‘Comic-Con Four: A Fan’s New Hope’ provides laughs, engaging narratives


Holly’s cosplay of one of the characters from Mass Effect, a sci-fi action role-playing video game. Holly was portrayed in Morgan Spurlock’s Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope as a costume designer specialized for Mass Effect characters. Photo by Theresa Whang

Kira Lubahn

During Q&A of “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope,” Skip, aspiring illustrator and a Columbia resident,and Holly, a costumer and creature designer, join Spurlock on the stage. They were part of the documentary that illustrated the life of nerds at the Comic-Con. Photo by Theresa Whang
Pow! Welcome to the world of Comic-Con!
Morgan Spurlock‘s new documentary, “Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s New Hope,” intertwines the narratives of several individuals and how all of them want to accomplish their dreams at the San Diego Comic-Con.
Each person featured in the film is given a heroic alter ego. There’s “The Geek,” “The Soldier,” “The Designer,” “The Survivor,” “The Collector” and “The Lovers.”
While the entire movie is filled with laughs and compelling moments, the story that sticks out the most is the one focused on “The Designer,” Holly Conrad. She gains the most success from the exposure she receives from participating in the documentary and is now working with the costuming department for the upcoming live-action Mass Effect film. Her story starts in her garage, where she is making complex costumes for the masquerade at Comic-Con.
The director, Morgan Spurlock, greets the audience at the screening of “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope” at Jesse Hall. T/F film festival is one of the largest screenings that the documentary ever had according to Spurlock. Photo by Theresa Whang
On a sweeter note, “The Lovers,” James and Se Young, are incredibly charming. They met at Comic-Con the previous year, and the audience gets to watch James’ awkward attempts to escape from his girlfriend so he can pick up an engagement ring that he had specially designed. The film makes a point of mentioning that many couples begin their lives together at the Con.
In contrast, the story of “The Geek” is the most painful to watch. Skip Harvey, a Columbia resident, wants to break into the comic book business. As the film goes on, we watch his struggle to realize his dreams.
Besides the core stories, the documentary provides humorous insight into the world of Comic-Con through many famous geeks. The list includes  Stan LeeJoss WhedonRobert KirkmanEdgar WrightFrank MillerMatt GroeningGuillermo del ToroGrant Morrison and others.
The movie is consistently funny, charming and engaging. All of the narratives hold interest, and for anyone who had thought of attending Comic-Con, this movie makes you want to go even more.
If you want to see the film for yourself, you can still catch it at True/False  tonight at 9:30 p.m. at Jesse Hall or Sunday 12:30 p.m. at the Blue Note.
By Kira Lubahn and Belquis Elhadi