Comic Book Confidential (1988) Review

One from the re watch pile…
Comic Book Confidential (1988)

The Australian DVD cover

Film: I am and always will be a comic fan. Sure there have been periods of time where I haven’t collection, the post-Image world of the 90s for example (I’m sorry guys, I like the old artwork, and the anime/ graffiti styled artwork of those guys never rubbed me the right way… I want my superheroes to be done by the old masters like Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, John Buscema and their ilk) and recently I’ve become disappointed with the storylines which seem to be repetitive and basically made to sell the movies. I understand it’s a business but there seems to be a creative lull, which has happened before as the history of comics is circular and fad based. Something hot today will not even be published tomorrow.

Hell, as of this review we don’t even have the cornerstone of the Marvel universe, the Fantastic Four being published, and that was once taglined as ‘The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine’.

I do still however get collections of old stuff, and I’m fascinated by the history of the art form too, and my book collection has many ‘history of comics’ books amongst it.

William Gaines

This, however, is Ron Mann’s documentary of the history of comic books and it’s a pretty concise and interesting look at how they came about, but the best thing about this doco is the absolutely essential stories from some of the old men, and young guns, of the industry.

It’s pretty special to know the history of Bill Gaines, and then hear him tell stories himself, and to actually hear my hero, Jack Kirby’s voice, is amazing. 

This doesn’t just look at the history of the art of comics, it also takes a walk down the history of comics legacy, and how it was effected by, and how it effected society. There is some great archival footage of the Senatorial Commitee on Juvenile Delinquency and some disturbing stories about court cases where artists and writers were sued for things they wrote or drew.

There is some cool presentations of classic comic covers rarely seen, but occasionally that footage is spoilt by some poorly executed, amateurish animation of the covers which was unnecessary and detracts from the amazing original art.

Harvey Kurtzman

If you want a brief history of the industry, and one that is American centric as none of the great European or Asian artists really get a look in, this is your place to go, but there is so much more to many of the stories discussed in this doco. Honestly. This doco could do with a 1988 to now sequel!

Ron, are you listening?

Score: ****

The Australian DVD menu screen

Format: This documentary was reviewed with the Australian DVD release which runs for approximately 85 minutes. The film is presented in 4:3 and has a 2.0 audio track, both of which are of various degrees of quality due to the historical nature of some of the footage and audio. It doesn’t really detract from the enjoyment of the film though.

Score: ***

Extras: There is several extra on this disc though the first couple are a bit Kevin Smith indulgent. I guess if you pay someone to turn up you take advantage of the time.

The first note is that this doco from the 80s has a new introduction by Kevin Smith, where he basically points out that even ten years later when his introduction was done, it was still relevant.

A Conversation with Kevin Smith is more ‘ a justification for reading comics by Kevin Smith’ and whilst I get the heart of where it’s coming from I don’t get why I have to justify, or convince someone that adults can read comic, the same as a cricket fan does have to justify to me why he likes it. It doesn’t matter what you dig, just respect each other, and if you think you have to justify your passion to a friend, you need new friends.

Silent Bobs Speaks is a not very funny series of questions aimed at Smith’s ‘Silent Bob’ character. Lame.

There is also a trailer for the film.

The is an interview with director Ron Mann who talks about the making of this film and his career in general.

Last there are text biographies of some of the artists featured in the doco, including Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Frank Miller, Jaime Hernandez, Shary Flenniken, Lynda Barry, Victor Moscow, Bill Griffith, Jack Kirby (of course), William M. Gaines, Francoise Molly, Al Feldstein, Art Spiegelman, Sue Coe, Gilbert Shelton, Dan O’Neill, Stan Lee, Harvey Kurtzman, Harvey Pekar, Spain, Charles Burns and Paul Mavrides. They are single paragraph bios so don’t expect an entire indepth history of each person.

Score: ***

WISIA: I have watched this many times and will probably continue to watch it many more times.

Robert Crumb

ELVIRA stars in Call of Booby… I Mean DUTY!!

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Zombies Update

Elvira: more animated than normal!

I am an unabashed Call of Duty fan. I find myself losing hours and hours in it. Am I very good? Well I used to belong to a clan (Oz Rebel Misfits represent) and we did pretty good but on our team I was never an MVP. I just enjoy playing, though I rarely do the campaign and never do Zombies… but this year something different has happened.

They’re Coming for You, Barbara!

I don’t actually like the current CoD. I am sick of the scifi environment and am not a fan of the jumpsuits/ wallrunning no all that stuff as I think it takes away from the core of the game. When I heard that this year the new CoD was going to be WW2 I was absolutely stoked.

Dead End Drive In

So this year, more accurately, in the last month, I have taken to playing the Zombies section of the game. Now I imagine it must seem weird that a horror fan like myself would avoid this part of the game but I prefer the team no team stuff rather than this 4 against the zombies cooperative stuff, but this current zombies has a firm basis in genre film and I’m loving it.


