Dec. 18, 2014 | 12:40 p.m.
While interviewing writer Joe Keatinge and artist Leila Del Duca about their creator-owned Image Comics series “Shutter,” the first thing that stands out is how often they make each other laugh. There’s a relaxed, friendly energy between the two collaborators that is clearly evident, even through the filter of a conference call, and that personal connection has translated to outstanding creative chemistry on the comic-book page. Keatinge and Del Duca have two very different histories with the medium. A Los Angeles native, Keatinge grew up in an area heavily populated with comic shops, and can’t recall a time when comics weren’t a part of his life. Del Duca was raised in Missoula and Billings, Mont., where comic shops were scarce. She was exposed to the medium through the Internet and the early days of webcomics, but it wasn’t until college […]
Oct. 28, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
Scott Snyder prefers horror where the humans are worse than the monsters. That idea, rooted in the Eisner Award-winning, bestselling writer’s early exposure to George Romero’s classic “Night of the Living Dead,” is at play in his new Image Comics series with artist Jock, “Wytches,” which arrived to enthusiastic reviews earlier this month. In “Wytches,” the titular terrors look more fearsome than “cackling women around the caldron,” as Snyder put it in a phone conversation with Hero Complex about his favorite horror stories. But what he hopes is more frightening than their bestial, skeletal appearance is that “they don’t come and eat anybody unless someone gives that person to them.” ‘Wytches’ preview: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 The witches’ far-advanced knowledge of natural sciences means they can do […]
Oct. 20, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
Oddly Normal is as conflicted as her name. The smart, sullen schoolgirl star of writer-artist Otis Frampton’s emotionally stormy all-ages Image Comics series is the daughter of parents from different worlds: Her father is an average-as-average-gets Earth guy; her mother is a most unusual woman – a witch from the fantastical Fignation. And being a half-witch girl – complete with naturally green hair and pointy ears — in a typical American school isn’t easy. A social outcast with a sardonic wit for self-defense, she feels like an outsider even in her own family, who live in the sole creepy Victorian manse on a street of cookie-cutter suburban houses. In an angry moment on her 10th birthday, as seen in last month’s well-reviewed first issue, she isn’t careful what she wishes for. “Oddly Normal” No. 2, out Wednesday, continues Frampton’s reboot […]
Sept. 12, 2014 | 11:00 a.m.
Is there such a thing as too much imagination? A limit on new ideas? That’s what Emily the Strange and her band mate Willow are told by a fussy visitor in a story that’s part of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s and Image Comics’ 48-page, all-ages-appropriate “Liberty Annual 2014,” which benefits the CBLDF’s 1st Amendment work. And don’t worry — the young rock ‘n’ roll rebels aren’t going to stand for that your-thoughts-are-too-unruly business. “Emily and the Strangers in … The Idea Factory” has a story by Mariah Huehner (“True Blood: All Together Now”) and Emily the Strange creator Rob Reger, with art by Cat Farris — the same team behind the recent “Emily and the Strangers: Breaking the Record” miniseries at Dark Horse. Hero Complex readers can get an early peek at the story in the gallery above […]
Aug. 15, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
“Penny Dora and the Wishing Box,” Michael Stock and Sina Grace’s new all-ages Image Comics series, has its roots in a half-page story written five years ago – by, appropriately enough, an 8-year-old. The five-issue fantasy adventure about a young girl in suburban Southern California who finds that titular magical item at her doorstep on the day before Christmas began as a reinvention of the Pandora myth by writer Stock’s daughter, Nico. That short story made it into her school newspaper, and Stock, founder of the longtime popular Part-Time Punks club night at the Echo in Los Angeles and host of the same-named radio show, had her read it on his KXLU-FM (88.9) program. “I will still get calls from time to time from various people being like, ‘Whatever happened to the magic box?’” Stock told Hero Complex during a […]
July 26, 2014 | 7:51 p.m.
“Saga,” writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples told their panel’s capacity crowd Saturday at Comic-Con, is Hazel’s story. The daughter of Alana and Marko – on-the-run lovers born of warring alien species – Hazel narrates Vaughan and Staples’ creator-owned, Eisner Award-winning hit Image Comics series from an as yet unseen future. Readers first met her just as she was being born, and in the most recent issues see her as a toddler. “Her parents are a very important part of her life now,” said Vaughan, who hasn’t been shy about killing off “Saga” characters. “But they might not always be.” After the audience’s mournful reaction to that, he jokingly offered, “Or maybe they’ll always be!” The truly out-there sci-fi series’ first deluxe hardcover, collecting the first 18 issues, has a cover image of the infant Hazel breastfeeding, with […]
July 23, 2014 | 7:24 p.m.
New highs, warthog wizards and a robot boy on the run figure into upcoming Image Comics titles from acclaimed writers Warren Ellis, Kurt Busiek and Jeff Lemire, respectively. Those projects and more in an increasingly sci-fi-heavy lineup were revealed Wednesday afternoon during Image Expo at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego before Comic-Con International’s preview night – part of a trend of comics publishers making announcements before the din of Comic-Con reaches full volume. FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 But where Marvel and Archie Comics announced changes to longstanding franchises and characters, Image pointedly rolled out all-new, creator-owned titles. Iconoclastic Image Publisher Eric Stephenson, mentioning the changes to Thor, Captain America, Archie and more without naming the characters, said, “It’s hard to believe that as far as comics have come since the turn of the century … this is still what passes […]
July 23, 2014 | 3:00 p.m.
If that “Rumble” in the distance sounds strange, it’s because John Arcudi and James Harren are behind it. The creative team, which has impressed with a sly, bloody blend of horror, humor and action in Hellboy-related titles at Dark Horse, is launching its first creator-owned series at Image Comics in December – one that writer Arcudi says is set in a “fantastic and grotesque world” full of “big fighting behemoths, or living berserker scarecrows, or borderline psychotic skinheads” — and humans too. What to make of it? Image bills the series as “a scarecrow-Conan fighting in a Louis C.K. TV show directed by David Fincher.” Asked to explain that never-before-uttered chain of concepts, Arcudi told Hero Complex in an email interview that he and Harren want “to keep the mix of humor and terror and action as natural as possible, […]
July 22, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.
“Comics isn’t like being a doctor, where you need to have all this schooling and technical knowledge,” David Lapham says. “You just have to put in the work.” The creator of the acclaimed crime series “Stray Bullets,” Lapham has certainly logged the hours, getting his start drawing comics for the first incarnation of Valiant Comics before beginning his seminal independent series in 1995. A comic-book fan from an early age, Lapham devoted a year to sharpening his craft and sending out samples to publishers, a strategy that put him on Valiant’s radar. He received a major comics education at the publisher, where he was immediately put to work drawing such comics as “Ultimate Warrior’s Ultimate Workout.” “When I left that day, they didn’t think I was going to come back,” Lapham says regarding his first day at Valiant. “Everyone was […]
July 21, 2014 | 3:00 p.m.
Joe Casey is not afraid to ruffle a few feathers. The long heralded scribe of such popular titles as “Uncanny X-Men” and “Adventures of Superman,” Casey began producing his own creator-owned work in 2001 at Image and made a name for himself as a writer unafraid to explore mature themes and taboo subjects. As of late, he’s been making waves with creations like “Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker,” about an all-too-realistic hero coming out of retirement, and “Bounce,” which stars a drug-using slacker-type, Jasper Jenkins, as the costumed protagonist. He’s also been busy with his work as a collaborator with the Man of Action collective of creators, which includes Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle, who, as a team, created the wildly popular series “Ben 10,” and serve as producers and story editors on Disney XD’s “Ultimate Spider-Man” […]