July 24, 2014 | 7:52 a.m.

‘Phineas and Ferb’ creators talk Disney Channel ‘Star Wars’ film

Ferb, Phineas and Watto in a scene from "Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars." (Disney XD)
To say that “Phineas & Ferb” creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh are fans of “Star Wars” is a bit of an understatement. “I was the first kid in line for the first showing of ‘Star Wars’ in Mobile, Ala. I watched it 19 times that summer, and more times since we were making this movie. I can’t count how many times I’ve actually seen it. But it’s pretty burned into my cerebrum,” says Povenmire. That fervor is what the duo brought to the Disney Channel movie “Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars,” which airs at 9 p.m. Saturday. The film takes place parallel to events that transpire in the original 1977 film “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.” Alongside Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, R2D2 and more, Phineas and Ferb (moisture farmers on Tatooine) are helping the rebellion in […]
July 24, 2014 | 7:23 a.m.

Comic-Con: Guillermo del Toro takes fans into ‘Crimson Peak,’ ‘Pacific Rim’

Guillermo del Toro outside the "Crimson Peak" Gothic Gallery at Comic-Con
If he could, Guillermo del Toro would probably walk through San Diego’s Comic-Con International talking to every fan personally about their shared love of monsters, robots and things that go bump in the night. Instead, the director helped create two immersive worlds for the Legendary booth at the convention, a virtual reality encounter where fans can train to pilot a Jaeger–the giant, neurally linked robots from his 2013 science-fiction epic “Pacific Rim”– and a Gothic gallery they can stroll through to enter the world of his next project, the 2015 haunted house film “Crimson Peak.” To enter the “Crimson Peak” portion of the booth, which Del Toro gave press a tour of Wednesday night, fans walk through snow-covered gates into a space that includes evocative props and costumes from the film. Set in a deteriorating mansion in 19th century northern England, “Crimson Peak” stars Mia Wasikowska as a young […]
July 24, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Outcry, action against harassment grows

Anna Kegler, left, Rochelle Keyhan and Erin Filson, representing a group called geeksforCONsent at Comic-Con. The trio will be handing out anti-harassment paraphernalia at the convention. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
SAN DIEGO — Mariah Huehner attended her first Comic-Con as a newly minted comic book editor a few years ago, looking to network with artists. But at a nighttime party in a hotel by the bay, she realized that others had a different kind of connection in mind. “One of the guys suddenly had his hand on my butt,” said Huehner, 35, who is best known as the author of the “True Blood” and “Emily and the Strangers” comics. “It’s a shocking reminder that you’re seen differently.” Comic-Con International’s dense crowds, Bacchanalian atmosphere and mask-wearing anonymity make it prime territory for misbehavior, according to both men and women who have attended the event many times. Here, and at other similar events around the country, convention-goers have been known to grope, stalk and take “upskirt” photos with impunity. The behavior is […]
July 23, 2014 | 7:24 p.m.

Image Expo: Warren Ellis, Kurt Busiek, Jeff Lemire conjure new titles

ImageExpoJuly14Featured
New highs, warthog wizards and a robot boy on the run figure into upcoming Image Comics titles from acclaimed writers Warren Ellis, Kurt Busiek and Jeff Lemire, respectively. Those projects and more in an increasingly sci-fi-heavy lineup were revealed Wednesday afternoon during Image Expo at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego before Comic-Con International’s preview night – part of a trend of comics publishers making announcements before the din of Comic-Con reaches full volume. But where Marvel and Archie Comics announced changes to longstanding franchises and characters, Image pointedly rolled out all-new, creator-owned titles. Iconoclastic Image Publisher Eric Stephenson, mentioning the changes to Thor, Captain America, Archie and more without naming the characters, said, “It’s hard to believe that as far as comics have come since the turn of the century … this is still what passes for new to the […]
July 23, 2014 | 6:08 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Kyle Roberts brings ‘Posthuman Project’ to San Diego