This year has four intrepid heroes trapped in various film environments fighting zombies and other creatures (like Bigfoot) with a bit of help from various celebrities. The first episode, Zombies in Spaceland, is set in a theme park in the eighties with a guest appearance by David Hasselhoff, the second is Rave in the Redwoods featuring Kevin Smith and the other was a 70s themed one starring Pam Grier. Each episode is introduced with a cool little, old school styled animated recapping the last episode, and introducing the next!

you need big balls to invade the earth!

Yesterday a new update happened of PS4 and we have been treated to the 50s styled Attack of the Radioactive Thing, hosted by the one and only Elvira, Mistress of the Dark! It starts in black and white and slowly evolves into a washed out, b-movie styled colour and you spend your time opening areas, shooting zombies and aliens before meeting a gigantic thing that’s attacking a ship in the harbour.

That’s a big radioactive thing!

I haven’t finished the level, but it’s more fun that a barrel of undead monkeys: check it out!

Yoga Hosers (2016) Review

One from the to watch pile…
Yoga Hosers (2016)

Australian Yoga Hosers bluray cover

Film: I kind of feel sorry for Kevin Smith. When his first five View Askewniverse films (Clerks, Malleats, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) came out, he was a trail-blazer of modern comedy, and his slacker filled films became pop cultural norms that still influence films today. I loved those films, particularly Dogma, in which Ben Affleck and Matt Damon told such an amazing story about being abandoned, and thought that Smith would be one of the greatest directors of all time in my modest opinion.

But times change, and we get older, me some of us grow, and some of us don’t.

Times change, and comedy takes a popular style, like Smith’s, and evolves, and what happens is the initiator of that comedy sometimes gets left behind, and Smith seems to be in this boat. Those first five movies were so original that I don’t want to criticise Smith as being a one-trick pony, because each of those films were great in different ways, but Clerks 2, even though it retraced steps from the first five View Askewniverse films, lacked something (though Rosario Dawson’s dance sequence to the Jackson five was a bouncy thing of beauty!) Tusk was the next thing I saw of his, and it was just terrible, and I really dig those ‘lost and trapped by a madman’ films, but it just failed on so many counts.

The failure of Smith’s venture in horror comedy continues with this dreadful movie… although I do dig the soundtrack…

Yoga Hosers: Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp as the Colleens, and the back of Vanessa Paradis’ head.

Total losers Colleen (Harley Quinn Smith) and Colleen (Lily-Rose Depp) work in a convenience store, Eh-to-Zed owned by one of their fathers, and managed by his girlfriend. They are invited to a high school seniors party one night, but their plans are dashed when they are forced to work.

They invite the boy who invited them to the party to come to the convenience store to party there instead, but they girls find out that he and his friend are devil worshippers possessed by the bratwurst constructed, mini-Nazi clones made by insane Andronicus Arcane (Ralph Garman, who is an amazing impressonist). 

Can they, along with investigator Guy LaPointe (Johnny Depp) stop his nefarious plan?

Yoga Hosers: Johnny Depp as Guy LaPointe

Who cares, would be a better question. Basically this film is a rehash of Clerks, but for the horror-comedy set, except there’s no horror, and not much comedy. Sorry, there is one piece of horror, after the credits there is a threat that the Colleen’s will return in another film… EEK!

A lot of the so-called comedy is directed at poking fun at the Canadian accent and product which may emulate American ones, which might be funny to an American who hates Canadians, but maybe here is Australia we are too far away from the situation for it to be funny. I can’t help but wonder if the stereotyping done in this film was aimed at another country, that it wouldn’t just come across as culturally insensitive.

I do have to admit, Johnny Depp’s characters ever moving face moles made me snigger.

Smith and Depp are cute kids, but their acting skill aren’t of a high level, but everyone here, even the ones who are normally good actors, seem to have let their talents go on holidays, except for the afore mentioned Ralph Garman, because if he is actually doing those impressions, he’s the king!

The film is full of Smith’s usual suspects Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Stan Lee, Jason Mewes and his various friends and relatives. It’s almost like a home movie for the Smith and Depp families, actually, something which Smith even admits in the extras.

Somewhere along the line though, I think when Smith was writing the film he got the idea that he hates anyone criticising his work (who does?) and one of the characters has a dig at those who criticise art. It is a strange bit of the film that feels more like a personal message is thrown into the bratwurst carnage. He has done this before in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, so I think that he’s particularly susceptible to it.

Unfortunately, this film is so bad, it makes the Smith’s boring and stupid Tusk look like The Empire Strikes Back in comparison. What’s worse, is like every other sucker who used to love Smith’s work, I’ll still stupidly shell out money for his next venture as I know that the old Kevin is still somewhere inside him, waiting to produce another gem!

Score: *

Yoga Hosers Menu screen

Format: This review was performed with the Australian region B bluray, which (thankfully) runs for only 87 minutes of which 7 are the closing credits… 7!!!, which has an immaculate 2.40:1 picture with a spectacular DTD-HD 5.1 audio track.

Score: *****

Extras: Only one extra and it’s a Behind the Scenes which is just a 7 minutes or so look at how the film was made. It’s all ego stroking like the very worst of these types of things.

