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Derek Kirk Kim’s TUNE BOOK 2 : Still Life is hilarious claustrophobia

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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.

Absolutely gorgeous and moving tribute to the cosplayers of Dragon Con 2013

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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.

The footage in the following video comes from the annual Dragon Con held in Atlanta Georgia. In recent years Dragon Con has grown to epic proportions and shows no signs of slowing up.

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!!

Beatdown Boogie’s YouTube Channel

 

ANOMALY proves to be much more than expected

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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!

SYNOPSIS:

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?

Everything…

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.

ANOMALY WEBSITE

A collection of amazing fan made ELYSIUM posters

Janee MeadowsThe commemorate the release of Neill Blompkamp’s ELYSIUM starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley, some amazing illustrators have created their own poster art for the film. Some of which have a bit of that retro vibe and some mondo, but all very very good. I hope you guys run right out and catch this amazing movie! I’m hearing good things.

All artworks come compliments of The Short List

MITNG review’s Gamma written by Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas

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If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, than so is the bizarre. Gamma is ugly, but beautiful…it’s a simple story about falling from grace, but knowing how to “Recoup” just like Mr T said.

Via. Tfaw.com

Dusty Keztchemal is a pathetic coward. He failed the entire planet, and now, the only way he can make a living is by getting punched in the face for money. But when a beautiful stranger wanders into his saloon looking for help, Dusty thinks he can conjure up the man he once was-the greatest monster trainer in the world!

Not everyone needs to know why things happen…the root of chaos is sometimes the last thing we need to read. We are always more than happy to gorge ourselves on the innocence caught up in the carnage. Case and point, when we catch up with Dusty, he’s already down and out seated at the bar he sits at everyday, waiting for someone to pay the bartender for the opportunity to punch him in the face. It’s his penance, but he’s cashing in on it. But what does it take to get back on your feet knowing your very existence caused the destruction of the world as we know it. It takes a woman who rushes into the bar fleeing her husband whose hit her one too many times.

The story takes on a more adult version of Pokemon from here on out. Example, we learn about Dusty’s ability to control these monsters that he summons from a tiny box…sound familiar. He’s called upon by this damsel in distress to fight her abusive husband who is also a monster trainer…I think you know where this is headed. We find out quickly how ill equipped Dusty’s critters really are when they are massacred by the woman’s husband’s legion of uglies. The story goes from that defeat to a flashback twenty years before all this, when Dusty was at the top of his game.

It just get’s worse and worse when he’s called upon again to defend the world against a marauding horde. This should’ve been his chance to redeem himself, but he bails and get’s his best Pokemon…I mean monster, killed in the process. At this point in the story, I wasn’t sure redemption was going to come for Dusty, but it does. It’s not in the shape of a flaming sword, but a sort of inner peace that requires no words. Knowing what’s important seems to light a fire within Dusty, but ultimately we never really figure out what inspires him to pick himself up by the boot straps, it’s just assumed.

GAMMA works well as a strange glimpse into the minds of the writers and artists. It’s Ghost World meets Pokemon. For what it’s worth, the book is hipster and will definitely sell copies at Urban Outfitter, but will the mainstream comic buff dig it? I don’t know.

All in all, the plot of GAMMA was sustainable, but I think I enjoyed Ulises Farinas wonderful art much better.

MITNGTV Episode 4

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This week on MITNGTV we’ve got some new clever graphics for ya, showcasing two new spots on our program…The Kickstarters (where we focus on a Kickstarter we are excited about) and Underground Mondays (where we showcase some up and comers to the music scene). Course we will be highlighting all the stuff we’ve been talking about all week Mezo and Dj Micro Connected Remix, IDW’s Locke and Key coming to the big screen, Tom Morello’s work on the Pacific Rim soundtrack, the art of Nicola Verlato and much much more. Be sure to watch and subscribe to our channel or face the wrath!!

MITNGTV on Youtube

 

MITNG’S Videos of the Week

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STARS-Hold On When You Get Love & Let Go When You Give It

I needed this video after the week I’ve had in rootin tootin Arizona. Sometimes you just need to be reminded that it’s going to be alright and this video was a healthy dose of that. This new single from the Montreal based group is an absolute winner and is guaranteed to put a smile on your noggin.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs-Despair

I almost thought the music wasn’t going to start and that would’ve been okay. I’d given them props for coming with the “Me and a Gun” approach to this track. Might’ve been tough for me to swallow, but I’m always willing to go where Karen takes me. This track is deliberate and one of the best tracks I’ve heard from this bands new album. This album could be the one to look out for this year.

M.I.A-Bring The Noize
This girl can do no wrong in my eyes. My only question is how does she keep doing it? If this single is any indication of what the rest of her album holds, this is gonna be a true classic

Arctic Monkeys-Do I Wanna Know?
I’m still not sure what compelled me to post this video. I’m not a huge Arctic Monkeys fan, but this song is really catchy and has an uncanny blues element that hooked me in. Plus this video looks like it was directed by Robert Crumb. All thick like.

CHVRCHES-GUN
Chvrches is still one of the happiest bands in electronica to date. The Scottish band delivers a refreshing pop sound that, strangely enough, I can stomach. I don’t know if this video should come with a warning since just about everything causes seizures nowadays, but in case it doesn’t, you’ve been warned.

