Friday, February 12, 2016 • Midnight Edition • "Magneto was right."
Young Avengers # 5 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

Young Avengers # 5 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

By Arion in Blog on July 16, 2013

You must kill your father. At least symbolically. That’s what Freud tells us. And faithful to the quandaries of the Oedipus complex, Billy (Wiccan), Teddy (Hulkling), Noh-Varr (Marvel Boy), Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) and Loki (Thor’s brother) will have to do just that: exterminate their parents. But annihilating a horde of adults possessed by an extra-dimensional-motherly demon is easier said than done. And once you kill your father, you’re supposed to have sex with your mother, or at least that’s what good old Oedipus did many and many a century ago. Of course, the result is guilt, guilt intense enough that you’ll feel forced to rip off your own eyes and blindly bathe in your own blood. It’s quite funny that for some (very traditional) psychoanalysts, failure in overcoming the Oedipus complex will provoke a sexual “deviation” in the individual, thus replacing heterosexuality with homosexuality. Nothing further from the truth, but still, there’s something deliciously (anti) Oedipal going on in Wiccan’s head. Unable to kill his father, let alone have carnal knowledge with his mother (symbolically, of course), Billy can only think of killing himself.    “I wish I was someone better”, declares Wiccan. This self-loathing, these feelings of inadequacy are part of the growing pains we all experience. I know I can relate to it. And this is not the first time we see Billy depressed. In the last issue of Allan Heinberg’s Avengers the Children’s Crusade, he spends a month secluded in his house, disheartened, sad and hopeless, and it’s only thanks to Teddy’s care and loving gestures that he manages to recover. Now, however, Billy takes a more drastic decision. He puts a gun to his head… and he shoots. Loki’s timely intervention saves Billy’s life. But the decision to pull the trigger, to consider suicide as an option is still there. And that doesn’t wash away easily, and it will surely come back to haunt him in the future. How desperate must you be if you consider suicide as an option? / ¿Qué tan desesperado debes estar si consideras el suicidio como una opción?In a final battle against hundreds of possessed adults, the combined power of Wiccan’s reality-altering powers and Loki’s eldritch energies are finally sufficient to neutralize the enemy. The Young Avengers get inside Marvel Boy’s spaceship, but before flying they must activate the “Kirby engines” that are “Imagination engines […] sparked by belief”. And thus, “powered by teenage delusions”, the vessel takes off at last. The pages of this fifth issue are just breathtakingly beautiful. Jamie McKelvie deserves a place among the best artists of the year. There’s an indelible artistic unity in McKelvie’s work, his lines are melodious, undulating, they flow in front of our eyes, and get inside of our heart. Because what the British artist shows us is true emotion: when we see Billy crying, about to pull the trigger, we feel that emotion; when Loki stops him from committing suicide, we see the teenager’s anguish.The fighting sequence is another delightful example of creativity. The panels’ composition revolves around a central pentagram (with Loki in the middle) and several fighting snapshots that take place simultaneously and that can be read in order or in disorder without affecting the narrative integrity. In the end, Billy is forced to say goodbye to his parents. By creating a distance, he finally is “killing” them in Oedipal terms. Teddy hugs Billy lovingly, and thus “neck deep in crazy teenage hormones”, this awesome saga concludes. Gillen and McKelvie have proved that you don’t need the typical six-issue arc to tell one of the best Marvel stories of the year.