Comic Book

Comic Book (2004)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Mark Hamill, Tom Kenny, Jess Harnell, Billy West, Roger Rose
Extras: Commentary Track, Complete Interviews, Featurette, Radio Show, Deleted Scenes, Bloopers and more

’Comic Book’ is Mark Hamill’s loving tribute to the comic book fandom as he made a spoof documentary on the subject that is as poignant as it is hilarious. As documentary Donald Swan he takes to the iconoclastic San Diego ’Comicon’ where we witness the geekiness and love that fans pour over their favorite pastime. Filled with hilarious interviews and moments by legends such as Stan Lee, Bruce Campbell, Hugh Hefner, Kevin Smith and others, the film is as much a riot as a homage to an industry that has been booming despite its high-tech competition.

The film is presented in its 1.33:1 aspect ratio on the DVD in a transfer that is clean and clear. Mind you, the quality of the film is never outstanding as it tries to capture the feel of a low-budget documentary – which in essence, it is. Shaky digicam footage, underlit shots, backlit shots, and more show up quite frequently adding their touch to the presentation, making the ’Comicon’ experience even more authentic.

The audio is equally unbalanced at times, as it is the live-recorded sound from the event without much beautification. Once again, this is deliberate and perfectly suits the film’s premise.

The 2-disc DVD set is also filled with extras, such as an audio commentary by Mark Hamill and other cast members. It is required listening to all fans of the film and the comic book subject as it is filled to the brim with stories form the making of the film that inevitably all go off on the comic book topic and events surrounding the Comcion.

A featurette on the subject of voices in animation is also included, and since Tom Kenny – the voice of Spongebob Squarepants – is also a cast member of the book, we get to learn more about the art of voicing animated characters and superheroes.

A mock Don-Swan-Kevin-Smith one-on-one interview is also included, which is utterly funny as they just can’t seem to stay on topic, as well as the ’Commander courage’ radio show. The complete ’Bruce Campbell’ interview is also included which is a gem given Campbell’s sardonical performance as the absolute Commander Courage fan and movie actor professional. Hugh Hefner’s and Stan Lee’s full interviews are also included as well as a selection of bloopers and deleted scenes.

’Comic Book’ is not for everyone with its raw appearance. But if you dig the genre and mockumentaries, ’comic Book’ is a wonderful look into the psyche of comic book aficionados and the industry that caters to them.