June 19, 2013 |
Kim Thompson, who spent more than three decades as co-owner and co-publisher of the Seattle-based comics imprint Fantagraphics Books , died Wednesday morning of lung cancer. He was 56. Thompson was born in Denmark and came to the United States in 1977. He was diagnosed with cancer in late February. At the time, he expressed his hope and confidence that he would “lick this thing.” After his death, his long-time friend and partner Gary Groth issued a statement defining Thompson's legacy as not just a matter of “all the European graphic novels that would never have been published here if not for his devotion, knowledge, and skills, but for all the American cartoonists he edited, ranging from Stan Sakai to Joe Sacco to Chris Ware, and his too infrequent critical writing about the medium.
May 31, 2013 |
Richard Pryor died in 2005 at the age of 65 from a heart attack related to multiple sclerosis. The unexpected thing, given his life and habits and health, was not that he died so young but that he lived so long. Marina Zenovich's enlightening biographical documentary, "Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic," which premieres Friday on Showtime, opens in the aftermath of Pryor's famous 1980 self-immolation - a suicide attempt, the film argues, and not an accident related to freebasing cocaine, as was speculated.
May 11, 2013 |
Christopher Guest, the director of "Best in Show" and "A Mighty Wind," has made a TV series for HBO. The eight-episode "Family Tree," which premieres Sunday, is his first work in seven years, and like his films it is sweet and funny and not a little melancholy. Guest gives the world a quarter-twist toward the ridiculous, without losing sight of the human dreams and strivings, obsessions and accommodations that are his main and constant subject. The new series, which opens in England before moving in its second half to America, stars Chris O'Dowd, an Irish comic actor who has been insinuating himself little by little into the American consciousness; he was in "Bridesmaids" and "This Is 40" and had a recurring role in the first season of "Girls," and many will know him as the star of the British sitcom "The IT Crowd.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 2013 |
Fans waiting in line Saturday for the annual Free Comic Book Day event at Golden Apple Comics on Melrose Avenue witnessed firsthand the kind of high-speed car chase and police action regularly featured in graphic novels. Dozens of people in two lines streaming into the store and a nearby gallery and parking lot, where free comic book issues were being handed out, first heard sirens around 12:30 p.m. Then a yellow Jeep, its front bumper damaged, peeled south down La Brea Avenue, swinging left onto Melrose in front of Golden Apple, followed quickly by at least two police cruisers.
May 3, 2013 |
Funny and trying, "Maron," which premieres Friday on IFC, stars the comedian and podcaster Marc Maron as comedian and podcaster Marc Maron. Among self-referential sitcoms, it is somewhere on (or around) the continuum between "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Louie," less fanciful than the first and more conventional than the latter. As a character, he's angrier than Larry David and less sweet than Louis C.K., though they all share an inability not to act from the inconvenient, if honest, impulse.
April 28, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Miss Agatha Trunchbull, headmistress of Crunchem Hall school, hates pigtails. They're good only to serve as handles by which she can toss a rebellious child into the air - a feat this one-time Olympic hammer-throwing champion shows off early in "Matilda," the new Broadway musical. Her motto - " Bambinatum est maggitum" (" Children are maggots") - is no joke. Even so, Miss Trunchbull, as severe as her chignon and as charming as Hannibal Lecter, is one of the funniest comic creations ever to grace a Broadway stage.
April 20, 2013 |
Marc Maron slips into a chair and plunks a tattered, spiral-bound notebook onto the table. The cover, folded back, reveals dense, tight scribbling on ruled paper. Pen in hand, Maron hunches over the notes, looks up for a second to lock eyes by way of greeting, then drops his head back down. "This bit," he says, "I'm struggling with the ending. " He runs a finger over a line from his latest stand-up routine, then pops a guacamole-tipped chip in his mouth. "Anyway, hi," he says at last.
April 19, 2013 |
Harkham will appear at the Festival of Books Saturday at 2 p.m. on the panel "Drawing the Story" with Leela Corman and Derek Kirk Kim. More information: latimes.com/festivalofbooks Sammy Harkham is like a lot of comics fans: He's cared deeply about the genre since adolescence and feels both joy and pain as it continues to soar and occasionally stumble from the cultural backwater. He also wants it to be art, to aim high (and low) without ever losing its raw, unpredictable energy.
April 16, 2013
Re "Comic had ark of characters," Obituary, April 13 I first met Jonathan Winters in 1967 in Vietnam. Not many Hollywood people did USO visits to our remote location. We never hosted the Bob Hope-type entertainers. Winters was brilliant. Before the "show," some of us engaged him in what we would call just a conversation. Everything that was said turned into a joke or something original and funny. In some ways it was hard to determine just who Winters really was; the continuous on-stage personality or someone masquerading as a regular person.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2013
George Gladir, 87, a prolific writer and cartoonist for Archie Comics who for half a century breathed life into Jughead, Archie, Veronica and other well-known residents of the imaginary town of Riverdale, died April 3 in Encinitas after a short illness, his family announced. The cause was not disclosed. Gladir, who lived in Oceanside, was also the co-creator in 1962 of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, who was a character for Archie Comics before becoming the central figure three decades later of a popular television series.