Director – Ilko Davidov (Children in Exile)
Starring – Todd Loren, Alice Cooper (Monster Dog, Prince of Darkness), and Steven Crompton
Release Date – 2005
Rating – 3/5
Tagline(s) – “Unauthorized and proud of it” and “All true. All shocking”
Documentaries, when done right, can draw someone in with a subject they typically care nothing about. Hell, I would watch a documentary on the rising need for tampon flavored jelly beans if it was made with capable hands. Therefore, if I have the opportunity to watch any documentary I will and that brings me to The Story of Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics.
I love rock and metal and I also love comics but I was never really a fan of Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics or Revolutionary Comics. They had amateur artwork and sometimes false stories that was based on rumors and speculation. I only crossed paths with a few of these growing up and was not impressed.
My cousin had one of the Kiss comics signed by Gene Simmons so I was always looking at it but it just never sparked an interest in it. However, a documentary about the publishing company by Wild Eye Releasing did look pretty damn appealing especially after seeing Alice Cooper on the cover.
**Spoiler Alert**This documentary tells the story of Todd Loren. Todd owned Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics and Revolutionary Comics where he ran both companies in an unorthodox way. He was typically performing unethical and immoral practices to make money from his writers and illustrators while printing unauthorized biographies of musicians, bands, athletes, and celebrities.
Along the way Loren made many enemies and was a closeted homosexual. His sex life was unknown to his father and business partner along with the rest of his employees. Todd would often go out at night cruising to pick up men which led to him picking up the wrong person and he was murdered by a man that was killing homosexual business owners. The tragic portion of this story is how the police pushed his murder off due to the fact that he was, indeed, a homosexual. **Spoiler Alert**
Like I said before, I really enjoy documentaries. They can take you inside a subject you typically could care less about. I especially like a documentary that explores two sides of a subject and that is exactly what this movie did here. The film fully explores Todd Loren’s perception of the first amendment and how that affected those that did work for him and those that became the subject of one of his comics. Personally, I came away from this film thinking that Todd Loren was a complete asshole but he did not deserve what happened to him.
The film also dives into the argument of those that apposed him and his bastardizing of the first amendment to suit his own needs. This documentary had a lot of thought, research, and interviews by those that worked with Loren or was affected by his comics giving it a really broad scope.
The content of this documentary is appealing to two different markets, those that like rock and those that love rare and independent comics. Therefore, this documentary easily has a wide market and due to the amount of time and research placed behind it makes this one a must see if you like either of those topics. Overall, this is an insightful documentary about Rock ‘N’ Roll comics and the real rebel behind it all, Todd Loren. This documentary is very well done and can hold anyone’s attention. I highly recommend it.