PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT GAHAN WILSON: BORN DEAD, STILL WEIRD:
“Gahan Wilson’s work was my introduction to dark humor.” -- Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report
"If there were no Gahan Wilson, we'd have to invent him to prove that there's beauty in the grotesque and hilarity in the outrageous." -- Stan Lee, co-creator Spider-Man, the Hulk, X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man
“For those of you who don’t get Gahan
Wilson…That’s impossible! If you look at his cartoons and they don’t make you
laugh, you’ve got to go back to the very beginning as a person and start with
“knock-Knock” jokes and then work your way back.” – Lewis Black (The Daily Show)
"Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still
Weird” is comic anarchy on a splendid level. Great imagery. Let’s face it,
Gahan Wilson is a genius. I loved it!” -- Mel
People have seen and heard the name, but most recognize Gahan Wilson’s work by his unique style of drawing and his unmistakable signature. His cartoons are strange, twisted, gross, weird, darkly humorous, completely developed universes, populated with monsters, vampires, maniacal generals, politicians, ordinary people, and of course - atomic and ecologically contaminated mutants. Wilson has been called “the Master of the Macabre,” and is proudly eccentric; a champion of oddball individuals.
His legions of fans know him from his special guest star appearances at Comic-Con, over fifty years of monthly cartoons in Playboy, weekly cartoons in The New Yorker, and the years of off-the-wall, insanely funny covers and spreads in National Lampoon, where Gahan’s ever popular NUTS series captured the paranoia and frustrations of being a little kid just trying to survive. He has received more lifetime awards than any living cartoonist, including the World Fantasy Award, and the National Cartoonists Society’s prestigious Milton Caniff Lifetime achievement award.
GAHAN WILSON: BORN DEAD, STILL WEIRD – The title originated with the fact that Gahan was indeed born dead, and fortunately revived by the family doctor. He is very much, still weird and proud of it!.
WHY I MADE THE MOVIE?
I was ten years old when I saw my first Gahan Wilson cartoon. It rocked my pre-pubescent brain. It was eye candy for the demented. I became obsessed with his cartoons; the lurid colors, the dark and twisted point of view, and the asymmetrical way he drew people and the world they inhabited. I had no idea who this Wilson fellow was, or how to pronounce his first name, but I felt I had discovered a kindred spirit. Over the years, my love of Gahan’s work only increased.
After becoming a producer, I was obsessed with trying to meet the mysterious cartoonist to see if there was some way of bringing his work to the big screen. I finally met Gahan Wilson and we struck up a friendship that continues to this day. After seeing the documentary on cartoonist Robert Crumb, I decided I had to make a documentary about Gahan so that the rest of the world would realize what a national treasure and a truly inspiring artist he is.
I took an unpaid sabbatical from producing Hollywood movies. I thought it might take six months, maybe a year tops- I was willing to take the financial risk. As soon as I realized the responsibility I had undertaken to tell Gahan’s story, there was no turning back. Six years later, having shot over 175 hours of footage, I completed the film.
“Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird
is brilliant. You held us, informed us, and moved us. The sequence with the
cartoonists waiting for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down at The New Yorker is one of
the most powerful slices of real life that I've ever seen in a documentary, and
the final scene of Wilson skipping lightly away from the camera is a stroke of
filmatic genius. Suddenly the viewer knows it's not just a film about Wilson,
it's about how to live one's life with the sword of fate always above your
neck.” -- Bill Moyers, Moyers &
“Jaffe’s film is a lively and
entertaining portrait of the man whom director, Guillermo del Toro honors with
the title, “the poster child of disenfranchised children.” -- Andrew Farago, The Comics Reporter
In addition to documenting Gahan’s mysterious life and work, I fantasized who I’d like to see as guest stars. So I made a wish list of todays’ iconic cultural visionaries, including Stephen Colbert, Neil Gaiman, Stan Lee, Guillermo del Toro, Randy Newman, Bill Maher… to my delight and surprise most of the people on the list enthusiastically embraced the idea of participating in the film. Gahan not only influenced but also played a pivotal role in the childhood of many of today’s leading artists, thinkers, politicians, humorists, and thousands of fans around the world.
