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Review: Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life

Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life

I remember the first time I fell in love with a screen icon. It seems as though red-blooded male I knew, knew that they loved women from that first sight. One of my friends from work talked about this very instance he has with all three of his sons. They were watching a trailer for the Justice League movie and the moment they saw Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, they all had a big grin across their faces, as they all felt those proverbial butterflies about the same woman.

My first onscreen crush was Brooke Shields. I remember seeing her in the Blue Lagoon and being “smitten” with those sea blue eyes. Since then, I had a few, and even some from yesteryear, one of them being Hedy Lamarr. I remember the first time I saw her, it was in Samson and Delilah. She played the titular female protagonist and she captivated my attention the whole film. So, when I heard that there was a graphic biography of the film icon, Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life, I was definitely interested.

We first meet Hedy, when she was 5 years old, growing up in Vienna, as her father becomes the person who stoked her interest in understanding how everything works, including cars and lights, which will start a lifelong interest in inventions. As she became a teenager, soon her interests were enthralled by the movies, and soon she pursued a career in movies, working behind the scenes, until a casting director saw her, and put her in her first film. Unfortunately, her career would be derailed, as she gets herself in an unhappy marriage, the death of her father, and growing presence of the Nazi regime in Austria, pushes her to pursue her dreams in Hollywood. As her star brightens, she begins to catch the attention of many Hollywood luminaries, everyone from Howard Hughes to Errol Flynn, while the situation in Austria, begins to get more dangerous, she works to get her mother with her in America. By book’s end, one of her inventions, the wireless network, becomes a trailblazing idea, which has changed the world, and has made he world take notice that she was more than the most beautiful woman in the world, but also one of the smartest people on the globe.

Overall, Hedy Lamarr is the true personification of “beauty and brains,” as she not only marveled the world with her presence but changed the world with her mind. The story by William Roy is riveting, evenly paced, and articulate. The art by Sylvain Dorange is ethereal and vivid. Altogether, a life story that shows despite how much people underestimate you you are more than the sum of your parts.

Story: William Roy Art: Sylvain Dorange
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Humanoids Releases a Trailer and Excerpt for Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life Ahead of Her Birthday on November 9

Hedy Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Marie Kiesler on November 9, 1914. To her fans, Hedy Lamarr was a star of the silver screen; to those who knew her, she was a genius. She fashioned designs to revolutionize the planes built by Howard Hughes. In the dead of night, she tinkered with her blueprints and experiments. And when World War II began, Hedy left her superstar persona behind and claimed the patent for a strange device. One that manipulated sound, created an unbreakable code and confounded the Nazi regime, giving the allies the advantage they needed to claim victory. Scientists called it “Spread Spectrum” technology. The military called it a “secret communication system.” Today, we call it a “cell phone,” “Wi-Fi” and a little thing called the “Internet.”

This week, timed to Hedy Lamarr’s birthday, the acclaimed graphic novel publisher Humanoids is publishing the biography Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life by writer William Roy and artist Sylvain Dorange.  

Humanoids has released an excerpt and a trailer to celebrate the book’s publication.

Humanoids’ Life Drawn Gets a Second Wave of Graphic Novels

In advance of San Diego Comic Comic International 2018, Humanoids is announcing a second wave of graphic novels for Life Drawn, its new literary imprint. Life Drawn spotlights personal stories and provocative, political narratives. The upcoming titles run the gamut, including: a biography of feminist icon and actress Hedy Lamarr, focusing on her revolutionizing scientific and technological innovations; a runner’s memoir of the New York Marathon; a hallucinatory and horror-fueled telling of Marilyn Monroe’s life and a humorous exploration of religious identity (and Krypton).

Marilyn’s Monsters by Tommy Redolfi

Publication date: September 4, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594655357; 248 Pages; $29.95

The famous Hollywood Hills. A strange, twisted forest filled with freaks and broken-down trailers. In this dark world, movie stars are born in the shadows. Determined to become the greatest one of all, shy Norma Jean Baker (Marilyn Monroe) comes to this ghost-town with hopes and dreams. Unfortunately, she’ll have to face all kinds of monsters to reach her ultimate goal. . . . This is Marilyn Monroe’s dark journey like you’ve never seen it before.

Kabul Disco Book 2: How I Managed Not To Get Addicted to Opium in Afghanistan by Nicolas Wild

Publication date: September 18, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594654695; 176 Pages; $19.95

In this second volume of his travelogue series, Nicolas Wild returns to Afghanistan, unfulfilled by his old life in Paris, to resume work at the Zendagui agency. This time around, however, his job is even trickier than illustrating the Constitution (see Book 1): he has to convince Afghans that “Opium is Bad” in a time when no one wants to hear what expatriates have to say. With a charming sense of humor and a genuine love for Afghanistan, Nicolas Wild depicts a series of complicated events, transpiring in a complicated country.

Superman Isn’t Jewish (But I Am . . . Kinda) by Jimmy Bemon (writer) and Emilie Boudet (artist)

Publication date: October 2, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594655982; 112 Pages; $14.95

Adapted into an eponymous short film by Jimmy Bemon.

An intimate and humorous autobiography of a boy’s quest for identity as he struggles with his heritage and his heroes. Benjamin would always proudly say, “I’m Jewish. Like Superman!” Assuming that Judaism is some kind of super power and Hebrew is akin to the Kryptonian language, Benjamin believes each of his family members is a superhero. Until, like Krypton, his world is shattered. After learning of the link between being circumcised and his religion, Ben decides to hide his heritage from everyone. Caught between the desire to avoid disappointing his Jewish father and his desire to understand his Catholic mother, Ben has to find a way to abandon his secret identity for a very public one. Humorous, timeless and universal, this personal and poignant story of acceptance and understanding shows how we all must learn to love the hero within ourselves.

My New York Marathon by Sebastien Samson

Publication date: October 30, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594657542; 192 Pages; $19.95

Published timed to the annual New York Marathon, this inspiring love-letter to the event and to the city that hosts it has already been championed by running heavyweights Jeff Galloway and Amby Burfoot, and endorsed by both the New York Road Runners club and the New York Marathon itself.

A quiet, aging teacher decides to run the New York Marathon. Along the way, he transforms into the man he always wanted to be. Sebastian, a quiet and shy teacher, decides, on a whim, to challenge his aging body and crumbling spirit and run the New York Marathon. From the streets of France to the streets of Brooklyn, Sebastian pushes himself past limits he didn’t even know he had. A humorous and poignant autobiographical tale and a love letter to the landscapes and panoramas of New York as well as a testament to the triumph of the human spirit.

Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life by William Roy (Writer) and Sylvain Dorange (Art)

Publication date: November 6, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594656194; 176 Pages; $19.95

To her fans, Hedy Lamarr was a silver screen star; to those who knew her, she was a genius. She fashioned designs to revolutionize the planes built by Howard Hughes. In the dead of night, she tinkered with her blueprints and experiments. And when World War II began, Hedy left her superstar persona behind and claimed the patent for a strange device. One that manipulated sound, created an unbreakable code and confounded the Nazi regime, giving the allies the advantage they needed to claim victory. Scientists called it “Spread Spectrum” technology. The military called it a “secret communication system.” Today, we call it a “cell phone,” “Wi-Fi” and a little thing called “Internet.” This is the story of a genius. A visionary. And the most beautiful woman in the world.

Vietnamese Memories Book 2: Little Saigon by Clement Baloup

Publication date: November 13, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594657993; 256 Pages; $24.95

Winner of the Coup de coeur prix Michelin 2012 – Rendez-vous du Carnet de voyage

The second in a three book series exploring the stories of displaced Viet Kieu around the world, Vietnamese Memories: Little Saigon immerses us in the diaspora of the United States and the assimilation of these Vietnamese immigrant communities, labeled Little Saigons. Through trips made in 2009 and 2010, Baloup shows how the memory and culture were maintained in these Asian neighborhoods in the heart of the big American cities (Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Lao Area, etc.).