Friday, October 19, 2007

Comic Book Bin Review

Cool Cleveland Review

Hero Tomorrow @ CIFF, Tower City 3/24 Like all previous years, the 31st-annual Cleveland International Film Festival was full of thought-provoking and perceptive works that examine the world we live in with the precise emotional detail of an electron microscope. In all the years I’ve participated, I’ve been clued into movies about family ties, world poverty, crime, political rhetoric and metaphorical journeys to the outer reaches of psyche and motivation. My experience with Hero Tomorrow definitely put me into that latter-mentioned category, even though I was compelled by the comic book angle.

Created by Cle filmmaker Ted Sikora, Hero Tomorrow centers on a ganja-lovin’, dreadlocked comic-book artist named David (Perren Hedderson) who brings his creation – a masked crusader called Apama – to life. The Cleveland-based artist is somewhat lackadaisical and unmotivated, mowing lawns and doing odd jobs for a living - all because he’s just not terribly successful at marketing himself or his work. But things change once he dons the suit... Hero Tomorrow starts out as a precise view into David’s world and expands into a comical pseudo-superhero flick, one that ends up being more gratifying and genuinely comical than anything else attempted before it – take that, Greatest American Hero and Superman III.
David seems to believe in Apama’s future as a character, explaining in a pitch that “It’s not offensive, it’s a homage.” He also sees Apama’s future as an “icon” and protector in the fight against evil, though it was odd and expectedly quirky to see just how Apama comes to life and how heroic he ends up becoming once he does. I even liked Apama’s sort of Derek Hess-inspired, pencil-sketchy look (replete with messy mohawk) for David’s real life Apama costume made by girlfriend Robyn (Jocelyn Wrzosek). And lastly, on-again, off-again Cle native Ray McNiece as the comic shop owner was a perfect casting choice. Props to Sikora and the entire cast credit: Hero Tomorrow made for a compelling view. If you missed out on this off-beat comic book quirkfest, check out the trailer at and keep an eye out for a future screening around town.
From Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian