THE TRIAL OF MIKE DIANA has launched a Kickstarter cam­paign to raise funds to fin­ish craft­ing the defin­i­tive film account of a Florida First Amendment case whose ver­dict and unbe­liev­able sen­tence strikes ire in comic book cre­ators even decades lat­er.

Legendary cult film­mak­er Frank Henenlotter (BASKET CASE, FRANKENHOOKER) has set out to tell the sto­ry of Mike Diana, the first and only artist in US his­to­ry to be con­vict­ed of obscen­i­ty. Diana’s land­mark case result­ed in a sen­tence which required him to pay a $3,000 fine and have no con­tact with chil­dren under the age of 18. He was even pro­hib­it­ed from draw­ing images for per­son­al use in his own home.

THE TRIAL OF MIKE DIANA has begun pro­duc­tion with the full par­tic­i­pa­tion of Mike Diana and unprece­dent­ed access to his per­son­al archives. The sto­ry is sup­port­ed by those who were there dur­ing the tri­al, as well as an illus­tri­ous group of comic book lumi­nar­ies like Neil Gaiman, Peter Bagge and Stephen Bissette. Mike Diana him­self will also con­tribute orig­i­nal ani­ma­tion to the film.

Could his­to­ry be repeat­ed? The alarm­ing state of US pol­i­tics sug­gests the free­doms we take for grant­ed are more at risk today than ever before, high­light­ing the urgen­cy of telling the cau­tion­ary tale con­tained in THE TRIAL OF MIKE DIANA. As Henenlotter puts it: “Freedom of Speech doesn’t mean any­thing if your art is declared ‘obscene.’ and one man’s art could be anoth­er man’s obscen­i­ty. That’s the bat­tle we explore in this doc­u­men­tary: an improb­a­ble col­li­sion between comic-book art and the First Amendment.”

Potential sup­port­ers can choose from a wide range of rewards being offered by the cam­paign, from an exclu­sive lim­it­ed edi­tion comic book by Diana to signed blu-rays, as well as per­son­al­ized art­work and exclu­sive oppor­tu­ni­ties for per­son­al inter­ac­tion with the film­mak­ing team. The cam­paign will run until Thursday, November 17th at 9:00PM.


Kickstarter link: