Liesel Bradner

March 12, 2012 | 2:02 p.m.

‘Snow White’: O.C. artist lashes together Disney forests, dark folklore

Snow White
Snow White, the “fairest of them all,” will be back in the popular imagination in a big way this year with two live-action Hollywood films – although, really, with bedtime-story bookshelves and  the persistent popularity of Disney’s animated princess, the character never really left. For Orange County illustrator Camille Rose Garcia, whose illustrated edition of “Snow White” was just published in February, a variety of the character’s different versions all came together in the Magic Mirror of her own artwork. Garcia, when deciding on her tone and text, looked back to the Brothers Grimm’s 1812 version of the story but, having grown up near and in Disneyland, she also couldn’t resist the tug of the classic 1937 animated feature film. “I did look to Disney’s animated ‘Snow White’ as the watercolor backgrounds were especially beautiful,” Garcia said. “I wanted to reference Walt Disney’s style but bring in the creepy […]
Aug. 09, 2011 | 11:11 a.m.

‘Krazy Kat’ and ‘a love letter’ to George Herriman

Krazy Kat
Before the world met a mouse named Mickey or a feline named Felix, there was Krazy Kat and his pals Ignatz Mouse and Offissa Pupp. Abrams ComicsArts celebrates the pioneering feline and its creator with the just-published, 176-page book “Krazy Kat and the Art of George Herriman.” “It’s a love letter to George Herriman,” said editor Craig Yoe, a longtime fan whose entire living room is adorned in Herriman motif. “I considered him the No. 1 artist of all time, way ahead of No. 2, Winsor McCay [of 'Little Nemo' fame] and No. 3, Milt Gross.” Krazy Kat was created in 1910 as a spinoff of Herriman’s syndicated “The Dingbat Family,” when he added a small horizontal panel across the bottom of the strip introducing the cat and mouse frenemies. It became of one of the most popular strips in […]
Feb. 27, 2010 | 12:32 a.m.

Camille Rose Garcia visits a different ‘Wonderland’

“ALICE IN WONDERLAND” COUNTDOWN: 7 DAYS Are you ready for a trip down the rabbit hole? Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Disney are adding a strange new chapter to the Lewis Carroll classic with their “Alice in Wonderland,” a film that presents a young woman who finds herself in the world of the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Red Queen. She is welcomed as a returning visitor — but is she, in fact, the same Alice who roamed the trippy realm as a child? Time will tell. Here at the Hero Complex, we’re counting down to the film’s March 5 release with daily coverage. More than 100 variations of “Alice in Wonderland” have been published since Lewis Carrollpenned his tale in 1865 inspiring numerous comic book adaptations as well as several Manga versions in recent years. But its Camille Rose Garcia’s recently […]
Nov. 29, 2009 | 2:38 p.m.

The superheroes of Japan who predated Superman and Batman

Hero Complex contributor Liesl Bradner offers an intriguing look back at a forgotten age of heroics in Japan… Five years before Lee Falk’s masked-man adventures with “The Phantom” began in newspapers, a hero called Golden Bat was saving damsels in distress in the streets of Depression-era Japan (who were, in fact, exhibiting signs of depression). He was first seen in 1931 (seven years before Superman first took flight and eight before that Gotham City fellow who dressed like a bat) and his exploits were told in kamishibai, which was street theater that used painted illustrations. Author Eric P. Nash examines the little-known art form and predecessor to modern-day anime and manga in his recent book “Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater.” I wrote about the book and this long-gone street entertainment for Culture Monster, the arts blog for the Los Angeles Times. Here’s […]
Nov. 19, 2009 | 3:18 a.m.

The complex notion of destroying the world in ’2012′

Scene Stealer Liesl Bradner has interviewed many of the masters of Hollywood effects in our Wizards of Hollywood section of Hero Complex and today takes a look at a particular moment during “2012″ in this installment of Scene Stealer. The disaster film “2012″ reunites director Roland Emmerich and visual effects supervisor Volker Engel, who first worked together 13 years ago on another end-of-the-world movie, “Independence Day.” How apocalyptic times have changed. The key destruction scenes in that earlier film consisted of 90% miniatures, a common practice when things need to be blown up, leaving only 10% of the elements to be computer-generated. By comparison, nearly half of “2012″ is visual effects. Because of the complexity of the destruction scenes it was impossible to use miniatures. “The limo-in-earthquake was the most challenging scene, as it could not be shot at all but had to be completely created in […]
Feb. 25, 2009 | 6:58 p.m.

The army of Narnia: Bill Westenhofer reveals the magic behind the beasties

WIZARDS OF HOLLYWOOD: BILL WESTENHOFER This is the fourth installment in our series "Wizards of Hollywood," where we shine a spotlight on the masters of movie magic, the effects specialists who can dazzle us with screen images of liquid robots, giants and goblins, ferocious dinosaurs or just a special human soul who ages in reverse. Today, guest contributor Liesl Bradner interviews Oscar-winner Bill Westenhofer. Bill Westenhofer of Rhythm & Hues Studios in Los Angeles has worked on "Spawn," "Men in Black II," "Stuart Little," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and last year he won an Academy Award for his labors on "The Golden Compass." Right now he’s working on "Land of the Lost," the Will Ferrell special-effects comedy based on the old Krofft Brothers television show. My most memorable scene on film is the […]
Jan. 16, 2009 | 11:59 p.m.

The gathering of wizards in Beverly Hills…

     The visual effects branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held its annual "Bakeoffs" Thursday evening to choose the films that will be nominated for an Oscar at the 81st Annual Academy Awards. A total of 281 films were eligible and narrowed down to a list of seven elite contenders that were the subject of presentations and a vote at the Thursday night ceremony. Three will move on after votes are tallied. "Hellboy II," "Journey to the Center of the Earth," "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "The Dark Knight," "Iron Man," and "Australia" were the lucky films that stand a chance at receiving the golden statue on Feb. 22.      In some highly unscientific polling of the room, "Benjamin Button" was the front runner with cutting-edge […]
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