October 28, 2011 |
This week's DVD releases are topped by films about people who fight injustice and evil. Captain America: The First Avenger, Grade C-minus: Chris Evans - the guy who put the heat in the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies - steps into the boots of the latest comic-book-inspired film champion. He plays Steve Rogers, a 90-pound weakling who, through the magic of science, becomes the hunky Captain America. The film isn't a major disaster, but it generally could use some work.
September 28, 2011 |
We all know how the story goes: book becomes bestseller, bestseller becomes Hollywood blockbuster. It's expected that our favorite reads will one day leap off the page and onto the silver screen. But today, popular volumes are finding a second life on the shelf, visually reimagined as comic books. A seemingly limitless number of classics are available in kid-friendly comic versions, from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to A Tale of Two Cities. The Diary of Anne Frank, Fahrenheit 451, and even The Book of Genesis have all been transformed into comics.
August 23, 2011
Invincible. Amazing. Unstoppable. When I was a kid, such larger-than-life language sucked me into the world of comic books. They featured ordinary people for the most part, who through a set of bizarre circumstances acquired powers that made them superheroes. The Avenging Angel. The Diabolical Dr. Doom. And my all-time favorite, the Uncanny X-Men. The combination of great illustrations, over-the-top prose, and riveting story lines kept me spending my 25 cents each week for the next cliff-hanger.
July 26, 2011 |
SAN DIEGO - Storm troopers cavorted with zombies, Steven Spielberg chatted with Peter Jackson, and the stars of Cowboys & Aliens swooped into San Diego, making for an action-packed Comic-Con. The 42d annual fan festival closed Sunday after four days of pop-culture indulgence. More than 120,000 people attended the event at the San Diego Convention Center, which spilled over into downtown San Diego. Costumed characters strolled the streets, and empty storefronts were transformed into special attractions such as the Sega Arcade and Monstergeddon, which mixed Marvel characters with monster trucks.
June 25, 2011
Comic-book artist Gene Colan, 84, whose career spanned seven decades and illustrated the adventures of characters such as Dracula, Batman, Daredevil, and the wisecracking Howard the Duck, died Thursday from complications of liver cancer in New York City. He developed a style both subtle and emotional that imbued the characters he drew with a vitality that seemed to leap off the pages. His work got him the nickname Gene "The Dean. " His 70-issue run on The Tomb of Dracula, written by Marv Wolfman in the 1970s, remains critically lauded for returning horror to the pages of comics, along with creating the character Blade.
May 28, 2011 |
I WENT TO SEE "Thor" with friends at the movies. It is a must-see for any self-respecting comic-book fan from the Lee-Kirby era of Marvel Comics. We were a privileged lot, no doubt about it. My friend John and I would never have dreamed that the super-hero comics that we voraciously read in our youth would ever have received such fabulous treatment. It was beyond the pale. But here we are. And there you have them - Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor and (soon!) Captain America.
May 23, 2011 |
PHILADELPHIA - Stan Lee, whose career writing comic books has run from the golden age to contemporary times, is going digital. Boom! Studios said Monday that the man who helped create modern marvels like the Fantastic Four and X-Men will see his current crop of comic series available online and on mobile devices through his own app by way of the Los Angeles-based comic and graphic novel publisher. Dubbed the "Stan Lee Boom! Comics App," the program is being offered through Apple's iTunes app store.
May 20, 2011 |
The 10th annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention begins Friday evening with a free reception and awards ceremony at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Events featuring publishers, comic artists, and artists who encourage youth literacy, creativity, and positive storytelling will continue Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Friday's 6:30 p.m. reception will offer panel discussions and the annual Glyph Comics Awards ceremony. On Saturday, a Kids' Library Zone from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will give children a chance to take cartoon and animation workshops with Mama Boyz comic-strip creator Jerry Craft among others.
March 9, 2011 |
Critics of "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" complain that it's an expensive, self-serious production with little heart. So, what would happen if a show about superheroes tried to do the exact opposite? Save the Day Productions is on it. In the monthly production "Superheroes who are Super!" a group of actors brings the comic books from page to stage, verbatim. On Saturday, the company will take to two venues - the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (as part of MERGE, an evening of short works by local professionals and students)
October 11, 2010 |
Dynamite is starting to make magnificence monotonous. The company has again taken an aged, beloved property which hasn't been seen in any medium for awhile, kept the essential elements that made it stand the test of time while expanding the story to include elements that will make it more contemporary and compelling. Shake, stir and voila! There's another . . . ahem . . . Dynamite book on the shelves, in this case "Warlord of Mars," the first issue of which just hit comic shops at the extremely affordable price of one dollar - the best value of the month.