Comic-Con® attendees will have a chance to peek inside the craniums of powerhouse world-building artists Frank Miller (Sin City, 300, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Star Wars; The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight; The WondLa Trilogy) to see how the blank page becomes inhabited with compelling imagery, unforgettable characters and iconic storytelling from the earliest inception stages to the last dot of ink. Mr. Miller and Mr. DiTerlizzi will exchange ideas about the heroes and anti-heroes that inhabit their works; the creative and artistic heroes that inspired them as young artists (which comics writers, illustrators, filmmakers set their imaginations on fire), and their responsibility to inspire a new generation of artists. The panel will be moderated by Borys Kit, Senior Film Writer for The Hollywood Reporter.
Comic Con Panel: Hero Worship: Capes, Conflict & Creativity A Conversation with Frank Miller and Tony DiTerlizzi
Friday, July 21at 10:00 am – 11:00 am; Room 6DE
Both artists share a deep understanding of the precarious nature of childhood and the importance of the HERO concept to their art. Mr. Miller has said that Batman is interesting “because he straightens the world out. He brings order to a very chaotic world. Especially when you’re a child. You need somebody, even if it’s a fictional character, to tell you that the world makes sense and that the good guys can win. That’s what these heroes are for.”
Mr. DiTerlizzi is fascinated by the sources of inspiration that empower fellow creators and is eager to compare and contrast methods and processes with Mr. Miller on stage. His major takeaway after a lifetime spent in the pursuit of art? “Encourage children to use their imaginations,” he proclaims. “Help them to develop the imagination musculature in the same way you develop physical competence.” One of Mr. DiTerlizzi’s first handmade books, on dinosaurs, was done for a Boy Scout merit badge…another on insects was part of an entire summer spent illustrating a field guide on fantastical creatures. This original creative enterprise would serve as the template for the creatures in The Spiderwick Chronicles, (created by Mr. DiTerlizzi and Holly Black) which sold 10 million copies worldwide, was translated into 30 languages and was made into a film by Paramount.
In addition, both Mr. Miller and Mr. DiTerlizzi have plans for major retrospectives of their work at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi, an exhibition of works by the Caldecott Medal-winning, New York Times bestselling author/illustrator, runs November 11, 2017 through February 25, 2018.
is regarded as one of the most influential and awarded professionals in the entertainment industry today, known for his intense, hard-boiled storytelling and gritty noir aesthetic across comics, graphic novels and film. Recently, Mr. Miller, alongside Brian Azzarello completed DC’s best-selling “Dark Knight III: The Master Race,” a nine-issue second sequel to “The Dark Knight Returns.”
Mr. Miller made his feature film directorial debut in 2005 with SIN CITY, the adaptation of his graphic novel, which he co-directed with Robert Rodriguez. The critically acclaimed film was nominated for a Palme d’Or at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, won the Austin Film Critics Award and garnered a Czech Lion nomination. In 2015, Mr. Miller and Mr. Rodriguez returned as co-directors on a sequel with SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR which reunited the duo with returning cast members as well as series newcomers Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green and Lady Gaga among others.
In 2007, Mr. Miller served as an executive producer on Zack Snyder’s blockbuster 300, based on his own graphic novel, written by Mr. Miller and painted by Lynn Varley. The film went on to gross over $456 million dollars worldwide in box office alone. In 2008, he wrote and directed his second feature, THE SPIRIT, an action fantasy based on the Will Eisner comic book series and starring Gabriel Macht, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Mr. Miller became a professional comic book artist while in his teens, working on a variety of assignments for major publishers, including Gold Key, DC and Marvel. He first drew attention to his work on two issues of Marvel’s Spectacular Spider-Man, in a story that teamed the ever-popular arachnid with another popular character Daredevil. Mr. Miller was then offered the regular penciling slot on Daredevil’s own book and, soon after, took over the writing chores on the title. Over the next several years, in collaboration with inker Klaus Janson, he created the ninja assassin-for-hire, Elektra.
In the early 1980s, Mr. Miller attracted further attention as one of the first comic freelancers who braved the field outside the comfortable world of company-owned characters with the creation of Ronin, a futuristic high-tech samurai pop adventure. It was the first of several collaborations with Lynn Varley.
Since then, Mr. Miller has added a number of notable projects to his repertoire, including Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, with Janson and Varley; Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, with Varley; Batman: Year One, illustrated by David Mazzuchelli and colored by Richmond Lewis; Elektra: Assassin, illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz; Elektra Lives Again, with Varley; the award-winning Martha Washington miniseries Give Me Liberty, illustrated by Dave Gibbons; and Hard Boiled, illustrated by Geof Darrow.
The Sin City books have garnered numerous awards, including two Harvey awards for Best Graphic Album of Original Work in 1998 and Best Continuing Series in 1996; and six Eisner Awards, including those for Best Writer/Artist, Best Graphic Novel Reprint, Best Cartoonist, Best Cover Artist, Best Limited Series and Best Short Story. In 2015, Mr. Miller was inducted Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame for his lifetime of contributions to the industry.
#1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi has been creating children’s books for nearly two decades. From fanciful picture books like The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon and the WondLa trilogy, DiTerlizzi imbues his stories with a rich imagination. With Holly Black, he created the middle-grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, which has sold 12 million copies worldwide, been adapted into a feature film (on which he served as executive producer), and has been translated in over thirty countries.
He teamed up with Lucasfilm to retell the original Star Wars trilogy as a picture book and his collaboration with acclaimed author Mo Willems created the bestselling The Story of Diva & Flea. The beginning of his storied career is showcased in Realms: The Roleplaying Game Art of Tony DiTerlizzi. He has been featured in Time magazine, USA Today, CNN, PBS, the BBC and NBC’s TODAY.
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm