July 23, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Lots of kids love comic books. But Scott Dunbier’s passion went beyond the four-color fantasies on the spinner rack — to their artists’ original black-and-white pages. As a teenager living in Woodland Hills, he tracked down Jack Kirby’s phone number and called the co-creator of Captain America and the X-Men to ask for some original artwork, as he had with other artists he admired. But Kirby went further than mailing back a sketch, suggesting that Dunbier’s mother drive him to the artist’s Thousand Oaks home for a weekend lunch — mentioning that he should bring some comics to have signed. “I brought like 50 comics,” Dunbier says with a laugh. “I didn’t know that was kind of not good etiquette. He signed every single comic. He answered all my questions.” More than three decades later, Dunbier has crafted a unique […]
July 18, 2014 | 2:00 p.m.
Over the course of four decades, San Diego’s Comic-Con International has grown from modest roots to become a powerful marketing machine for Hollywood — so much so that the A-list actors and filmmakers who attend can overshadow the creative professionals doing groundbreaking work in comic books and graphic novels. That’s especially disappointing given that the medium is thriving as never before. With the annual pop culture expo expected to draw more than 125,000 visitors to downtown San Diego this week, the following is a look at 12 vital creators working in different areas of the industry: writing, drawing, coloring and cartooning, some of whom are vying for prizes at the annual Eisner Awards — essentially the Academy Awards of comics — which are handed out at Comic-Con each year. Jordie Bellaire A first-time Eisner nominee this year for her work […]
March 26, 2014 | 11:54 a.m.
Hellboy celebrates his 20th anniversary this month, and on April 1 a new hardcover collection, “Hellboy: The First 20 Years,” will arrive to mark the occasion. The deluxe, oversized volume presents Hellboy creator Mike Mignola’s favorite covers and illustrations in gallery style and includes key pieces of his art such as his first sketch of the character. Hero Complex readers can check out a selection of pages from the collection in the gallery above. The character first appeared in print in 1994, when Dark Horse published “Hellboy: Seed of Destruction,” which introduced readers to the gruff half-demon who was summoned by the Nazis, rescued by the Allies and raised by the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (and was inspired by Mignola’s father). Hellboy’s popularity and evolution surprised even Mignola, however, who said he never would have guessed that the […]
March 22, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.
Mike Mignola walks downstairs every morning in his sunny Southern California home, enters his studio and descends straight into hell. “Hell is my place where I get to indulge. It’s my fantasy land,” he said, sitting at his work table earlier this week. Perhaps Mignola’s comfort in the fiery pits of the nether world should come as no surprise. He is the creator of Hellboy, the beloved, red-skinned half-demon and world’s greatest paranormal investigator of comics and film fame. But it’s hard to imagine Mignola on holiday in Hades. As the sun streamed into his book-lined studio, Mignola, dressed casually in denim and a T-shirt, smiled easily and was relentlessly humble while looking back on a career of which most comic book artists dream. He was quick to point out that Hellboy Day — Saturday’s festivities celebrating the 20th anniversary […]
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 […]
June 21, 2011 | 1:08 p.m.
San Diego’s Comic-Con International remains the biggest pop culture confab in the country, drawing thousands of people to the city’s convention center for four days and five nights of fan-favorite movies, TV, games, memorabilia and, yes, comic books every July. But this year a new, somewhat feistier comics event will set up shop directly across the street. Indie-minded artists, storytellers and comics creators have banded together to form a pop-up space called “Tr!ckster” that will celebrate the spirit of DIY and creator-owned work. Spawned by Pixar story artists-independent cartoonists Scott Morse and Ted Mathot, “Tr!ckster” will feature a combination retail shop-art gallery-event space in the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center that will run for six days, from July 19-24, coinciding with the Con. “We’re celebrating people who make, own and control their own work,” Morse said. “In a world of movies […]
June 09, 2011 | 7:44 a.m.
The 2011 Hero Complex Film Festival is underway. Here’s a rundown of the day-by-day schedule. There will also be trivia, prizes and some very interesting surprises throughout the four-day program. THURSDAY DICK TRACY: Fourteen-time Oscar nominee Warren Beatty – the very definition of the Hollywood hyphenate as world-famous leading man, an acclaimed director and an elite producer — will be the opening-night guest for the 2011 Hero Complex Film Festival to celebrate his 1990 hit “Dick Tracy“ and talk about the film future of a square-jawed character who is celebrating his 80th anniversary as an iconic crime fighter in American pop culture. Beatty directed “Dick Tracy,” which was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three. He also starred as the title character, leading a stellar cast that included Al Pacino, Madonna, Dustin Hoffman, Glenne Headly, Charlie Korsmo, Mandy Patinkin, Dick Van Dyke, William Forsythe, Kathy Bates, Charles Durning, James […]
June 06, 2011 | 5:56 p.m.
Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, will be a special guest at the Hero Complex Film Festival and on Saturday he will be signing special limited-edition posters at the Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, the site of the four-day film and pop-culture event. Mignola, one of the signature figures in comics over the last 25 years, created an exclusive image for this year’s festival and that striking image will be available in two formats. One is the official poster for the event — with the show information and names of featured guests – while the other is a “pure” version of Mignola’s sinewy vision, such as the one shown on the right. Only 100 copies are being made of each version. The high-quality, offset posters are 19″ x 13″ and cost $25. The posters are produced and sold by Every Picture Tells a Story, the landmark Santa Monica […]
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. 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 […]