Feb. 09, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
Edward “The Comedian” Blake didn’t get much face time in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ landmark graphic novel “Watchmen” — he takes a header off a balcony before the story even opens. The character failed to get much more exposure in Zack Snyder’s 2009 film adaptation of “Watchmen,” but writer Brian Azzarello and artist J.G. Jones have been more than making up for his absence with their six-part “Before Watchmen: Comedian” limited series, tracing the checkered past of the not-so-funny tough guy. Cover | Digital Combo Cover | Variant Cover | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 As the series reaches its penultimate chapter, we find Blake continuing his Forrest Gump-like journey through mid-20th century history. He’s rubbed shoulders (and even rubbed out) some very notable names, and now he’s in Vietnam, traveling further and […]
Oct. 12, 2012 | 10:13 a.m.
Wonder Woman has undergone one of the most dramatic makeovers in DC’s “New 52″ relaunched titles. Throughout issues No. 0-12, Diana discovers that the story she’s been told about her beginnings is a lie. She was not molded from clay by Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons; instead, she is the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus, and the story was created to protect her from the wrath of Hera, Zeus’ wife. Diana suddenly finds herself part of a scheming and feuding family of gods. And in “Wonder Woman” No. 12, the Amazing Amazon removes her iconic cuffs, shows off some new Zeus-like powers and even takes flight. It’s certainly a messier story than previous iterations of Wonder Woman, but writer Brian Azzarello has said that’s exactly what the heroine needed; how can a character who’s already so perfect progress and grow? […]
Oct. 12, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.
Chip Kidd, one of the most celebrated book cover designers in publishing, is taking on Rorschach, one of the most twisted and controversial characters in comics. Kidd is bringing his design skills to a variant cover for “Rorschach” No. 3. The comic, which goes on sale on Nov. 21, is the next installment in the antihero’s “Before Watchmen” series, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Lee Bermejo. Issues No. 1 and 2 set Rorschach against corpse-carving serial killer The Bard and crime lord Rawhead in a gritty 1977 world. Despite initial outcry and criticism from fans of the original 1986-87 “Watchmen” series by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, the DC prequels are gaining traction. Kidd, who has worked as a designer for Alfred A. Knopf since 1986, is no stranger to the world of comics. His graphic […]
Feb. 01, 2012 | 3:00 a.m.
“Watchmen” didn’t just make comic-book history in 1986 with its sprawling, subversive doomsday tale, it became something close to a holy text for comic-book fans. That’s why the publishing news out of New York today will make some purists feel like it’s the end of the world. DC Comics is going back to the universe of “Watchmen” this summer by launching seven new prequel series that will collectively be referred to as “Before Watchmen,” marking the first time that characters such as Doctor Manhattan, Rorschach and the Comedian have appeared anywhere in comics since the original 12-issue series, which in a single-volume collection became the bestselling graphic novel of all time. For some fans, the project will be viewed with deep cynicism because of the absence of the “Watchmen” creators, writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, but others will […]
Nov. 04, 2011 | 11:18 a.m.
Hollywood is working on new movies featuring Superman and Batman and they will give the iconic DC heroes 16 theatrically released feature films between them. But Wonder Woman, the third most famous name in the DC vault, will celebrate her 70th anniversary this December with exactly zero feature films as well as the lingering ignominy of the live-action television pilot that NBC and Warner Bros financed but then deemed too awful to air. What’s the problem? That’s one question our Geoff Boucher asked writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang, the new creative team chronicling the adventures of the Amazon princess in the pages of DC Comics. The pair, who took over the title under The New 52 initiative to revamp or revitalize their entire DC line, caused a stir right away by changing the heroine’s classic origins story and giving her something that she’s never had in any of […]
July 18, 2009 | 7:30 p.m.
This is a longer version of my story that is running Monday on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section. Even when the movies ended up bad — and they usually did — crime novelist Donald E. Westlake never had a problem taking Hollywood money for his ideas. But with his signature creation, the ruthless career criminal known simply as Parker, Westlake insisted that the names be changed to protect the guilty. Westlake, who died at age 75 this past New Year’s Eve, saw seven movies made from his Parker novels (which were all published under his pseudonym Richard Stark), but in each film the main character’s name was changed; even when Lee Marvin, Robert Duvall or Mel Gibson was in the role, Westlake wouldn’t entrust his favorite brand name to anyone else. That changed, though, in the final months […]
July 11, 2009 | 11:16 p.m.
Tonight’s the night. Go to Meltdown Comics to pay homage to unforgettable decade-long run of “100 Bullets” and to also support a good cause … If you haven’t been captivated by “100 Bullets,” here’s the perfect introduction: The good folks at Meltdown will be hosting a “100 Bullets: Last Shot” goodbye party to coincide with the release of “Wilt,” the 13th and final collection of the Eisner- and Harvey-winning Vertigo series. Totaling 100 issues, the noir-style “100 Bullets” has the distinction of being the longest-running comic book series to be produced, without interruption, by the same writer (Brian Azzarello), artist (Eduardo Risso) and cover artist (Dave Johnson). Azzarello and Johnson will both be on hand tonight. During its run of nine years and eight months, the murder and mayhem saga revolved around the mysterious Agent Graves, who gives select people a handgun, 100 bullets, a photograph […]
Nov. 21, 2008 | 12:52 a.m.
EXCLUSIVE: First look at the cover art for the 100th and final issue of "100 Bullets" Vertigo’s "100 Bullets" began with a truly killer concept: There’s an attache case containing a gun and 100 bullets — not just any bullets, though, these were special. Better than a "get out of jail free" card or a license to kill, the ammunition handed out by the cryptic Agent Graves is untraceable and, in fact, any police detectives who come across these singular slugs in a corpse will find their investigation goes exactly nowhere. More than immunity, the people who are handed that attache case become ghosts in the urban machine … It was that starting-point notion that made "100 Bullets" such a gripping new pulp experience when the Vertigo title arrived in the summer of 1999. The series, written by Brian Azzarello, […]