Most Sequart books and movies address some aspect of comics history, but the two releases below are especially designed to investigate and further our understanding of the history of this medium we love.
The British Invasion: Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and the Invention of the Modern Comic Book Writer, by Greg Carpenter, is an engaging and definitive study of how British writers changed comics.
Moore. Gaiman. Morrison. They came from Northampton, West Sussex, and Glasgow, and even though they spoke with different dialects, they gave American comics a new voice — one loud and clear enough to speak to the Postmodern world. Like a triple-helix strand of some advanced form of DNA, their careers have remained irrevocably intertwined. They go together, like Diz, Bird, and Monk… or like Kerouac, Burroughs, and Ginsberg… or like the Beatles, the Stones, and the Who.
Taken individually, their professional histories provide an incomplete picture of the British Invasion, but together they redefined the concept of what it means to be a comic book writer. Collectively, their story becomes the story of mainstream comics in the modern era.
The British Invasion runs a whopping 492 pages. It features an interview with Karen Berger, who spearheaded the British Invasion of comic book writers. It’s available in print and on Kindle. (Just a reminder: you don’t need a Kindle device to read Kindle-formatted books; you can download a free Kindle reader for most computers, phones, and tablets.) Find out more on the book’s official page or its Facebook page.
Diagram for Delinquents, directed by Robert A. Emmons, Jr., is a gripping documentary about Fredric Wertham and the crusade against comics.
In 1950, America was in a state of panic. Juvenile delinquency was destroying the very fabric of society. Ninety percent of all children were reading comic books. In 1954, psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham wrote a scathing indictment of comics called Seduction of the Innocent. Its central premise: comic books were the leading contributing factor to juvenile delinquency. That same year, Dr. Wertham testified at special hearings on comic books at the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the United States. Comics were on trial.
Diagram for Delinquents captures the zeitgeist of late 1940s and early 1950s America and investigates how the funny books found themselves on the fire. Using expert and comic book insider interviews, never seen before historical photographs and films, and animation, Diagram goes further than any previous comic book documentary to explore and understand the controversial figure at the center of this American tale: Fredric Wertham.
The movie runs 108 minutes and is available directly from Sequart as:
- a download,
- a download package with an hour of bonus features, and
- a DVD.
You can also follow along on the movie’s Facebook page.