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Frame by Frame / Sketchophrenia (temporary title)
Feature length documentary
Research – Screenplay: Leda Tsene
Director: Zafeiris Haitidis
Producer: Action Entertainment Gina Petropoulou
Presentation of the documentary production
I n t r o d u c t i o n
Considering the social projections of comics, and regarding them as an effective educational tool and a Mass Medium of special dynamics with recreational, social, and cultural extensions, we propose the production of a feature length documentary (75-90 minutes long)having as subject the cultural, educational, and social dimension of comics and especially their connection with most important social matters, as the environment, racism, human rights, war, human rights etc.
A venture towards understanding the unique language of comics, an analysis of the medium’s dynamics, a presentation of all the aspects of its communicative and artistic texture, its connection with current sociopolitical affairs, an exploration of its “hidden”, but also greatly misjudged power is the aim of the proposed documentary. A comics researcher and an illustrator develop into explorers of the 9th Art, along with the development of the questions they raise. From the dialectic relationship with each other, as well as conversations with comics professionals, starting in Greece, going across Europe and reaching the United States, the audience will be able to participate in this journey, have an in-depth understanding and state its own questions about the comics medium.
The basis of the proposed documentary is the experience from a voyage of quest and queries about the comics media with Greece as the starting point and European countries and America as intermediate stops. A comics researcher and an illustrator playing the part of the explorer, each with different background and experiences, with different demands and aims, stand skeptically and try to understand what comics are, analyze their dynamics, shed light on parts of their communicative and artistic texture, ask more questions in the endless process of exploring the “hidden” but also greatly misjudged power of comics. This quest approximates to a great extent the experience of reading a comic book itself and more specifically those elements that make this experience so much different than any other narrative or reading experience.
Our aim is not to defend the “lost honor” of comics and give reasons for the misconceptions that people may have about this specific medium, but mostly to show their dynamics and explore them on the same terms as with any other narrative medium. Through queries and ponderings we wish to invite the audience to take part in this voyage and discover with us things, dispute them, ask more questions, and be a part of our constructive and investigative discussion in the world of the 9th Art.
Our quest begins from the basic question about what comics are or rather what they are not, in an attempt to demarcate their uniqueness and make clear that we are dealing with an entirely different medium and not just another form of narration (“comics are a medium, not a genre”, D. Wolk, “Reading Comics”). Comics are undisputedly a narrative medium and after a brief historical reference we note that people always used images to tell a story and indeed in many ancient civilizations (e.g. Egypt, Greece) we come across fragments of comics, that is images set one next to the other that describe a scene from everyday life, that is narrate a story.
The answer to the query starts with the comparison with other narrative media (literature, cinema, narration), a comparison that takes place in a classroom of fifth-grade pupils in the context of educational seminaries introduced by one of the main characters of the documentary. The answer however lies not only there. Important creators come to supplement it with their own definitions and give their own views about what comics are. Through this comparison results the examination and also the showing of those characteristics that make this form of narration different and special.
The association of words and image, the ways with which these two forms coexist or not, and finally how they balance in a comic story is one of the basic questions we are called upon to explore. On the one hand we have the dynamics and the immediacy, as well as the symbolism of an image and on the other the depth and the “character” that the written word gives to a story. Finally, how is the association of these two ingredients shaped and how do they collaborate? By leafing through popular comics and conversing with their creators we shed light on this exact association.
Here also emerges one of the reasons why comics have been classified in the conscience of a large part of public opinion as something naïve and fit for children only. The phrase that comes from Scott McCloud’s book “Understanding Comics”, “don’t confuse the medium with the message” constitutes also our own argument.
One of the characteristics that make this medium unique is the reader’s involvement, his/her participation in interpreting and understanding a story. The comics creator invites the reader to imagine and make an image in his/her mind of what happens between the frames and so construct the total framework of the story. The special processes that result from the fusion of words and images in comics make this experience something totally different from reading literature. This experiment is implemented in the documentary on elementary school children who in turn try to fill in the gaps (between the frames) and narrate the whole story.
