How Lee & Kirby's "Fantastic Four" Birthed the Marvel Universe, Part 1
Documentary filmmaker Miguel Cima has a passion for comics and wonders why more people don’t. It’s a valid, perplexing question considering the variety of genres and formats they come in. Comics are much more ubiquitous in Japan and Europe, so what’s preventing them from taking hold the same way in the United States?
Cima explored that some in his 2008 short documentary Dig Comics (Tim O’Shea interviewed Cima about it for Robot 6 at the time). You can watch the entire, 20-minute film, which includes interviews with Jeph Loeb and Scott Shaw, below.
The filmmaker wants to do more than just ask the questions, however: He also wants to help figure out the solution. To that end, launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a feature-length version of Dig Comics. The $250,000 budget includes filming in New York City, France and Japan to gather more insight into the history of American comics and what makes comics so popular overseas. The feature is just a step in Cima’s larger plans, though. If it’s successful, he’d also like to develop a television series to continue the campaign to make comics as popular in North America as they are in other places and once were here.
This Saturday, November 14, at 3 PM, Jim Hanley’s Universe (at 4 West 33rd St.in New York) will present “an EXCLUSIVE screening of the award-winning documentary (and comics evangelism project) Dig Comics with filmmaker Miguel Cima“. In advance of this screening, I caught up with Cima to discuss the project, as well as to find out where things stand on the planned expanded version of the documentary. At the San Diego Comic-Con this past summer, Dig Comics received the Best Documentary Award at the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival (CCI-IFF). According to Jim Hanley’s Universe, after the exclusive screening, it will also “have an A-List panel discussion with Mr. Cima; Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort; Writer/Editor of the PW Beat Blog, Heidi MacDonald; noted DC writer/editor and founder of Paradox Press, Andy Helfer; author and editor of the Graphic NYC Blog Chris Irving; and author of Superman on the Couch and Disguised as Clark Kent, Danny Fingeroth!” Cima’s passion and strong opinions are apparent in this email interview–and I appreciate his time. Please be sure to visit YouTube for the Dig Comics trailer.
Tim O’Shea: How long have you been pursuing this project, and in terms of your documentary approach, I was curious if there were certain documentary makers that influenced how your approached the project?
Miguel Cima: I’ve been working on this for about three years now. I guess my main angle is sort of a Michael Moore model, as in let’s see what’s wrong here and what can be done. Plus I too am a husky loudmouth, so there you are.