Feb. 24, 2011 | 3:25 p.m.
A comic book store can be a vast and wonderful landscape, but sometimes it’s nice to have a compass to help you as you wander those aisles. With that in mind, the Hero Complex and the mighty G4TV.com offer up weekly video recommendations. Geoff Boucher of the Hero Complex will select and celebrate a new release from the vivid world of superheroes and more traditional-minded fare, and the always insightful Blair Butler of G4’s Fresh Ink blog will recommend worthy new releases from the both the capes side and the “non-Spandex” side of comics — those graphic novels and alternative press titles that use their comics panels in the name of memoir, literary experimentation or underground voice. – Geoff Boucher MORE PICKS: “Black Widow” / “Ex-Machina” “Let Me In” / “The New York Five“ “Rat Catcher” / “Infinite Vacation” “Next Men #1″ / “The Sword”
May 14, 2010 | 4:52 p.m.
FORGOTTEN COMIC BOOK ARTISTS, PART 1: HARRY LUCEY The American comic book has produced a massive mountain of brightly hued pop culture since the 1930s and the peak moments of the medium have been appropriately celebrated — but what about the pulpy landscape’s strange caves and broken trails which are now forgotten? It’s those curious and esoteric places that author and art director Dan Nadel surveys with his new book, “Art in Time: Unknown Comic Book Adventures, 1940-1980,” which is a strong companion to his acclaimed 2006 book, “Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900-1969.” Here at Hero Complex we’re going to be running excerpts from the Abrams ComicArts book leading up to Nadel’s appearance on May 30 at Cinefamily. Like so many of the other men who entertained generations of children, Harry Lucey remains as anonymous in death as he was in life. Lucey attended the […]
Jan. 06, 2010 | 8:03 p.m.
The graphic novel version of “Shutter Island” arrived in stores this week, and here’s a video interview with Dennis Lehane, the author of the original novel as well as “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone.” Thanks to Tokyo Pop for letting us premiere this video this morning here and over at Brand X — it’s relatively rare to hear Lehane talk about his work, and the insights are interesting. The graphic novel is excellent (you can find a link to my recent review below) and if you get a chance, it’s well worth checking it out. – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED REVIEW: “Shutter Island” is a new nightmare in graphic novel form Darwyn Cooke and “The Hunter” pull off the perfect crime “Filthy Rich” and the new surge in noir comics Travis McGee may finally get his Hollywood close-up REVIEW: “Ex Machina” is the perfectly wired graphic novel […]
Jan. 01, 2010 | 6:13 p.m.
GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW “SHUTTER ISLAND“ Story by Dennis Lehane and art by Christian De Metter Tokyopop/HarperCollins, $21.99 On sale in the U.S. on Jan. 5 Back in 1941, a Russian immigrant named Albert Lewis Kanter had (literally) a novel idea for the fledgling medium of the American comic book — he launched Classics Illustrated, a series that lived up to its name by converting “Ivanhoe,” “Jane Eyre,” “The Iliad” and scores of other bookshelf familiars into funny-book fodder. It was a high-minded mission, really, but it had its share of creaky moments; let’s face it, a 52-page comic book isn’t the most obvious format for “Lord Jim.” The yearning to transfer established literature to the comic-book spinner rack continues. I’d love to see the expression on Kanter’s face if he had lived long enough to see a copy of the new […]
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 […]
Aug. 17, 2008 | 1:44 p.m.
The Sunday Review: "The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics" Edited by Paul Gravett (Running Press, softcover, $17.95) Earlier this year, there was quite a stir of attention (and appropriately so) for author David Hajdu’s latest book, "The Ten Cent Plague: the Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America," which delved into the quirky and alarming crusades against comics in this country that reached their shrill peaks in the 1940s and 1950s. In a piece I wrote in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, I admired the research but had some problems with the focus in the final analysis. That said, the book and its tale really stuck with me, and I think it should be on the bookshelf of anyone who loves comics history. And you know what should go right next to it? "The Mammoth […]