Blake Hennon

July 23, 2014 | 7:24 p.m.

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

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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 | 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 | 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 22, 2014 | 4:16 p.m.

IDW at 15: Ted Adams, Chris Ryall talk growth, risks, Comic-Con

Chris Ryall, IDW's editor in chief and chief creative officer, joined the company in 2004. He has also written for IDW in both licensed Clive Barker adaptations and originals such as "Zombies vs. Robots." (Victor Ha)
Fifteen years ago in San Diego, IDW wasn’t publishing comics and Comic-Con drew about 45,000 people. How times have changed. The company that Ted Adams co-founded in 1999 with three fellow comic industry veterans has evolved into one of the top four comic book publishers, competing with 22-year-old indie innovator Image Comics for No. 3, albeit well behind superhero stalwarts Marvel and DC, both at least five times its age. Last year, IDW sold more than 1 million graphic novels. And the pop-culture phenom of a convention it shares a city with? A long-ago sold-out crowd of 130,000 is expected this week. IDW – publisher of original horror hits “30 Days of Night” and “Locke & Key,” and comics home to brands as realities-apart as “The X-Files” and “My Little Pony” – is celebrating 15 years of slow-and-steady but risk-taking […]
July 22, 2014 | 4:00 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Charity events from CBLDF, Hero Initiative, more

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Many of the 125,000-plus expected for this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego will arrive with lists of things they want to get — comics, toys, T-shirts, a seat in Hall H (good luck, brave souls) — but many also will give to charitable causes. Whether it’s the 1st Amendment, comics creators in need, or life itself, the pop-culture fan gathering offers plenty of opportunities to help support social and health initiatives. After exploring Comic-Con’s charitable side in a story last year, Hero Complex decided to put together a day-by-day listing of charity-related events ahead of this year’s convention. Take a look below. Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Comic-Con’s annual Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive has a new location (but is still sponsored by HBO’s “True Blood,” which offers a T-shirt, yes, but more important, bandages and water bottles). […]
July 21, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Batman’ No. 33: Scott Snyder calls ‘Zero Year’ end personal, over-the-top

A scene from "Batman" No. 33 (DC Entertainment).
Batman and the Riddler are finally face to face for their final showdown – but the hero isn’t going to just slug Gotham City’s brilliant tormentor. Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo’s sweeping, bestselling “Zero Year” story line, a 12-issue re-imagining of how the orphaned Bruce Wayne became the Bat in DC Comics’ New 52 reality reset, concludes in Wednesday’s “Batman” No. 33 with a battle that the Eisner Award-winning Snyder says is more about brains than brawn. Hero Complex readers can get a sneak peek at scenes from the 48-page finale in the gallery above – which also includes a look back at scenes from throughout “Zero Year” — and via the links below. “Batman” No. 33: Moment of Truth | Lucius | Reboot | Signal The Riddler, a.k.a. Edward Nygma, has turned Gotham into a wild, postapocalyptic […]
July 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m.

New Captain America is revealed as Sam Wilson on ‘Colbert Report’

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When Steve Rogers can’t continue as Captain America, his longtime ally Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon, will pick up the iconic shield – and, heavier still, the heroic name. Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada announced the comic-book news Wednesday night to Cap fan Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” continuing a shakeup of some of the House of Ideas’ most successful concepts. “Steve Rogers saved the world again, but not without personal sacrifice,” Quesada told the arch comic host before naming the World War II veteran’s replacement (which, to Colbert’s disappointment wasn’t him) and unveiling the new Cap’s look. “But let me ask you something,” Colbert’s mock-reactionary pundit began. “This guy’s, this guy’s, this new guy is black — doesn’t that make him Captain African America?” Quesada shook his head and replied, “I don’t see colors.” (This being […]
July 17, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon’: Dan Abnett talks game

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When Disney Interactive wanted to make sure Star-Lord and the gang seemed like themselves in “Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon,” it got Dan Abnett. Few, if any, know more about the truly out there outer-space superteam: The prolific Englishman co-wrote the 2008-2010 comic book series that inspired the lineup found in the mobile game, out Thursday, and the upcoming Marvel cosmic adventure film, out Aug. 1 — as well as this spring’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude” comics that tie in to the movie, and penned, on his own, the just-released novel “Rocket Raccoon and Groot: Steal the Universe.” Abnett worked with art director Yehudi Mercado on the game’s story line, advising on characters’ behavior and distinct voices. So how consistent are the roguish Star-Lord, assassin Gamora, rampaging Drax, well-armed critter Rocket and tree-like tough guy Groot across […]
July 15, 2014 | 11:12 a.m.

Marvel’s new Thor is a woman — and is ‘Thor,’ not ‘She-Thor’

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Who says a woman can’t be the God of Thunder? In October, a new, female Thor will rise to replace the Odinson that Marvel readers have known since “Journey Into Mystery” No. 83 in 1962, the company announced Tuesday morning on ABC’s “The View” talk show. It’s a major shake-up of a Marvel bedrock character, and the company is hammering home that the change is no gimmick. “This is not She-Thor,” said Jason Aaron, who will write the new series, in a statement. “This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is Thor. This is the Thor of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.” And the one-word title bears that out: “Thor.” Aaron, writer of the current, acclaimed “Thor, God of Thunder,” will be joined by artist Russell Dauterman (“Cyclops,” “Supurbia”) in […]
July 08, 2014 | 4:02 p.m.

‘Marvel Method: Cosplay’ builds toward a Comic-Con reveal

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They might have called it “How to Cosplay the Marvel Way.” After all, Stan Lee and John Buscema’s “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” has proved enduringly popular. But “The Watcher” host Lorraine Cink’s and Marvel cosplay blogger Judy Stephens’ new video series is titled “Marvel Method: Cosplay.” The duo will explore the method to cosplay madness in chapters released every Tuesday and Thursday until Comic-Con, with input from costume designer Carly Bradt, wig specialist Katie Hondrogen and cosplayer Yaya Han. The plan: Choose a character, design and construct the costume, and reveal it at Marvel’s booth at the pop-culture exposition in San Diego later this month. So, which mighty Marvel hero did they choose? “After considering so many powerful women of the Marvel Universe, we continued to be drawn back to the Scarlet Witch,” Cink said in a […]
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