At this point the inspection of a comics creator’s relations with his/her readers is brought up again. Does the possibility of active participation from the reader and the process towards understanding manage to break apart the wall that separates all artists from their audience?
How did comics evolve in the course of history and how did we cross over from the multicolored issues with superheroes that were “cheap amusement” to the graphic novels that are today taught in universities and adorn most bookcases? How was this medium enclosed in the etymology of the word comics, namely comic? What did it do in order to escape this enclosure and why did it have to make this effort? Which artists changed the history of comics? What do people today believe about comics? What is the creative trend of the times? Who determines these trends?
Social and political current events were always a theme of inspiration for comics creators, and as a matter of fact for every creator. From their conception, comics were used, as all the other forms of art, as a mirror of modern society and also as means for political and social commentation. From very early on, newspapers included in their content comic strips with comments on current matters. All through their evolution and especially from World War II and after, comics proved worthy of news reportages and journalistic think pieces. Urgent social matters like war, racism, the environment, human rights, interpersonal relationships etc. were discussed and keep on being discussed via comic stories. Especially from the end of the ‘80s with the publication of comic albums, like Maus by Art Spiegelman who won the Pulitzer Prize for his ingenious portrayal of the Holocaust, more and more creators began to obtain their subject matters from current events. Joe Sacco on his part, by recording the events of the wars in Palestine and Bosnia in his albums Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde respectively, established the art of journalism via comics. Moreover, going back to all important comics we discern an intense political and social pondering and we observe a tendency of recreating images from our everyday reality.
Finally, why do we like comics or rather, do we like comics? How does the future loom for this medium that mirrors every human experience with its own special way of narration?
This specific documentary has a characteristic originality, regarding its theme, as up to now there has not been recorded in a cinematic form any total presentation of the dynamics of the comics medium, while it is based on research that is carried out during the last four years. Its anthropocentric texture is obvious and intense, as the questions that this documentary raises are intersected or identified with, or clash with the ones that also concern its main characters. The participation and presence of established comics artists, publishers and “theorists” from Europe and America gives prestige and a special interest to the project, as the professionals’ viewpoints are also studied and they become fellow travelers in our wanderings. Finally, the contribution, but also the uniqueness of the proposed project lies on the one hand in the exploration of the dynamics of comics as a narrative media, without reproducing the attempt to defend and restore it, and on the other in underlining certain issues it is concerned with, issues that refer mostly to current social affairs.
The directional intention of the proposed documentary is a visual voyage of exploration inside the “limitless” world of comics. In parallel course with the investigative approach of the comics medium, as aided by the two main characters of the documentary, a rich and multiform visualization will take place of all those being examined, discussed and revealed, giving us the impression that we are watching the leafing-through of a “living” comic book.
The documentary will mainly be comprised of interviews and discussions by the main characters with Greek and foreign creators about the comics medium, its evolution, as well as how it approaches current social affairs. The documentary will recorda genuine search within the world of comics; an investigative dialogue between the main characters and the audience.
The visual approach of the documentary will exhibit a “comics aesthetic” (atmosphere, signs and symbols of the language of comics), which will be employed during the Titles, as a link between Chapters and at any time deemed necessary for emphasis. The cinematic portrayal of the comics aesthetic will be achieved by utilizing primarily comics techniques (static sketches etc.) and 2d animation (and in certain circumstances, 3d animation) independently and / or in combination with “live” shots. Whereas, in certain “live” scenes, the lighting and Photography will create a comics atmosphere. Furthermore, there will be juxtaposition between comics images and footage from real reportages, in order to observe how reality is depicted through comics (i.e. “September 11th” in a Spiderman issue). The role of Narrator will be taken on, alternately or simultaneously, by the two main characters, each of whom will be presented as a comics figure resembling their physical form.
Emphasis will also be given to the Greek comics scene, to old and new creators and, finally, where Greece is placed within the world scene.
The ultimate purpose of this documentary is the examination of the multidimensional nature, the creative process and the potentialities of comics, so as to make more understandable to the wide audience the importance of comics as an art form, as an effective educational tool and as a particularly dynamicand autonomous narrative medium with recreational, social and cultural extensions.
