Books


Oct. 13, 2014 | 7:23 a.m.

‘Planet of the Apes: Evolution of the Legend': Exclusive first look

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (2014) concept art of the apes hunting wildlife in the forest. (TM & © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved)
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.

‘Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo': See Adam Muto’s story notes

"Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo" (featured image)
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.

‘Fringe: Sins of the Father’ preview: Read excerpt from new novel

Fringe: Sins of the Father
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.

‘Spiderwick’ creator Tony DiTerlizzi returns to RPG days for ‘Realms’

Card illustration from Magic: The Gathering game by Tony DiTerlizzi. (Tony DiTerlizzi)
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.

IDW’s Scott Dunbier finely details Artist’s Editions, Jack Kirby visit

ScottDunbierFeatured
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.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley opens July 8

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.

‘Game of Thrones’ delivers a crushing blow to Twitter

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, […]
May 20, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Exclusive: ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ prequel book’s 1st chapter

The cover of the prequel novel, "Firestorm."
The July 11 release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, get your fill of ape-on-human warfare with “Firestorm,” the official “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” prequel novel written by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Hero Complex has an exclusive excerpt of the book’s first chapter, in full below. “Firestorm,” due out from Titan on May 27, promises to bridge the gap between the upcoming sequel and the 2011 hit film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” directed by Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield,” “Let Me In”), is set 10 years after the earlier movie, a reboot of the sci-fi franchise inspired by Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel that brought in more than $480 million at the worldwide box office. The new film from Warner Bros. posits […]
May 14, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.

‘Star Wars': Tony DiTerlizzi children’s book recounts original trilogy

"The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight," by Tony DiTerlizzi and Ralph McQuarrie. (Disney-Lucasfilm Press)
Tony DiTerlizzi is no stranger to stumbling into fantastical worlds — as a writer and artist he co-created “The Spiderwick Chronicles” and created the “WondLa” trilogy of children’s books (the final book, “The Battle for WondLa” was released earlier this month). But when he got the call to write a children’s book retelling the original “Star Wars” trilogy, to be illustrated with Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept drawings, he found himself entering a real-life magical realm: Lucasfilm. “I visited the Lucasfilm archive at the Skywalker Ranch,” DiTerlizzi said during a recent event at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles benefiting his favorite charity, Starlight Children’s Foundation. “I thought it would be a room with a bunch of flat files of art. No, the Death Star was there. R2-D2 was there. There was the lost Ark of the Covenant. Indy’s hat. Willow. Ten-year-old Tony’s […]
May 12, 2014 | 9:08 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': Watch Tyrion Lannister take lion’s share of best lines

The bravest lion in the Seven Kingdoms has roared. Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” titled “The Laws of Gods and Men,” saw Peter Dinklage, the esteemed actor who plays Tyrion Lannister, the cunning black sheep of Westeros’ ruling family, deliver his most showstopping, awards-worthy speech yet. (He already has an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work in the series.) HBO’s top-rated fantasy series surprised TV audiences earlier this season by killing off sadistic King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), who was poisoned at his own wedding feast. Despite protesting his innocence, his uncle Tyrion was accused of the crime and banished to a cell to await a trial, overseen in part by his own father Tywin (Charles Dance) — who has long held his dwarf son in open contempt. (Those not current with the show might be advised to stop reading […]
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