Comics

Oct. 20, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.

‘Oddly Normal': Otis Frampton discusses a young half-witch’s bad wish

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Oddly Normal is as conflicted as her name. The smart, sullen schoolgirl star of writer-artist Otis Frampton’s emotionally stormy all-ages Image Comics series is the daughter of parents from different worlds: Her father is an average-as-average-gets Earth guy; her mother is a most unusual woman – a witch from the fantastical Fignation. And being a half-witch girl – complete with naturally green hair and pointy ears — in a typical American school isn’t easy. A social outcast with a sardonic wit for self-defense, she feels like an outsider even in her own family, who live in the sole creepy Victorian manse on a street of cookie-cutter suburban houses. In an angry moment on her 10th birthday, as seen in last month’s well-reviewed first issue, she isn’t careful what she wishes for. “Oddly Normal” No. 2, out Wednesday, continues Frampton’s reboot […]
Oct. 10, 2014 | 2:30 p.m.

‘Fables: The Wolf Among Us': Matthew Sturges, Dave Justus on the case

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Just as Bigby Wolf is a fable no matter whether he’s in the mundane world or more mystical realms, so is his story “Fables” no matter what format it’s in. That’s the thinking that guides “Fables: The Wolf Among Us,” an upcoming Digital First comic series written by Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus, which is based on TellTale Games’ well-regarded “The Wolf Among Us” video game — itself a prequel to Bill Willingham’s lauded and long-running Vertigo comic “Fables.” Sturges, who has a fabled past writing the spinoff “Jack of Fables” with Willingham, and Justus will be joined by artists Stephen Sadowski (“Fairest”), Travis Moore (“JSA All-Stars”) and Shawn McManus (“Fables,” “Fairest”), with Chrissie Zullo (“Cinderella” miniseries, “Fairest: In All the Land”) creating the covers. The series, the debut Digital First title from Vertigo, DC’s imprint for mature readers, will […]
Sept. 29, 2014 | 12:51 p.m.

‘Afterlife With Archie': Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa talks horror, movie plans

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The spotlight was on Riverdale’s dark side during the “Afterlife With Archie” panel with writer and Archie Comics chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at Long Beach Comic Con on Sunday. “I’ve never felt like we should dial back the horror, but the challenge is, as horrific as the events get, at the core it is an ‘Archie’ book,” said Aguirre-Sacasa in a discussion with Hero Complex’s Blake Hennon at the weekend expo. Among the topics explored were Aguirre-Sacasa’s history with Archie Comics, the origins of “Afterlife” and what readers can expect in future issues as well as his upcoming “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” series. “Afterlife With Archie” chronicles Riverdale’s zombie apocalypse, which was instigated when Sabrina the Teenage Witch attempted to bring back Jughead Jones’ dog, Hot Dog, from the dead. The consequence: Jughead is the first human casualty […]
Sept. 29, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Long Beach Comic Con: Lois Lane and the advancement of women in comics

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Lois Lane may be the most famous woman in comics, and the fearless Daily Planet journalist got her due from several “Ladies First: The Impact of Women in Comics” panelists during a wide-ranging discussion Saturday. Barbara Randall Kesel, a writer and editor who has worked at DC Comics, said the character’s portrayal “rises and falls with what is happening with women in the real world” – from being a “spitfire” like new career women in the ’30s and ’40s, to being diminished to “comedic foil” for Superman as women were being encouraged to relinquish jobs and focus on their husbands in the ’50s, to becoming a more feminist character as the equality movement has advanced. Lane is “a superhero without any powers,” popular artist Amanda Conner, who co-writes DC’s “Harley Quinn” series, said. “She’s got that assumption of authority – […]
Sept. 28, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Long Beach Comic Con: Mike Mignola happy to dwell in hell with Hellboy

Mike Mignola has gone to hell with Hellboy, and he has every intention of staying there. “I find the hell that I’ve created very, very cozy,” he told a crowd at Long Beach Comic Con on Saturday afternoon. “I don’t want to leave it.” So what’s so great about the “Hellboy in Hell” underworld where Mignola plans to spend most of, or maybe all, of the rest of his career? “If you could look inside my head, this is the world that’s in there,” the Hellboy creator said. “It’s entirely made out of the things I like,” which include old buildings and forests and exclude cars, planes and the pressure of trying to illustrate real places. “I just want to draw that world,” he continued. “The trouble is, that world’s really big, so it’s going to take a really long […]
Sept. 28, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

