Watch “Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in the Comic Book Industry”
While we savored National Donut Day and similar celebrations, it turns out there are some days that require a tremendous amount of work and effort. The day arrives and you find yourself competing with hundreds of thousands of others to be recognized. One such event is the National History Day, which is June 16, culminating a year-long contest for students from around the world. One such category for competition is Exploration, Encounter and Exchange.
This year, Maryland named “Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in the Comic Book Industry” its first place winner, sending the creators to the finals in College Park, MD. Alas, they did not win but their effort is now online for us all to enjoy.
The pair behind the camera are Eli Kuperman and Hannah Witkin, high school students I became acquainted with back in September. As long time readers will recall, last September I was invited to discuss Jews and super-heroes at a local temple in celebration of Eli’s Bar Mitzvah.
We had a lovely evening together and some time later, they came to me and asked if I could help them with their entry in the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. I agreed and one Saturday afternoon they arrived at my home office with video camera and questions. I then directed them to Steve Geppi at Diamond Comics and even roped in my old pal Paul Levitz.
The film worked its way through the levels of competition until they were among the final 3000 students showing their work at the finals last week. Considering the odds, their accomplishment alone is worthy of celebration. When Balticon caught wind of this they invited Eli and Hannah to show their work and discuss its creation during the recent con over Memorial Day weekend.
The results is a pretty nice overview of comics from their birth in the 1930s through the current super-hero film boom. I am proud of their efforts and happy to have played a small role in the finished work and I thought you might be interested in checking this out.