July 25, 2014 | 8:30 a.m.
Batman’s Gotham City is a dark place, and Bill Finger’s place in that mythos has long been in the shadows. But in the character’s 75th anniversary year – also the 100th anniversary of the writer’s birth – the spotlight has found Finger. Among those helping to bring attention to the long-uncredited Bat-scribe: Denny O’Neil. After decades on Batman titles, from the 1970s and from the mid-1980s to the new millennium as an editor, O’Neil told a Comic-Con International panel crowd Thursday morning he was left with one regret: “I wish I’d tried harder to get him credit,” though he added that he understands “legalities” made that unlikely. O’Neil actually met Finger – who received a cover mention on DC’s Batman Day giveaway edition of “Detective Comics” No. 27 and is credited by proponents with largely creating the Dark Knight and […]
July 23, 2014 | 7:24 p.m.
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. FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 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 […]
July 23, 2014 | 3:00 p.m.
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.
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.
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 18, 2014 | 2:00 p.m.
Over the course of four decades, San Diego’s Comic-Con International has grown from modest roots to become a powerful marketing machine for Hollywood — so much so that the A-list actors and filmmakers who attend can overshadow the creative professionals doing groundbreaking work in comic books and graphic novels. That’s especially disappointing given that the medium is thriving as never before. With the annual pop culture expo expected to draw more than 125,000 visitors to downtown San Diego this week, the following is a look at 12 vital creators working in different areas of the industry: writing, drawing, coloring and cartooning, some of whom are vying for prizes at the annual Eisner Awards — essentially the Academy Awards of comics — which are handed out at Comic-Con each year. Jordie Bellaire A first-time Eisner nominee this year for her work […]
July 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m.
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 15, 2014 | 11:12 a.m.
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 03, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.
After hitting the bull’s-eye on the target viewership with the CW’s “Arrow,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg and writer Ben Sokolowski have a shot at expanding the Emerald Archer’s readership with DC’s “Green Arrow.” The pair will script the comic series, with art by Daniel Sampere (“Batgirl,” “Trinity of Sin: Pandora”), beginning with No. 35 on Oct. 1, which finds Oliver Queen back in Seattle on an adventure involving a mystery woman. Kreisberg and Sokolowski say their “Green Arrow” is not an adaptation of the show, but “more about cross-pollination” – stocking the quiver with things that have worked on “Arrow” and in comics past. (Yes, characters “Arrow” viewers know will appear in the comic — albeit in potentially surprising ways.) “We really want to bring the old-school Oliver Queen voice back to the character,” Sokolowski told Hero Complex. “In other […]
June 30, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
You know Batman. But do you know Batmanga? In the 1960s, manga artist Jiro Kuwata pitted the Caped Crusader and Robin against a man who wouldn’t die and creatures variously extraterrestrial and mutated right here on Earth in comics for Japanese readers. The work wouldn’t be seen by an American audience until over four decades later, and not in full until now. “Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga,” translated into English and unabridged, rolls out as a weekly DC Comics Digital First series beginning Saturday, and the entire, 1,000-plus-page run will get a print release later this year across three paperback volumes. It is the first complete collection of Kuwata’s Batman comics outside of Japan. Both the digital and print presentations will preserve the Japanese sequence of panels’ original right-to-left reading order. Digital chapter releases will vary in length from 15 […]