S p e c i a l R e f e r e n c e s
· Alan Moore
Alan Moore is a much-awarded British comics’ writer whose work has affected the 9th Art’s international scene. Moore is one of the first artists to incorporate in his/her stories literary, historical, and political elements, contributing significantly to the change in the public opinion’s perception of the dynamics and the multiple dimensions of the medium. Among his more important books are “Watchmen”, V for Vendetta”, and “From Hell”.
· Bryan Talbot
Bryan Talbot published his first work in BRITISH TOLKIEN SOCIETY MAGAZINE in 1969. His inimitable technique but also the labyrinthine scenario that borrowed elements from British history filtered through a prism of science fiction and heroic fantasy became a huge influence for dozens of British and American artists. In 1993 he published, in Dark Horse, THE TALE OF ONE BAD RAT that caused a sensation because of its subject matter, which followed the story of a young girl who had been sexually abused by her father. This graphic novel gained enthusiastic reviews and won more than 10 awards from various institutions; it was also included in the annual recommended reading list of NEW YORK TIMES.
· Enki Bilal
Enki Bilal is one of the most popular artists of comics in the French language. Among his other much-awarded works is the Hatzfeld tetralogy concerning the fall of former Yugoslavia, but from the future.
· Felipe Cava
Felipe Cava is one of the most important Spanish comics’ scriptwriters. In the ‘80s he collaborated with magazines like Madriz and Medioz Revueltos which marked the so-called Spanish nouvelle vogue. His most recent work 11-Once Miradas is an album drawn by 11 different illustrators concerning the terrorist strike of March 11, 2004 in Madrid.
· Alexandar Zograf
Alexandar Zograf was born in 1963 and lives in Panchevo, Serbia. For more than 20 years he has been creating comics that have been published in dozens of newspapers and magazines in his country, while up to now he has put out 19 books. Through the emails he had been sending to thousands of internet users during the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia he became a “war correspondent” and with his comic book Regards from Serbia he described “with a unique sensitivity the horrors of war and human loneliness in time of war” (from the Greek edition, ΚΨΜPublications).
There will also be a reference to the works of:
Hugo Pratt (the creator of Corto Maltese)
Rene Goscinny (the creator of popular Asterix)
Herge (the creator of reporter-hero Tin Tin)
Jose Munoz – Carlos Sampayo (Their comic book “The USA Case”, with Alack Sinner starring again, takes place in New York in August 2001, about one month before the fall of the Twin Towers.)
Neil Gaiman (much-awarded comics and literature writer)
· Art Spiegelman
Art Spiegelman, creator, publisher, and theorist of comics became more widely known when he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his graphic novel Maus. Its story is based on his parents’ experiences during their detention in prison camps. This comic book gained enthusiastic reviews and was placed high in famous literary lists. In the ‘90s Spiegelman, apart from his illustrative work for books like “The Wild Party” and covers for The New Yorker, he used his publishing talent in order to create the children’s magazine “Little Lit” with comics directed equally to children and to adults, and contributions by eminent writers from outside the comics area (William Joyce, Maurice Sendak, Ian Falkoner, Mark Rosenthal et al.) After the terrorist attack of September 11 he published the story entitled “In the Shadow of No Towers” making his own comment about this specific event. Art Spiegelman contributed largely to the redefinition of comics as an art-form for mature audiences.
· Joe Sacco
Joe Sacco is considered the father of the “comics journalism” technique. Using comics he managed to describe with total realism the situation in Palestine in his work “Palestine” as well as the war in Bosnia in his work “Safe Area Gorazde”. Joe Sacco has won many awards, and also collaborated with many political newspapers describing, with the language of comics, crucial political events.
· Charles Schultz
Charles Schultz, creator of the popular series “Peanuts”, is one of the most famous creators of humorous comics in history and his work has influenced as perhaps no other the medium’s evolution. Moody Charlie Brown, his witty dog Snoopy and the rest of the gang have kept us company for more than 50 years. “Peanuts”, the most popular comic strip in newspapers’ history appeared in 2,600 newspapers of 75 countries, were translated to 21 languages, while the books with the same characters sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.
