Category Archives: Graphic Novels
Derek Kirk Kim seems to have come into his own on this second installment of his TUNE series. Although, more first person, the lead character Andy Go’s, inner monologues and conversations with Dash (the zoo recruiter turned art aficionado) is well worth the read.
Maybe it’s because I am morbid or maybe it’s because I watch too many movies, but I kept thinking this story of imprisonment is going to take a turn for the worst, changing it from a light-hearted comedy to a straight up science fiction horror. It doesn’t and not to my dismay. It’s a relief and a bit cathartic reading the banter between these character’s, especially Andy, who begins to understand what life is really all about.
In the second installment of the TUNE series of graphic novels, our hapless hero Andy Go is settling into life in an alien zoo…as one of the exhibits. It’s not so bad: the food is good, and his environment is a perfect copy of his house back on Earth. But everything falls to pieces when Andy realizes he’s been tricked: there will be no weekend visits back to Earth, as he was promised, and his contract doesn’t last one year…it lasts a lifetime.
The odds are stacked against this lazy art student and hopeless romantic as he paces the confines of his cage/parents home. Everything that Andy’s comes to represent, while on Earth, comes into question as the reality of what’s happening to him begins to sink in. No longer do the things that mattered to him back home matter. It’s a return to basics “somewhat” and that’s when Still Life turns into a self help book. Strange?
It’s an artists read, this book, touching on such topics as ambition and love, one can’t help, while reading, to examine one’s own life and place him or herself in Andy’s shoes. The book does all this self analysis, but without becoming the authors dream journal. Just enough to pepper the whole story with heart. It keeps all the zaniness and fart jokes and although I found it a bit trite at times, I understand.
Tune Book 2: Still Life plays out like a sitcom. The half house immediately jettisons the reader to the set of Facts of Life or Different Strokes and then gives the whole thing an odd Planet of the Apes vibe. The whole story would be terrifying if Derek wasn’t a genius at keeping it light and for this I am grateful. Not everything has to be an exercise in dread.
- Derek Kirk Kim – Same Difference (fyreflybooks.wordpress.com)
- ‘Same Difference’ first GN selected for World Book Night U.S. (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
- Tune: Still Life (Excerpt) (tor.com)
- I’m an Illustrator not an Animal! (toonenthusiasm.wordpress.com)
The answer is yes.. If you’ve been watching any of the new tv shows like Sleepy Hollow, American Horror Story or have heard news of Maleficent or Into The Woods, than you know that Witches are the new Vampires, but how did it get to this point? We were burning them two hundred years ago. How has something so steeped in mystery and misunderstanding become the new face of Hollywood?
This is when I tell you that we at MITNG, in our relentless need to get this kind of information to you, spoke to one of the leading experts in the field of the Occult and Demonology, SORRY….I had promised Craig and them…wait, what? What I meant to say is, that I did some web surfing, in a vague effort, to help you understand these purveyors of magic, just a little bit better and how they have and always will be, ripe for the picking in Hollywood.
As far back as I can remember, the world has always been fascinated by witches. The female witches in particular, represent a level of independence, that most men found threatening and alluring, although they would never admit it. The first record of a witch goes as far back as the Old Testament. Although what I’m about to tell you was supposedly omitted from the Bible years ago, it still stands as one of the first records. The story goes like this…in the beginning when G-d had already created man and he was lonely, he created a woman. Most of us know this woman to be Eve, but did you know there was a prototype? According to Jewish myth, the first woman was a very strong and independent succubus/witch, named Lilith and unlike Eve, Lilith wasn’t created from the rib of Adam, but was made from dirt, filth and sediment and not pure dust, to be exact, but for all intents and purposes, she was the physical manifestation of “his equal”. So when G-d said she had to obey Adam and have kids for him and yadda yadda yadda…Lilith wasn’t having any of it and ran away.
