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Marvel Comics

June 23, 2011
Marvel Studios had decided not to give a formal presentation at the largest venue at San Diego's Comic-Con International in July, the company said Thursday. In recent years, virtually every Hollywood studio has brought film clips and actors and directors to Hall H, the 6,000-seat room where fans, bloggers and journalists from around the world come to see filmmakers introduce and promote their upcoming spectacle movies. The leadership at Marvel Studios pointed out, however, that sitting out Hall H is not synonymous with sitting out Comic-Con, which runs July 21-24.
October 14, 2012 | By Laura Hudson
"Marvel Comics: The Untold Story" performs an act of what superhero comics fans might term "retcon" - or retroactive continuity - by returning to the beginning of the superhero industry and telling the tale again with a number of previously invisible heroes suddenly added to the story: the men and women who created superhero comics. Superhero comics has always been a bit of an oddball, a niche genre with a small but fiercely devoted fan base and a penchant for stories about flawed, outcast heroes who struggle not only to save the world but find their place in it. Sean Howe's book traces the byzantine histories of the colorful characters on the comics pages and in the Marvel offices, from the inception of the superhero in the 1930s through the modern era, and finds the real and the fictional equally laced with epic triumphs, tragic reversals of fortune, backstabbing and melodrama.
April 16, 2004 | Kenneth Turan, Times Staff Writer
"The Punisher" is that rare comic book movie that actually feels like a comic book. Which turns out to be mostly, but not entirely, a good thing. Though he is the namesake of one of Marvel's most popular books, the Punisher -- unlike cohorts Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Hulk and all those X-Men -- does not have any special powers. All he's got, besides extensive government training and heaping handfuls of combat experience, is the fierce power of revenge.
July 6, 2005 | Chris Lee, Special to The Times
In issue No. 1 of the Fantastic Four comic book, four astronauts are bombarded by mysterious cosmic rays. In a few short pages, they become superheroes, each a specialist of sorts: a human fireball, a super-elastic genius, an invisible woman and an indestructible rock creature prone to exclaiming, "It's clobberin' time!" While that transformation was relatively painless, turning Fantastic Four into a movie has proven to be a herculean undertaking.
X-Men, on a trajectory to superstardom for 30 years, have finally arrived. They began as Marvel comic book characters and went ballistic two seasons ago on Saturday morning television. Then the marketing machine began to churn. Action figures, clothing, lunch boxes and video games have spewed forth with amazing speed. Now, the pinnacle of merchandising excess has been reached: X-Men are being emblazoned on bed sheets that will be in stores for the holidays.
November 10, 2012 | By Neal Gabler, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Oct. 30th announcement that the Walt Disney Co. had purchased Lucasfilm, the home of "Star Wars," for just over $4 billion was met with raptures in the business press about synergies and merchandising and potential growth - all the things routinely expressed when one corporate behemoth gobbles up another. But in this case the effusions may actually be instructive and not just hyperbolic. Long ago Joan Didion lamented that in Hollywood the art of the deal had replaced the art of the movies, but at least she was talking about deals to make movies.
November 8, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Netflix is bulking up its programming with a roster of new Marvel superheroes. The online movie and television service struck a deal with Walt Disney Co. to develop original live-action TV series based on four of Marvel's lesser-known comic book characters: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. The first of four serialized programs and a miniseries will appear on Netflix in 2015. The deal announced Thursday affords Disney's Marvel Television unit the opportunity to develop stories and build audiences for these below-the-radar heroes, without the added scrutiny of daily Nielsen TV ratings or weekend ticket-sale tallies.
September 27, 2009 | Geoff Boucher
You'd be hard-pressed to find a recent comic book that didn't have the stylish scrawl of the artists somewhere on the cover, but that was not the case when Jack Kirby was making pop-culture history back in the 1960s with his wildly kinetic drawings of the X-Men, Hulk and the Fantastic Four. "I think I have a highly unique and unusual style, and that's the reason I never sign my drawings," the proud Kirby told an interviewer in 1987, seven years before his death. "Everybody could tell any of my covers a mile away on the newsstand, and that satisfied me."
July 26, 2008 | Geoff Boucher, Times Staff Writer
Hollywood is often described as a dream factory, but really it's just as often a salvage yard. Anxious studio executives would rather bet their $100-million budgets on nostalgia than on new ideas, which is why, against all odds, Sid and Marty Krofft are back in business. The Krofft brothers, both now in their 70s, have a showbiz story that dates back to the final days of vaudeville.
May 29, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Al Hartley, 81, who spent nearly three decades illustrating the "Archie" comic strips and also drew for Marvel Comics, died Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla. He had undergone heart surgery earlier this month. Hartley was a native of Kearny, N.J. His father, Republican Rep. Fred Hartley, co-sponsored the Taft-Hartley Act of 1946, which allows a president to force striking or locked-out workers back to their jobs if the labor impasse is seen as endangering the national security or economy.
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