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Loki saves Billy / Loki salva a BillyDebes matar a tu padre. Al menos simbóli-camente. Eso es lo que Freud nos dice. Y fiel a los predicamentos del complejo de Edipo, Billy (Wiccan), Teddy (Hulkling), Noh-Varr (Marvel Boy), Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) y Loki (el hermano de Thor) tendrán que hacer justamente eso: exterminar a sus padres. Pero aniquilar una horda de adultos poseídos por un demonio maternal-extra-dimensional no será nada sencillo.Y una vez que matas a tu padre, se supone que debes tener sexo con tu madre, o al menos eso es lo que el bueno de Edipo hizo hace muchos, muchísimos siglos. Por supuesto, el resultado es la culpa, una culpa tan intensa que te obligará a arrancarte los ojos y bañarte en tu propia sangre. Es bastante divertido que para algunos (muy tradicionales) psicoanalistas, si no se supera el complejo de Edipo, el individuo será un "desviado" sexual, y la heterosexualidad será reemplazada por homosexualidad. Nada más lejos de la verdad, pero aún así, hay algo deliciosamente (anti) edípico en la cabeza de Wiccan. Incapaz de dar muerte a su padre, mucho menos de tener comercio carnal con su madre (simbólicamente, claro está), Billy sólo puede pensar en matarse a sí mismo. Extraordinary composition / extraordinaria composición"Desearía ser alguien mejor", declara Wiccan. El odio a sí mismo y esos sentimientos de inadecuación son parte del doloroso proceso de crecer, y todos hemos pasado por algo así. Sé que me siento identificado con todo ello. Y esta no es la primera vez que vemos a Billy deprimido. En el último número de “Avengers the Children’s Crusade” de Allan Heinberg, él se encierra en su casa por un mes, descorazonado, triste, sin esperanzas, y es solamente gracias a al cuidado y los gestos cariñosos de Teddy que logra recuperarse. Ahora, sin embargo, Billy toma una decisión más drástica. Se pone una pistola en la cabeza... y dispara. La oportuna intervención de Loki salva a Billy. Pero la decisión de jalar el gatillo, de considerar el suicidio como una opción sigue allí. Y eso no se va fácilmente, y seguramente regresará a acosarlo en el futuro. En la batalla final contra cientos de adultos poseídos, el poder combinado ‘altera-realidad’ de Wiccan y las energías arcanas de Loki finalmente son suficientes para neutralizar al enemigo. Los Jóvenes Vengadores entran a la nave de Marvel Boy, pero antes de volar deben activar los "motores Kirby" que son "motores de la imaginación [...] encendidos por creencias". Y de este modo, "energizado por alucinaciones adolescentes" el bajel por fin despega.  Billy and Teddy: teens in love / Billy y Teddy: adolescentes enamoradosLas páginas de este quinto número son tan hermosas que nos dejan sin aliento. Jamie McKelvie merece un puesto entre los mejores artistas del año. Hay una unidad artística indeleble en la obra de McKelvie, sus líneas son melodiosas, ondulatorias, flotan frente a nuestros ojos, y se meten en nuestro corazón. Porque lo que el artista británico nos muestra es emoción de verdad: cuando vemos a Billy llorando, a punto de jalar el gatillo, sentimos esa emoción; cuando Loki le impide suicidarse, vemos la angustia del adolescente. La secuencia de pelea es otro delicioso ejemplo de creatividad. La composición de las viñetas gira en torno a un pentagrama central (con Loki en el medio) y varias tomas de la pelea en simultáneo que pueden ser leídas en orden o en desorden, sin afectar la integridad narrativa.Al final, Billy se ve obligado a despedirse de sus padres. Al crear una distancia, finalmente él los está "matando" en términos edípicos. Teddy abraza a Billy cariñosamente y, así "sumergidos hasta el cuello en hormonas adolescentes" esta asombrosa saga concluye. Gillen y McKelvie han demostrado que no es necesario el típico arco argumental de seis números para contar una de las mejores historias de Marvel del año.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/07/young-avengers-5-kieron-gillen-jamie.html

