Comic Book Confidential
The problem with Comic Book Confidential (The Voyager Co.) is the simple fact that most of it is a ninety-minute movie of the same name, by Ron Mann. Movies ported to CD-ROM are a lazy use of the technology, unless there’s been some stunning addition. Although this disc contains some good sample issues, some biographies, some thoughtful text introductions, and an interview with Mr. Mann, all of this could easily have been packaged with a videotape. Flaws aside, this is still the only CD-ROM that provides samples from indispensable talents such as Gaines and Feldstein, Robert Crumb, Frank Miller, Harvey Kurtzman, and many more. The movie is quite good – it covers everything from the Sunday funnies to The Dark Night Returns to the Pulitzer-prize winning Maus, with some humorous looks at the 1950’s censorship furor provoked by EC, creators of Tales From the Crypt and numerous other gore-fests. Introductions to biographies and sample issues are written by Scott Mcloud, the author of the phenomenally intelligent Understanding Comics, which should have been included in the movie as an innovation on a par with Maus and Superman. Although Comic Book Confidential would be a lot easier on the eyes on a television screen, the disc is still the most comprehensive comic-book CD-ROM around.
– January 1996
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