Heroes Manufactured: Comics Breaking Convention

Canadian documentary showcasing the works and lives of iconic and independent comic book artists premieres on March 24

Heroes Manufactured, a documentary examining the diverse and multilayered landscape of North American comic book industry, Canadian comic book artists, publishers and conventions, will make its official Canadian premiere screening at Toronto’s Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas VIP Theatre on March 24.

Travelling from coast to coast, Canadian filmmaker Yaron Betan looks beyond the usual fanfares at major Canadian comic book conventions and engages extensive interviews with both iconic industry legends and independent artists on the ground. Featuring a host of fan favourite celebrities such as William Shatner, Lou Ferrigno, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, and Stan Lee, the film captures their honest interactions with convention goers and lifelong fans.

Heroes also delve into the lives and creative process of independent cartoonists and publishers determined to pen the next great Canadian mythology. By documenting their yearly endeavours on the convention circuit, the film focuses on the challenges they face while breaking into a busy and meritocratic market.

Interviews with independent publishers like Studiocomix’s founder Alfonso Espinos highlights the day-to-day struggle of an immigrant artist grappling with the difficulties of maintaining a start-up business and producing contemporary graphic novels. The film also explores emerging niche groups that are rapidly being welcomed into the mainstream. Speaking with Megan Kearney and members of Comic Book Embassy, a collective of predominantly woman illustrators and cartoonists, Heroes illustrates women artists’ strive for gender equality through their artwork.

Betan’s effort to uncover the Canadian artists’ contribution to modern comics and in a crowded market zooms in on the works of industry veterans such as Ty Templeton, Richard Comely, and Mark Shainblum. Balanced by interviews with their iconic American counterparts, Neal Adams and Stan Lee, Heroes showcases the extent of Canada’s influence on the North American comic book industry and mainstream publishers like Marvel and DC Comics.

As the official selection of more than 30 international festivals so far, the film has racked up several awards including Canadian Diversity Film Festival’s best documentary, Atlas Awards 2017’s best feature documentary, and best doc at Global Independent Film Awards 2017.

For more information on showtime, ticket pricing and theatre location visit cineplex.com, or for additional information on the film visit heroesmanufactured.com