Sunday, January 14, 2007

Comic Buyer's Guide Review of HT

By Tony Isabella

One of the highlights of Mid-Ohio-Con was an evening screening of Hero Tomorrow by co-writer/director Ted Sikora. This indy film belies its low budget as it tells its engaging tale of a comic-book creator getting too close to his creation and the spiraling impact this has on his life and the lives of those around him. I’ve seen the movie a couple times now and I’m always impressed by how good it looks. The story is solid, the comics-related stuff rings true, the acting is never less than good and often superb. The direction and cinematography hold the film together very well. The surprises - character and plot revelations - are truly surprising, but they never come out of nowhere.

Perren Henderson’s portrayal of the struggling comics creator David is excellent, revealing the character’s passion and problems. David’s creation is actually a pretty good super-hero; I could see an ongoing Apama comic. With a hero inspired by Native American culture, such a series could have a nice "urban animal" feel to it. I’d be interested in reading it.

Jocelyn Wrzosek is the cast’s stand-out performer. As Robyn, David’s girlfriend, she pushes darn near every emotional button you can imagine. She’s got what it takes to be a genuine comics fandom heartthrob. Other exceptional performances include Shelley Delaney as Robyn’s mom, and Ray McNiece as the owner of the Hero Tomorrow comic-book shop. In fact, my favorite scene in the movie, running during the end credits, is a hilarious vignette between McNiece and a sharp-talking Texan with rare comic books to sell.

Note should also be made of the many comics creators who made their characters and comics available to Sikora and co-writer/co-producer Milo Miller. Comics fans will delight in the mentions of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, The Frankenstein Mobster, Hip Flask, El Mucho Grande, and others. Full disclosure demands I mention that I get a "thanks" in the
end-credits, though all I did was let some comics people know Ted and Milo needed help and have the good sense to turn down Ted’s offer to cast me in the movie.

Hero Tomorrow is not currently available on DVD, but you can get a taste of the movie at:

Me, I’m hoping some movie distributor catches this review and signs up Sikora and Miller. Their film is definitely worthy of a wider audience. On our usual scale of zero to five, Hero Tomorrow earns an impressive four Tonys.