June Comic Books / Cómics de junio

June Comic Books / Cómics de junio

By Arion in Blog on July 15, 2013

I’m glad to see that DC has included some of the best Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Neil Gaiman works in the Essential Graphic Novels special, but there’s a lot of crap there too, although the good outweighs the bad. I had so much fun reading The Pro, I love Garth Ennis and his irreverence. Vertigo has two new titles: The Wake and Astro City, and they’re both really, really good. I’ll wait till I read the next issues before reviewing them. The conclusion of Gillen and McKelvie’s first arc on Young Avengers was so brilliant. And I’m glad I ordered the reprint of Phonogram, Gillen and McKelvie create something so unique, and at the same time so British and so full of wild ideas, I wish I could’ve picked up this series 7 years ago. Fashion Beast ends and The Bounce begins, but if I had to choose the best comic of the month the award would go to Kick-Ass 3 # 1. What a great first chapter! Millar has done it again. Have you read it? And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? (in case anyone’s keeping count of the “best of”, in May we had Jupiter’s Legacy # 1 and Young Avengers # 4; in April, Uncanny Avengers # 5 and FF # 4; In March, Young Avengers # 2; in February, Young Avengers # 1; in January, Secret Service # 5). Anyway, without further ado, June comics are here as per solicitations: ASTRO CITY #1  (W) Kurt Busiek (A) Brent Eric Anderson (CA) Alex Ross. ASTRO CITY is back in a new, ongoing monthly series that showcases old heroes and new, as The Ambassador comes to Earth, and an ordinary man is caught up in a cosmic conflict! Featuring the return of favorites like Samaritan and Honor Guard, and the debut of some new sensations! Plus, the seeds of a new mystery: Who is the Broken Man? The entire award-winning creative team is back to kick off a new epoch of the human and the super human. Get in on the ground floor of Astro City's next epic! BOUNCE #1 (MR) (W) Joe Casey (A/CA) David Messina. written by JOE CASEY art and cover by DAVID MESSINA  FIRST ISSUE SPECTACULAR!  Meet the ultimate slacker superhero for the 21st Century! Jasper Jenkins is a super-head AND a super-hero! He's relatable AND reliable and he's embarking on the adventure of a lifetime! The sensational debut of the new feel-good hero of the decade! You can't afford to miss it!  FASHION BEAST #10 WRAP CVR (MR)(W) Alan Moore (A/CA) Facundo Percio. The final issue of ALAN MOORE's time-lost masterpiece screams to an unbelievable conclusion.  Le Patron is dead.  Long live the new king of fashion.  Jonni has turned Celestine's empire into a fashion revolution.  As the world at large struggles with the new sensual vision being given them, a long and sordid relationship is finally embraced.  The final tarot card is flipped and the world, ready or not, must contend with the consequences.  Available with a Regular or Wraparound Cover by series artist Facundo Percio, the Haute Couture Incentive (by Percio), or the very rare Tarot (by Paul Duffield) Incentive cover.IMAGE FIRSTS PHONOGRAM #1 (W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Jamie McKelvie. From Image Comics. Phonomancer David Kohl goes hunting for new flames at a feminist festival, only to get burnt by a very old one. A Goddess scorned returns to collect her pound of flesh and demand reparations. Phonogram: a world where music is magic, where a song can save your life… or end it. KICK-ASS 3 #1 (OF 8) (MR) (W) Mark Millar (A/CA) John Romita. Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl's blockbuster return for the LAST EVER story arc of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's mega-selling series. Hit-Girl's in jail, leaving Kick-Ass to lead the superhero team of Justice Forever. Their first mission: Bust Hit-Girl out of the clink. But superheroes have now been outlawed, leaving Kick-Ass to dodge both cops AND criminals. For the first time since donning the costume, Kick-Ass is beginning to have his doubts. Is he now in too deep to get out? The phenomenal follow-up to the Kick-Ass 2 movie coming this June. Issue #1 features six different covers by the industry's biggest artists, all available for order. Each cover will feature a different character, and when all six covers are linked, a special message will be revealed.  MORNING GLORIES #27 (MR)(W) Nick Spencer (A) Joe Eisma. story NICK SPENCER art JOE EISMA cover VARIOUS  'THERE IS NO BEGINNING' The double-sized Season 2 premiere! With an astonishing array of covers by some of the hottest artists working today: JENNY FRISSON, ROB GUILLORY, SHAWN  MARTINBROUGH, JAMIE McKELVIE, EMMA RIOS and MORNING GLORIES' own JOE EISMA! SEX #3 (MR)(W) Joe Casey (A/CA) Piotr Kowalski. story JOE CASEY art / cover PIOTR KOWALSKI  There are a million stories in Saturn City, and Simon Cooke's is just one of them! His future may be wide open, but the past is hot on his tail! The Old Man can still get it up! No two ways about it -- this is the perfect time to pay for SEX!  It's even better than you think! THE PRO ONE SHOT (NEW PTG) (MR) (W) Garth Ennis (A/CA) Amanda Conner, Jimmy PalmiottiBACK IN PRINT! Reintroducing the outrageous story of THE PRO in a paperback version of the deluxe hardcover edition.  Just when you think GARTH ENNIS has gone too far, just when you thought it was safe to walk the streets, just when you thought no one would go near the idea of the world's first superhero prostitute… here comes THE PRO!  Plus, in 'The Pro Meets the Ho,' our plucky heroine faces a super-powered 'soiled dove' whose powers of perversion exceed the Pro's own!UNWRITTEN #49 (MR)(W) Mike Carey (A) Peter Gross (CA) Yuko Shimizu. In the conclusion to 'Orpheus In the Underworld,' Tom meets the King of Hell again-and this time it's even more unpleasant than before. The only way out is up, and the only way to get there is through a story. But what if the story says you have to lose? This issue leads directly into the epic fiftieth issue, and the start of THE UNWRITTEN FABLES! WAKE #1 (MR) (W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Sean Murphy. 'THERE'S SOMETHING DOWN THERE…' When Marine Biologist Lee Archer is approached by the Department of Homeland Security for help with a new threat, she declines, but quickly realizes they won't take no for an answer. Soon she is plunging to the depths of the Arctic Circle to a secret, underwater oilrig where they've discovered something miraculous and terrifying... Writer Scott Snyder (BATMAN, AMERICAN VAMPIRE) and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS) bring their acclaimed talents to this sci-fi/horror epic that explores the horrors of the deep, probes the origins of human history, and leaps far beyond to a frightening future. WALKING DEAD #111 (MR)(W) Robert Kirkman (A/CA) Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn. Lucille is going to be so jealous. YOUNG AVENGERS #5 NOW(W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Jamie McKelvie • The book where when a character says 'I did it half an hour ago' normally means doing 'it' half an hour ago reaches its first epic conclusion. • Why Did Loki Do It? No one kno... okay, we'll tell you...Well, part of it. • Miss America probably punches someone. She usually does. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Me alegra que DC haya incluido algunas de las mejores obras de Alan Moore, Grant Morrison y Neil Gaiman en el especial Novelas Gráficas Esenciales, pero hay mucha basurilla también, aunque lo bueno sobrepasa lo malo. Me divertí tanto leyendo The Pro, me encanta Garth Ennis y su irreverencia. Vertigo tiene dos nuevos títulos: The Wake y Astro City, y ambos son realmente buenos. Esperaré hasta leer los próximos números antes de analizarlos. La conclusión del primer arco de Gillen y McKelvie en Young Avengers fue brillante. Y me alegra haber comprado la reimpresión de Phonogram, Gillen y McKelvie crean algo único, y al mismo tiempo tan británico y tan lleno de ideas alocadas, me hubiera encantado comprar la colección cuando salió hace 7 años. Fashion Beast termina y The Bounce comienza, pero si tuviera que elegir el mejor cómic del mes el premio sería para Kick-Ass 3 # 1. ¡Qué estupendo primer capítulo! Millar lo ha conseguido de nuevo. ¿Lo han leído? Y si no lo han hecho, ¿qué están esperando? (en caso que alguien esté llevando la cuenta de "lo mejor", en mayo tuvimos a Jupiter’s Legacy # 1 y Young Avengers # 4; en abril, Uncanny Avengers # 5 y FF # 4; en marzo, Young Avengers # 2; en febrero, Young Avengers # 1; en enero, Secret Service # 5). En fin, sin más preámbulos, aquí están los cómics de junio: ASTRO CITY #1 COVER AEl Embajador llega a la Tierra, y un hombre ordinario se encuentra en medio de un conflicto cósmico. Vuelven Samaritano y la Guardia de Honor.BOUNCE #1 (MR)Jenkins es el súper-héroe más holgazán del siglo XXI. Pero es confiable y amigable, y está por embarcarse en la aventura de su vida. FASHION BEAST #10 WRAP CVR (MR)El patrón está muerto. Larga vida al nuevo rey de la moda. El imperio será ahora una revolución de la moda. Mientras el mundo forcejea con estas nuevas sensaciones visuales, una sórdida relación es concretada.IMAGE FIRSTS PHONOGRAM #1David sale a cazar nuevas flamas en un festival feminista, sólo para quemarse con una llama nueva. Una diosa desdeñada regresa para recoger su libra de carne y demandar reparaciones. Aquí, la música es magia.KICK-ASS 3 #1 (OF 8) (MR)HIT-GIRL está en la cárcel, y ahora KICK-ASS deberá ser el líder del equipo. Su primera misión: salvar a HIT-GIRL. Pero ahora que todos están fuera de la ley, KICK-ASS deberá escapar de los policías y de los criminales. Por primera vez desde que usa el uniforme, Dave empieza a tener dudas.MORNING GLORIES #27 (MR)No hay comienzo.  my drawing: from pencils to inks / mi dibujo: del lápiz a la tintaSEX #3 (MR)Hay millones de historias en Ciudad Saturno, y Simon es sólo una de ellas. Su futuro puede estar abierto, pero el pasado lo persigue. Al hombre todavía se le para. Este es el momento perfecto para pagar por sexo. THE PRO ONE SHOT (NEW PTG) (MR)Ella es la primera súper-heroína que se dedica a la prostitución.UNWRITTEN #49 (MR)Es la conclusión de "Orfeo en el inframundo", Tom se encuentra con el Rey del Infierno de nuevo, y esta vez es incluso más desagradable que antes. La única manera de escapar es a través de un relato. Pero ¿qué pasa si el relato dice que debes perder? WAKE #1 (MR)“Hay algo allí abajo...”. La bióloga marina Lee es interpelada por el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional. Ella se rehúsa a ayudarlos, pero rápidamente descubre que no aceptarán esta negativa. Pronto, viajará a las profundidades del Círculo Ártico, donde han descubierto algo aterrador. WALKING DEAD #111 (MR)Alguien va a tener muchos celos.YOUNG AVENGERS #5Aquí, cuando uno de los personajes dice que "lo hizo" hace media hora, normalmente significa que sí "lo hizo". Pero, ¿qué es lo que LOKI hizo? Nadie sabe... OK, se los contaremos... Bueno, al menos en parte. Y MISS AMERICA probablemente se líe a puñetazos con alguien. Ella suele ser así. Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/07/june-comic-books-comics-de-junio.html