· Will Eisner
Will Eisner was a very special American creator of comics (writer and illustrator) who brought many innovations into the world of the 9th Art. He is considered as one of the most important artists for the medium’s evolution and he went down in history not only for his special style of writing and illustrating stories, but also for establishing the graphic novel as a literary form with his book “A contract with God and other tenement stories”, as well as his educational role for the technique of creating comics (Comics and Sequential Art). In 1988 the universal community of comics, wanting to honor this important creator, introduced and established the Will Eisner Awards that are given annually to the best representative of the medium.
There will also be a reference to the works of:
Jack Kirby (the co-creator of adored characters of pop culture like The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Hulk, Captain America and many others).
Robert Crumb (American creator of comics, famous from his distinct illustrative style and his critical-satirical approach and commentary of the American society).
Jeff Smith (the creator of the much-awarded comic book Bone).
Paul Chadwick (the creator of CONCRETE. In the stories of the concrete hero the readers discovered the humanity hidden inside them. Stories like “Think Like a Mountain” and “Human Dilemma” bring us face to face with matters of responsibility against the natural environment, ourselves and society)
· Osamu Tezuka
Also known by many as “The God of manga” (manga are the Japanese comics), Osamu Tezuka was one of the most famous and popular Japanese artists. He has been named “The Japanese Walt Disney” and perhaps more than any other artist is responsible for the characteristically large eyes of the characters in Japanese comics. His most popular creation is “Tetsuwan Atom”, internationally published with the title “Astroboy”. Animation movies based on his creations like Astroboy, Kimba the White Lion and Princess Knight have been shown and are still being shown by international TV networks with great success. The National Museum of Modern Art of Tokyo presented in 1990 a large exhibition of Tezuka’s works, the first one honouring a manga artist. In April 1994 the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum was inaugurated.
T h e G r e e k C o m i c s S c e n e
Greece has her own special place in the world of comics. With a great tradition in political caricature and influenced from Europe and America, the ‘80s were the milestone period for the creation of a small local comics scene.
Babel magazine, following the model of the Italian magazine Linus, became a catalyst for comics flourishing in Greece. Its pages were host to international pioneers as well as to many Greeks, who later became the nucleus of the Greek production (D. Vitalis, G. Ioannou, Leandros, S. Derveniotis, N. Kourtis, S. Verikios et al.) One of the most characteristic elements of this magazine was the publication of comics with political and social projections, while many times it included special sections concerning urgent current matters, as AIDS or drugs, making its own commentary by using comics’ dynamic language. Its attempt to exhibit the other aspect of this art, which most people regard as naïve or suited for children, was supported by the establishing and the up to now continuation of the International Festival of Babel, a crossroads of cultural dialogue with comics as starting point. Cities, people, their habits, woman’s image in comics, the communicative power of comics (from Umberto Eco’s collection of comics) are some of the subjects that were discussed during the 12 years of this festival’s running.
Gallera, a more recent magazine (2005), was also host to comics with intense social projections. Racism, migration, violence, globalization, war, political realism, human alienation, theseare few of the themes that were traced with words and pictures by older (S. Derveniotis, P. Zervos, G. Kalaïtzis) and younger artists (T. Petrou, P. Christoulias, K. Kyriakakis, L. Karageorgiou, S. Dilios, G. Pagonis et al.).
During the last decade comics seem to start conquering the Greek public opinion as well and gain access into other regions, as the academic area and the regions of advertisement and communication (many companies use comics to set up campaigns and design corporate printed matter), but also into more specialized ones, as the region of health
The growth during the last years of the Greek publications of comics which have played an important part to the course and development of the 9th Art worldwide, contributed to the gradual change of the public opinion on comics. The Greek editions of comics like Palestine, Blankets, Wooblies, Greetings from Serbia (ΚΨΜ Publications), Bone, Adventures of Luther Arkwright (Jemma Press), V for Vendetta (Anubis Comics), Persepolis (Ilivaton Publications), Maus (Zoobus Publications) set the foundation for a new perception regarding illustrated narratives and their possibilities.
