Jan. 28, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
Frank Miller’s genre-shaking graphic novel “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” is getting the movie treatment. The second installment in the two-part animated adaptation premieres Monday evening at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The premiere includes a panel discussion moderated by filmmaker and geek personality Kevin Smith, featuring director Jay Oliva, dialogue director Andrea Romano, executive producer Bruce Timm and screenwriter Bob Goodman. The panel will be live streamed from PaleyCenter.org beginning at approximately 8:30 p.m. The film — which doesn’t stray far from Miller’s classic 1986 story — features the voice talent of Peter Weller (“Robocop,” “Dexter”) as a time-worn (and probably psychopathic) Bruce Wayne who becomes so disturbed by Gotham’s worsening crime that he decides to come out of retirement against the wishes of local and national government. The president turns to none other than Superman to […]
Jan. 22, 2013 | 1:45 p.m.
Tickets are now on sale for 2013′s WonderCon, the annual gathering of sci-fi, fantasy and comics professionals and fans. The pop culture expo — a sort of little sibling to San Diego’s Comic-Con International — runs March 29-31 at the Anaheim Convention Center and offers movie and television panels, previews from comic publishers, a cosplay masquerade (click through the gallery above for a peek at last year’s costumes), autographs and book-signings, portfolio review for aspiring professionals and, of course, plenty of geek-friendly shopping. The full 2013 schedule will probably be released two weeks prior to the event, but announced guests include Bent Anderson, Frank Cho, Amanda Conner, J.M. DeMatteis, Jane Espenson, Mark Evanier, Dean Koontz, Jim Lee, Marjorie Liu, Doug Mahnke, Ann Nocenti, Jason Palmer, Jimmy Palmiotti, Dan Slott, Jeff Smith, Jim Steranko, Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. It’s WonderCon’s […]
Jan. 21, 2013 | 1:17 p.m.
Some of Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular films — including “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Princess Mononoke” — are returning to the big screen as part of a Studio Ghibli retrospective hosted by the American Cinematheque. It’s a return engagement after last year’s series at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica enjoyed sold-out screenings. The retrospective begins Friday at the Egyptian with a double feature of the Academy Award-winning “Spirited Away” and the tanuki tale “Pom Poko” — two of 11 films being showcased through Feb. 10. Miyazaki could be considered Japan’s answer to Walt Disney. Studio Ghibli — founded in 1985 by Miyazaki, his mentor Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki — releases films that are immensely popular in Japan and have been growing in recognition in the United States. The films are known […]
Jan. 21, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
Want to meet Robert Kirkman? Now’s your chance. The man whose name is these days most often associated with “The Walking Dead” — either the hit AMC zombie series or the comic book — will appear with illustrator Ryan Ottley on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Earth-2 Comics in Sherman Oaks to celebrate the 100th issue of their comic “Invincible” and to commemorate the store’s 10th anniversary. Published by Kirkman’s Skybound imprint at Image Comics, “Invincible” offers a fascinating take on the superhero comic — Mark Grayson must come to terms with the powers he possesses and the legacy that comes with being the offspring of the world’s most powerful hero, Omni-Man. Over the course of “Invincible’s” narrative, Grayson’s story has taken a number of unexpected twists, and in the process won a devoted following. Kirkman created “Invincible” with Cory Walker, […]
Jan. 17, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.
The culture of cute is having a moment — more than 100 of them. Inside downtown Los Angeles’ Japanese American National Museum, the unofficial U.S. ambassador of Asian pop culture, Giant Robot founder Eric Nakamura, hovers over his empire of little people — some 100 charismatic misfits clustered in Plexiglas cases. There’s the cheery, hot-pink monster head atop an armored tank, the grimacing caramel-colored ogre with horns and the Native American robotic beast in a fuzzy bear hat. Not to mention the bug-eyed, blue octopus skewering its neon-scarlet brain with a fork. That these custom vinyl figures are being showcased so seriously in a museum setting puts an elastic grin on Nakamura’s face. “A figure show, toys, are never presented in a space like this,” he says. “It usually happens in a shop on Melrose, on a shelf. I wanted […]
Nov. 12, 2012 | 12:37 p.m.
