April 05, 2013 | 11:44 a.m.
The Force is strong with Dark Horse Comics editor in chief Scott Allie. The Oregon-based company recently announced plans to publish George Lucas’ original screenplay for “Star Wars” as an eight-issue comic series launching in September, adapted by Lucasfilm executive editor and writer J. W. Rinzler and Mike Mayhew. As first drafted in 1974, “The Star Wars!” told the story of Jedi Annikin Starkiller and General Luke Skywalker, an alien named Han Solo and evil Sith Knights. Many had long speculated that the complete original version would never see the light of day, conflicting as it does with the saga’s mythic canon. But Allie said they found a powerful ally in Rinzler. “We ran some samples by him in order to show proof of concept, and now here we are,” Allie said. “We’ve had a great relationship with Lucasfilm for […]
Nov. 15, 2011 | 3:48 p.m.
It began as a “fever dream” of an idea on Twitter — how special would it be to bring together an all-star roster of U.K. comics creators and let them tell a single life story by taking turns at their art tables and then handing off the narrative like a baton in a relay race? The result is “Nelson,” now on sale, a 250-page experimental graphic novel that also functions as an exercise in charity with 100% of profits going to Shelter, a group dedicated to housing issues and the homelessness crisis in Britain. “Nelson,” from U.K. comics publisher Blank Slate, chronicles the life of protagonist Nel Baker over 43 years. Each contributor portrayed a single event in Nel’s life over successive years, and the result is a cohesive arc that is also beautifully fractured. Blank Slate describes the project as “part exquisite corpse, part relay race” […]
May 03, 2011 | 9:23 a.m.
Free Comic Book Day in L.A.: Geoff Johns, Robert Kirkman, Mike Mignola, Steve Niles signings [updated]
It’s Geoff Johns’ universe, we just live in it. That’s how it feels these days for DC fans who find the prolific and passionate creator playing a key role in the feature film (“Green Lantern,” which hits theaters on June 17), on television’s (“Smallville,” which ends it decade-long run on Friday), in cyberspace (DC Universe Online) and, of course, the comics, where he’s filled entire bookshelves with tales of Flash, Green Lantern, Superman and many, many others. If you want to meet Johns, here’s the brightest day to do so: Saturday is Free Comic Book Day and the chief creative officer of DC Entertainment will be appearing at Earth 2 in Los Angeles from noon to 2 p.m. at the Sherman Oaks location (15017 Ventura Blvd.) and from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Northridge location (8967 Reseda Blvd.). He’ll be signing a special edition of “Green Lantern,” […]
Dec. 10, 2010 | 10:06 a.m.
Words of encouragement are nice to hear, but harsh honesty is what we remember most. That’s true for filmmaker Guillermo del Toro when he looks back on his first meeting with one of his heroes, James Cameron, who listened to the young director proudly explain that he had just mortgaged his house and sold his van so he could finish his first feature film, a small Mexican horror flick called “Cronos.” “You know,” Cameron responded, “that doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be great.” Del Toro, best known for “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the “Hellboy” films, recounted the moment Tuesday for a rapt audience of fans and students at a screening of “Cronos” at the Los Angeles Film School. “And it’s absolutely true,” Del Toro said of Cameron’s appraisal. “You hear all those stories about the guys who donated their kidney to make a successful movie, but you […]
Dec. 03, 2010 | 4:44 p.m.
THE SIGNATURE SERIES: MIKE MIGNOLA Today we proudly launch a new video archive here at the Hero Complex — we call it The Signature Series and it will take you into the workspace of writers, artists, filmmakers and other creators of the fantastic so you can hear their voice (and only their voice) as they recount the turning points in their career, their influences and insights they’ve gleaned about life and craft. There is no better first subject for this new endeavor than Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy and an industry figure as much for his wry candor as for prodigious talents. We sat down with him in Redondo Beach studio to talk about Hellboy’s origins, Jack Kirby, Hollywood, “Gotham by Gaslight,” artist anxiety and one profoundly strange night in Prague. We hope you enjoy the Signature Series and would love to hear your suggestions — whose voice do you want to […]
July 22, 2010 | 7:52 p.m.
