Comics On The Big Screen

X-MEN, SUPERMAN, BATMAN, HOWARD THE DUCK, BATMAN 2, SPIDER-MAN, BATMAN 3! Did these movies leave you feeling flatter than a sheet of cheap newsprint? That's because the scripts for these movies are based on the same uninspired characters and insipid plotlines as the lifeless comic books that share the same corporate logo! (How's that for inspiring a letters section! Hit the Contact button)

American Splendor

I once was given a gift by one of my dear "hippie" friends. The gift was ten wishes. Anything at all. One of my wishes was to visit my friends and myself back in the late sixties after high school. That's part of what I saw in American Splendor.

Although I share a few of Harvey Pekar's life adventures, we are two very different people. But watching this groundbreaking movie brought me a taste of that wish. Of course I remember the triumphs and tragedies of the last thirty or so years, but by far, most of my life involved the routine minutiae of everyday life, whether drug addict, activist, screenwriter, machinist, construction worker, technical writer, storeowner etc.

Throughout my life I can say I've known several Harvey Pekars - sort of - but not really. Know what I mean? Take a trip back to the true substance of our existence. It's almost like seeing a movie of our lives. They may have changed the characters and rewritten the plot, but I recognized nearly every moment of this wonderful film.

I hope this movie inspires people to enter the colored balloon and rattle shielded realm of sequential art. Go to our INFO page and order some American Splendor comics. I'm going back to see the movie again. See you there!

Look for this film to surprise everyone by winning the 2003 Best Picture Oscar.

NOTE: some of my other 10 wishes included:

• Being able to run full speed for as long as I wanted. I think I'll run up to Santa Barbara (over 100 miles) for lunch this afternoon.
• Spending an afternoon with my dear departed grandfather and asking all the questions about 'the old country' I never bothered to ask.
• To witness the legendary romantic liaison between Claudette Colbert and Marlene Dietrich. (My participation could only have soiled this beautiful rendezvous)



Crumb

Siskel & Ebert called it the best film of 1994 and it was on just about everyone's ten best lists.The Academy Awards screening committee didnšt even bother to watch the entire movie and gave the Oscar to some basketball documentary.

Terry Zwigoff's masterwork is a bit like a tabloid for smart people.  Find out about the artist Playboy Magazine called "the only true genius of the 20th century," and watch the rest of his family steal the show.

A peek at the 'family Crumb' that is disturbing, fascinating, riveting, revolting, funny, sick, mesmerizing, and eventually, very touching. Robert's brother Charles is the most heartbreaking character I've ever seen in any movie. Amazing how Robert managed to emerge from that family with any semblance of 'sanity' at all. (Would liked to have seen how the sisters turned out, but they refused to participate). Highly Recommended even if you have no idea who Robert Crumb is, but be forwarned, while it is about a cartoonist, it is not for children.
:: Tim Foley

For those who don't know much about Crumb (and I didn't before this) it's a fascinating documentary on a 60s woman-hating underground comic book writer, but even more so when focusing on his two absolutely crazy brothers, who were gifted artists but crippled emotionally by their abusive father. Unlike something like "Pollak," which made painting seem like the biggest, most uninteresting waste of time, I kept thinking, "I really wish I could draw" whenever Crumb would sketch random people at a shopping mall. But however I might like his talent, I'd never take his mind, and everyone I know who has seen this said the same thing afterwards: thank God I'm normal.
:: Jersey Boy

Ghost World

Whether you've read Ghost World in Dan Clowes' Eightball comics or not, go see the movie and find out what can spawn from paper, ink, inspired talent and dogged determination. Tell 'em Lines On Paper sent you. But in the meantime, why not check out some pictures from the movie below or read the reviews in the LA Weekly and the LA New Times.