WonderCon, the annual gathering of fantasy, sci-fi and comics enthusiasts, will again be held in Anaheim despite initial plans for the 2013 edition of the convention to return to its home in San Francisco. WonderCon — Comic-Con International‘s little sister — was held at the Anaheim Convention Center this year due to major renovations at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, where the pop culture convention was held for the previous six years. The convention, in its 27th year, started in Oakland and was expected to return to its Bay Area roots in 2013. However, WonderCon officials announced Monday morning that although the renovations are complete, the dates offered by the Moscone Center are for the fall and coincide with another major event, resulting in “unavoidable conflicts” and expensive hotel room blocks starting at $300 per night. PHOTOS: Cosplay at WonderCon 2012 […]
Oct. 25, 2012 | 3:52 p.m.
Thomas Jane, the star of “The Punisher,” “Hung” and “The Mist,” is bringing his 2009 horror film “Dark Country” to the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles on Sunday as part of a desert noir 3-D double feature and Q&A. A cult darling, “Dark Country,” about a newlywed couple on a desert drive who find a badly injured man, is based on a short story by Tab Murphy, the screenwriter behind Disney’s “Tarzan” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Sunday’s screening (alongside 1953′s “Inferno”) comes on the heels of the publication of a graphic novel adaptation of “Dark Country,” written by Murphy and illustrated by Zürich-born cartoonist Thomas Ott. The graphic novel, on sale in comic book stores and on Comixology, also includes behind-the-scenes material by Tim Bradstreet, who consulted on the film and co-founded Raw Studios with Jane. Hero Complex […]
Oct. 03, 2012 | 3:06 p.m.
Call it the Sundance Film Festival of video games. IndieCade, which will take over Culver City this weekend, aims to showcase independent developers who, working alone or in small teams with very limited budgets, happen to be creating some of the most innovative video games available. The event, which runs Thursday through Sunday, is designed to help these creators and their projects find an audience and secure distribution, much like film and music festivals do for lesser-known artists. “IndieCade features hidden gems from around the world. Each year some of these games premiere at the festival, others go on to be the next big hit and many push the envelope,” said Stephanie Barish, IndieCade’s CEO. The event, in its fifth year as a public festival, includes a professional conference with workshops, speakers and mixers for game developers. But unlike other […]
Sept. 28, 2012 | 4:04 p.m.
“Batman Live” kicked off its Los Angeles run last night, bringing Gotham’s heroes and villains to the Staples Center for a stunt-filled arena show that runs through the weekend. The production, which began in Manchester, England, last year and toured the United Kingdom, Europe and South America, features elaborate sets including a 105-foot bat-shaped LED video wall, pyrotechnics and fight scenes, performed by a cast of 43 actors and acrobats. The story follows the meeting and teaming up of billionaire Bruce Wayne and circus performer Dick Grayson (who becomes Robin), who are up against all of the Arkham Asylum regulars: Catwoman, the Joker, Harley Quinn, the Penguin, Poison Ivy and the Riddler, Two-Face and Scarecrow. Scottish actor Sam Heughan, whose previous credits include roles in British television, plays Bruce Wayne and his caped alter-ego Batman. Hero Complex caught up with […]
Sept. 13, 2012 | 12:07 p.m.
A legion of zombie fans, comics geeks, wizard wannabes and gamers are expected to converge on the Los Angeles Convention Center for a weekend of panels, exhibits, video games and live music at Stan Lee’s Comikaze. Now in its second year, Comikaze began as a passion project for Southern California siblings Regina, Fabiano and Mario Carpinelli, who sought to create a convention focused on (and affordable for) local sci-fi, fantasy, horror and gaming fans. Despite some logistical hiccups in its freshman year, the pop-culture convention’s turnout of about 30,000 last November exceeded expectations — a success that enticed comics icon Stan Lee and horror hostess Elvira to come on board as business partners, Regina Carpinelli said. The convention was rebranded Stan Lee’s Comikaze presented by POW!, and organizers estimate it will draw 60,000 fans — double last year’s attendance. The […]