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Comix: Beyond the Comic Book Pages (KinoLorber/DVD/2016)

Those aficionados of ComicCon and the like will find this documentary, “Comix: Beyond the Comic Book Pages,” (on two disks) much to their liking.  Including long interviews with veteran comic-strip writer Stan Lee, who originated “Spider-Man,” “X-Men,” and “Fantastic Four,” and Frank Miller, creator of “Sin City” and “300”, as well as a host of actors, fans, other writers, producers, and so on, all contribute mightily to this fine doc.

Writer/director Michael Valentine (helped in the writing by Charles Olivier and Stan Lee) clearly loves his subject and spent not just hundreds of hours in research and interviews, but actually got Sony to re-create New York City’s ComicCon on a backstage and then peopled it with the kind of fandom that puts real money out for costumes and props to “live” the adventure – or at least the moves and the posings.  And, perhaps, to work later on Hollywood Blvd.

Now, if you are of a generation with a sell-by-date well past the current batch of lovers of this genre, there’s bound to be little in this to attract you to the subject.  But for those who appreciate what the film celebrates – comic books and the films based on them, well, this documentary will be catnip to you.

Some of the participants and/or creators include actors Joseph Culp, Lou Ferrigno, Renee Geeerlings, Alexis Quasarano, and others, art director Christian Gossett, producers Neal Adams Jim Maddelena, Todd McFarlane, and John Romita, Jr., writer Steve Niles, amid dozens who are interviewed on-camera or otherwise contributed to this documentary.

Not for every taste, obviously, but it is still a wonderful way to be introduced to, or, at the very least, revel in seeing one’s heroes in this field so identified.  Either way, it’s not a waste of time or energy to know it intimately.