P a r t i c i p a t i o n a n d F i l m i n g
We have secured the participation of the crew and permission of filming the following festivals. This access will give us the chance to collect interviews from the greatest comic artist in the world.
-- The International Comics Festival of Angouleme is the most important comics festival organized in Europe. For more than 20 years, every January the city of Angouleme is focused in the eyes of the international comics’ scene. Almost every European comics publishing company, many European creators, and also special guests from America and Japan honour the event each year with their attendance.
--The International Comics Festival of San Diego is the largest comics’ festival in the world. From 1970 until today, the city of San Diego welcomes comics for four days. With an attendance of more than 125,000 people and the participation of almost every representative of the comics industry (publishing companies, creators, stores etc.) and more (motion picture companies, toy companies etc.) it is rightfully regarded as the biggest event about the 9th Art.
--International Comics Festival of Llodz
International Comics Festival of Llodz in 2009 will celebrate its 20th birthday. Each year famous Polish and European comic creators visit the festival. In addition many exhibitions, workshops, lectures and screenings are organized every year with the support and the participation of the whole city.
Lucca Comics Festival is the most important festival organized in Italy the past years. Taking advantage the rich tradition of Italians in comics it offers an interesting program of activities to the guests that arrive from all over the world. Since 2001 in Lucca operates the Italian Comics Museum.
--Comicdom Con Athens
Comicdom Con Athens is the annual comics’ celebration organized the past three years in Athens by Comicdom Press in collaboration with Hellenic American Union. Gathering each year a big number of attendants and having been overwhelmed by the national Media, Comicdom Con Athens has hosted international guests such as Bryan Talbot, David Lloyd, Mark Buckingham. The exhibitions “50 years of Peanuts” and “The Spirit of Will Eisner” have been organized during Comicdom Con Athens
--Bristol International Comic Expo
The British comic scene gathers each May in Bristol. Bristol International Comic Expo is one of the most important comic festivals having many and interesting guests and from the British underground scene.
INTERVIEWS to be included
Art Spiegelman (creator, US) confirmed
Neil Gaiman (creator, US/UK) confirmed
Alexandar Zograf (creator, Serbian) confirmed
Alan Moore (creator, UK)
Marjane Satrapi (creator, Iranian)
Paul Chadwick (creator,US)
Joe Sacco (creator, US) confirmed
Bryan Talbot (creator, UK) confirmed
David Lloyd (creator, US) confirmed
Jeff Smith (creator, US) confirmed
Scott McCloud (creator- academic, US)
Denis Kitchen (creator, US) confirmed
Jean Schulz (widow of Charles Schulz, US) confirmed
Lisa Kirby (President Kirby Museum, US)
Rutu Modan (creator, Israeli) confirmed
Willem De Graeve (director Brussels Center of Comic Strip, Europe) confirmed
Daniel Clowes (creator, US) confirmed
Chris Ware (creator, US) confirmed
Gary Groth (Publisher, Fantagraphics, US)
Diana Schutz (Editor Dark Horse, US) confirmed
Karen Berger (Editor Vertigo, US)
Peter Milligan (creator, UK) confirmed
John Romita (creator, US)
Frank Miller (creator, US)
David Gibbons (creator, UK) confirmed
Joe Quesada (creator- editor Marvel, US)
Chris Staros (editor Top Shelf, US) confirmed
Felipe Cava (creator, Spain) confirmed
Rodriguez Spain (creator, Europe) confirmed
Yuneri Icoglou (creator, Turkish) confirmed
Miguel Brieva (creator, Spain)
Fraz (creator, Poland) confirmed
Jerry Robinson (creator-academic, US)
David B (creator, France)
Douglas Walk (academic US)
Andy Runton (creator, US )
Through an examination of how current social issues are portrayed in comics, the documentary will in the process explore the nature of the medium itself.
