Dec. 05, 2014 | 8:58 a.m.
Ho, Ho, Ho(dor)! It’s the time of year for geek-friendly holiday shopping. Whether you’re shopping for fans of “Game of Thrones,” “Star Wars,” Batman or Captain Marvel, the annual Hero Complex holiday gift guide has you covered. This year’s selections include some family-friendly video games for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U; gorgeous hardcover books celebrating the anniversaries of Marvel Comics, Batman, the Teen Titans, “Alien” and Hello Kitty; a Godzilla toy that’s probably bigger than your dog; and a quadcopter camera drone, among other selections. Click through the gallery above for a peek at our selections. Items are listed below, sorted by cost. Under $25 “Living Language Dothraki,” $3.99 app, $19.99 audiobook, $30 online course: Athchomar chomakaan! The Khal or Khaleesi in your life must command the Dothraki language before commanding the troops, and thanks to Living Language’s new course (offered as an app, CD and guide […]
Oct. 31, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Neil Gaiman, author of the “The Graveyard Book,” didn’t have to think twice before choosing an artist to adapt the sweet and spooky coming-of-age tale into a graphic novel. “It wasn’t like I had a shortlist,” Gaiman said. “I went to [P.] Craig Russell and said, ‘Craig, how would you like to do this?’ And he did. … The reason I love working with Craig is Craig knows what he’s doing and is so brilliant.” Russell, the Ohio-based illustrator and graphic novelist (“The Ring of the Nibelung,” “Night Music,” “Elric”), and bestselling fantasy author Gaiman (“American Gods,” “Stardust”) have collaborated on half a dozen projects, beginning with the 50th issue of Gaiman’s “Sandman” comic (“Ramadan”) more than 20 years ago, and including “Coraline” and several short stories. “The Graveyard Book: Volume 2,” out this month from HarperCollins in time for Halloween, […]
Oct. 24, 2014 | 12:33 p.m.
A new compendium about the cyborg film franchise “RoboCop” is out this week, and Hero Complex readers get an exclusive sneak peek at some images from the book. “RoboCop: The Definitive History,” from Titan Books, includes stills and behind-the-scenes images, concept art, storyboards, script extracts and new interviews. The 224-page hardcover is penned by British writer and documentary filmmaker Calum Waddell (“Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever”). The illustrated history chronicles the making of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 sci-fi classic as well as its sequels, TV spinoffs and this year’s reboot from Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha. The film franchise follows Alex Murphy — played by Peter Weller in the 1987 film and Joel Kinnaman in the 2014 remake — a cop who dies in the line of duty only to wake up as a part-man, part-robot police officer tasked with cleaning up a […]
Oct. 13, 2014 | 7:23 a.m.
Fans of “Planet of the Apes” can get a behind-the-scenes look at the series’ production in “Planet of the Apes: The Evolution of the Legend,” out Tuesday from Titan Books. The 256-page tome, from authors Joe Fordham of Cinefex and Jeff Bond (“Danse Macabre: 25 years of Danny Elfman and Tim Burton,” “The Music of Star Trek”), features production art, costume designs, makeup tests, posters, interviews with key crew members, and rare photos from the Charlton Heston-starring 1968 adaptation of Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel “La Planète des Singes” all the way through this year’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which starred Andy Serkis as ape leader Caesar. The book also features a foreword by “An American Werewolf in London” director John Landis, who portrayed a friend of Jake (Michael Stearns) in 1973’s “Battle for the Planet of the […]
Sept. 30, 2014 | 9:02 a.m.
Fans of Finn, Jake, Marceline and the rest of the zany cast of “Adventure Time” are invited to a Los Angeles release party Thursday for a new book about the show’s art. “Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo” offers interviews with the show’s creator Pendleton Ward and its writers, storyboarders, animators and voice actors, as well as an extensive look at concept art, storyboards, early character sketches, background paintings and the series’ show bible. Hero Complex readers get an exclusive preview of some of Adam Muto‘s illustrated story notes for various episodes of the Cartoon Network juggernaut. Check them out in the gallery above. The lavish, 352-page volume, authored by artist and animator Chris McDonnell, is due out Oct. 14, but will be available at Thursday’s release party from 7 to 10 p.m. at the iam8bit gallery in Echo Park. McDonnell and “Adventure Time” artists Ako […]
Aug. 22, 2014 | 3:11 p.m.
