Oliver Sava

July 22, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.

Hitting the target: David Lapham on ‘Stray Bullets,’ ‘Murder Me Dead’

The lead panel of "Murder Me Dead." (Image Comics)
“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.

Comic-Con 2014: 12 vital comic and graphic novel creators to watch

From left, Mike Mignola, Fiona Staples, Gene Luen Yang and Emma Rios.
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.

‘Death of Wolverine,’ ‘She-Hulk’ controversy: Charles Soule on Marvel

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.

Charles Soule talks his DCU stars Swamp Thing, Superman, Wonder Woman

swampthing
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.

‘Southern Bastards’: Jason Latour, Jason Aaron plot crime in Dixie

'Southern Bastards' cover art
“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.

Ales Kot talks action, art in ‘Zero,’ ‘Secret Avengers,’ ‘Iron Patriot’

"Zero" #6. (Image)
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. […]
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