A shot from SHE MAKES COMICS, directed by Marisa Stotter.

She Makes Comics (2015, Marisa Stotter)

Almost everyone interviewed in She Makes Comics does indeed make comics. The film never says what most of these interviewees made–I know what interviewee Heidi MacDonald edited because I remember (she’s identified for her current journalism), but I don’t remember what fellow Vertigo editor Shelly Bond edits. I know she edited things I read, but I don’t remember what. As interviewee Raina Telgemeier? I had no idea what she made.

She made Smile. Smile is a big deal, cross-over success and the movie doesn’t mention it for a quite a while. And there’s a bit of a catch–22 to this observation….

The interviewees (all female save DC Comics writer and editor Paul Levitz) talk about how their experiences with male comic book readers usually involves being held to a different, higher standard of knowledge. And I’m arguing what She Makes Comics really needed to do was list the interviewees’ resumes.

But these interviewees have worked on some really big things and instead of just saying Karen Berger is responsible for Sandman and Swamp Thing, the film turns it into some kind of revelation. Using that revelation time for discussion and exploration would have been time much better spent.

She Makes Comics only runs seventy minutes. It could run four times as long without getting boring. The documentary feels artificially small, like director Stotter and co-editor Patrick Meaney were knowingly cutting out interesting material.

It’s fine as a limited, cursory introduction, but–frustratingly–it boils with potential.

2/4★★

CREDITS

Directed by Marisa Stotter; director of photography, Jordan Rennert; edited by Stotter and Patrick Meaney; music by Sean Bierbower, Alexa Raquel Casciato, Steve DeLuca, Living Fiction, Hypefactor and Wilneida Negron; produced by Stotter, Rennet and Meaney.

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