Adam complained to God: ‘I have been deserted by my helpmeet’ God at once sent the angels Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof to fetch Lilith back. They found her beside the Red Sea, a region abounding in lascivious demons, to whom she bore lilim at the rate of more than one hundred a day. ‘Return to Adam without delay,’ the angels said, `or we will drown you!’ Lilith asked: `How can I return to Adam and live like an honest housewife, after my stay beside the Red Sea?? ‘It will be death to refuse!’ they answered. `How can I die,’ Lilith asked again, `when God has ordered me to take charge of all newborn children: boys up to the eighth day of life, that of circumcision; girls up to the twentieth day. None the less, if ever I see your three names or likenesses displayed in an amulet above a newborn child, I promise to spare it.’ To this they agreed; but God punished Lilith by making one hundred of her demon children perish daily;  and if she could not destroy a human infant, because of the angelic amulet, she would spitefully turn against her own. 
Whether fact or fiction, it’s a pretty ballsy move, to place a woman in direct defiance of G-d, especially in those days. I like to think the scribes were living vicariously through Lilith, thus they were able to anonymously speak out about their feelings toward the church by making her the embodiment of evil. This incarnation laid the ground work for women to look to her for guidance
For the true historians…forgive me if I jump around a bit. I’m not an expert.
The witch would undergo several manifestations before becoming the “wack-job on a broom stick” version, we know today. I think it’s pretty safe to say that that image of her came along when witch hysteria was taking hold of England. A lot of that had to do with the Black Death (1348-1350). That sickness wiped out millions, so when people began questioning why, many began providing their own answers. This and the Spanish Inquisition of 1478, created fertile ground for the persecution of practices deemed to be Satanic. There were even some who worshiped the same God, who were being persecuted, and had to flee. Whether true witchcraft was even being practiced during those times, I don’t know, but there are reports.
One such report comes from Ireland, Kilkenny to be exact. Dame Alice Kyteler (1280 – later than 1325) was the earliest known person to ever be formerly accused of witchcraft. Her, so called crime, predated the Black Death and the Inquisition, so perhaps she was legit. We may never know, because she skipped town before she could be formally tried, but her gimp…oh that poor bastard, was tortured until he confessed he was a witch and served under Alice. He was burned at the stake. She was also accused of money lending , adultery and murder so there’s a lot going on in this saucy tale. Behold.
The case was brought in 1324 before the then Bishop of Ossory, Richard de Ledrede, an English Franciscan friar. The bishop wrote to the Chancellor of Ireland, Roger Utlagh ( Outlaw ), to have her arrested but this rebounded on him, the Chancellor being her first brother-in-law. In fact de Ledrede himself was jailed by Sir Arnold le Poer, the Seneschal of Kilkenny, her fourth brother-in-law. John Darcy, the Lord Chief Justice traveled to Kilkenny to investigate the events and vindicated the Bishop, who again attempted to have Dame Alice arrested.
After some months of stalemate, one of her servants, Petronella de Meath, was tortured, and confessed to witchcraft, implicating Kyteler. After this, Kyteler was condemned. She fled the country, presumably to the Kingdom of England. She appears no further in contemporary records. The Bishop continued to pursue her lower-class followers, bringing charges of witchcraft against them. Petronella de Meath was flogged and burned at the stake on November 3, 1324. Her daughter apparently joined Kyteler in England. Kyteler’s son William Outlaw was also accused inter alia, of heresy, usury, perjury, adultery, and clericide. After “recanting”, William escaped relatively lightly, being ordered to hear three masses a day for a year and to feed the poor.
Then of course there were the Salem Witch trials of (1692-1693) and we all know how that went down, but I think Salem is where most American’s formulated their opinions about what witches were and unfortunately, most of those opinions were wrong. With all religion comes paranoia, the Puritans having fled England to practice their faith in the new lands, were all alone in this strange world, so new ideas had to be formed to keep the flock from straying and when anyone is given something precious, especially a child, and that thing promises power, sometimes it’s too good to pass up. Things like knowing the future or beguiling an infatuation, is a time honored tradition and is primarily what witches were used for. This dates back to the Oracles at the Temple of Delphi. Course they didn’t call them witches then, in fact they became useful in swaying political decisions…you see where I’m going? We all see what we want to see, but what the fuck does all this have to do with witches in Hollywood. Nothing…I just thought you might like to know a little history and now for the good stuff.
There are two men, I ordain, for being solely responsible for ushering in the era of the witch into Hollywood and the effects can be felt to this day. Walt Disney (pictured left) and Victor Fleming (lower right). Walt Disney, as you all know, gave animation a new face with films like Snow White,Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Victor Fleming directed the one film that canonized the broom and pointy hat, The Wizard of Oz. Of course you can’t mention these artist without mentioning the source material Oz (L.Frank Baum) and…well pretty much every Disney film produced in the late thirties and early forties, The Brother’s Grimm.
