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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.

Red Band trailer for Hellbenders brings exorcism and dark comedy together beautifully

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I would’ve posted this sooner had I known it was going to be this good. Hellbenders is a new dark supernatural comedy written and directed by J.T. Petty (The Borrowers, Mimic 3) and stars Clancy Brown, Clifton Collins Jr. and Dan Fogler , as these twisted priest who decide to become uber-sinners so that in the after life they can bring the worst demons to hell with them?

Something like that…anyways, it looks funny.

Hellbenders is written  and directed by J.T. Petty, based on a graphic novel he wrote himself. The film follows the exploits of the Brooklyn-based Augustine Interfaith Order of Hellbound Saints, known as Hellbenders, a team of lewd and blasphemous ministers who live in a constant state of debauchery in order to be damnation-ready so they can drag the worst of demons back to Hell. When one of the foulest demons possess one of their own and threatens the existence of both Brooklyn and the world, the Hellbenders’ faith is tested. The film premiered at TIFF 2012 and Lionsgate releases it to theaters and VOD on October 18th.

Image Comics takes on Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH

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I’m of the belief that the entire King James and New Testament should be redone as a graphic novel, but I’ll take one of the many stories in Genesis for now. Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler) has been busy at work with his epic retelling of the story of Noah starring Russell Crowe, but did you know that he had a graphic novel of the same story in the works/done? Neither did we, but according to Image Comics they will be distributing the four part graphic written by Darren Aronofsky and Niko Henrichon to the states and it doesn’t look or sound like anything I remembered growing up, but then I’m willing to bet the Noah story from the 1500′s differed from the one in the 1200′s too.

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aronofsky-noah-2According to Bleeding Cool the series is to be published as four graphic novels, tow of which have already been published in Europe (France and Germany). Those will be translated to English followed by the remaining two.

“It was a world without hope, a world with no rain and no crops, dominated by warlords and their barbarian hordes. In this cruel world, Noah was a good man. Seasoned fighter, mage and healer but he only wanted peace for him and his family. Yet every night, Noah was beset by visions of an endless flood, symbolizing the destruction of all life. Gradually he began to understand the message sent him by the Creator. He had decided to punish the men and kill them until the last. But he gave Noah a last chance to preserve life on Earth.”

Shaolin Cowboy is the craziest trade I’ve ever read, but not seen

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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.

How is this possible? Another new trailer for Pacific Rim arrives with more badass footage

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I guest the theory here is if you show us enough new footage we won’t remember what we saw when the movie comes out? Okay…I’m on board, this latest trailer has a ton of new footage, that proves once more, that this film will be high fucking octane fun when it arrives!

Pacific Rim, starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day, opens in 3D July 12th.

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When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

MITNG reviews “Nothing can possibly go wrong” by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

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There’s a thin line between love and robots. Come to think, “Love and Robots” would’ve been a better choice for a title then “Nothing can possibly go wrong“,but that’ll be the only negative thing you’ll see me type about this solid graphic.

NCPGW is a fun story, and a great read for all ages! It does a tremendous job of keeping itself relevant, meaning it never tries to push the limits just because it’s a comic book. It’s story is more like manga in it’s approach. Non-lengthy dialogue and amazing art. When done right, the two, despite how lazy it may seem to some, is artistry when time and consideration is given to character development and that’s what freshmen writer Prudence Shen and writer/illustrator Faith Erin Hicks have done with NCPGW.

You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely — until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders, and the cheerleaders retaliate by making Charlie their figure-head in the ugliest class election campaign the school as ever seen. At stake? Student group funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms — but not both.

Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not! Nothing can possibly go wrong.

I’ve never read a graphic novel that’s was this solid! This is the kind of writing that frustrates writers who are trying to find their voice…like me. There wasn’t anything cheesy about the story and for someone who reads a lot of cheese, that was an unexpected treat. Each person’s back story was just enough to nudge it along without it getting too bogged down and each character was drawn with an uncanny level of honesty. The dialogue felt natural and the pace was outstanding and the perfect length for a quick, fun and sometimes deep graphic. Bringing the world of Robot Arena’s to life through art and dialogue, could not have been easy, but these two made it work. The tension created during the competition was genius! The panels on each page breathed with controlled precision and in the end, the battle scenes were executed with effortless grace!

I can’t wait for Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks to put out another book! Cause they knocked it out of the park with this one!

Nothing can possibly go wrong website

 

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