May 14, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.
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.
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 […]
May 05, 2014 | 3:07 p.m.
“Game of Thrones” is now halfway through the fourth season, and judging by last night’s relatively low body count, HBO’s sprawling drama is pacing itself — for the moment. Twitter fans tamed their blood lust and praised Sunday’s episode for its clever plot machinations. Of course, moderation only goes so far where George R.R. Martin is concerned: “First of His Name” didn’t skimp on the grisly details. Brain skewers, anyone? (Ahem, now would be the time to stop reading: spoilers ahead.) Westeros already seems a little kinder, now that Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman) is officially king. As he sits smiling in the Iron Throne, his mother calls him “a good boy, a decent boy,” seemingly the opposite of his late rageaholic brother Joffrey. Cersei (Lena Headey) and Margaery (Natalie Dormer) have a friendly chat about all the weddings (a.k.a. bloodbaths) coming up. She hints that Margaery, once her competition, wouldn’t be a bad sidekick for […]
April 28, 2014 | 1:53 p.m.
The fourth episode in the fourth season of HBO’s fantasy epic, “Game of Thrones,” dished up some of its grimmest fare yet last night — and that is saying something on a show that spills blood like it’s beer at a frat house. If you haven’t seen “Oathkeeper” yet, beware: spoilers lurk ahead. Not only did the latest installment of “Game of Thrones” show us what the White Walkers have been doing with all those Craster infants — freezing them into little baby zombies – viewers got another rape scene, adding to the show’s brewing controversy. This time the victims were anonymous young women at Craster’s Keep, at the hands of the brutal mutineers from the Night’s Watch. Like the last scene with Cersei and Jaime Lannister, where the two fought near Joffrey’s dead body until Jaime overpowered her, the sequence wasn’t taken directly from […]
April 25, 2014 | 1:57 p.m.
“Star Wars” obsessives got some good news and bad news Friday when Lucasfilm officially announced the fate of the “Star Wars” Expanded Universe, the loosely interlocked series of books, comics, video games and other ancillary products that have served to fill out the imaginary universe George Lucas established in his six original films. First, the bad news: Fans can forget trying to decipher the future of “Star Wars” from the hints of the past. Lucasfilm is officially writing off all Expanded Universe properties that have been produced to date. While many of the books and stories will remain available, they now will be labeled with a “Legends” banner. Despite the popularity of the Timothy Zahn-authored novels set in the years after “Return of the Jedi” or the “Dark Empire” comic books, those stories will have no bearing on what happens […]
April 21, 2014 | 1:21 p.m.
Sunday’s episode of HBO’s sprawling series “Game of Thrones” dealt with the fallout from the much-discussed Purple Wedding, but the installment also managed to churn up its own controversy on Twitter. (If you haven’t seen the episode, “Breaker of Chains,” you should probably stop reading now.) The hour was packed with grizzly drama but nothing quite like the dismal encounter between Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the incestuous brother-sister pair whose relationship has sunk to a new low. To say it plainly: Right next to the dead body of King Joffrey, their doomed love child, Jaime Lannister rapes his sister as some sort of twisted punishment for being a “hateful woman.” Ever since Jaime returned to King’s Landing, with a stump where his sword-fighting hand used to be, Cersei has given him the cold shoulder. For some reason, Jaime […]
April 17, 2014 | 5:52 p.m.
Disney is releasing a new series of children’s books based on the original “Star Wars” trilogy, starting with a collaboration between bestselling children’s author Tony DiTerlizzi and the late iconic concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. The “Star Wars Saga” series will hit stores beginning with DiTerlizzi and McQuarrie’s picture book “The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight” in October, Disney Publishing Worldwide announced Thursday. Three subsequent books will follow, leading up to the highly anticipated December 2015 movie release of “Star Wars: Episode VII.” The additional titles include retellings of “A New Hope” by R.J. Palacio (“Wonder”), “The Empire Strikes Back” by Adam Gidwitz (“A Tale Dark and Grimm”) and “Return of the Jedi” by Tom Angleberger (“Origami Yoda” series). The books will be illustrated by “Star Wars” concept artist Iain McCaig and published under the Disney-Lucasfilm Press imprint. DiTerlizzi, best known […]
April 14, 2014 | 4:07 p.m.
If it’s doom and gloom you’re looking for, then look no further than Sigur Ros’ version of “The Rains of Castamere.” The tune is a calling card of death on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and it showed up most recently on Sunday’s episode, “The Lion and the Rose,” which featured the demise of one major player, possibly the series’ most-hated character. If you missed the installment, you might want to stop reading now. Though the song might have been King Joffrey’s idea of a cheery number, “The Rains of Castamere” shouldn’t be played at any wedding, unless you’re trying to get your guests to leave. The Icelandic trio — drummer Orri Pall Dyrason, bass player Georg Holm and singer Jonsi Birgisson — appeared for a brief moment playing their funereal version at the wedding of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery […]
April 14, 2014 | 2:09 p.m.
Talk about just desserts. Last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” “The Lion and the Rose,” elicited a rousing celebration from Twitter; as the tweets piled up around the #purplewedding hashtag, it was clear that the death of a key character at the wedding of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) produced one long, slow clap from the Internet. If you still haven’t seen the latest twist in HBO’s fantasy series, you should stop reading now. The highlights? Well, the wedding was a white-knuckled affair even before Joffrey was fatally poisoned. Indulging his own twisted ideas of entertainment, he’d brought out a troupe of dwarfs to act out the so-called Battle of the Five Armies, referencing both Ned Stark and Robb Stark’s murder to the horror of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Not content with this base-level humiliation, Joffrey baited his […]
April 09, 2014 | 1:43 p.m.
In 1978, twentysomething artist Mimi Pond dropped out of art school and worked in an Oakland greasy spoon, serving punk rockers, hippies and the occasional prostitute. She never forgot her time there: “I knew from the moment I stepped through the door that it was a story.” Fast-forward several years, in which Pond racked up experience writing for “The Simpsons” (she penned the debut episode), “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and “Designing Women,” all while drawing cartoons for the Los Angeles Times and Seventeen magazine (not to mention raising two kids with her husband, the artist Wayne White). Finally, some 25 years later, she turned her attention to writing about Mama’s Royal, still a pit stop for Bay Area artists to this day. This month, the resulting fictionalized memoir, “Over Easy,” hits the shelves from Drawn & Quarterly. For lovers of tawdry tales from the ’70s, told […]