Feb. 18, 2013 | 10:44 a.m.

Max Allan Collins’ ‘Seduction of the Innocent’: Read exclusive excerpt

With his latest literary endeavor, “Seduction of the Innocent,” Max Allan Collins writes a hard-boiled detective novel inspired by the 1950s witch hunt against crime and horror comic books. He took inspiration for the story from the real-life crusade of Dr. Fredric Wertham, who in 1954 published a nonfiction book also titled “Seduction of the Innocent” in which he accused comic books – especially violent ones such as those distributed by “Tales From the Crypt” publisher EC Comics – of corrupting America’s youth. Collins sets his book in 1954, though it’s fictional EF Comics that is the target of concern. Would-be censor Dr. Werner Frederick meets a gruesome demise on the way to a Senate hearing, and it’s up to private eye Jack Starr and his beautiful boss Maggie to solve the case before the crackdown comes. Collins, of course, […]
April 11, 2011 | 2:57 p.m.

Nicolas Cage’s ‘Action Comics’ No. 1 copy recovered 11 years after theft

The Associated Press reports… A rare and valuable comic featuring the debut of Superman that re-surfaced in a storage locker last week appears to be the same one stolen from Nicolas Cage more than a decade ago, police said. The mint copy of “Action Comics” No. 1 is now in police custody and an investigation into its theft and recovery is under way. Detective Don Hrycyk with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Art Theft Detail said Monday the comic has been authenticated and appears to be the one stolen from Cage in 2000. It is unclear whether the 1938 comic will be returned to the Oscar-winning actor. Hrycyk said Cage accepted an insurance payout after its theft and will have to work out the details with the company. Cage is an avid comic collector, and the Action Comics issue is […]
Dec. 09, 2010 | 8:32 a.m.

Costumes for crime? ‘Hyper-realistic mask’ used in robbery

Cosplay, makeup and visual effects are topics here at Hero Complex, so today we bring you a bizarre crime story from the front page of the Los Angeles Times. Here’s an excerpt from the piece by Sharon Bernstein… They’re not just for Halloween anymore. Expensive, realistic masks — the kind that are the hit of the costume party — are increasingly being used out of season, and not always for laughs. A white bank robber in Ohio recently used a “hyper-realistic” mask manufactured by a small Van Nuys company to disguise himself as a black man, prompting police there to mistakenly arrest an African American man for the crimes. In October, a 20-year-old Chinese man who wanted asylum in Canada used one of the same company’s masks to transform himself into an elderly white man and slip past airport security […]
June 03, 2010 | 10:11 p.m.

VIDEO: Batman arrested on Hollywood Boulevard

The Joker is laughing his head off.   View more news videos at:   — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Spidey in handcuffs! J. Jonah Jameson was right PHOTO GALLERY: Spider-Man arrested in Hollywood Gunman pulls “Avatar” heist in Mexico City Why is Stan Lee signing Jack Kirby’s art? VIDEO: Captain America arrested in Florida  Life imitates comics: Bernie Madoff as the Joker A Joker revealed! The Chicago student behind the Obama image
April 24, 2010 | 12:04 a.m.

‘Avatar’ shatters sales records — and inspires an armed heist in Mexico City

“Avatar” was an unprecedented sales sensation for home-video retailers, as it nearly tripled the existing record for single-day Blu-ray sales set by “The Dark Knight.” Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” sold 600,000 copies on Blu-ray in the United States when it hit stores in December 2008; on Tuesday, “Avatar” racked up about 1.5 million copies sold, according to sources at Fox. The DVDs and Blu-rays of “Avatar” were also clearly coveted as a black-market commodity: According to a report issued by the procuraduría general de justicia (attorney general of justice) in Mexico City, 3,409 DVD and Blu-ray copies of the film were taken at gunpoint from a delivery truck belonging to Technicolor Home Entertainment Services of Mexico. The report said that the truck driver was assaulted by an armed robber in the Mexican capital’s Alvaro Obregon district. According to the report, the stolen […]
April 23, 2010 | 10:31 p.m.

Frazetta children put down their swords in $20-million art dispute

The AP has an update on the Frazetta family quarrel that had put the aging artist — and his $20-million art collection — in a difficult and vulnerable place. Fantasy artist Frank Frazetta’s children have brought their bitter dispute over his estate and artwork to an end, according to a statement from the family issued Friday. The feud came to light in December when Frazetta’s son was caught breaking into his father’s Pennysylvania home using a backhoe. Frank Frazetta Jr., 52, said he was trying to take his father’s $20-million collection of art to safeguard it from his siblings. The family has asked that theft charges against the younger Frazetta be dropped now that they have come to a settlement. Frank Frazetta, 82, maintains a small museum of his work on a farm in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. The pioneering fantasy artist created comics […]
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