I met writer Kelly Sue Milano and artist Lisa K Weber at this years Fan Fest sponsored by Phoenix Comic Con. They were nestled in a remote corner of the Arizona Cardinals Stadium in Glendale Arizona, the headquarters for this years event. Their booth was tricked out with framed images of the characters from HEX 11, hanging on a bright backdrop that was exquisitely decorated with shimmering scarves (a focal point in issue #1)…clever marketing. My wife and I were greeted by the books producer/editor/hype woman Lynly Forrest. She was amazing to us and wasted no time telling us what they had created.
In the world of Hex11, humans have just discovered they are capable of Magic. As society moves from the Digital Age into this new Magic Age, the powers that be within the deepest reaches of the government are concealing what they know, seeing an opportunity to assert a new level of control. Those who practice Magic without registration become fugitives of the law and are displaced to The Hex, a borough on the outskirts of Pyrian.
Hex11 follows one young woman, Elanor, as she navigates her life in The Hex and her studies apprenticing Vera, the Hex’s most powerful witch. She is eager to learn all she can in order to help those who flood into The Hex looking for refuge. When an ordinary errand finds her in the midst of a magical firefight, she realizes her powers are much stronger than she thought – and that Magic may not be as novel as they once imagined…
Like a cross between Neo Tokyo and that dystopian Los Angeles from Blade Runner, HEX 11 establishes itself as a Neo-Medeval read. Our leads are strong women, not unlike those you might’ve read about in history books or books of yore.
They have power, which gives them all the edge they need in this ever changing and fantastic landscape. Their spells resembles circuit boards, but with strange symbols embedded throughout, an obvious testament to the time this is taking place. A time when technology and witchcraft are one.
In this issue, Eleanor (our lead), is the new Alice in Wonderland, minus the naivety. She’s a promising heroine/student with a spirit of adventure as she circumvents some of HEX’s more seedier and wondrous alleys in search of a scarf for her teacher (Vera Wyck). Vera is clearly powerful, but is prone to foolery at her students expense. It’s a clever trope, the wise sage with a sense of humor. Yoda, Mr. Miyagi, Pai Mei, are all examples of this, but guess what? All of the aforementioned worked like gangbusters!
Is it too early to tell if this will work for HEX 11? Yes, but I love where their relationship is headed.
It’s on this quest for the scarf that she stumbles upon an exchange that she wasn’t meant to see. Booth, one of the HEX’s black market dealers, is approached by Osrick, a demon from The Verge (a dreamlike dimension between the living world and Oblivion) for an item known as “The Matter”. Eleanor recognizes the demon as someone who may have been involved in the disappearance/death of her sister Clara (now an angry spirit roaming The Verge and hellbent on revenge) and steps in to help.
Let’s just say some spectacular magic ensues.
Without giving away everything this 24 page issue has to offer, I will say HEX11 #1 is a wonderful take on the fantasy genre. It’s characters are solid, the art work is beautiful and full of life and the writing is complete and filled with unique arches and interesting turns.
It’s very refreshing to see the ladies stepping up and not being relegated to writing or drawing for male- driven mainstream comics. Lord knows we have plenty of them already.
The HEX 11 world is honest and free of misogyny and fake female power and is further proof that women have what it takes to write a marketable and positive comic book!
More info on HEX11:
The results are in and yes, the Phoenix Comic Con is a force to be reckoned with. This year featured booths by Dark Horse Comics, Boom Studios, Archaia Entertainment and many many more. In addition to that, there are a ton of panels and signings, from some heavy hitters in Hollywood and the comic book world, alike. I, unfortunately, won’t be doing the whole weekend, but I did manage to checkout a few of the booths and take some pictures of some really “well-dressed” and “totally committed” cosplayers this year.
By the way, the uber-popular anime, Attack on Titan, is clearly a hit this year. Everywhere I turned ,there was another member of the illustrious “Survey Corps”, the army responsible for protecting humans from these enormous monsters. Anyway, you’ll see a few of them in this album, along with images of Star Wars people, Resident Evil so on and so forth. I hope you enjoy them and if you get a chance please go the the Phoenix Comic Con, this year is going to be epic!
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)
Man of Steel is truly gearing up to be the summer phenomenon of phenomenon’s and despite this, I still get naysayers coming up to me like “what do you think of the Man of Steel trailers?”, not as a believer ,mind you, but as a skeptic. That’s just goes to prove we’ve truly got our work cut out for us Hollywood. If you can stand there after having watched the latest MOS trailer, knowing the cast, knowing the director and producer of Dark Knight and 300 are attached and still say something that crazy…you’re out of your fucking mind. Course I could be wrong and this film could be a total flop, as a fatalist I must resign to that probability, but I really…really fucking doubt it, especially not after looking at these wonderful production stills. The artistry that went into making this film is so tight it nearly makes me cry, they’ve given Superman the much needed makeover it deserves and with all the films out there getting the reboot gloss Star Trek, The Dark Knight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I dare someone to say to me they don’t like the direction this is headed. Frankly it’s the most logical and relevant direction it could go. The whole “man falls from the sky and we act like he’s the second coming of Christ” isn’t going to work in this age of paranoia and I love that Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan have taken it upon themselves to think outside the box. Let me stop babbling, enjoy the slides.
Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fisburne, Antje Traue, Russell Crowe and opens worldwide in 3D on June 14
Photos provided via Collider.com
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
Today guests at this years gaming convention PAX East , got the chance to see a mind-blowing trailer from one of anime‘s prodigy’s Monty Oum‘s pet project RWBY. Monty Oum is a self made animator and the brain child behind amazing works like Haloid in 2007 and The Halo inspired, Red V. Blue seasons 8,9 and 10. I don’t follow anime as closely as some of you out there, so if my coverage of what a lot of you consider the second coming, isn’t up to par…I’ll be more than happy to build you a bridge, so you can get over it. The story called RWBY (Red, White, Black, Yellow), centers around for gifted ladies, all with unique abilities and all of which draws blood if you fuck with them. The series is written by Monty Oum, Miles Luna, and Kerry Shawcross and is animated by Monty Oum in corporation with the gaming team at Rooster Teeth. No word yet on the official release for RWBY.
NOTE: Because the video has not yet been released on a Word Press compatible format, all I have is the link to the BLACK TRAILER. Take it from me, it’s worth a “click”. Below you’ll find the trailers for Red and White. Enjoy and have a great weekend!!
RWBY brings four very different girls together for one legendary purpose. These four fighters will come face-to-face with menacing creatures, devious villains, and an incredible cast of characters.