“Comics have become a big business, high stakes….making millions and millions of dollars.”

A quote from yesterday’s Beat comment thread?

No, from a 1978 documentary about comics called  “The World of Comic Books” which was apparently produced for Canadian TV as part of a series. It’s narrated by comedian Jonathan Winters, who was pretty well known back then…as were comics.

The film is owned by John Siuntres and retrieved from a sale at a library. Evan Narcisse at Io9 alerted us to the existence of it on YouTube and if yoyu have 16 minutes to spare you will he ushered into the world of yesterday in startling fashion. Among the highlights:

Archie Goodwin and a pudgy, toupee bedecked Stan Lee planning the Human Fly.


Neal Adams, Julius Schwartz and Denny O’Neill ruminating overs Superman vs. Muhammed Ali.

Jim Steranko looking like someone from the 40s in a tie and vest sitting in front of Eisneresque blinds while discussing his Chandler adaptation.

And perhaps most interestingly, a 17-year-old Trevor von Eeden and someone (Jack C. Harris?) going over the pages of Black Lightning.


It’s an incredible time capsule that made me think of so many things…the fact that so many of the big Marvel heroes of the 70s  – Hulk, Submariner – just didn’t wear shirts…whereas now everyone wears exoskeleton/black leather suits. The fact that Stan Lee is still here and still doing things. How everyone was so skinny in the 70s.

Must see YouTube!worldofcomics1978.png



  1. “How everyone was so skinny in the 70s.”

    That was before obesity before an epidemic. Even comic book geeks, not known as the most athletic of people, were more often skinny than fat.

  2. “Archie Goodwin and a pudgy, toupee bedecked Stan Lee planning the Human Fly..” Perhaps the names got switched?

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