Feb. 12, 2014 | 12:52 p.m.
Don’t let the whimsically water-colored fairy world in “Beautiful Darkness” fool you; this graphic novel, out today from Drawn and Quarterly, is not a happily-ever-after sort of story. In “Beautiful Darkness,” French comics writer Fabien Vehlmann (“Isle of 100,000 Graves”) and husband-and-wife cartooning team Kerascoët (“Miss Don’t Touch Me”) present the story of Aurora, a cheery and resourceful heroine whose tea party with a prince is interrupted by a deluge of what appears to be blood. Aurora escapes, emerging from the skull of a dead girl, along with dozens of other tiny people. In the coming days and months, they try to survive in the face of hunger, woodland animals and, most terrifyingly, their own capacity for cruelty. It’s a twisted tale that draws from the likes of “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Borrowers,” only “Beautiful Darkness” presents a much […]
Feb. 12, 2014 | 11:08 a.m.
If you find yourself among the lovelorn this Valentine’s Day, Liz Prince’s graphic novel “Alone Forever: The Singles Collection” might prove a perfect remedy. “Alone Forever,” out this month from Top Shelf Productions, collects 104 pages of Prince’s autobiographical comic strip — a self-deprecating look at relationships, love and the lack thereof. The Boston-based comics creator chronicles her experiences with online dating, awkward first encounters and (questionably) flirty interactions with bearded strangers, not to mention tender moments with her constant true loves — her cats and her punk rock music. Prince, whose previous titles include the Ignatz Award-winning “Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed?” and “Delayed Replays,” will be in the Los Angeles area on Sunday for L.A. Zine Fest at Helms Bakery in Culver City. Hero Complex: How did this project come about? I understand […]
Feb. 10, 2014 | 1:10 p.m.
“Batman: Zero Year” is writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo’s ambitious 11-part comics event exploring Bruce Wayne’s beginnings as the Caped Crusader in DC Comics’ New 52. Snyder is joining Hero Complex each month for an exclusive preview of the next issue and conversation about the story so far. The saga takes a break this month with “Batman” No. 28, a jump-ahead “spoilers” issue that looks into the future of “Batman: Eternal.” It arrives Wednesday. The Riddler seems to have Batman all figured out. In last month’s “Batman” No. 27, Part 7 of “Zero Year,” the criminally clever Mr. Nygma had Gotham police a step ahead of the vigilante, and appeared at the end to taunt him in a life-or-death situation for not being much of a detective. And what better time for a villain to tease his grand […]
Feb. 03, 2014 | 4:45 p.m.
“Swamp Thing” No. 28 hits shelves Wednesday, and Hero Complex readers get an exclusive preview of the issue, written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Javier Pina. The issue sees Swamp Thing (a.k.a. Alec Holland) returning to the Bayou after his face-off against the villainous Seeder in issue No. 27. In the issue No. 28 preview pages (read them in the gallery above or by clicking the links below), the newly restored Avatar of the Green goes off in search of Capucine, but not before showing some guests from the Green a good time in New Orleans’ French Quarter. (Hint: comical costumes and heavy drinking are involved.) Cover | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 The issue also deals with the ramifications of Swamp Thing’s efforts to become the sole avatar, including what happened to […]
Jan. 28, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.
On Feb. 5, writer J. Michael Straczynski debuts his new Joe’s Comics title, “The Adventures of Apocalypse Al,” a series centered on Allison Carter, a resourceful private investigator tasked with saving the world from all manner of supernatural threats — zombies, imps, wizards, closet trolls, undead ex-boyfriends, etc. She’s also tracking down the Book of Keys, a powerful tome that’s fallen into mysterious hands. But the plucky redhead, who sometimes pops over to other dimensions in the course of her day, seems effortlessly able to handle whatever comes her way, dispensing wisecracks with deadpan aplomb. Hero Complex readers can get an exclusive first look at lettered pages from the book, with art from Sid Kotian, in the gallery above and by clicking on the links below for larger versions of the pages. Cover | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page […]
Jan. 27, 2014 | 6:09 p.m.