An image from "The Posthuman Project." (Courtesy of Kyle Roberts )
Filmmaker Kyle Roberts is coming to Comic-Con International for the first time, and he’s bringing his passion project,  “The Posthuman Project,” with him to be included in the event’s International Film Festival. “It’s always been a life goal to at some point go. So the fact that there is a film screening at SDCC that I directed is pretty surreal,” says Roberts. Now in its 15th year, the Comic-Con International Film Festival (CCI-IFF) has gone global, with submissions from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain and more. The genre films submitted are broken down into seven categories: action/adventure, animation, comics-oriented, documentary (pop culture-oriented), horror/suspense, humor/parody and science fiction/fantasy.  This year, the films will be judged by last year’s winner Dave Gallegos, actor Doug Jones and cosplay professional and Film School co-head Valerie […]
July 23, 2014 | 4:54 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Cumberbatch, Radcliffe sightings and more in San Diego

Comic-Con 2014 in San Diego officially opens Thursday but fans arrive early to pickup credentials on Wednesday. Travis Jackson with 1540 production helps with the construction of Warner Bros.' 24-foot tall sculpture of Godzilla behind Hall H. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
If you’re planning to spend any time in downtown San Diego this weekend, keep an eye out for Homer Simpson’s head. That iconic bald pate is expected to take up a noticeable portion of the city’s shoreline in a clever bit of promotion for “The Simpsons,” one of thousands of movies, TV shows, comic books and video game titles vying for attention at the annual pop culture expo that kicks off Thursday. Comic-Con International long ago evolved from its modest origins — it began as an intimate gathering in the basement of San Diego’s U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970 — into an important marketing platform for Hollywood, an opportunity for studios and networks to bring an increasingly broad range of movies and series directly to an enthusiastic audience of roughly 130,000 fans amid a frenzied, carnival-like atmosphere. But with life-size […]
July 23, 2014 | 3:00 p.m.

John Arcudi, James Harren will ‘Rumble’ into Image Comics

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If that “Rumble” in the distance sounds strange, it’s because John Arcudi and James Harren are behind it. The creative team, which has impressed with a sly, bloody blend of horror, humor and action in Hellboy-related titles at Dark Horse, is launching its first creator-owned series at Image Comics in December – one that writer Arcudi says is set in a “fantastic and grotesque world” full of “big fighting behemoths, or living berserker scarecrows, or borderline psychotic skinheads” — and humans too. What to make of it? Image bills the series as “a scarecrow-Conan fighting in a Louis C.K. TV show directed by David Fincher.” Asked to explain that never-before-uttered chain of concepts, Arcudi told Hero Complex in an email interview that he and Harren want “to keep the mix of humor and terror and action as natural as possible, […]
July 23, 2014 | 12:47 p.m.

‘Spider-Man’ spinoff ‘Sinister Six’ set for 2016, sequel pushed to 2018

Fans will have to wait a little longer to see Andrew Garfield swing back into theaters as Spider-Man. Sony Pictures announced Wednesday that “The Amazing Spider-Man 3″ has been delayed by two years. The film, which previously had been set to open June 2016, is now slotted for 2018. However, “The Sinister Six,” the Drew Goddard-directed vehicle that will focus on a cadre of Spider-Man villains, is now set to open on Nov. 11, 2016. Goddard, who won accolades for “Cabin in the Woods,” which he directed and co-wrote with Joss Whedon,  is also serving as executive producer on another Marvel Comics-inspired project, the upcoming “Daredevil” series for Netflix, which will star Charlie Cox as the blind superhero. Marc Webb is expected to remain in the director’s chair on “Amazing Spider-Man 3″ after his rousing success with 2012′s “The Amazing Spider-Man” […]
July 23, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

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

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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 […]
July 23, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

Batman 75: Marc Tyler Nobleman on ‘uncredited co-creator’ Bill Finger

After 75 years, it’s hard for any story to add a new twist. But today, as part of the Batman Day festivities, something will appear on a Caped Crusader comic book cover that never has before. The name Bill Finger. While the casual fan might be asking “who?,” most Batman devotees know Bill Finger as the writer on the earliest Batman stories and a consistent contributor to tales of the Dark Knight during the character’s evolutionary years. But according to author Marc Tyler Nobleman, who chronicled Bill Finger’s  life in 2012′s “Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman,” an illustrated story which Nobleman calls “an all-ages book,” Finger was much more than that. Nobleman, along with a swelling collection of comic insiders and fans, posit that Finger should share creator status with Bob Kane, Batman’s long-acknowledged and credited creator, […]
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