Some sights and sounds from the first few hours of Comic-Con International, Day One… BEST T-SHIRT: “Team Edward” but with a picture of Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp old-school version of a brooding, cinematic heartthrob with blood splatter issues. MOST UNEXPECTED REVELATION: John Stevenson, director of “Kung Fu Panda,” stopped a panel discussion on imagination and creativity to launch into a long ode to Mike Mignola, the creator of “Hellboy,” who looked both flattered and then a bit uncomfortable at the lengthy valentine. Stevenson said his office wall was adorned with “Hellboy” images during the making of “Panda,” each of them a reminder of artistic integrity and attention to craft. At the end of it all, the droll Mignola waited a beat and then muttered, “Well I’m glad the movie wasn’t bad then because I’d feel responsible.” MOST DISAPPOINTED GROUP:Paparazzi who spent […]
April 11, 2010 | 8:30 p.m.
A Sunday cover story in the Los Angeles Times Arts & Books section by David Ng takes a look at the long-running, and just plain long, Ring Festival operas by Richard Wagner – produced in Los Angeles for the first time — and their influence on many of today’s heroes in comic books and beyond, including Xena, Thor and Green Lantern. Look, up in the sky! In case you haven’t noticed already, our entertainment stratosphere has grown crowded with muscle-bound superheroes in almost every conceivable shape and size: the franchise-rebooted likes of Spider-Man and Superman, battle-armored warriors such as Robin Hood and Perseus. To whom do we owe our super-saturated superhero culture? It would be easy to lay all of the credit (or blame) at the feet of comic-book artists and Hollywood executives. But superhero roots go much deeper than […]
July 01, 2009 | 2:50 p.m.
One of the gentle souls in the movie business is Guillermo del Toro, and I always look forward to my interviews with him. This is a longer version of my latest story on Del Toro, which is scheduled to run Thursday on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Calender section. Fantasy and horror fans, prepare yourself for the Decade of Del Toro. On the far side of the globe, in New Zealand, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is now in his seventh month of labor on “The Hobbit,” a $300-million epic that will be told over two films in 2011 and 2012. But you can also find the Guadalajara native on the shelf of your local bookstore with his just-released debut novel, “The Strain,” the opening installment of a vampire trilogy he already has mapped out. That’s only the beginning. The 44-year-old Del […]
Sept. 30, 2008 | 5:49 p.m.
Chris Lee writes about Hollywood and pop culture for the Los Angeles Times and, through the years, he has spent a ludicrous amount of money on sneakers. He just sent over this post on some heroic new shoes. It was as inevitable as the Hulk and Iron Man winding up in a Marvel Studios-produced movie together: that comic book geeks and athletic footwear fetishists known as “sneakerheads” would one day bond over shared cultural arcana. This week marks the release of a trio of limited edition DC Super Hero Shoes, available at Limited Soles courtesy of sneaker purveyor ACI International. The cost: $110 a pop, each shoe’s look copped from the chunky-soled styling of Nike’s iconic Air Force 1 basketball shoe. Respectively commemorating Batman, the Joker and Superman, the collectors’ edition kicks are a vibrantly-hued, small batch affair you’re not […]
July 19, 2008 | 11:05 p.m.
Mike Richardson’s Dark Horse Comics empire has put the sleepy town of 21,000 on the map. MILWAUKIE, ORE. — IT’S A three-block stroll from the leafy banks of the Willamette to Main Street here, but on most lazy afternoons, it’s so quiet you can hear the river’s lulling drone the whole way. As one local said the other day as he walked toward the malt shop on Main: “It’s like this town got to about 1959 and said, ‘This seems good, we’ll stay here.’ “ Unless there’s a remake of “Stand by Me” in the works, it’s hard to imagine this town grabbing the attention of distant Hollywood and its Bluetooth brigades of executives and agents. But it has managed to do that very thing because mild-mannered Milwaukie has a secret identity. The “Dogwood City of the West,” it turns […]