Col. Steve Trevor’s quest to find the missing members of the Justice League — including Wonder Woman — leads him to form an unlikely alliance with Killer Frost in the new issue of “Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S.” due out Wednesday. Hero Complex readers can check out an exclusive preview of the new issue in the gallery above or in larger versions by clicking on the links below. Written by Sterling Gates and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund, issue No. 4 opens with Black Bison doing his best to finish off the agents who managed to survive the destruction of the A.R.G.U.S headquarters at the same time Killer Frost’s Crime Syndicate allies are attempting to reach her. Cover | Black and white cover | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 Dr. Caitlin Snow, […]
Jan. 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
By her own account, its title wasn’t what she led with in proposing new projects to Image Comics or her artist collaborator. But, Kelly Sue DeConnick told the laughing, applauding crowd at Image Expo earlier this month, of the potential books she suggested to publisher Eric Stephenson and artist Valentine De Landro, both latched onto one — one she was eager to confront herself: “Bitch Planet.” The upcoming comic series from the writer of the intense, mythological western “Pretty Deadly” at Image Comics and “Avengers Assemble” and the once and future “Captain Marvel” at Marvel is set on an all-female penal colony in outer space. And there’s a jailbreak. “This is born of a deep and abiding love for exploitation and women in prison movies of the ’60s and ’70s,” DeConnick told the crowd. “I like this stuff so much, […]
Jan. 23, 2014 | 8:30 a.m.
In 1982, French writers Jacques Lob and Benjamin Legrand, and artist Jean-Marc Rochette collaborated on “Le Transperceneige,” a science-fiction graphic novel about the last of humanity aboard a train, endlessly coursing across frozen wasteland. More than three decades later, the acclaimed comic is finally being released in English as “Snowpiercer,” and a film adaptation starring “Captain America” actor Chris Evans is due for U.S. release later this year. Hero Complex readers get an exclusive look at several pages from the first “Snowpiercer” installment, “Volume 1: The Escape,” out next week from Titan Books. Check them out in the gallery above. “Volume 2: The Explorers” is slated for a Feb. 25 release. The sci-fi story is set on Snowpiercer, a train with 1,001 carriages carrying all surviving human life and traveling on an endless track across frozen Earth. The elite travel in the front of […]
Jan. 23, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.
Imagine a world in which children brutally slay demons in order to survive, knowing that when they grow up, they’ll become demons too. “The Wrenchies,” an upcoming YA graphic novel from alternative comics star Farel Dalrymple, chronicles the adventures of the toughest gang of those children, the so-called Wrenchies. The book is due out this fall from First Second, and Hero Complex readers get a first look at the book’s cover, which shows the eponymous gang clad for battle. Dalrymple is best known for his award-winning comic series “Pop Gun War,” an urban fantasy about a boy who acquires a pair of angel wings and uses them to fly off on adventures. He also co-founded the comic anthology “Meathaus,” illustrated the Marvel limited series “Omega the Unknown,” written by novelist Jonathan Lethem, and authors the ongoing Web comic “It Will […]
Jan. 20, 2014 | 11:00 a.m.
Tom Taylor has seen the end of one world only to hurtle through “Apocalypse” in another. The real adult human/fictional boy wizard of Mike Carey’s and Peter Gross’ literature-rich Vertigo series “The Unwritten” had been pulled into the mature-fairy-tale world of Bill Willingham’s and Mark Buckingham’s “Fables” for a story that ended in “Unwritten” No. 54, released in October, with cataclysmic results. Now, after a short hiatus, the story continues with Wednesday’s “The Unwritten: Apocalypse” No. 1, the beginning of a 12-part story that will end the series that the former “Lucifer” collaborators launched back in 2009. Hero Complex readers can get a look at the covers and two interior pages from the first issue in the gallery above or in larger versions in the links below. “The Unwritten: Apocalypse” No. 1: Cover | Variant | Page [link contains profanity] […]