DUCK SAUCE-It’s You
Finally a safe for work video. A-Trak and Armand Van Helden better known as Duck Sauce has rolled out yet another fun one with an equally fun video, that if you have your kids with you at work you could sit with them and watch.As long as you remember to do your work

 

Outstanding time lapsed tagging by legendary bomber SOFLES

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I’m a huge fan of street art. I don’t have any favorites I can mention, but I could stare at the murals at Five Points in Long Island City all day. Wait, Alex Pardee is definitely one of my favorites. In fact, the pieces I have on my forearm were done in the Village by protege’s of the retro-fitted bombing legend SEEN.

So whenever I get the chance to showcase street art on MITNG, I try to and this time lapse eye candy comes compliments of Melbourne Australia legend SOFLES, who makes quick work or not so quick work out of an abandoned warehouse. I hope he had a permit for this. Who am I kidding.

(Via.Colossal)

Somewhere in Melbourne there is a giant decaying warehouse now covered in some two dozen pieces by graffiti writer Sofles. Filmed and edited by Celina Mills, this impressive time-lapse shot over an indeterminate amount of time (this has to have taken more than a day, right?) documents Sofles as he whips out tags and more complex graffiti paintings in a seemingly limitless variety of styles, texture and color. (via stellar)

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Underground Mondays: Throwback to No Wave with Rosa Yemen

Ironically, a genre that takes so much out of music is on the rise again with influence. No Wave was a short lived art scene out of the dirt cheap New York City downtown. It originated with the rise of constant drug use and visual art growing in the New York downtown area, and with a mentality of going against the pop-culture scene, many people took to the underground movement. No Wave is a weird style. It’s mostly atonal, and doesn’t have any sort of song structure. It goes against everything that is popular music, or let alone experimental music. No Wave is the epitome of experimental. Many artists have emerged as extremely influential in this genre, such as DNA, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Mars, and notably Glenn Branca.

What attracts me to this certain sound is how different it is. There’s no way of comparing it to other sounds, because there is no other sound. For a first time listener, it will be taken as pure noise, but I find that can be the point. It’s almost about pushing the limits of ‘what is music’ with textures. Many of these avant-garde musicians came from New York, but a group I’m very fond of came out of France. Out of all places, a small group called Rosa Yemen released their only EP, titled Rosa Vertov, in their home country. It garnered zero coverage, but lead vocalist, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, went on to have a semi-successful career out of using No Wave as an influence for her world beat and post-punk career. Now Rosa Vertov stands out to me as a great EP from this genre because of how raw it is. At just over eight minutes, this thing really puts a point across. The opening, “Decrypted” has an extremely arrogant and disjointed guitar riff that doesn’t get any easier to listen to as the song progresses. Any sort of structure with this song has flown out the window, and what is left is pure noise. Not the Merzbow style soundscapes, but a very natural and unpleasant sound only found in No Wave. 

The second track, “Herpes Simplex”, has a very strong sense of emotion to it. The screaming from Descloux resembles any sort of garage rock or noise rock vocals today. The influences to bands like Sonic Youth or My Bloody Valentine are very strong. It’s like a history lesson on drugs. “Larousse Baron Bic” opens with a minimal guitar riff that 100% influenced the riff for The xx’s “Crystalised”. I’d be very surprised if I heard that the connection can’t be made. It’s for reasons like this that this EP means so much to me. “Rosa Vertov” is the fourth track, and it’s a complete mess. The vocals are everywhere, the guitar jumbles from tremolo picking to eight notes, and there’s a large amount of excess noise added onto the track. Not to mention there’s a droning sound in the background that only adds to the tension. A very interesting track to say the least.

Finally, there’s the semi-tonal track, “Tso Xin Yu X”. For once on the EP there’s a set beat and guitar rhythm that doesn’t fly off the tracks after a second. The track ends very suddenly after a minute and a half rhythm section, and sets itself as a solid closer for a wonderful mess of an EP. It’s very hard to describe No Wave without listening to it. I find that every artist has a different idea of what that term means, but to me it’s almost a play on words with “new wave”. It’s anti-tonal sound goes against everything new wave is, and the entire culture behind No Wave plays a very important role in modern music today. Although the sound might not click with listeners, the story behind the scene itself is seminal to anyone interested in music history. A great way to start is with Rosa Yemen’s EP, Rosa Vertov.

 

Here’s the track, “Larousse Baron Bic”, which is actually from the original EP, not Descloux’s solo album: 

Also, check out the great track, “Herpes Simplex”: 

New No Age album to be released August 20

 

Three years have passed since the noise-rock band, No Age, has released an album. It’s a known fact that No Age are also ass-kickers and Everything In Between (2010) is a great album. Even before, Nouns (2008) is constantly on my playlist. The band has yet to release a mediocre album, and the critical acclaim doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. An Object is set to release August 20 in North America and August 19 in the UK. What’s even more promising is the press release for the upcoming album;

“This new LP finds drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt exploding from behind his kit, landing percussive blows with amplified contact mics, 4-string bass guitars, and prepared speakers, as well as traditional forms of lumber and metal. Meanwhile, guitarist Randy Randall corrals his previously lush, spastic, sprawling arrangements into taught, refined, rats’ nests.”

Here’s the setlist for this anticipated album, and another reason why 2013 has been killing it so far. Be sure to listen to the amazing track, “Glitter”, off of the 2010 album below:

 

01 No Ground

02 I won’t Be Your Generator

03 C’mon Stimmung

04 Defector/ed

05 An Impression06 Lock Box

07 Running From A-Go-Go

08 My Hands, Birch and Steel

09 Circling With Dizzy

10 A Ceiling Dreams of a Floor

11 Commerce, Comment, Commence

 

 

 

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