Preview: FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #5

Preview: FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #5

By Rui Esteves in Blog on July 14, 2013

CoverFATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #5Vince Hernandez ; JT Krul ; David Wohl ­ writers / Ken Marion ­ pencils / Kyle Ritter - colorsThe most epic storyline in Fathom¹s 15-year history reaches its finale!The future of the Fathom Universe will be forged as Anya¹s quest to reunite with her kidnapped‹and extremely powerful‹daughter brings her to a place that Aspen Matthews remembers all too well. Here, in the place where it all started, the battle for the baby¹s life, as well as their own, will be waged‹and no one is certain to survive!Aspen newcomer Ken Marion is joined by an all-star group of past and present FATHOM writers, all coming together for a FATHOM story 15 years in the making! Plus, fan-favorite artist Talent Caldwell returns with a stunning 5 part interconnecting cover that all leads up to an unbelievable new direction in the All New FATHOM Universe!FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #5 is in stores July 17th, 2013! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2-3 Cover B Cover CFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/07/preview-fathom-elite-saga-5.html

Aspen Comics Reveals All New Fathom #1 SDCC 2013 Exclusives

Aspen Comics Reveals All New Fathom #1 SDCC 2013 Exclusives

By Rui Esteves in Blog on July 13, 2013

Alex KonatAspen Comics Reveals All New Fathom #1 SDCC 2013 ExclusivesAspen Comics continues to unveil more Comic Con International: San Diego 2013 exclusives and today announced the world premiere of their sixth “10 for 10” title, Michael Turner’s Fathom, next week at the convention. The publisher will feature two SDCC 2013 exclusive covers, a Fathom #1 cover by series artist Alex Konat along with Peter Steigerwald limited to 250 copies, and a rare Fathom #1 Aspen Century Edition by J. Scott Campbell and Steigerwald, highly limited to 100 editions.In addition to the exclusive books, Aspen today revealed the latest Aspen Tour Print 2013 Anniversary Print by Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald. This Comic Con International: San Diego 2013 edition features a classic Turner and Steigerwald image re-mastered, and is limited to only 75 signed editions.Aspen Comics recently revealed two new Aspen Splash 2013 exclusives for Comic Con International: San Diego 2013. The publisher will feature a special Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald SDCC cover limited to 250 copies, in addition to an exclusive SDCC cover by Mike DeBalfo and Peter Steigerwald, limited to 200 copies. Both Mike DeBalfo and Peter Steigerwald will be appearing at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321 all weekend long as well. J. Scott Campbell Earlier in the week, Aspen revealed an exclusive Comic Con International: San Diego 2013 BubbleGun #2 cover by Pasquale Qualano and Peter Steigerwald, only available at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321 and limited to 200 copies, with quantities made available on the AspenStore.com as well. BubbleGun creator and writer Mark Roslan will be appearing at the Aspen Comics Booth all week long during the con as well.The publisher also has previously revealed a Fathom: The Elite Saga #1 cover by Joe Benitez and Peter Steigerwald, only available at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321, with quantities made available on the AspenStore.com as well. This Comic Con exclusive cover for Aspen’s weekly Fathom event commemorating 15 years of Fathom will be limited to 250 copies, and the publisher will be featuring appearances by both Benitez and Steigerwald at the Aspen Comics Booth throughout the weekend.Aspen will be unveiling more SDCC exclusives throughout the week in addition to some major announcements regarding their upcoming projects to be shown at the “Ten Years of Aspen Comics” panel on Friday at Comic Con. Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/07/aspen-comics-reveals-all-new-fathom-1.html

