Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope
DK Publishing Color 192 pgs
Morgan Spurlock is perhaps best known for his Academy Award nominated debut film, the documentary Super Size Me. This summer he turned his cameras on the pop-culture phenomenon known as Comic-Con San Diego. I haven't seen the film yet, but the hardcover book of the same name really may be the next best thing to being there. So let's judge the book on it's own merits.
For those of you not in the know a little recap is in order. An annual four-day event that originally showcased comic books and science fiction, the convention has expanded over the years to include TV, film, horror, anime, manga, animation and video games. The largest event of its kind in the world, Comic-Con is the quintessential center of pop culture today. Some purists long for the days of a smaller, more comic-centric convention, but since Hollywood discovered the power of pop-culture there is no going back.
The book Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope is less a history of the convention and more of a celebration of the people it brings together. This 196 page hardcover published by DK Books offers an in-depth look at the experience. The companion book is primarily a photographic celebration of the convention's heart and soul: the fans who attend in costume and the professionals who cherish the chance to connect with their fans.
Hundreds of stunning photos capture the whimsy and wonder, and are accompanied by brief excerpts of interviews with the many celebrities who attend, as much to promote their projects as to be part of the fandom. The quality of the photography is stunning. The photos by Alba Tull and Peter McCabe are portrait quality looks at something we usually only see in snapshots. While the quality and presentation are incredible the photographers never lose sight of the sense of fun behind it all.
The interviews are really only brief quotes that accompany the pictures, but there is nothing wrong with that. This is a photo album, with just enough text to give the photos the proper context. We get to hear from major celebrities from the mass media and comics world, but equal voice is given to the fans who really make the Comic-Con the unforgettable experience that it is.
Fans of Morgan Spurlock might expect another hard-hitting expose. They would be wrong. Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope is a gentle celebration of people coming together to celebrate the things that they are passionate about in a safe and welcoming environment. If this is a love letter to comics fans, so be it. It is also a visually stunning achievement that you will enjoy looking at over and over again. You will either relive your own Comic-Con experience or begin planning your own.
Morgan Spurlock also directed the well-received Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden, and produced three seasons of the acclaimed TV series 30 Days. Spurlock conceived, wrote, and directed The Simpsons's 20th Anniversary Special in 3- D! On Ice and contributed to the feature-length adaptation of the New York Times Bestseller Freakonomics. His most recent project is The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.
Alba Tull is an accomplished photographer who has worked with artists and musicians including The Edge (of U2), Jimmy Page, Guillermo del Toro, Bryan Singer, and others. Mrs. Tull's work has been published and exhibited around the world
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