Score: *

WISIA: Nope, and I’m gonna invent a time machine so I can go back in time and tell myself to not see it once.

Yoga Hosers: Jason Mewes cameos as ‘Rogue Cop’

Week Ending 23rd December

A better weekly update of stuff this week with a great variety of stuff imvoleved, but first a small note. These weekly updates started on the Nerds of Oz website, but that is exclusively going to be for the podcast list from now, so technically this is the first TWP weekly buy update!


Grabbed four new movies this week.

The Mutilator from Arrow Video. Arrow video rarely disappoint, and I hope this will be just as trashy and slashy as their usual output!

All Through the House from Monster Pictures. Monster occasionally disappoint but I like how regular their output is and the price is occasionally right so I am prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt more often than not. Review coming soon.

Yoga Hosers from Reel DVD. Kevin Smith’s last few bits of output didn’t impress. His segment in ‘Holidays’ was the worst of them, and Tusk failed to entertain. I’ll be interested to see how this pans out. Review coming soon.

Last is an Australian bluray release of cult classic I Drink Your Blood! This limited edition comes with a repro of the VHS release, a ‘horror hypo’ and a sheet of I Drink Your Blood LSD sheets. Best thing about this release is it also comes with the films I Eat Your Skin and Blue Sextet! I love this film just because the exquisitely beautiful Lynn Lowry appears an a mute hippie!

Video Game

Watchdogs 2 from Ubi-soft. I liked the first one but wasn’t going to worry about this, but when EB Games discounted the edition with the statue, I leapt on it. I’ve played about 30 minutes, and totally dig it, though like with all video games, I’m not very good at it.


I haven’t quite gotten to read everything I grabbed this week, so some of these comments are about the art only, my apologies to the writers! I’ll point out which ones I managed to read before the blog post was published with a big ‘READ!’ before the comic’s comments.

READ! Red Sonja #0 from Dynamite.I’ve always loved Marvel’s re-do of Robert E. Howard’s Russian revolutionary character into Conan’s world, and the quality of art continues with this Dynamite collection. Unfortunately the story is a ‘person from the past gets sent to the future’ story, which is a bit generic, but if it opens some new opportunities for the character, I’ll at least give it a go.This was a ‘cheaper’ comic with not quite a full story, but with some cool sketchbook pages, and a buttload of adds!

READ! Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 from DC Comics. I’m really liking this series, and the fact it contains three of my favourite DC heroines doesn’t hurt. The quest for who is the new Oracle continues: it’s some really nice art with well written banter. Huntress has become particularly funny with her ‘should I kill him/her’ attitude.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #5 from DC Comics. I can’t comment on the quality of the writing in this series yet as I’ve not yet started reading it, but conceptually, the idea of a second rate Batman (in Red Hood), Wonder Woman(in Artemis) and Superman (with Bizarro) is both intriguing and hilarious. The art by Dexter Soy is solid too.

Suicide Squad #8 from DC Comics. Its Suicide Squad, and I have loved the Suicide Squad since the 80s when I first started reading it, and I grabbed the awesome alternate fractured Harley cover, so definitely loving it!

Supergirl #4 from DC Comics. I’m loving the TV series, so I thought I’d give the Rebirth Supergirl a go, just for nostalgia’s sake.

Superwoman #5 from DC Comics. I’ve never picked up an issue of this so I can’t make a comment on it at all yet, but this was bought due to the Supergirl TV series high as well!

READ! Hawkeye #1 from Marvel Comics. The re-sexing-of Marvel comics continues… only joking. I liked this character from the Young Avengers comics from a few years ago, and like the style of this comic. It’s a sweet mix of Alias, Veronica Mars and the New 52 Batgirl, and that ain’t a bad thing! I like the low key art, realistic with a David Lapham swagger to it, and the story is told efficiently with some smart dialogue.

 IVX #1 from Marvel Comics. Inhumans versus X-men is the new big thing for Marvel this season… I am wondering if they aren’t going to squeeze the X-men into a bunch of solo comics so the films don’t have to acknowledge their existence until Marvel movies regain control of the license. I will say though, a Marvel Universe with no Fantastic Four is no Marvel Universe in my books, not properly!


The Art of Star Wars: Rogue One from Abrams. I can’t talk about this at all as I don’t open books about films until I’ve seen the film, so I’ll just say the price was right ($55 from Harry Hartogs) and it’ll look nice with my other ‘art of’ books.

Movie Merch

Normally I’d divide this up into it’s individual bits, but it’s ALL Assassin’s Creed so I thought I should share it! First is the book of the film, which I normally don’t open, like I said with the Rogue One book, but I couldn’t help but open this. It has some amazing pics from the film, and appears to be quite text heavy, so let’s hope it’s packed with information!

Next I have a couple of AC scotch glasses… I’d better start drinking scotch!

Lastly a couple of cosplay/ role play bits. A pretty cool Hidden Blade and a fancy Apple of Eden. Normally I would buy roleplay/ cosplay stuff but these are pretty cool!