These two “single-handedly”, made witches cool. They gave them a face, some likable some, not so much, but they were always memorable and seemed to be what audiences wanted. Course, no witch film was ever complete back in the days, without a song or two in the film, but films with music in them was what Hollywood was serving up for a very very long time. The witches on film today tend to be a bit more serious. They’ve gotten rid of the striped socks and replaced them with fishnet stockings in most cases and tube socks and sneakers, in others.
In 1964 television brought the cauldron to tv with Bewitched starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York, until March 25, 1972, when the show was cancelled. In the seventies directors touched, ever so lightly, on the witch genre, but at a time when horror was all anyone wanted to see. So we got films like Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” and Daughter’s of Satan (1972). This new look on the craft was exploitative to say the least. Most of these films back then contained young women dancing around a fire naked or being tortured sexually by church inquisitors. No more song and dance and no more yellow brick roads, the witch had a new look or at least appeared to have a new look and it wasn’t all good. That is, until the eighties.
To keep up with the magic, film directors like Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg, were throwing down, directors needed to reinvent this genre again. Offer up some magic, but with a real story and real consequences. The 80′s saw witch films such as The Witches of Eastwick, Warlock (1989), Spellbinder (1988), The Little Mermaid (1989) and Teen Witch (1989).
It’s important for you to notice that because these films most certainly involved women, these films could easily be referenced as the state of women at the time the film was made. Witches of Eastwick found three powerful witches (Susan Surandon, CHER and Michelle Pfeiffer) set upon by this demon played by Jack Nicholson. During this time you had films like Working Girl…get it? I don’t know, I was trying to make a connection, but failed miserably. However, the witches in the 80′s are getting sexy again, well…there was never a time when witches weren’t sexy, but you get my meaning. What’s also funny, but obvious, is that most of these films are watched by women.
You see I’ve always said women are the Earth Mother’s. Their ability to create life, connects them “like no other” with the spirit world. Divination, clairvoyance, astrology, incantation, are mostly practiced by women. Sure, there are a few warlocks out there, but most of the problems that are called upon by a witch to cure, usually entails that of a feminine nature. Mind you, this is neither good nor bad, but something I noticed hanging with Wiccan’s ( a pagan religion introduced in 1954) and working at a mineral store, in Orlando Florida. We all want to connect with something higher, it just so happens that higher seems too high at times and sometimes it’s easier to connect with something tangible, that’s not to say witchcraft doesn’t have it’s share of the fantastic, but so does the Bible. We do what works.
So let’s fast forward the chronometer pass the 90′s, past movies like Hocus Pocus (1993) , Witches (1990, a brilliant film I must say) and The Craft (1996) to the 2000′,s where we see the rise of the vampire. Stick with me, I am going somewhere with this.
If there was ever a period in time when the witch in Hollywood most certainly saw it’s imminent defeat, it was in the early 2000′s. Films like Queen of the Damned (2002), Day Watch (2006), Let the Right One In (2008), Twilight series, Underworld and True Blood, were all the rage and virtually wiped out any memory that witches even existed. Sure you’d could still find books being written about them, but for the most part Hollywood wasn’t having it, the vampires were too strong. It seemed adult and tween novelist, were doing any and everything to make these bloodsuckers more likeable or sexy. But in 2005-2010ish, a strange thing started to happen on shows like True Blood, the story took a turn for the whimsy. It began incorporating/crossingover, by having the vampires battling witches. Around that same time the Bill Willingham book FABLES was being considered for adaptation by ABC. A hugely popular book that chronicles the lives of real life fable character’s who had been exiled from their home world. The story’s central character’s are witches from children’s story, given a modern twist of course. So now, nearly a decade later, A shift starts to occur and the witches are slowly coming back. ABC, unable to secure the rights to FABLES, creates their own version of the story and calls it Once Upon A Time (not to be confused with Once Upon a Time: In Wonderland, but kinda sorta the same) also due out this fall. That show is followed by another fairly-like show Grimm and just like that…they are back…and now, in the year of our Lord 2013, we have shows like American Horror Story: Coven, Sleepy Hollow, Witches of East End, Oz the Great and Powerful, Hansel and Gretel, Disney’s Maleficent (based on the character from Sleeping Beauty), Snow White and The Huntsman, PIXAR’S Frozen, Into the Woods (based on the Broadway musical) so on and so forth.
