WonderCon

April 29, 2014 | 4:26 p.m.

‘Black Tiger’ creator John Hervey on indie comic, short film trials

'Black Tiger' #1 cover (Beyond Time Comics)
“Black Tiger,” an independent comic book created by John Hervey II, has not been on any bestseller lists or received an Eisner nomination. Yet at WonderCon earlier this month, Hervey celebrated a milestone for his project — the premiere of the short film adaptation “Black Tiger: Hunter Hunted” at the UltraLuxe Anaheim Cinemas at GardenWalk represented the culmination of 10 years of effort. Angela Fong stars as Jenn Fong, a female vigilante known as the Black Tiger, who is investigating the murder of her father, the original Black Tiger. (Watch the trailer for the short above.) Hero Complex caught up with comics creator and co-screenwriter (with director Patricio Ginelsa) Hervey to discuss his indie comics-to-film journey. Hero Complex: When did you create “Black Tiger”? John Hervey: It all started back during Memorial Day weekend 2002. Priscilla and I had recently started […]
April 25, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.

Batman 75: Len Wein says Bruce Wayne isn’t psychotic — he’s neurotic

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Do you think the Batman is psycho? You’re wrong, Len Wein says. The accomplished longtime comic book writer and editor, co-creator of such popular characters as Wolverine and Swamp Thing, argues that Bruce Wayne is neurotic, not psychotic. It’s an idea he explored in his time writing “Batman” in the late 1970s and early 1980s — when he also had the billionaire dating Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. Yes, it seems crazy that a man would don a bat costume to fight crime. But in 1980′s limited series “The Untold Legend of the Batman,” Wein went into why Bruce chose vigilantism over law enforcement — and had the nascent hero’s first costumed identity be Robin. That story, and many others he wrote, will be included in “Tales of the Batman: Len Wein,” a 560-page hardcover scheduled for release Dec. 30, the […]
April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.

Batman 75: Jim Lee, Kevin Conroy, Ralph Garman’s days with Bruce Wayne

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Batman’s 75th anniversary celebration kicked into high gear at WonderCon in Anaheim last weekend with an all-star panel that included superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, definitive Dark Knight voice actor Kevin Conroy and voice actor/writer/Adam-West-”Batman” super-fan Ralph Garman. Before heading upstairs to entertain a capacity crowd in a Bat-cavernous room, Lee (“Batman: Hush,” “All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder”), Conroy (“Batman: The Animated Series,” “Batman: Arkham” video games) and Garman (co-writer of the upcoming “Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet” comics miniseries) sat down with Hero Complex to talk about getting in Batman’s head, memorable adventures in their years with Bruce Wayne, and the powers of the artists drawing Caped Crusader comics now. Hero Complex: The three of you have worked or are working on quite different versions of Batman. For each of you – to […]
April 21, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

WonderCon: IDW inks Gabriel Rodriguez; Buscema’s Silver Surfer, more

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Acclaimed “Locke & Key” artist Gabriel Rodriguez is now exclusive to IDW, formalizing a long relationship that later this year will bear “Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland” with Eisner Award-winning writer Eric Shanower. The announcement came on IDW’s “Greatest Panel in the Known Universe” on Saturday at WonderCon in Anaheim, where the two discussed the previously announced miniseries alongside a slew of creators with announcements, including Brian Lynch and his wild, hell-on-wheels one-shot “Monster Motors.” And, in a panel later that day on the publisher’s highly regarded Artist’s Editions, editor Scott Dunbier, recently nominated for an Eisner Award for his work on the oversize archival books, announced that a volume of Walt Simonson’s “Manhunter” will arrive in September and one of John Buscema’s work on “Silver Surfer” will be coming in October. Simonson is also the subject of a 22-page Portfolio Edition of his 1970s […]
April 20, 2014 | 8:19 p.m.

WonderCon: Zack Whedon, Christos Gage on ‘Serenity,’ ‘Buffy’ comics

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Before the “Dark Horse: Whedonversity” panel got started, there was an impromptu singalong among fans in line. A man with a guitar and a female singer performed the theme song from “Firefly,” and then fellow Browncoats joined in the singing of “The Hero of Canton,” the mistaken celebration of the man they call Jayne. Fans’ fervor for the short-lived Joss Whedon sci-fi western series, its follow-up “Serenity” film and the “Avengers” director’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV show endures, and in the pages of official canonical further seasons in Dark Horse comics, the characters’ adventures continue. Zack Whedon, who is writing the six-issue “Serenity: Leaves on the Wind,” which is set nine months after the events of the 2005 film, that series’ artist Georges Jeanty and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10″ writer Christos Gage talked with the crowded room, […]
April 20, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.

