David’s Comic Adventure

Bruce Von Stiers

Over the last year or so I have screened and reviewed some very interesting and different films. Fissure, Lovely By Surprise and Grace are but a few of the strange and entertaining DVD releases I have checked out recently.

But the most different, avant-garde if you will, film that I have watched recently is Hero Tomorrow. It has been released on DVD.

The film is about this guy named David who is a graphic novel (comic book) artist. He has created a superhero based on a mythical animal. David develops an identity crisis and becomes one with his character.

The tagline for the film is “a trippy comic shop romance with a superhero twist.” It does have all of those plot elements and more.

Even though the film was made in 2007, it is just now getting a major push. It has been shown at ComicCon, Fantasia Film Festival and other venues to rave reviews. The film was directed by Ted Sikora. It was written and produced by Sikora and Milo Miller under the umbrella of Swinging Cane Productions.

Although it really isn’t spelled out, the film takes place around the Cleveland area. In fact, most of the actors in the film are from that general area. An extra feature on the DVD has a funny little bit with auditions for the film as done by North Coast Central Casting.

As I mentioned earlier, the film is about this guy David. He is played by Perren Hedderson, an actor with roles in films like Horror In The Wind. David works for a lawn care service, lives in his boss’s basement and his passion is drawing hero based comics.

David has a girlfriend, Robyn. She is played by Jocelyn Wrzosek, whose work includes a minor role in The Mysteries of Pittsburg and a funny short featuring Batman called Gone Batsy. Robyn works at a comic book store and dreams of becoming a fashion designer.

David and Robyn are joined by an assortment of both normal and strange people. Among the normal people are actual fashion designers Allessandria (Keisha) Redley and Patience Myricks. These two play themselves in the film. Another designer is Emily, Robyn’s cousin. Emily is portrayed by Tara Kamman, an actress and noted radio disc jockey. Tara was even on the radio in my city, Topeka, Kansas for a while. Shelley Delaney plays Sarah, Robyn’s mom. Shelley has had roles in films like Radio Days and performed in a lot of regional theater. She heads up the Professional Actor Training program at Ohio University.

A few of the strange people are Greg, David’s boss and landlord, Larry, the comic book store owner and Carl, Greg’s dad. Bryan Jalovec who does a lot of regional theater plays Greg. Author and jazz musician Ray McNiece plays the laid back Larry. Wedding singer and fairly newly minted comedic actor Pat Milo plays Carl.

Robyn makes David a costume for his comic book character Apama. He’ll wear it to a Halloween costume party held by Emily for some of her designer friends. But things don’t quite pan out at the party. It seems that David has screwed up some lawn equipment and Greg isn’t happy about it. This leads to some circumstances and a confrontation at the party.

The whole thing, the confrontation and the aftermath, kind of sets David off onto a journey. And not necessarily a good one at that. David begins to skulk around in his Apama costume, thinking about solving crime. As that is what Apama is about, helping out the defenseless and rooting out bad guys. Beating up drug dealers and candy stealers are but a few of the instances of Apama helping lower the crime rate.

Flashbacks and fantasy scenes add to the off kilter ambience of the film. We learn about how David never got support for his dreams from his parents. And a couple of fantasy scenes of crime fighting Apama are interesting if nothing else.

As this was a low budget indie film, you won’t get some of the top drawer cinematography like in a Lucas movie. Some of the bit part acting stretches things a bit and the audio is tinny at times. But the performances turned in by both Hedderson and Wrzosek are very good and the overall plot is both funny and poignant.

Hero Tomorrow is not exactly a love story. Nor is it a normal adventure tale. It has biting satire, a little touch of danger and a strange but alluring romantic element.

Not to be too much of a spoiler, there is one of those “ah ha” moments near the end of the film. I probably should have seen it coming. In fact, I immediately stopped and replayed the segment to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.

Hero Tomorrow is very interesting and very different. On top of that, it is very entertaining. Even though David is more of a slacker than do-gooder, you just can’t help but root for him.

Before I forget, the DVD has a bunch of extras. These include a commentary track featuring Hedderson, Wrzosek, Miller and Sikora. There are bios for both cast and crew along with concept art and the original trailer. In addition, there is a 20 minute long documentary on the making of Hero Tomorrow.

Hero Tomorrow is available at amazon.com and other online and traditional DVD retailers.

The film’s official site has a trailer for it. The site is http://www.herotomorrow.com/


© 2010 Bruce E. Von Stiers