A Holiday Wish List
Normally, when people write their holiday wish lists, they usually outline the gifts that they would like to receive from others. This holiday edition of TV Party is different... this is my wish list for movies and shows that I wish were released in the near future. That's right - I want to see these particular programs released on DVD, ready to be purchased by eager comics fans - including myself. Having these available would help deepen the video libraries (as well as empty the wallets) of fans who really enjoy watching comic-related media. Plus, they're hidden gems that really deserve a wider audience.
(One brief note - many of these suggestions may have already been released as semi-legal and/or "bootleg" DVDs. My goal is to get "official" releases - this way, you get good sound quality, tons of extras, and the satisfaction of knowing that payment is going to the appropriate people. Buying bootleg DVDs is kind of like downloading comics - yes, it may be easier, but it's not necessarily better. Plus, it's much more enjoyable knowing you bought something that is worth the price)
My first candidate for release has to be Jonathan Ross In Search of Steve Ditko, a BBC documentary released earlier this year. I have written about this over on my blog, but I want to reiterate that this is one of the best documentaries (comic-related or otherwise) this year. Jonathan Ross' discussion of one of comics' most controversial (and silent) creators simply has to be seen for the insight, the compassion, and the sheer love of comics. (Or, at the very least, Alan Moore singing. You can't pay enough for that kind of entertainment, folks). And while we're at it, I would love to see a rerelease of episodes from The Incredibly Strange Film Show, a series from the early 1990's where Mr. Ross interviewed "cult" movie directors, several of whom (such as Sam Raimi) went on to greater professional heights.
Speaking of documentaries, I would really love to see 1987's Masters of Comic Book Art get rereleased, even possibly with additional, new footage. It may be a little dated, but it contains some great footage of such artists as Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Berni Wrighton, and the only known recording of Steve Ditko's voice. (Sadly, he doesn't sing, so please don't expect any duets with Alan Moore soon). It would also be a great movie to release as an "expanded" version, with new interviews with writers such as Neil Gaiman, James Robinson, Geoff Johns, and others who have become prominent in the last 20 years. It's small piece of comics history that really needs to be documented and appreciated.
This is a perennial request (so much so that my friends keep asking me to tone it down), but I would love to see the 1960's Batman, series - along with its contemporary The Green Hornet - on DVD. Too many rights issues plague the former, but I would rather see the Hornet on legitimate DVD. I've blogged about why I love the Hornet (and to clarify - the Now Comics series was relatively strong attempt to revive the character in a contemporar setting), and let's face it - the 1960's Batman did usher in a new appreciation of comics as "pop art." Perhaps this is the kind of project that can be handed to Shout Factory, who can give the releases the care and respect they deserve.
My final two choices go "back to the vaults", as it were, dealing with relatively obscure films. The first is Republic's Captain America serial from 1944. Granted, it probably would seem dated by today's standards - but that didn't stop DC from releasing Superman and Batman serials from the same era. In addition, with the recent attention that the Captain is garnishing, it might be good to actually see a then-contemporary version of the character. At the very least, it would be good for a decent, almost campy laugh.
Finally, to take it back to the pulps, I would really desire a reissue of 1975's Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. Granted, there are some rather painfully campy moments, but this movie is actually historic for several reasons. First, it was director George Pal's final production, and deserves to be remembered. Ultimately, though, Doc Savage (along with The Shadow) was the first major "superhero" of the twentieth century. Arguably, much of contemporary pop culture stemmed from the rapidly-written novels of Lester Dent, who had a great imagination and a great thirst for adventure. Unfortunately, Doc tends to get lost in the shuffle, and is at great risk of being forgotten on the eve of his 75th anniversary in March 2008. A great place to begin to learn more about Doc is The 86th Floor website... and you will understand why I want this film - imperfect as it is - released.
So, have I missed a film that should be on DVD? Is there a suggestion that got lost in the shuffle? Do you just want to have some cool discussions? Then please feel free to head down to the TV Party Forum and let me know! I really enjoy talking about movies, television, and other media, and would love to hear from you!
Until next time...have a wonderful, happy holiday!
For more of Gordon's writings, insights, and
general information, please visit his blog at blogthispal.blogspot.com.
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