Much in the same way its spiritual predecessor “The X-Files” paired the paranormal with the procedural, “Fringe” — the spectacular sci-fi series created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci that drew to a close last year — imagined a world in which the fantastic lay just beyond the grasp of an unknowing populace. But of the many alien, unnatural threats that intrepid agents Mulder and Scully faced on Chris Carter’s landmark 1990s drama, “Fringe’s” time shifts and visits to parallel dimensions weren’t among them. Indeed, by the time its second season arrived, “Fringe” had established its own unique rhythms and preoccupations as its action centered around Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), an agent for the FBI’s Fringe Division, a covert operation set up to investigate extraordinary events, and her cohorts, the red-licorice-munching, off-kilter scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) and […]
Aug. 14, 2014 | 12:03 p.m.
Children’s book author and artist Tony DiTerlizzi hit the jackpot with his first paid job out of art school: He got a one-way ticket to the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Though his career has taken him to places far beyond the worlds of role-playing games, DiTerlizzi’s heart has remained with those monsters and heroes. And now he’s returning again for “Realms: The Roleplaying Game Art of Tony DiTerlizzi,” a hardcover collection of his early work from Dark Horse Comics and Kitchen Sink Books coming in June 2015. Years before DiTerlizzi was known as the co-creator of “The Spiderwick Chronicles” or the “WondLa” books, he was an artist fresh out of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale who loved playing Dungeons & Dragons and needed a gig. On a lark, he sent a portfolio of monster drawings to TSR, the […]
July 23, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Lots of kids love comic books. But Scott Dunbier’s passion went beyond the four-color fantasies on the spinner rack — to their artists’ original black-and-white pages. As a teenager living in Woodland Hills, he tracked down Jack Kirby’s phone number and called the co-creator of Captain America and the X-Men to ask for some original artwork, as he had with other artists he admired. But Kirby went further than mailing back a sketch, suggesting that Dunbier’s mother drive him to the artist’s Thousand Oaks home for a weekend lunch — mentioning that he should bring some comics to have signed. “I brought like 50 comics,” Dunbier says with a laugh. “I didn’t know that was kind of not good etiquette. He signed every single comic. He answered all my questions.” More than three decades later, Dunbier has crafted a unique […]
June 18, 2014 | 1:56 p.m.
Muggles: Have you booked your tickets for Florida yet? In its second phase, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the theme park experience based on J.K. Rowling’s saga, will open its Diagon Alley experience on July 8. The Diagon Alley attraction, modeled after the famous shopping thoroughfare visited by Hogwarts students and their magical families in the books and films, also will be home to a new ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, designed to take patrons through the vaults of the famous Goblin bank. The new area will double the size of the Wizarding World already found at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, expanding the themed environment across that and the Universal Studios Florida park. Guests can journey between both lands aboard the Hogwarts Express. FULL COVERAGE: Harry Potter through the years At Diagon Alley, visitors will be […]
June 02, 2014 | 3:26 p.m.
There’s no shortage of lessons to be learned from the crushing end of Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode “The Mountain and the Viper.” It’s hard to say who was more horrified by the turn of events — the viewers who took to Twitter with their outrage, the Red Viper’s partner in PDA, Ellaria (Indira Varma), or Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who might have the lousiest luck in Westeros. If you haven’t caught up on the latest installment of HBO’s bloody saga, stop reading now before it gets ugly. Last night’s show culminated with the battle we’ve all been waiting for: Tyrion’s ostensible defender, Oberyn (Pedro Pascal), versus the burly and merciless Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson), Tywin’s most formidable henchman. The Red Viper, who was avenging his sister’s rape and murder at the hands of the Mountain, was in the lead for the majority of the fight, […]