored. Today, the “X-books” remain a massive franchise that spans comics, movies, and TV, but for most of the ‘70s and ‘80s, they were one man’s vision. Claremont’s work has inspired writers like Joss Whedon and Matt Fraction and redefined the super-team, creating a set of stories that endures decades after original publication.

Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont’s X-Men will take an in-depth look at Claremont’s monumental run. It will explore the behind-the-scenes origins of notable characters like Wolverine, Storm, and Phoenix, as well as the challenges of creating art within a corporate system. The film will include new interviews with many of the biggest players involved, including Claremont, Louise Simonson, Ann Nocenti, Art Adams, and Jim Shooter. Particularly notable is a roundtable interview featuring Claremont, Simonson, and Nocenti, together for the first time in 10 years. The film will also include new interviews with contemporary artists inspired by Claremont’s work, including Matt Fraction, Jason Aaron, and Chris Bachalo.

The film will be produced by the same team behind the critically-acclaimed documentaries Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods and Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts. It is directed by Patrick Meaney and produced by a partnership between Sequart Research & Literacy Organization and Respect Films.

If successful, it will be the first in a new series of short-form documentaries offering in-depth looks at significant works that shaped comics history, using interviews with the people who helped shape it. These documentaries will be approximately 45 minutes long and released through direct download and online DVD sales, allowing us to tackle important subjects that don’t fit into the high-profile, feature-length format.

We have turned to Kickstarter to help fund this project. This is your chance to support discussion about the merits of comics and to document the stories of the people who have shaped contemporary pop culture.

Rewards include the documentary as a DVD and a digital download, thanks and other credits in the film, and digital access to extra interview footage not included in the film. They also include books and feature-length films from Sequart’s library, including director Meaney’s two feature-length comics documentaries, his book Our Sentence is Up: Seeing Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles, the upcoming feature film Diagram for Delinquents, the book Mutant Cinema: The X-Men Trilogy from Comics to Screen, and others.

For more information, visit the project’s Kickstarter page or its page here on Sequart.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In 1996, while still an undergraduate, Dr. Julian Darius founded what would become Sequart Organization. After graduating magna cum laude from Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin), he obtained his M.A. in English, authoring a thesis on John Milton and utopianism. In 2002, he moved to Waikiki, teaching college while obtaining an M.A. in French (high honors) and a Ph.D. in English. In 2011, he founded Martian Lit, which publishes creative work, including his comic book Martian Comics. He currently lives in Illinois.

See more, including free online content, on .

Also by Julian Darius:

This Lightning, This Madness: Understanding Alan Moore\'s Miracleman, Book One

author

producer

A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe

contributor

Classics on Infinite Earths: The Justice League and DC Crossover Canon

author

executive producer

New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics

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producer

executive producer

When Manga Came to America: Super-Hero Revisionism in Mai, the Psychic Girl

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a short documentary on Chris Claremont's historic run and its influence

executive producer

Warren Ellis: The Captured Ghosts Interviews

introduction

Voyage in Noise: Warren Ellis and the Demise of Western Civilization

co-author

Shot in the Face: A Savage Journey to the Heart of Transmetropolitan

contributor

The Weirdest Sci-Fi Comic Ever Made: Understanding Jack Kirby\'s 2001: A Space Odyssey

author

The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil

contributor

Everything and a Mini-Series for the Kitchen Sink: Understanding Infinite Crisis

author

Revisionism, Radical Experimentation, and Dystopia in Keith Giffen\'s Legion of Super-Heroes

author

And the Universe so Big: Understanding Batman: The Killing Joke

author

a feature-length documentary film on celebrated comics writer Warren Ellis

executive producer

Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide

contributor

Minutes to Midnight: Twelve Essays on Watchmen

contributor

a documentary on the life and work of celebrated comics writer Grant Morrison

executive producer

Improving the Foundations: Batman Begins from Comics to Screen

author

Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes

contributor

The Cyberpunk Nexus: Exploring the Blade Runner Universe

contributor

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3 Comments

  1. Miguel Rosa says:

    This is an excellent project! Claremont has never been given his due, critically speaking.

  2. Wow! Funding on this is moving along at a clip! I can’t say I’m terribly surprised though. Despite Stan and Jack being the creators of the X-Men, it was really the years in which Claremont came on board that truly breathed life in this series putting them on the map in a significant way.

    Definitely looking forward to seeing the final cut!

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