THE MADNESS              internet issue v.2.0

an IFC News Special

The IFC News Special, Comic Con Chronicles (airing: Thursday November 17th at 5:15 pm, Sunday November 20th at 5:30 pm, Tuesday November 22nd at 3:45 pm, Tuesday November 29th at 9:45 am), was an opportunity I stumbled upon while preparing to preview my film at the 2005 Comic Con International Independent Film Festival. IFC (The Independent Film Channel) was looking for suckers who had their own video cameras to video tape themselves bumbling around the massive showroom of Comic Con, and I was one of the lucky few chosen for the honor. IFC provided tape stock and schwag bags (and a few other undisclosable tid bits...thank you, IFC), and we provided our time and energy, in the hopes of having the chance to climb to the top of the mountain to shout across the world.

One of the other two cameras chosen for the news special was handled by Terry Cronin and Pat Martin. These publishers ofStudents of the Unusual were there with a booth to sell their line of horror comics; I'm not familiar with them, but the art displayed in the Chronicles looks great, and makes me want to pick up a few copies to check them out. Pat also puts on the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival.

The third camera (or first, if you count from the other direction) was handled by Amber Mitchell and Tim Leong from The Comic Foundry. These good folks were there to promote their website that has comic book interviews and news. I never really crossed paths with the Unusual or the Foundry folks, except in the hallway during the formal interview.

I shot over twelve hours of footage for the news special, and in the process began to formulate a theme outside that of the Comic Con focus IFC desired. The theme was inspired by my initial untaped conversation with Batton Lash, and centers on the theory that there is a wealth of creativity available within the Independent Comic arena that remains relatively hidden due to the continued stigma of comic books being for children and illiterates. I followed this theory through the dozen or so interviews I conducted with independent publishers at the Con, but most of these ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor. Of the interviews I conducted, two of them ended up in the broadcast, and I had hoped that IFC would credit the interviewees if they were used. To that end:

Chris Staros is co-publisher of Top Shelf Comix; and, appearances aside, he and I are not related. NOT ALL BALD PEOPLE ARE RELATED!

"(Comic Con) is the place to be. If you're an artist, you want to get discovered; if you're a cartoonist, you just want to show off your work..." - Chris Staros of Top Shelf Comix

Dan Vado is the founder and publisher of Slave Labor Graphics. His company has provided the foot-in-the-door for many creators who have gone on to work for Disney, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon. He's got a great eye for talent.

"(Comic Con) really serves the purpose of being the nexus for pop culture in the country...and perhaps in the world..." - Dan Vado of Slave Labor Graphics

I'm currently shooting further interviews and footage for a feature documentary on the history, culture, and well of creativity within independent comics, and exploring their corelation to independent film.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with this final tip (make of it what you may): Don't let anyone else edit your life.