In hindsight they only took a break for about ten years before reemerging, but this emergence happens to be with great fervor. It’s like something snapped, cause people are loving themselves some witches right now, and that’s fine, they do have a history of doing well in the cinema, but will they be portrayed in the right light? I’m optimistic, especially with the level of writing coming out of the studios these days and rightfully so. They do exist and have existed for thousands of years. They even live near you. No, they aren’t wearing anything special, outside of a five star pendant of quartz wand around their neck, but they are today’s practicing modern witches. I don’t know enough about them to really go depth about what their lifestyle entails, but there’s enough of them in the U.S. alone, to warrant a certain level of respect when portraying them on screen. I’ve visited places like Salem, Mass, Cassadega, Fla and Sedona, Az and I’ve seen the covens and they are good people and are respectable followers of Earth magic.
Alright some of the shows like AHS and Sleepy Hollow do tend to do a good job of not making them completely cheesy and let’s be honest, I don’t think America’s gonna buy into that any more, but there are still some movies/tv shows, that shouldn’t be made, but we will have to wait and see if I’m right. Nevertheless, expect to see a lot of them in the near future cause something tells me they aren’t going away anytime soon.
- Lilith, Adam, and Eve and the Disunion and Reunion of Adam’s Soul (alaskawildgirl.wordpress.com)
- Lilith (encyclopediasatanica.wordpress.com)
- The witches of pendle (h00270916.wordpress.com)
- Horrortoberfest Day 8 – Succubus: Hell-Bent (2007) (systemmasterypodcast.com)
- Snazal Wholesale Books Now Offers the Bella Donna by Ruth Symes (prweb.com)
- Will 2014 be the new Season of the Witch (mitng.org)
- The Legend of Lilith (deadlyreads.wordpress.com)
- American Horror Story: Coven; Season 3 Episode 1, ‘Bitchcraft’ (thevoidpoint.wordpress.com)
- Halloween – A Choral Music Scarefest! (kellygalbraithblog.com)
- The Satanic Witch (satanicmagic.wordpress.com)
So I know you’ve seen a lot of cosplay videos from conventions as well as smart ass geek-youtubers interviewing/hurling insults at cosplayers and groping women, for the sake of their ignorant fans…well this is not what this is. This is an outstanding tribute to those who dream of other worlds and once, twice or three times a year, they become the physical manifestation of that idea. I know because I used to cosplay…quite frankly I don’t know why I quite, but watching this video makes me want to do it again.
I won’t say to much more cause you really need to see this…and for those who mock their friends and family for doing what they love….schools in bitches and the cosplay is here to stay!!
- Epic DragonCon cosplay… and cosplay with cars (geeknative.com)
- Dragon Con’s 2013 amazing cosplay in motion (destructoid.com)
- Almost 200 Images from the Dragon Con 2013 Parade (collider.com)
- Summer of Cons (notthesingularity.com)
- JLA vs Avengers at DragonCon (crazy4comiccon.wordpress.com)
It took awhile, but I finally got around to finishing Anomaly. I first set eyes on this magnificent book at the Phoenix Comic Con 2013 and became an instant fan. Developed by Anomaly Productions started by VFX artist Skip Brittenham and comic book writer and editor Brian Haberlin , Anomaly is a visually groundbreaking augmented reality graphic novel. Every other page in this enormous book, weighing in at almost ten pounds, contains augmented reality that can be accessed by downloading the app onto your smart phone, ipad or iphone. Once downloaded you point the camera at specific pages and voila, the characters come to life in exquisite detail.
The app allows you to rotate your ipad or phone, to see the character on all sides. Each character also does an action when you swipe your finger across the screen, but I wouldn’t be telling you any of this if Anomaly wasn’t a good story in itself.
If you can get past the size of the book, it’s actually quite a good read!
Dishonorably discharged from the Conglomerate’s elite Enforcer Corps, Jon is doing a job too lowly for a robot. He leaps at the chance to go on a peaceful, first contact mission to an untainted world. Playing armed babysitter to Samantha, the daughter of a powerful Conglomerate executive shouldn’t be too hard. What could go wrong?
For Jon, it’s a relief to get away – on an easy assignment protecting a couple of do-gooders visiting a peaceful new planet. For Samantha, it’s a mission to change the world. For Jasson, it’s a chance to put his theories to the test.
Being marooned on Anomaly where technology doesn’t work, the terrain is lethal and the creatures even more so, Jon quickly learns he’s not the man he once was. Dark secrets surround the various species that call this world home. Jon’s actions here have the potential to ripple across the void of space, and touch everything in it… Maybe even the Conglomerate…
But when Anomaly sprouts synthetics-eating viruses, flesh-eating mutants and deadly magic, it becomes a race against which form of death will come first. Who will survive? Who will return?
The story flows well as we follow our protagonist to this primitive planet, where large mutants live and magic still exists. The danger’s Jon’s crew face are well beyond human understanding, but watching them apply western arrogance to a problem beyond reasoning, is kind of a hoot. The banter isn’t too cliche, but they border on it sometimes, however the scope of the world is beautifully laid out in long pages that gives you a panoramic of the planet in every turn of the page.
I must say that a few of the creatures, structures and scenes, take huge sips from the Peter Jackson cup, but I was able to look past it. It’s almost an homage to games like Halo and movies like Lord of the Rings with a sprinkle of AVATAR…for good measure. I also wasn’t able to look at all the augmented stuff while I read, simply cause I was too busy reading and the augmented stuff was slowing me down, but that’s not to say you can’t go back when it’s done and look til your hearts content.
I still think there are a few kinks to work out before we start seeing augmented reality books on the shelf, but I think they are making vast strides in the field. An idea, I think, that would up the stakes on this technology, provided they haven’t come up with this already, is for someone to develop glasses that allow you to experience the augmented reality without taking your hands off the book, wait a tick…Google Glasses!! We could take that idea a step further and put headphones in the glasses, that would give you a soundtrack, narration if needed or sound effects. This of course is an interfacing nightmare, but one well worth looking into.
As for Anomaly, it’s a brilliant look at what will be the future of comic books and I am eagerly awaiting the next issue.
- Google Glass augmented reality gets real-time demo (slashgear.com)
- Augmented Reality Market & Virtual Reality Market Worth 1.06 Billion by 2018 (sbwire.com)
- Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Market Reaches 1.06 Billion by 2018 (sbwire.com)
- First Of It’s Kind “Augmented Reality” Mural Comes To St. Louis (stlouis.cbslocal.com)
- Augmented Reality Brings Tattoos to Life (mashable.com)
- Reality Check Using Augmented Reality: What’s Next in Customer Engagement (neolane.com)
Dark Horse’s The Strain: The Fall #1 expounds, yet again, on the 2009 novel of the same name written by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. In this one, writer David Lapham and artist Mike Huddleston, tackle book number two in the Guillermo/Hogan series…The Fall.
The story starts out epic enough, with a fast paced, but highly interesting, history lesson about an ancient tablet. What’s written on the tablet and what it can do remains unknown, but what is known is that people will kill for it and have been killing for it, for centuries.
Dr. Ephraim Goodweather’s failure to kill the Master—the ancient vampire behind the epidemic infesting New York City—has led the former alcoholic to relapse as the city burns around him. It’s the end of the world, but Eph, beaten but not dead, has still got to protect his son Zack from his mother, who’s now a bloodthirsty vampire that craves her child more than any artery.
The streets are infested with this new breed of vampire, one that cares very little about turning you, but is all about serving you up. The weight of what’s happening can be felt on every page, the evil unleashed by this pandemic adds to the characters narratives in this post apocalyptic thriller. It’s a race, of sorts, to find patient zero in a world that has come undone, a fact made all too clear when Dr. Ephraim’s , now turned wife, pays his son a visit via the fire escape.
(Refer to cover art above)
The Strain: The Fall is a stunning beginning on another go round of amazing comics from Dark Horse and is a great introductory read for those unfamiliar with the book.
Via. Fox News Latino
Del Toro said he believes his trilogy has the potential to air from three to five seasons, and that he would love to direct as many episodes as his busy schedule permits.