WonderCon: Valiant First opens up; Robert Venditti on Armor Hunters

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After re-imagining a universe first seen in comics in the 1990s, the revived Valiant Entertainment is marking its third year by launching a series of books intended to give potential new readers a spot to jump on. The Valiant First books, detailed at the publisher’s Saturday panel at WonderCon, begin with April 30’s “Rai” No. 1, by writer Matt Kindt and artist Clayton Crain, which Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani said is set in 41st century Japan, a land ruled by an artificial-intelligence figured called Father, and will have the title character investigating the first murder in a thousand years. Armor Hunters, which “X-O Manowar” writer Robert Venditti described as a “Seal Team 6 of outer space” including “cuddly-looking death robot” Ginger, plays a major role in Valiant titles over the next several months. Their self-titled four-issue miniseries by Venditti […]
April 20, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

WonderCon: Batman 75 celebration has Jim Lee, Bruce Timm, Kevin Smith

In 75 years of stories, Batman’s greatest obstacle has always been his humanity, Kevin Smith told an applauding capacity crowd in a Bat-cavernous space Saturday at WonderCon. “That’s the only thing that stops him,” the filmmaker said, “and you see the frustration as he’s portrayed throughout every medium…. It’s only when he hits the ceiling of his humanity that he can possibly be stopped. And, as we’ve seen, even then sometimes he overcomes it.” Smith, who hosts the “Fatman on Batman” podcast, was joined on the Batman 75 celebration panel by his “Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet” comic co-writer Ralph Garman, superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee (“Batman: Hush,” “All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder”), essential Caped Crusader animator Bruce Timm (“Batman: The Animated Series,” “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm”), longtime popular Bat-voice actor Kevin Conroy […]
April 19, 2014 | 11:00 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: Fox bets big on dystopia with ‘Apes,’ ‘Maze Runner’

Twentieth Century Fox is trading heavy on dystopia this summer. During its panel Saturday at WonderCon, the studio presented three not-so-optimistic views of the future with “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Maze Runner” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” “Dawn” is intended to be a bridge between the studio’s surprise hit “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and the 1968 classic “Planet of the Apes.” Director Matt Reeves was joined onstage by cast members Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis, who returned as the intelligent ape, Ceasar, from the previous film. The new movie, which is set to open July 11, picks up years after the end of “Rise,” which concluded with a lethal virus wiping out most of the population. Reeves said the first third of the new film and the opening of the […]
April 19, 2014 | 9:35 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: ‘Lucy’ director Luc Besson on ScarJo, strong heroines

Luc Besson’s return to full-tilt action filmmaking with “Lucy” revved up the crowd at the Universal presentation at WonderCon on Saturday. Set for release Aug. 8, “Lucy,” written and directed by Besson, stars Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule who ingests some contraband and finds herself with enhanced abilities, apparently because the chemicals enable her to access more of her brain. (Johansson has been on a professional run lately, with turns in films including the Academy Award-winning “Her,” in which she gave voice to a sentient operating system; April’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Under the Skin”; and next month’s indie restaurant movie “Chef,” directed by Jon Favreau). In Anaheim on Saturday, Besson screened two sequences from “Lucy,” the first of which showed Johansson’s character learning to exploit the powers she’s unlocked by taking advantage of more of her […]
April 19, 2014 | 5:30 p.m.

WonderCon: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past,’ no questions, no Bryan Singer

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer had been scheduled to take the WonderCon stage Saturday to tout his upcoming mutant sequel. But Singer canceled his promotional plans in the wake of a teen sex abuse lawsuit filed against him this week. So it was writer-producer Simon Kinberg who spoke to fans about the film, stirring excitement with an extended clip showing mutants of the future, including Sunspot and Iceman, facing off against the destructive Sentinels. Notably, no audience questions were allowed during the “X-Men” portion of Fox’s arena presentation. “Days of Future Past” adapts one of the most popular storylines from “X-Men” history, a two-part story from Chris Claremont and John Byrne that originally ran in 1980. The story takes place in two time periods: in a dystopian future in which mutants are hunted by the deadly Sentinels, […]
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