Sequart, the makers of great books offering critical analysis in comics, and the recent Talking With Gods documentary on writer Grant Morrison, have lined up their next project, and it’s a beauty.
Diagram for Delinquents is a doco focused on the recently abolished and controversial Comics Code and really is a fascinating period in history of America’s arts. To make this film a reality, Sequart are seeking donations through Kickstarter to reach their $6000 goal. They’re over halfway there and you have until April 24 to join in.
Beginning in the late 1940s, Wertham began publishing articles linking comic books to juvenile delinquency. This work culminated in his now-infamous 1954 book, Seduction of the Innocent. Burnings of comics were reported across the United States, and Congress held hearings into the matter, which helped spur the creation of the self-censoring body the Comics Code Authority (only just recently dropped by DC and Archie Comics).
Wertham was himself a contradiction. Although forever linked with artistic repression, he was a social crusader whose writings on the damaging effects of segregation were used as evidence in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Although forever linked to the Comics Code, he claimed to be against censorship. Wertham developed his theories about comics while caring for juvenile delinquents, which biased his analysis by ignoring healthy juveniles who read comics — a fact that has caused his case to be often used as a negative example in statistical analysis. But his theories about comics, highlighting Wonder Woman’s themes of lesbianism and bondage, claims of Batman and Robin’s homosexuality, and the excesses of the era’s crime comics, had a lasting impact on the medium.
Wertham’s last book, in 1974, defended the culture of comics fanzines, as if a belated and lackluster apology for his involvement in the by-then infamous Congressional hearings. This led to him being invited to speak at the New York Comic Art Convention, where the audience heckled him. He died in 1981.
Featuring interviews from comics scholars and professionals, this documentary film will not defend Wertham. Instead, it seeks to place the wider story of Wertham and his effects on comics into a historical context, one in which comics subsequently evolved into more sophisticated material that is no longer primarily children’s fare. To illustrate this story, the documentary will use recreations and Wertham’s own files, which were only made public in late 2010 and have mostly never been seen before.
The film’s title comes from Wertham’s own notes, in which he claimed comics provide a “detailed diagram for delinquents.”
This new series from BOOM! sounds interesting. It’s co-written by James Wan, but I can’t seem to confirm anywhere that it’s the same James Wan of the Saw franchise fame. Strange.
WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER!
ENTER THE STRANGE TWISTED SCI-FI WORLD OF MALIGNANT MAN
A BRAND NEW ORIGINAL SERIES BY BOOM! STUDIOS COMING THIS APRIL!
This April enter the twisted sci-fi action epic MALIGNANT MAN, where a doomed cancer patient discovers the sickness thought to kill him will transform him into something more powerful than he could ever imagine! Written by James Wan, fan-favorite author Michael Alan Nelson (28 DAYS LATER, DINGO) and art by international sensation Piotr Kowalski, MALIGNANT MAN is sure to be the most exciting original sci-fi series on comic book stands this April!
“MALIGNANT MAN will shock and awe!” says BOOM! Studios Marketing Director Chip Mosher. “If you’re looking for an epic adventure that’s action packed, pulse-pounding sci-fi at its very best, you can do no better than BOOM! Studios’ newest series MALIGNANT MAN!”
MALIGNANT MAN tells the story of Alan Gates, a cancer patient with a terminal diagnosis, who’s resigned to his fate…until he discovers that his tumor is actually a mysterious parasite! Granted a second lease on life and incredible, otherworldly powers, Alan must fight against an evil army buried beneath society’s skin, all the while unlocking the secrets of his forgotten past. Dark, twisted, and unlike anything else on the stands, MALIGNANT MAN is a sci-fi thriller that can’t be missed!
MALIGNANT MAN is written by James Wan and Michael Alan Nelson (28 DAYS LATER, DINGO) with art by Piotr Kowalski. This title ships in April with A and B covers in a 50/50 split by Trevor Hairsine and Rael Lyra respectively and carries a Diamond Code of FEB110851.
Not by me, but I wish I could. CBR’s Greg Burgas has achieved such a feat though, and has reviewed all of last month’s DC’s mainstream superhero books. As Darth Vader would say, “Impressive. Most impressive.”
Check them all out here along with some great random panel selections with snappy captions. Funny stuff.
Time for some perty pics.
Geoff Johns made Green Lantern the centre of the DC Universe for a while, and now it’s time for another superhero he resurrected to take the spotlight in May’s Flashpoint series, which launches 15 mini-series set in an alternate future, or something. The cover by Andy Kubert for Flashpoint #1 is below. DC have also released 5 new cryptic teaser images for the series.
Marvel’s next big event is similarly secretive. Here’s the Steve McNiven cover for Fear Itself #1, the first of the 7 ish mini which launches in April.
Finally, the Captain America film opens in July, but the first teaser trailer (as well as Thor’s) is being launched this Sunday during the Super Bowl, as well as a free digital tie-in comic. The grungy official poster for the film is below.