Having gotten a taste of the story, it’s definitely gonna give The Walking Dead a run for it’s money. At least I hope it does.
- Guillermo del Toro Says They’re Writing the First Season of THE STRAIN Before Filming; Calls CRIMSON PEAK His “First Adult Movie in the English Language” (collider.com)
- Guillermo del Toro’s new vampire TV show will be “truly epic” (nbclatino.com)
- The Strain: The Fall – The Second Arc Begins! 4 out of 5! (whatchareading.com)
There are six new and fascinating titles that are going to be released by DC’s ‘s in the next few month’s, including one by the man himself Neil Gaiman , who’s returning with J.H. Willams III in a new Sandman mini-series called The Sandman: Overture which will hit stands on October 30th. Below is a list of the rest of Vertigo’s roll outs.
- Hinterkind – Decades after “The Blight” all but wiped out the human race, Mother Nature is taking back what’s hers and she’s not alone … all the creatures of myth and legend have returned and they’re not happy. After her grandfather disappears, Prosper Monday must leave the security and seclusion of her Central Park village to venture into the wilds to find him, unaware of how much the world has changed. An epic fantasy adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world, Hinterkind is written by Ian Edginton and illustrated by Francesco Trifogli, and debuts this October.
- The Discipline – Launching this December, The Discipline is a dark, erotic thriller about a privileged young woman named Melissa who is thrust into a centuries old battle between good and evil. She begins an affair with a mysterious man named Orlando who opens her eyes to a sexually sinister world she never knew existed. Through this ritualistic seduction (“The Discipline”), Orlando unlocks Melissa’s inner power and then enlists her into a shadowy war that has been fought for centuries. The Discipline comes to you from writer Peter Milligan and artist Leo Fernandez.
- Dead Boy Detectives – Spinning out of the pages of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, two dead British school boys star in their own monthly series and solve crimes in the 21st century with the help of a new female accomplice. Premiering in November, Dead Boy Detectives is written by noted British novelist Toby Litt with layouts and painted covers by Mark Buckingham.
- Suiciders – Hitting the spinner rack this December, this new series marks the incomparable Lee Bermejo’s debut as an ongoing series comic book writer and artist. Suiciders follows the lies of two futuristic boxers – one on top of the world, the other trying to fight (and kill) his way there. Set in Los Angeles after “The Big One,” “Suiciders” is the wildly popular reality sport that contestants are literally dying to be a part of … and to be the best, you have to murder the best.
- Coffin Hill – When she was 15, Eve Coffin summoned a darkness that had been buried since the Salem Witch Trials. Now Eve’s back to harness the evil that destroyed her friends and is slowly taking over the sleepy town of Coffin Hill. This is a series full of magic, madness and murder via a twisted family of New Englanders. Arriving in stores this October, Coffin Hill combines the talents of artist Inaki Miranda with writer Caitlin Kittredge, a young, dark fantasy author whose writing includes the Nocturne City, the Black London, and the Iron Codex series of novels – which include the recently published titles Dark Days and The Mirrored Shard.
- The Witching Hour – Just in time for Halloween, this anthology-style one-shot collects short stories exploring witchcraft written and drawn by some of the most talented veterans and newcomers in the business – including Kelly Sue DeConnick, Cliff Chiang, Lauren Beukes, Emily Carroll, Matthew Sturges, Shawn McManus, Tula Lotay and many more.
If any of you will be in attendance at this years San Diego Comic Con 2013, I imagine some of these titles will be there. Be sure to pick some up for me…I’ll pay you back.
I became a fan of Geof Darrow‘s work because it reminded of his mentor’s work Moebius, whom he gladly credits as being one of the inspirations behind his work. Geof’s career reads like a movie when you consider how many artist he’s had the opportunity to work with or meet. Artists like Jack Kirby, Tezuka Osamu and Frank Miller have all at one time worked with Geoff putting out such works as Hard Boiled (a collaboration between Geof and Frank Miller) and TRON (a film that Moebius brought Geof in on to give him a hand with concepts). Geof also paired up with The Wachowski’s to do concepts for all three Matrix films and Speed Racer.
With all that, it’s a tragedy that I’ve only now heard of him, but I know you guys won’t hold it against me, especially not after I’ve confessed my naivety.
