John Mollo, as reported by The Times, has passed away at the age of 86. His expertise was in military history, serving as a consultant for period dramas such as Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. Following the completion of his work with Kubrick, Mollo was invited to quite a different British production: George Lucas’ then untitled third feature film. Mollo brought no previous experience with science fiction to Star Wars, instead drawing on World War I trench armor for Darth Vader and Nazi storm troopers for the Galactic Empire’s, um, storm troopers (subtle Lucas was not). At Lucas’ suggestion, he turned to the imagery of the American West for the narrative’s heroes. As such, Mollo had a large hand in some of the most iconic visual designs in 20th Century popular culture and for his efforts was awarded an Oscar for Best Costume Design. He followed up Star Wars with Ridley Scott’s Alien, creating clothes which contributed to the Nostromo‘s lived-in feel. He returned to Star Wars for The Empire Strikes Back. In 1983 he won a second Oscar for Ghandi (shared with Bhanu Athaiya.
Today Marvel Studios offered a new taste for next year’s Black Panther film. Where the initial trailer was a bit discordant, the latest impressively blends design, action and beats. (Though someone in the editing suite is really proud of that car flip moment which reappears at pretty much same point in this trailer as it did in the previous).
Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Martin Freeman, Angela Basset, Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis. The film, directed by Ryan Coogler, opens February 16th 2018.
Armando Iannucci is one of the greatest satirists currently working. Over the course of series such as Alan Partridge, The Armando Iannucci Shows, Thick of It and Veep, he has honed a styled defined by hilarious wit and biting social critique. So, tackling the backroom squabbling of Soviet Russia would be a natural fit for his talents. Adapted from the French graphic novel of the same name by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, The Death of Stalin is a comedic look at the power struggle following the dictator’s demise and features some top notch talent.
The Death of Stalin stars Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Simon Russell Beale, Jason Isaacs and Michael Palin. After debuting at the Toronto Film Festival, IFC Films plans a fall US release.
During last month’s Awesome Con in Washington DC, I was able to speak with writer Ryan North for a few minutes about his recent work for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Jughead. Unfortunately a technical glitch prevented the entire interview from recording. The first segment covering his Jughead run can be heard above Continue reading Awesome Con 2017: Ryan North→
At last month’s Awesome Con in Washington DC, I took a few minutes to chat with writer Magdalene Visaggio about her recent work for Black Mask, particularly the excellent Quantum Teens Are Go. We also touched on her Element Girl backup story for Young Animal’s Shade, the Changing Girl #4.
This weekend brings the return of Washington D.C.’s annual Awesome Con. This year’s guest list includes artist Greg Capullo, whose long career in the industry includes such high-profile properties as Spawn and Batman. His creator-owned work ranges from The Creech to Reborn. In advance of Awesome Con, I recently had an extended conversation with Capullo covering various aspects of his work, including his creative process for Batman, the importance of artistic collaboration and his experience working at Image during different phases of their history.
Thanks to Greg Capullo and Awesome Con for making this interview possible.
Actor Adam West, forever associated with his breakout role as Batman, has died following a short battle with leukemia. According to a family statement West died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by loved ones. West was born in Walla Walla, Washington, where he grew up on a ranch. While West had a long career in movies and on TV, he is best known for his iconic portrayal of Batman in the 1960s ABC series and related feature film. West’s performance helped define the show’s trademark pop-art vibe and cheeky tone. There were other Batmans on screen before him, but West’s was the first to become a true cultural force and make a star out its actor. The show only last three seasons but it defined the character in the public’s mind for decades until Tim Burton’s darker vision arrived at the end of the 80s. West, for his part, embraced the lighter tone of the show. According to the family”s statement, West “always saw himself as The Bright Knight and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero.”