�
You are here: Home » Adult Webmaster News » Mike Diana Documentary to Premiere in NYC on March...
Select year   and month 
 
March 07, 2018

Mike Diana Documentary to Premiere in NYC on March 31

NEW YORK CITY—The Kickstarter-funded documentary about the only American artist ever to have been convicted of obscenity will have its world premiere at New York City's IFC Center on March 31, as part of the inaugural What The Fest!? film festival. Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana concerns the life and work of the underground comic book artist, whose series Boiled Angels was first targeted by the FBI in December of 1991. Diana had just lost his day job as a school janitor in Largo, Florida, and the FBI agents were particularly interested in the cover of Boiled Angels 6, which depicted the 1990 murders of five students in nearby Gainesville, which at that point was unsolved—and the agents wanted Diana to know that he was a "person of interest" in those murders, so much so that they actually forced him to have a blood test and compared the results to blood found at the scene of the killings. Of course, the actual killer was eventually caught, but by then, Diana had attracted a little too much attention, and that led to undercover cop Michael Flores writing some complementary letters to Diana—and requesting that Diana send Flores copies of Boiled Angels 7 and ATE (pictured above). Once he received them, Flores promptly turned them over to Assistant State's Attorney Stuart Baggish, who just as promptly charged Diana with three counts of obscenity under Florida Statute 847.011, for publishing, advertising and distributing allegedly obscene comics. Diana's trial in 1994 lasted about a week, and the elderly jury took just 40 minutes to convict him of all charges, despite an excellent defense by Florida First Amendment attorney Luke Lirot, with the backing of the then-new Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. After spending four days in jail awaiting sentencing, Diana was released on three years' probation, during which time he was ordered to stay away from all children, undergo psychological testing, enroll in a journalistic ethics course, pay a $3,000 fine, and perform 1,248 hours of community service—and not to draw anything. Diana got permission from the court to spend the last part of his probation in his hometown, New York City—where he would often sneak out to his car to draw his comics, away from the possibly prying eyes of law enforcement. But Diana never did complete all that community service, nor did he pay his fine, which led to a warrant being issued in Florida for his having violated his probation—and until the stretch goal for the documentary's Kickstarter raised enough money to pay that fine, Diana couldn't set foot in the Sunshine State without fear of being arrested. More information about Diana's life, artwork and trial can be found here. Fast-forward about 20 years, and Frank Hennenlotter, director of such "underground classics" as Basket Case, Frankenhooker and Brain Damage, got the idea to create a documentary of Diana's trial, and the Kickstarter to fund the film concluded in mid-November, 2016, having raised in excess of $45,000. "Does freedom of speech mean anything when authorities see only obscenity?" Hennenlotter asked as part of the Kickstarter plea. "Does an artist’s vision matter when community standards conspire to suppress it? In a small town in Florida back in 1994, Mike Diana learned that the answer was a resounding no. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean anything when your art is declared obscene. And one man’s art could be another man’s obscenity." As for Diana himself, he currently enjoys painting, and at last report, his comic art was being published by New Jersey-based Angry Drunk Graphics. However, Diana and Hennenlotter will be attending the documentary's premiere, along with its producers Anthony Sneed and Frank Hunchback. Tickets for the 4 p.m. showing are available here. The IFC Center is located at 323 Sixth Avenue, New York 10014.

 
�
�
�
home | register | log in | add URL | add premium URL | forums | news | advertising | contact | sitemap
copyright © 1998 - 2009 Adult Webmasters Association. All rights reserved.