There’s no denying his skills as an illustrator. There are very few artist that have the kind of understanding of movement and detail as Geoff. The only other artist I can think off with the same level of detail in his work is Korean artist Kim Jung Gi
However great art does not a story make. Let me start off by saying, Geof’s imagination knows no bounds in Shaolin Cowboy #1. The world is strange and very original, but for all the unique and fascinating characters and environment’s he presents there weren’t any illustrations for half of them. Some of the illustrations didn’t even pertain to the chapter at hand. They seemed like works Geof might’ve had in his arsenal and just decided “this is a cool one to put in the book”. Which is all fine and dandy, but these random images kept pulling me away from the storyline. There were amazingly written scenes in some of the chapters that I thought “man, I really wish I could see what this looked like” and for such a talented artist, I thought I might.
I wasn’t on the edge of my seat waiting for this book to come out, so if it had taken him another ten years, because of all the extensive artwork, I would’ve been non the wiser. When I think graphic novel, I tend to want more imagery than I got. That’s not to say it wasn’t an enjoyable read. The monk and his trusty mule are funny in that “Taoistic” way. I love how he dispenses justice “just like that”. His victims don’t ever seem to learn as they talk themselves into quick and gruesome deaths. I do have a bone to pick with Geof though and how he came at the hippies in this book. I don’t know if that’s how he truly feels regarding environmentalist, but if it is…me and him need to have a sit down. The Shaolin Cowboy’s face is creepy and sublime like that mask worn in those Chinese New Year Lion Dance’s. The huge eye brows and subtle smirk can be a tad strange, but it’s that face (which is exquisitely designed) that makes the monk and his world so oddly unique. He’s not your typical vigilante nor is his thugged-out horny donkey, who totes a sizable amount of weaponry on it’s back. Weapons that aren’t your typical scimitars and swords mind you, which again makes this meditation on violence and fantasy, a cult classic. I am excited about the next book and the new ways Geof thinks of how to kill people, but my only hope is that it’s a full panel to panel graphic novel this time.
If your a FABLES fan, you’ve probably heard the rumors about adapting the Bill Willingham masterpiece into a full fledged movie going on several years now. Then you heard that ABC was adapting a story like Fables “Once Upon A Time” , cause they couldn’t get the rights to Fables, but knew the idea was a money maker. If you chose to watch that show, I don’t care how good it is, and you knew it was a direct rip off of Fables…shame on you and you should stop reading this post right now cause what I’m about to say is for the real fans.
We received this bit of amazing news from Collider regarding a deal in the works to really and I mean really, bring FABLES to the big screen. No seriously folks, this might actually happen. This is what Collider had to say…
According to Heat Vision, director Nikolaj Arcel (the Oscar-nominated A Royal Affair) has signed on to direct the adaptation, and screenwriter Jeremy Slater (the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four) will pen the script. I haven’t seen A Royal Affair yet (I’ll be remedying that soon), but I have full faith in Slater handling the script. Furthermore, David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford of Heyday Films (the producers behind the Harry Potter franchise) are on board to produce.
Now the real test will be whether we, as fans, are in abundance enough to eclipse the hype that has been made over all the bullshit spin offs like Grim and Once Upon A Time, I believe we can. Having never even seen those shows, I think I can say with every bit of confidence that the writing in FABLES surpasses those shows ten fold. Here’s to hoping the stars will align for this project! Long live Fable Town!
The annual pop culture event of the southwest, The Phoenix Comic Con, just wrapped up over memorial day weekend and man was it filled with a shit ton of craziness. Let’s begin with my day one. The showroom floor was set up slightly different than last year, but the exhibitors were in the same hall. Artists, comic book vendors and fanboy/girl merchants abounded.
There was ,however, one booth that caught my eye the moment I walked in. It was the Anomaly booth. Anomaly is an augmented reality graphic novel about greedy corporations and our role as interstellar ambassadors, none of which are doing too well when the story starts. The intense art is only half the fun with this book. The book is equipped with augmented reality technology. You download an app and point your ipad or smart phone at the pages and voila, the Anomaly world pops out at you in 3D. We are currently working on the full review of this amazing novel…stay tuned!!
