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 […]
March 26, 2014 | 4:31 p.m.
The theatrical release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is less than two weeks away, and Marvel is counting down with two new, slightly spoiler-y video clips spotlighting Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the titular villain. (Those who want to be surprised about the Winter Soldier’s identity should stop reading now.) Set after the events of 2012′s “The Avengers,” the “Captain America: The First Avenger” sequel finds Evans’ hero working for S.H.I.E.L.D., where he’s not sure who he can trust. His past quite literally comes back to haunt him in the form of a close friend turned enemy. In the newly released featurette, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige reflects on the inspiration for the villain, Ed Brubaker’s 2005 “Captain America” story line “Winter Soldier,” which Feige called “one of the best ‘Captain America’ stories in the comics over the past […]
Jan. 10, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Scott Snyder wants you to be terrified of “Wytches,” Bill Willingham is inciting a catastrophic “Restoration” of magic, and Ed Brubaker will be plotting crimes at Image Comics for years to come. Those three Eisner Award-winning writers were surprise guests among a robust roster of comics talents who announced new projects with the company Thursday at Image Expo, a one-day media, retailer and fan event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. “We want you to be afraid to go to bed at night,” Snyder told the sold-out crowd of 600 about his and onetime “Detective Comics” artist partner Jock’s new series. The writer of “Batman” and “American Vampire” at DC and its mature imprint Vertigo, respectively, said he felt witches were ripe for a remake. In the world of “Wytches,” the people who have been historically persecuted […]
July 02, 2013 | 3:30 p.m.
A correction has been added to this post, as indicated below. A female Ulysses on an odyssey home through outer space, an evil high school football coach and an ex-intelligence field agent turned executive assistant on the run from her former agency are among the characters that figure into new creator-owned titles announced Tuesday at Image Expo. “ODY-C,” by Matt Fraction and artist Christian Ward; “Southern Bastards,” by Jason Aaron and North Carolina-raised artist Jason Latour; and “Velvet,” by Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting — who previously teamed on Marvel’s “Captain America” — were among the top-tier titles touted at the special one-day media event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center. But the gathering also afforded Image Comics to announce new projects from J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Millar — who already have current series with the company — […]
June 24, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
“Fatale,” which has trailed the mesmerizing, unaging femme Josephine on her run from supernatural evil through 1950s San Francisco, 1970s Los Angeles and World War II Romania, is now following her to Ed Brubaker’s past: 1990s Seattle. And writing a “Fatale” arc in a time and place dear to him has been “weird,” Brubaker says – a fitting feeling for anything involved with the creator-owned horror-noir series he produces with his longtime collaborator, artist Sean Phillips (just consider the villainous Hansel, who under his human disguise has a tentacled, fanged face). The Image Comics-published title returns to its main narrative after four stand-alone issues on Wednesday with No. 15, and Hero Complex readers have an exclusive look at the first six pages — a prologue that checks in with the hard-luck Nicolas Lash — in the gallery above and the […]
July 26, 2011 | 7:49 a.m.
There were plenty of famous faces and Hollywood heavy hitters at the red-carpet premiere of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” but director Joe Johnston’s face lighted up in a special way when he was introduced to one guest who had flown in from the Pacific Northwest for the glitzy event — Ed Brubaker, the writer whose award-winning, seven-year run on the Marvel Comics adventures of Captain America became a key template for the big-screen adaptation. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, ” Johnston said to Brubaker as Robert Downey Jr. passed by on his way to a seat inside the El Capitan Theatre. Johnston and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who also met Brubaker at the movie palace on premiere night) have cited the comic book writer’s work as an influence on the mythology, tone and characters in the film that […]
June 08, 2011 | 6:01 p.m.
Actor Malcolm McDowell spoke some cosmic truth when he said that James T. Kirk, the lion of Starfleet, deserved a better death than the one he got in “Star Trek: Generations” almost two decades ago. “It was a paltry screen moment in a situation that called for something dramatic and inspired, something spectacular, even,” said McDowell, who happened to play the on-screen villain who sent William Shatner’s iconic character to his dusty doom. So we opened up the question to you — what sort of death would have been befitting the gold-shirted hero who bested the Kobayashi Maru simulation and also bedded half of the humanoid females in the universe? Through the miracle of Twitter, Facebook and comment board, you gave us the answers we were looking for — and few that we’d rather just forget. (Comic-book fans will recognize the […]
March 17, 2011 | 11:13 a.m.
It was 70 years ago this month that Captain America, the greatest of all the patriotic-themed superheroes, first hit newsstands with a red, white and blue shield gripped in his gloved hand. The signature creation of the classic tandem of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby gets his own feature film this summer, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” with Chris Evans in the title role and Joe Johnston in the director’s chair. To mark this major moment — as well as the impressive anniversary — we’ll be talking to writers, artists, actors, directors and musicians about their own personal connection to the star-spangled icon and their thoughts on his legacy and future. Today we kick off our salute with a look at 70 amazing covers that represent the enduring character through the decades. — Geoff Boucher (twitter.com/latherocomplex) RECENT AND RELATED Johnston’s dark plan: “Our Bucky […]
Feb. 02, 2011 | 3:57 p.m.
FIRST LOOK IMAGE Captain America has been throwing his mighty shield for 70 years and his sidekick, James “Bucky” Barnes, was right there at his side in that first comic book adventure in March 1941. The star-spangled hero’s junior partner is also making the leap to the silver screen this summer in “Captain America: The First Avenger” but don’t expect the grinning teenager from the vintage wartime comics — this won’t be your grandfather’s idea of a superhero sidekick, according to director Joe Johnston. On Sunday, viewers of the Super Bowl will get their first real look at actor Chris Evans in action as Captain America with the airing of the initial television commercial for the July 22 film — and the ad also offers a glimpse of actor Sebastian Stan (“Gossip Girl,” “Kings”) as Bucky, but this version is more “Band of Brothers” than he is boy […]
July 04, 2010 | 5:21 p.m.
I met a lot of people at the first-ever Hero Complex Film Festival last month, but one of the most memorable was Nico Rolke, a German film student who had jetted halfway around the globe to be at the event. I invited him to write about the experience, and he jumped at the chance. — Geoff Boucher When I told my friends and colleagues about my plan to fly to the Hero Complex Film Festival four weeks ago, the thing I heard the most was: “You are crazy!” One of my friends said, “Let me get this straight, you’re flying to Los Angeles all by yourself in the middle of the semester, leaving all your work and projects behind, just to see two directors on a stage answering some questions?” I told him I had to go, since Scott and Nolan are my […]