Batman 75: Toasting Robin(s), Batgirl, Batwoman at Long Beach Comic Con

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Much has been made of Batman in marking his 75th anniversary, and the comic-book talents gathered Saturday at Long Beach Comic Con for a panel celebrating the Dark Knight had plenty to say about various versions of him – but they also toasted the heroes he’s inspired. A highly anticipated new take on Batgirl, Bruce Wayne’s cousin Kate Kane (a.k.a. Batwoman) and a couple of different Robins all came up in the conversation among writers and artists who have told – or will tell – those characters’ tales, as did opinions about Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman, choice Bat-obscurities, fan passions and possible future projects. PHOTOS: 75 enduring images of Batman Babs Tarr, the new artist on the redesigned “Batgirl,” which begins with the Oct. 8 release of No. 35, said she’d been warned by her writer collaborator Cameron Stewart […]
Sept. 24, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.

‘The Flash: Futures End': Venditti, Jensen discuss Wally West’s fate

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Barry Allen is in a race against himself – specifically, his future self – and Wally West’s life hangs in the balance. The time-bending story that writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen launched when they took over “The Flash” earlier this year reaches a major turning point in “Futures End: The Flash” No. 1, out Wednesday, and the team discussed that, what’s to come and the challenges of introducing a new version of Wally for DC’s New 52 with Hero Complex in a recent phone interview. Fair warning: There are spoilers below (and in the gallery above), and if you’ve yet to read the new issue, you might want to stop reading now and come back later. Wally, originally introduced in 1959 as the white, redheaded nephew of Barry Allen’s girlfriend Iris West, was the Flash to readers from the […]
Sept. 12, 2014 | 11:00 a.m.

CBLDF ‘Liberty Annual 2014′: See ‘Emily and the Strangers’ excerpt

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Is there such a thing as too much imagination? A limit on new ideas? That’s what Emily the Strange and her band mate Willow are told by a fussy visitor in a story that’s part of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s and Image Comics’ 48-page, all-ages-appropriate “Liberty Annual 2014,” which benefits the CBLDF’s 1st Amendment work. And don’t worry — the young rock ‘n’ roll rebels aren’t going to stand for that your-thoughts-are-too-unruly business. “Emily and the Strangers in … The Idea Factory” has a story by Mariah Huehner (“True Blood: All Together Now”) and Emily the Strange creator Rob Reger, with art by Cat Farris — the same team behind the recent “Emily and the Strangers: Breaking the Record” miniseries at Dark Horse. Hero Complex readers can get an early peek at the story in the gallery above […]
Sept. 08, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Justice League: Forever Heroes': See Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke sketches

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With most of the Justice League missing — presumed dead by the world – and the Crime Syndicate in cataclysmic control, the pressure is on Cyborg. Or what’s left of him. In “Justice League Vol. 5: Forever Heroes,” a new hardcover volume out Wednesday, Victor Stone is badly injured, rended from the robotic part of Cyborg. It’s being inhabited by the computer virus and Crime Syndicate member called Grid, whose group of alternate-reality deranged Justice League doubles is at work cementing its control over the Earth it has invaded. Collecting “Justice League” Nos. 24-29, written by Geoff Johns with pencils by, variously, Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke, the book also provides looks into the Syndicate members’ pasts in their universe, and ties into the major DC story line “Forever Evil.” Hero Complex readers can get an early look at bonus […]
Sept. 04, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

Gail Simone lets Catman loose in a fresh ‘Secret Six’ in DC’s New 52

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Now the secret can be revealed: Gail Simone is relaunching “Secret Six” in the New 52, and at its core is a mystery with an answer that she said all DC readers will want to know. The fan-favorite writer, who recently wrapped a well-regarded run on “Batgirl,” will introduce the new gang of rogues to root for in an ongoing series set to premiere Dec. 3, and she promises the same sort of “black humor and edginess” – and unpredictability – that won her previous run on the title a passionate following. “It’s so fun to write these characters that are really poor role models,” Simone told Hero Complex in a recent phone interview. Rather than “brightest heroes or the darkest villains,” the book lives in the gray area between, with “private detectives, mercenaries, bounty hunters, failed heroes,” she said. […]
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