‘Sinemania’ by Sophie Cossette – A Graphic Novel about Famous Movie Directors

‘Sinemania’ by Sophie Cossette (2013) – 172 pages

“A Satirical Expose of the Lives of the Most Outlandish Movie Directors!  Welles, Hitchcock, Tarantino, and More!”


This graphic novel looked like fun.  I like good satire, and the subject of movie directors and their movies fascinates me.  Some of my favorite directors are included here, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and Woody Allen.

Even a hurried glance at the artwork here told me it was way over-the-top risqué  with letters that scream at you and naked ladies abounding.   But maybe lurid is the best way to tell the story of these offbeat directors.

The problem here is that ‘Sinemania’ aims low and hits its target.  It trots out all the old gossip on these movie directors and illustrates the stuff with racy cartoons.   The artwork and stories here are for the usual comic book audience of over-stimulated teens and twenties.  There are graphic novels which are refined for more adult audiences but not this one.

Woody Allen is one of the more witty persons alive, but you wouldn’t know it from ‘Sinemania’.  Of course, it drags out ‘underage Asian girls’ for him.  The dialogue attributed to Woody consists of the same coarse, wooden lines they all speak.  Everyone speaks the same here, not too bright.  To call the writing here ‘satire’ is to trash the word just like the book trashes the lives of these directors.  Clearly some of the directors like Russ Meyer and others deserve trashing.  

payton-comix (1)But even a bad book can contain some good stuff.  I did not know that Otto Preminger made ‘Laura’, ‘River of No Return’, ‘Carmen Jones’, ‘Saint Joan’, and ‘The Man With a Golden Arm’.  Also the story of Barbara Payton is one of the most poignant Hollywood stories, lurid but poignant.  

To introduce a small note of respectability into the twisted proceedings, two movie reviewers, Ryan and Phil, are brought in every few pages of ‘Sinemania’ to describe some of the better movies these wild directors made.  This is probably the part of the book I found most useful.

Unless you are already an avid reader of comic books, this is probably not the movie book for you.  There are many, many other books about the movies.

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