April 22, 2015 | 7:00 a.m.
Magic, a Medieval fighting tournament and a mysterious stranger set the stage for the “Last Man” graphic novel series, by French comics creators Bastien Vivès, Michael Sanlaville and Balak. “Last Man,” which won the Prix de la Serie at the Angoulême International Comics Festival earlier this year, is available in English for the first time from publisher First Second. The six-issue story follows Adrian Velba, a young fighting school pupil preparing to enter his kingdom’s gladiatorial contest. When his partner falls ill the day of the tournament, Adrian’s luck appears to improve with the arrival of Richard Aldana — a stranger who fights without magic and has little knowledge of the local customs — and the pair team up to take on the kingdom’s most legendary fighters. The tale’s first installment, “The Stranger,” was released in English in March to critical praise. “The Royal Cup,” the second issue, […]
April 02, 2015 | 1:29 p.m.
George R.R. Martin keeps his promises. After announcing on his blog that he was scaling back on convention appearances, as well as forgoing scripting any episodes for the sixth season of “Game of Thrones” in order to focus more on writing “The Winds of Winter,” Martin delivered a gift to his “A Song of Ice and Fire” fans in the form of an excerpt from the long-anticipated next installment of his popular fantasy saga. (Those not caught up with series should beware — there are spoilers below.) Martin’s new segment was posted online under the title “Alayne,” the alias Sansa Stark has adopted since escaping from King’s Landing (and her diminutive husband) to the Eyrie with Petyr Baelish, posing as his daughter after the events of the Purple Wedding. Sansa fans can rejoice because this is the first chapter narrated […]
March 21, 2015 | 10:00 a.m.
At 26, author Veronica Roth already has penned a bestselling YA book trilogy and co-produced two films based on the tale, including “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” which opened in theaters Friday. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller and Kate Winslet, and is based on the second novel in the series. Chicago-based Roth wrote “Divergent” when she was a 21-year-old college senior; her wild ascent has been a surreal ride. She recently discussed the big-screen adaptation, what she hopes the story means to young women and what’s next in her writing career. Hero Complex: You saw “Insurgent” several weeks ago, but now everyone else gets to see it. Veronica Roth: I’m looking forward to seeing it again with my mom and my stepdad and my husband there. HC: Do you feel different about showing your work to your family as […]
Feb. 03, 2015 | 3:31 p.m.
If you could trade decades of your life for the chance to achieve your dreams, would you? It’s the deal that Death offers a young artist named David in Scott McCloud’s new graphic novel, “The Sculptor” — 200 days to live in exchange for unfettered creative ability. David is granted the power to sculpt with his bare hands “at the speed of thought,” McCloud explains, and the intensely focused protagonist races against his death countdown to create something lasting and important. But when he struck the bargain to end his life, he didn’t expect to fall in love. In “The Sculptor,” which is out today from First Second, McCloud inks a heartbreaking tale of the meaning of life, the impact of art and the transformative influence of love in gorgeous black, white and blue. The Eisner and Harvey Award-winning author […]
Jan. 13, 2015 | 7:30 a.m.
Cartoonist Kate Beaton, the author of 2011’s acclaimed “Hark! A Vagrant” and the wildly popular webcomic on which it is based, is announcing a follow-up to her bestselling debut. “Step Aside, Pops,” due out in September from independent comics publisher Drawn & Quarterly, will feature Beaton’s sharp wit and cheeky takes on literary and historical figures — Ida B. Wells, the Black Prince and Benito Juárez are just a few. “Step Aside, Pops,” named after Beaton’s cartoon featuring a feisty velocipedestrienne, boasts more than 150 pages of her work, mixing new material and cartoons previously published on the webcomic she began in 2007. Beaton started posting her comic strips online to show her friends, but rapidly gained devoted followers (nearly 100,000 on Twitter alone) drawn to the Canadian cartoonist’s offbeat and irreverent humor. Her illustrations have also appeared in The New […]
Jan. 08, 2015 | 6:00 a.m.
“Little Robot,” an upcoming graphic novel from Ben Hatke, is the tale of an unlikely friendship between a lost, childlike robot and the little girl who helps him explore the world. The all-ages graphic novel is due out Sept. 1 from First Second, and Hero Complex readers get a first look at the book’s cover, which features the diminutive heroes. Hatke is best known for his bestselling “Zita the Spacegirl” graphic novel series, which introduced a galaxy-trotting superheroine on a mission to save her best friend from an intergalactic doomsday cult. Hatke has also contributed to the “Flight” anthology series and is the author of the children’s book “Julia’s House for Lost Creatures.” In “Little Robot,” which began as a series of watercolor cartoon strips Hatke published on his website, a curious robot befriends a shy girl who’s handy with […]
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 […]