Unlike other documentaries with big budgets and large resources at their disposal, the fact that I was operating the camera insured that the interviews were intimate and personal. I was at times challenged and anxious about the unknown aspects of the documentary, but I had encouragement from fellow filmmakers, and became excited about getting to the truth of Gahan’s story. Once you’ve seen the documentary, you’ll realize and appreciate how complex and personal Gahan Wilson’s work is. Trust me, you will laugh, be amazed and inspired by the film. There is something for everyone in Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird.
"A fascinating portrait of the
great cartoonist who's delighted fans of all ages for the past fifty years:
funny, poignant, and revealing. I've always enjoyed Gahan Wilson's work but now
I appreciate him all the more." --
Leonard Maltin, Author andFilm Critic
"Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still
Weird" is a marvelously humanizing portrait of one of the great
cartoonists. It would make a great companion piece to "Crumb." -- Peter Rainer, Film Critic, The
Christian Science Monitor
The filming and editing are complete. I took the financial risk
of investing my money and over six years to produce the documentary. This does not include salaries for the other producers, my editor, and myself.
We have not been paid for anything. The guest stars were not paid, they did it
out of sheer admiration and enthusiasm for Gahan Wilson.
In that spirit, we are turning to you to help us raise money to
launch an official campaign to submit the documentary for ACADEMY AWARD® consideration before this year’s deadline is closed. What this
means is that we have to rent a theater in New York and Los Angeles to screen
the movie in each city for one week with advertising in the major newspapers.
money we raise with your help will not go towards paying my producers or myself.
It will be used to book the theaters, pay for advertising, hire a
publicist, do a technical finish to the sound and picture, pay for final music
and stock footage licensing. There are other documentaries entering the competition,
which have big studios or networks behind them, and unlimited resources with
lots of money to pay for budgets exceeding a million dollars. Many have
newsworthy topics that certainly are headline grabbers, and are produced by
professional documentarians who have very polished films that include expensive
animation, title sequences, reenactments, helicopter shots, large crews…
The Value of an ACADEMY AWARD®
It is of course a great honor to be recognized for ones work by
your peers. The ACADEMY
AWARDS®are one of the most fiercely competitive cinematic races and the
odds of winning are very slim. However, It’s widely accepted that with the
right marketing, an Oscar® nomination and of course a WIN, can propel a
documentary at the box office. Realistically, I don’t expect to win an Oscar®
but this is the best opportunity to get the documentary exposed to the WIDEST AUDIENCE POSSIBLE and launch its release.
the big goal here is to introduce Gahan’s work to people everywhere. Let me state bluntly, this is not
going to be easy! GAHAN WILSON: BORN DEAD, STILL WEIRD is personally
financed and a sincere labor of love- WE ARE THE UNDERDOGS.
“Weird is Good, particularly when
you’re legendary cartoonist Gahan Wilson.” -- The Hollywood Reporter
"Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still
Weird” is a deeply moving, uniquely honest portrait of an American treasure.
It's a stunning film that succeeds in capturing the creative process--in this
case how a gifted man transforms great pain into the stuff of great art." -- Daniel Kupper, Ph.D., Associate
Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine
-If you are a minor, you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the screenings.
-This fundraising campaign is subject to applicable Kickstarter rules/regulations, and applicable law. If any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.
To sum it up…It's impossible to guarantee everything will come together exactly as planned, but in the end, we will have done something that all of us can be proud of. It's been a great journey, and I thank you in advance for helping make this possible!
A DVD special edition of the animated short “It Was a Dark and Silly Night” written by Neil Gaiman and designed by Gahan Wilson, directed by Steven-Charles Jaffe. And its autographed by Steven Charles Jaffe!
High-resolution prints autographed by Gahan himself! We have 3 copies each of 19 different iconic prints- you have the option of choosing ONE- We have put these prints up on our facebook page so you can go pick which one you like under the album title KICKSTARTER REWARD- Gahan's Black and White Prints
Lunch with the director Steven-Charles Jaffe! This is for those of you who live in Los Angeles or if you happen to be visiting the area sometime this year. I will choose one of my favorite restaurants to eat lunch - you can pick my brain about the documentary, Gahan, or the movie business in general. *lunch is on me ☺