Opening sequence: Powerful images from different comics portraying current events on social issues that will be covered in the documentary, with sound from actual events (i.e. the 9/11 bombing in a Spiderman issue). The comics’ images will then be juxtaposed with footage from the actual events.
Thequestbeginswithadefinitionofcomics, inanattemptto clarify fromthestartthatcomicsarea totally uniqueand independent communicative medium, and not just another form of narration. Simple people, from different cultures and sexes, in different languages, will give brief definitions of what comics means to them, followed by opinions from comics’ experts and artists.
In the National Book Centre of Greece, a class of young students participates in a workshop on comics and the students express their own definitions of the medium. The workshop is executed by a young illustrator, who will be one of the guides in the documentary’s exploration of the comics’ medium. Followed by a workshop on comics for experts and university students held in Panteio University (Athens, Greece), which is executed by a young comics’ researcher, the other guide of the documentary. The two workshops are also juxtaposed.
The Narrators of the documentary are two comics’ characters; one is a young boy and the other a talking balloon. The boy represents the point of view of simple people and expresses all their misconceptions and queries about comics. While the talking balloon expresses the point of view of comics themselves. These characters will appear independently or during live scenes.
The journey continues at the Festival International de la bande dessinée d'Angoulême(France), considered the largest festival in the world. Here, the documentary’s comic’s researcher begins her investigation, with in-depth interviews with comic’s experts and artists. In the meantime, the comic’s illustrator participates in his own way, by sketching. [In the Epilogue, the comic’s illustrator’s work will be revealed; a Making-of comicbook of the documentary (the research and the process of the film shooting). In essence, the entire documentary is a live version of this Making-of comicbook.]
The characteristics revealing the uniqueness of the comics medium will lead the investigation to the comparison with other communicative mediums (literature, narration, theatre and cinema). The comparison of opinions of the comic’s experts and artists will lead us to a comparison of the different mediums. Beginning at the workshop in the National Book Centre and, finally, leading us to a visual comparison of the mediums. [Sequence with excerpts from scenes of live action and animation movies based on comicbooks; live action movies that became comicbooks; scene from a theatrical play by an ancient Greek writer; the leafing through of an ancient Greek manuscript from a grandfather as he narrates it, in modern Greek, to his grandchildren.]
Interviews with comic’s creators Apostolos Doxiades (Greek) and Neil Gaiman (UK), both of whom have produced works in other communicative mediums.
The relationship between the written word and the image will then be investigated. How these two forms manage to coexist or not, and how in comics they manage to find a harmonious balance will be answered by comic’s experts and artists. Followed by discussions with creators from other communicative mediums, on the relationship between word and image. Leafing through known comicbooks and in discussion with their creators, light is shed upon this relationship. And, finally, we are lead to explanations of the reasons concerning the prejudices and misconceptions, of the majority of the public, that comics are a simplistic and childish medium. Publishers give their own explanations on the public’s misconceptions, as well as their observations and opinions on the readers’ buying habits.
Negative opinions on comics will be given by academics and artists, as well as by clerics of the Greek Orthodox Church, including books published (by the latter) condemning comics. Juxtaposed with images from Festival International de la bande dessinée d'Angoulêmewhere the Catholic Church held its own exhibition of religious comics within an actual Catholic temple.
Introduction to comics’ evolution: Beginning with images in archaeological finds, we trace the historical evolution of comics, until the present-day, where the comics’ medium is shown to be the latest evolution of Language.
We return to the opinions of simple people, school students, comics’ experts and artists on the subject of the reader’s participation in the experience of reading and “decoding” comics. School students participate in an experiment of filling the gaps between comics’ panels and completing a comic’s story on their own. Discussion with the school students’ teachers on their opinions about the experiment, as well as an interview with Andy Runton, creator of Owly (comics without words), on his opinion about reader participation.
Discussion with comics’ fans, fans who became comics’ creators, as well as with new and established comic’s creators on the relationship between creator and his audience. Q & A with comics’ creators at comics’ conferences from different countries, as well as from Comicdom Con (Greek comics’ conference, two of the founding members of which are the documentary’s two main characters, the researcher and the illustrator).
