Sept. 04, 2014 | 6:22 p.m.
Valiant Comics’ latest superhero project, “The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage,” marks major steps for the publisher. It’s the first time a female character has been the central character of a Valiant title, and it’s also the company’s first book headlined by a female writer, with Jen Van Meter taking the reins to deliver a supernatural love story with rich emotion and a creepy atmosphere. The five-issue miniseries debuting this week spotlights Dr. Shan Fong — known in more colorful circles as Dr. Mirage — a paranormal investigator with the ability to communicate with spirits. She regularly helps people deal with their grief thanks to her extraordinary ability, but the one person she really wants to talk to is the one person that is nowhere to be found: her deceased husband Hwen. A new case presents an opportunity for Shan to reconnect […]
Aug. 13, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
A feminist icon in a genre dominated by male characters, Wonder Woman has always been a pioneer in superhero comics, and this week, she boldly ventures into new territory with her first digital comics series, “Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman.” An anthology in the vein of the recent “Adventures of Superman” and “Legends of the Dark Knight” titles, this new series allows creators to tell stories set outside of DC’s New 52 continuity, giving them the chance to put their favorite versions of Wonder Woman on the page. The Superman and Batman anthologies have produced some of those heroes’ most captivating stories over the last two years, and based on the creative team for “Sensation Comics” No. 1, it’s very likely that Wonder Woman will see the same kind of fortune. Writer Gail Simone penned an exceptional two-year “Wonder Woman” […]
July 29, 2014 | 3:05 p.m.
Paolo Rivera won two Eisner Awards for his lush work on Marvel’s “Daredevil,” but he hasn’t produced regular interior art since leaving that title in 2012. This October, he returns to monthly comics with “The Valiant,” a new miniseries written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt. Uniting Valiant Comics’ superhero characters against a threat that has evolved through time, this project gives Rivera freedom to stretch his creative muscles in a fledgling comic-book universe, and early preview pages and concept designs promise all the detail and dynamism of his work at Marvel. Born and raised in Daytona Beach, Fla., Rivera was introduced to comic books by his father, Joe Rivera, a painter of custom motorcycles who kept assorted issues around the house. “I grew up in Florida not too far from Disney,” Rivera says. “I was a kid who could […]
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 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 […]
May 30, 2014 | 2:25 p.m.
Charles Soule received his first ongoing superhero comic assignment in April 2013, when he took over DC Comics’ “Swamp Thing” from outgoing writer Scott Snyder, revitalizing the title and beginning a writing streak that continues to this day. He’s become one of the comic book industry’s most prolific writers, with three ongoing DC titles (“Swamp Thing,” “Superman/Wonder Woman” and “Red Lanterns”), three ongoing Marvel titles (“She-Hulk,” “Inhuman,” “Thunderbolts”) and his creator-owned science-fiction ongoing “Letter 44” at Oni Press. He’s also writing the weekly, four-issue “The Death of Wolverine” Marvel miniseries in September, his highest-profile project to date. Hero Complex readers can see lettered previews of this week’s “Inhuman” No. 2, “Red Lanterns” No. 31 and “Thunderbolts,” Steve McNiven’s artwork from “The Death of Wolverine” No. 1, Tony Daniel’s artwork from “Superman/Wonder Woman” No. 6 and No. 8, Javier Pulido’s artwork from […]
May 29, 2014 | 4:33 p.m.
In just over a year, Charles Soule has become one of the comic book industry’s most prolific writers, and it’s all thanks to the law. If Soule hadn’t gone to Columbia University for law school, he would probably be touring with a band, or serving as an ambassador to China. “I had always thought that I would do something that was connected to music as a career, or possibly Chinese, which was my major,” said Soule. “When I got into Columbia, which is such a fantastic school that it seemed idiotic not to go, it occurred to me while I was there that it would be difficult to be a practicing attorney and just tell the lawyers at the firm, ‘Oh, you know, I’m gonna bail. Go play a gig for half the hour.’ Any of the things that were […]
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 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. […]