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” […]
May 02, 2014 | 11:47 a.m.
Free Comic Book Day arrives Saturday, with more than 2,000 participating comic book shops readying their annual blowout of gratis titles and in-store appearances across the country. Marvel’s planning to release a complimentary issue of “Guardians of the Galaxy” that will tease to a game-changing event for Spider-Man, while DC is launching a new series with “The New 52: Futures End” No. 0, which marks Batman Beyond’s debut in the New 52 universe. (The series will continue its weekly run with issue No. 1 set to hit stands Wednesday.) In all, more than 60 titles will be made available at no cost: among them, Dark Horse will release a complimentary issue of “Avatar: The Last Airbender”; Archie Comics will offer “Archie Digest” No. 1, which features a new introduction to the Riverdale gang; and IDW will offer a free issue […]
May 01, 2014 | 6:11 p.m.
“Working in comics is always a little bit like trying to find a date for prom,” said Jason Aaron, writer of the new Image ongoing series “Southern Bastards” with artist Jason Latour. “You meet some amazing artist and think, ‘Oh man, I really wanna work with this person.’ Thus begins the wooing.” That wooing has materialized into one of the most exciting creative partnerships in comics. This week, Image releases the first issue of “Southern Bastards,” a hard-boiled, deep-fried tale about one man’s return to his hometown, which is now run by a local crime kingpin who also happens to be the coach of the state champion high school football team. After meeting through common acquaintances, Aaron and Latour felt an immediate kinship thanks to their shared Southern heritage. “There aren’t many Southerners in comics, so I think those who […]
March 20, 2014 | 4:28 p.m.
“Enormous” tells the tale of the aftermath of a huge ecological shift that spawns giant, Godzilla-like insect creatures. Mankind is endangered and hunted, but Ellen Grace is still out there trying to help her fellow man by leading a search and rescue team. The graphic novel, written by Tim Daniel and drawn by Mehdi Cheggour, went live-action today as a short film/pilot was released by Machinima. Director BenDavid Grabinski, writer Andre Ovredal and producer Adrian Askarieh bring the graphic novel to life with an almost 10-minute project introducing us to the world of “Enormous.” The film picks up years after E Day, when the massive monsters attacked (watch it below). Hero Complex caught up with Grabinski to get the low-down on how the project came to be. Toward the end of our chat, we were joined by the project’s star, […]
March 17, 2014 | 2:03 p.m.
Five years ago, Ales Kot was in a Prague apartment tripping on four hits of acid, trying to figure out what made him happy because life was feeling bleak and pointless. “While I was there dancing on the edge, I realized that I always came back to comics,” said Kot. “I was always enchanted by them, and there was always something that was really interesting, and there were things that made me feel very alive about them.” Born and raised in Ostrava, a coal and steel town he calls “the Liverpool of Czech Republic,” Kot was introduced to comic books at a young age with issues of “Donald Duck.” When he got older, he was given translated issues of “Spider-Man” and “Conan the Barbarian” that his truck driver grandfather saved from pulping, and began drawing comic books of his own. […]