EARTH 2717: THE 3RD GOLDEN AGE BUILDING A BETTER TOMORROW TODAYThe planet we call home slowly dies beneath us.Most humans now live in teeming surface “Terrarium Cities”, off world colonies or orbiting space stations. All of earth’s resources have been depleted.All corporations, nations and technologies have merged into THE CONGLOMERATE whose Enforcer Battalions now conquer whole planets to feed Earthlings insatiable appetites.THE CONGLOMERATE which began with the spirit of the best mankind had to offer, saved humanity from itself by taking us to the stars has become the most ruthless profit machine to ever exist.
While there I also got a chance to checkout a few panel discussions with some amazing people like Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) from the original Star Trek series. Timothy Zahn author of Heir to the Empire and Dark Force Rising and J. Micheal Straczynski, screenwriter for Babylon 5 and the soon to be released, Wachowski television series, Sense 8. The discussions were surprisingly well organized and highly informative. On the down side, some panels promised exclusive images from upcoming films that they weren’t able to deliver on, instead giving us footage from previous Blu-Ray releases that had special behind the scenes footage. Most of which, the guest in attendance had already owned and had watched.
There were also a number of very talented artist and writers in attendance such as Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Eric Esquivel (The Blackest Terror), Radi Lewis (Tech Watch) and uber artist Geof Darrow (The Shaolin Cowboy) and they were all gracious enough to spend time talking to their fans and taking pictures, evidenced by some of the ones I took of them below.
The event went off without any hitches and we were able to make a few contacts and take pictures of some amazing cosplayers. The event seems to be gaining steam and having spoken to a few writers/artists, they seem to be all in agreement that a more toned down con that focuses more on the craft is in order and the PHX CC is among one of the best in that capacity. Can’t wait til next year!
COPLAYERS of the Phoenix Comic Con 2013
Genius is a meditative piece. The central focus of this “day in the life” graphic does not lead to an ultimate resolve, but instead allows the reader to walk away from this compelling work with the tools to place what’s happening in the readers life, at present, in perspective. Or at least that’s what it did for me. Writer Steven Seagle (Ben 10, The Amazing Spiderman) has put together quite a melancholy and dream-like scenario with Genius due in no small part to Teddy Kristiansen‘s use of bleak water colors, lightly speckled with brilliant hues to emphasis moments of epiphany on the part of our protagonist.
Ted Marx works hard at his career as a quantum physicist. But lately the demands of his job have begun to overwhelm him. Then Ted makes a startling discovery: his wife’s father once knew Einstein and claims that Einstein entrusted to him a final, devastating secret—a secret even more profound and shattering than the work that led to the first atom bombs. If Ted can convince his father-in-law to tell him what Einstein had to say, his job will be safe. But does he dare reveal Einstein’s most dangerous secret to those who might exploit it?
Look, we’re all searching for the “awe” (a term I kinda stole from the movie The Fountain), but it works perfectly in this setting. Death is and has always been a great motivator for thought. Whether it’s our own or someone else’s, there’s no denying it’s propensity for speculation especially when it comes to our role in this universe. Steven tries to do that with Ted as he’s faced with all the uncertainties that life has to offer. His need to know his father-in-laws dying secret and how it relates to the old man’s surprise relationship with one of Ted’s idols Albert Einstein, drives him almost to the point of madness. Ted believes strongly that the knowledge contained in his father-in-laws senile mind holds the key to a ground breaking discovery, a discovery that could help him keep his job at a physics lab and help continue providing healthcare benefits for his wife whose just been diagnosed with cancer.
When Ted learns what that secret is, the next few pages are awash in colors, emphasizing Ted’s break through. A brilliant move by Steven and Teddy cause trying to write these moments out would be an exercise in futility. We never find out right away what it is he learns from his father-in-law, but towards the end we find out and as much as I would’ve hoped that it was proof of life other planets or a time machine, it came like a thief in the night. Like Sudattah near the river as he heard a father telling the son about the string on the guitar, I basked in the simplicity of the secrets benevolent and irreverent reveal. I won’t tell you, cause it seriously needs to be read by you, especially if life is handing you lemons.
Genius is a humble project and carries with it an egoless message that transcends space and time. Perhaps that was what they were getting at with all the references to quantum. There’s only one constant in this life and it’s up to every one of us to find out what that is.