In-depth historical evolution of modern comics: The development of comics from colourful issues with Superheroes, which were regarded as “cheap entertainment”, to acclaimed graphic novels that today are taught in universities and adorn most libraries. Interviews: with Jeff Smith (US), creator of the Bone comics’ series, which is taught in many schools and can be found in most libraries, and Paul Gravett (comics’ expert, UK), on the issue of how comics were enclosed in the etymology of the word comic, namely comical. Discussions with creators and academics about issues concerning comics. Discussions with publishers about comicbooks which went out of circulation.
Journey to Centre Belge de la bande dessinéewhere, in the celebration of the 100 years of Belgian comics, we observe different exhibitions, including one on the history of comics, on the arduous process of creating a comicbook, as well as on the evolution of content and style in magazines PiloteandAsuivre.
How did comics evade their comical etymology and why did they have to make that effort? Who changed the history of comics? Interviews with Art Spiegelman (US), creator of Pulitzer-winning Maus, Frank Miller (creator, US), Neil Gaiman (creator, UK) and Joe Sacco (creator, US). Discussions with comics’ experts and artists, publishers, educators, book critics and journalists (Guardian, Times, HuffingtonPost, Monocle). More analytical answers from simple people about their views on comics.
Investigation of the current creative trends and on who determines them. Discussions with relevant creators on the passage from Superheroes to socio-political comics. Introduction to current social issues in a narrative form. Discussions with relevant creators on the “social” role of comics.
- War: Art Spiegelman (Maus), Joe Sacco (Palestine), Alexander Zograf (Safe Area Gozarde) and Rotu Modan(Exit wounds).
- Human rights: Marjane Satrapi(Persepolis), Bryan Talbot(Tale of One Bad Rat), Art Spiegelman(In the Shadow of No Towers), Felipe Cava (11M), John Romita (Amazing Spiderman #36), Melinda Gebbie (Lost Girls), Alan Moore and David Lloyd(V for Vendetta).
- Environment: Concrete (Paul Chadwick), Andy Runton (Owly), Troubled waters, special edition comicbook by the European Union.
- Racism: X-Men and La Jeune Fille et le nègre (Judith Vanistendael).
A look at current magazines and comicbooks which deal with current social issues. Interviews with comics’ creators who are currently producing a “social” comicbook, as well as creators who are dealing with the same social issue, but from a different perspective. Discussions with journalists, Non Profit Organizations and politicians on their perspectives and ways of dealing with (the above-mentioned) social issues.
Epilogue: The journey of exploration on comics does not end here. As long as there are issues that concern people there will continue to be those who examine these issues through the comics’ medium. The documentary’s main characters continue their quest: the young illustrator reveals his Making-of comicbookand begins his new comicbook, while the young researcher moves on with her investigation and her teachings on the comics’ medium.
Final question: How is the future of the comics’ medium defined, a medium which reflects every human experience in its own, unique form of narration?
UP TO DATE FILMED INTERVIEWS
List of comics’ experts and artists which were interviewed in Festival International de la bande dessinée d'Angoulême (France):
- Benoit Mouchart (director of Festival International de la bande dessinée d'Angoulême, France)
- Jean Pierre Mercier (Musée de la bande dessinée d’Angoulême, France)
- Willem De Graeve (director of Centre Belge de la bande dessinée, Belgium)
- Jean Pierre Menu (creator, member of L’Association, France)
- Chris Ware (creator, US)
- Ted Rall (creator, US)
- Nicolas Wild (creator, France)
- Simone Bianchi (artist, Italy)
- Thierry Mornet (editor, Delcourt, France)
- Melinda Gebbie (creator, UK)
- Bryan Talbot (creator, UK)
- Brian Azzarello (creator, US)
- Possy Simmonds (creator, UK)
- Paul Gravett (comics’ expert, UK)
During the Babel Comics Festival in Greece
Patricio Betteo (Mexico)
Majen Kerbaj (Lebanon)
Alim ( Russia)
Elias Kiriazis (Greece)