Dec. 06, 2011 | 2:12 p.m.
Dogma is AmGod spelled backward. That’s the kind of thing you pick up while reading the work of Dean Haspiel, the New York artist who finds himself at an interesting career crossroads with today’s release of “The Last Romantic Antihero.” Haspiel became one of our personal favorites after memorably putting his art with the words of Jonathan Ames (on “The Alcoholic”) and the late, great Harvey Pekar (on “The Quitter” as well as some installments of “American Splendor”), but with this new digital comic he goes back to his most persistent creation, the brawny Billy Dogma. “I think he represents my thugishness as a lover and a partner,” Haspiel said last week. “He’s also the one thing I will never sell to any corporation.” Dogma has been roaming the harsh ridgelines of Haspiel’s imagination for a while now but the writer-artist says he is “hitting […]
July 12, 2011 | 6:48 a.m.
The late, great (and grating) Harvey Pekar died one year ago Tuesday and left behind a singular legacy in the world of comics. Anxious, grouchy, obsessive and frequently paranoid, Pekar was a fascinating figure who loved music more than people and, fittingly, introduced a new jazz rhythm to comics with the wry, misanthropic memoir “American Splendor.” Above you’ll find an exclusive five-page excerpt from a new tribute to Pekar that will be going live Tuesday at Act-i-Vate, one of the liveliest corners of the online comics world and a place worthy of your bookmark. The tribute is a 25-page fumetti and features quote from Pekar himself and contributions from Seth Kushner, Josh Neufeld, Dean Haspiel, Jeff Newelt, Ted Hope and Joseph Remnant; Joyce Brabner, Pekar’s widow; and Shari Springer-Berman and Robert Pulcini, the directors of the terrific “American Splendor” film from 2003. Beyond the […]
Oct. 19, 2009 | 2:01 p.m.
GUEST ESSAY Who is the greatest living comic-book artist? Neal Adams gets my vote. His work for DC Comics in the 1960s and ’70s still stands as a towering achievement, and he drew the perfect Bruce Wayne, the definitive Green Lantern and the most memorable Green Arrow. Adams remains a dynamic figure in the world of illustration (check out Adams’ website if you haven’t already), and his new passion is for motion comics, as he writes in this guest essay for Hero Complex. – Geoff Boucher New York, Union Square, 14th street, October 28th. It’s not every day that a new medium is invented or created and usually it happens by accident, against the tide and is roundly ignored and criticized by the majority of the population. You want to put sound with movies? Talkies?! A flash-in-the-pan! Comic books? That’s not a […]
Aug. 19, 2009 | 9:08 p.m.
Here’s the trailer for “Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D.” — the first motion comic from Marvel, which is dipping a toe into the medium that DC has been pursuing more aggressively to date. This five-part story is by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev and goes on sale today at iTunes. The episodes cost 99 cents for the first two weeks of release then jump to $1.25. It’s interesting to consider the motion-comics marketplace. The medium hasn’t really captured the imagination of fans yet, and it’s not clear what the upside is. The funny thing for me is that, at first, motion comics and their static image and use of screen-slide approach reminded me of the 1960s’ Marvel television cartoons — the same cartoons that I simultaneously loved and mocked as a kid because they were far less “animated” than other animation. Clearly, though, […]
May 24, 2009 | 4:39 p.m.
Hero Complex stalwart Jevon Phillips keeps an eye on comics pushing into new tech mediums, and today he has a report on a Blackberry-based funny book… Everyone is living on their cellphones nowadays with games, GPS directions, Cylon detectors and more, so why shouldn’t comics readers be able to take advantage? Carnival Comics is making it possible. Of course, if you have a phone that gives you the full Internet, you can read digital comics and graphic novels like “Heroes” or the ones from Marvel. Others have launched comic book apps, like Dark Horse’s “Terminator“, but Carnival went the extra step of making the downloadable tidbits available on the BlackBerry Storm. Two books, Carnival of Souls and Funhouse of Horrors, are being offered. Clowns, as Stephen King and everyone else knows, are fairly terrifying. Carnival of Souls has three books split into 12 chapters, a […]
Oct. 11, 2008 | 1:38 p.m.
Welcome to the weekend edition of Everyday Hero, which brings you hand-picked headlines from across the fanboy universe. Before we get to the links, a quick recommendation: Take a look at my favorite Web comic of the moment, "Fear My Dear" by Dean Haspiel over at Act-I-Vate. It’s a nasty fever dream of a story and well worth checking out, especially if you enjoyed his art on "The Alcoholic" (see the bottom link below) or "The Quitter". Now, on with the news… Astral projection: Neil Gaiman wants to make a Dr. Strange movie with Guillermo del Toro, but they won’t be making magic anytime soon. "We’d love to do it together. The problem is, Guillermo’s off doing ‘The Hobbit’, and that’s going to be three, four years in New Zealand for him." [Splash Page, MTV] On the set […]
Sept. 06, 2008 | 1:47 p.m.
One of the most compelling Web comics to date is Josh Neufeld’s sobering documentary effort "A.D." at SMITH Magazine. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, now is the time. The final chapter of the epic has been posted and, not surprisingly, it’s a thoughtful, candid and gripping finale to many months of labor by Neufeld. I talked to Neufeld last year about the project. Here’s an excerpt from that article: The pen-and-ink drawings are clear, simple and so static in their muted colors that they suggest an airless calm — but the real-life events in those drawings pulse with tension, confusion and fear. “It’s an account of Hurricane Katrina by a small group of survivors,” artist Josh Neufeld said by phone recently, “but really, at its heart, it’s a story of loss and how we […]
Aug. 22, 2008 | 1:16 p.m.
T.J. Kosinski, one of our talented interns this summer here at The Times, wandered around Comic-Con International a few weeks ago and interviewed some of his favorite comics creators. Here is his third guest post. Like the undergound comix scene in those roiling days of the 1960s, the burgeoning online comics sector is a wide-open frontier now making up its own rules and picking its leading voices. I’d say one of the strongest players at the moment is Act-I-Vate, the webcomics collective with about 30 creators on its roster. It’s both smart showcase and wild laboratory, providing consistently updated (and thoroughly interesting) comics to readers across the Web for free. Two of the member creators are Joe Infurnari and Molly Crabapple. Infurnari is a writer and artist who values the benefits of creating comics strictly for the Web: “Going digital […]
Aug. 07, 2008 | 12:03 p.m.
Zuda Comics (DC Comics’ webcomics division) holds a competition monthly where anyone can submit an eight-screen sample. Every month, 10 of these Web comics are picked and put up for a community vote. The monthly vote winners and as many as six "instant winners" each get a year’s contract to produce webcomics for Zuda. Pretty fantastic, yes? Since its official launch last October, Zuda Comics has developed a strong and entertaining online community that provides both creators and comic book fans a place to be themselves and to judge others (welcome to the Internet). The best and also worst part about this competition is most of these strips feel like teasers– I am dying to know more and while not all of these stories will thrive on, I can at least hope one will. This post is meant to do […]