Skizz - Alan Moore Jim Baikie

Skizz - Alan Moore Jim Baikie

By Arion in Blog on July 12, 2013

When I was around 11 or 12 I read a dozen of pages of Skizz. Back then my usual reading would consist on thrilling Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Robo-Hunter adventures, and it was clear to me, even at such tender age, that Skizz was something rather different. I was habituated to having one protagonist –Judge Dredd, Johnny Alpha or Sam Slade– and a supporting cast. In Skizz, however, everyone seemed to play a main role and it was hard to locate one character with more prominence than the others. Of course, I had no idea who Alan Moore was and, surely, I would never spend my time reading the credits to find out who were the authors behind the stories I was so fond of. But there was something about those Skizz pages that made me read them over and over again. I often felt as if I were spying on this people. And at times I even felt strangely uncomfortable witnessing the private lives and thoughts of these men and women. Certainly, over the years I have embraced this voyeuristic aspect of human nature, and I no longer recoil from it. Spying on others, whether on real life or fiction, can be a consistent source of pleasure. It took me over a decade to find the missing chapters, to put them together, and enjoy Skizz as it was meant to be enjoyed: as a 100 page graphic novel. And, again, I experienced that feeling of proximity, which is only fitting for a story that deals with ‘close encounters’ of the alien type. Everything begins when a spaceship accidentally crashes on the outsides of Birmingham. “He stopped the plasmotors dead. He polarized all his gravity buffers. He recited five of the nine sacred equations. He was still going far too fast when he hit the atmosphere of the blue planet”. Barely surviving the crash, Zhcchz realizes that he’s in a ‘forbidden’ planet, labeled as dangerous due to its primitive inhabitants.Zhcchz expedition through the streets of Birmingham is fascinating. The first chapter is told from the point of view of the alien, and we see him suffering with Earth’s gravity, stumbling as he tries to walk over the pavement, witnessing with horror and revulsion the factories, those “strange, deformed buildings, the giant alien structures that reek of poison. What can they be like, he wonders, the creatures that built these horrifying monuments?”. And as he gets closer to the busiest avenue, at last, he sees them –he sees us– and, concealed in the shadows of the night, he assesses if these hominids represent a threat or not. And that’s when he sees two drunk guys hitting each other. The very concept of trying to hurt someone else with a limb –an arm and a fist, in this case– is unimaginable to Zhcchz and so he understands that the levels of primitivism surpass even his more pessimistic assumptions.   "He was still going far too fast when he hit the atmosphere of the blue planet" /"Todavía estaba yendo demasiado rápido cuando chocó contra la atmósfera del planeta azul"And Zhcchz keeps on moving, until he finds a secluded place in the suburbs when he hides, fearing for his life. He’s lucky, though, because there he meets a young girl named Roxy. But this isn’t E.T. the Extra-Terres-trial, this a darker tale of British sensi-bilities and an example of how the concept of other-worldly presences can help us define, or redefine, the place we live in. And this isn’t a kind city, nor a kind country, the United Kingdom is ruled by Margaret Thatcher, and hordes of unemployed people vomit their frustrations in the alleys of Birmingham. The punk movement, the motorcyclists, the hooligans, it’s all there, and it’s all combined with the innocence of a girl that takes care of an alien. She can’t even feed him properly, as Zhcchz keeps throwing up everything he’s ingested, but still she tries to help him.As the story progresses new characters appear, such as Loz –a smart young man that can’t find a job but that can surely find a solution to the strangest problems– and Cornelius –an unemployed workman, bitter and frustrated, who stays silent most of the time, except when he says he still has his pride–. Of course, the British government knows that an unknown flying object landed on Birmingham, and the investigation soon brings them to Roxy’s doorstep. They immediately capture Zhcchz and take him to a military facility. This is the first extraterrestrial humans have seen, but unlike Roxy, Loz and Cornelius, the government is convinced that Zhcchz plans on invading the Earth. The only thing the little alien wants is to return to his homeworld, but instead he’s brutally questioned about intergalactic weapons and conquering plans. As a highly intelligent creature, Zhcchz learns English in a matter of days but he cannot convey a simple message to his captors: “when technology has reached a certain level weapons are redundant”. This alien species has such an advanced technology that they can disintegrate suns. Obviously, the human concept of war is something as alien to Zhcchz as is his technology to humans.  Eventually, Roxy, Loz and Cornelius come up with a brilliant plan to rescue Zhcchz –to whom they have affectionately nicknamed Skizz– and they succeed. As they escape, Alan Moore takes us inside the heads of every character: Roxy, her father and her mother, the military authorities, Loz and Cornelius; this particular narrative device captured my attention over a decade ago. Skizz & Roxy To create a distraction, Loz abandons Roxy and Cornelius, and he visits the areas he’s most familiar with: those zones inhabited by the poor and the unem-ployed; and he rallies them, and sends them in motor-cycles and buses to blockade the advance of the army vehicles. In many ways, they’re also aliens to a government that cares very little about their wellbeing. When Roxy talks to Skizz, she explains her that people can help him get back to his world. That he can be sent on a space rocket, after all, humankind has reached the moon. And that’s when Skizz loses all hope. The distance between his planet and Earth is almost infinite, and getting as far as the moon is a truly insignificant feat for him. He understands that there is no point in trying to escape from the soldiers, but he still follows Roxy’s lead, not because he thinks he’ll be saved but because he wants to repay her kindness. The punks, the motorcyclists, the hooligans and the unemployed men fight against the soldiers. But in the Thatcher era, soldiers and police officers are experts in crushing civil movements and manifestations. All the hundreds of outcasts from Birmingham are doomed to lose the battle. In the final moment, Cornelius, the silent man, breaks his silence and shouts. They’ve taken his job, his rights, his social benefits, but they haven’t taken his pride. Unarmed, Cornelius, Roxy and the fragile alien try to fight for their lives.Jim Baikie provides an amazing depiction of poverty and urban misery. His characters have no glamour and no sophistication, and yet, they exude a certain nobility, a strength that comes from some unknown region of the heart. Baikie’s lines scratch the surface of the paper, creating a sensation of untidiness, of spontaneity, and his dark inks add the necessary touch of melancholy. Together, Moore and Baikie create an evocative and meaningful tale about first encounters, a cruel reality and the mechanisms of alienation. Originally serialized in 2000AD in 1983, there have been many collected editions. If you can find one, hop in, you may feel slightly estranged at first, but then you’ll see it’s worth the ride.   ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Cuando tenía 11 o 12 años, leí una docena de páginas de "Skizz". En ese entonces, mis lecturas habituales consistían en las emocionantes aventuras de Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog y Robo-Hunter, y para mí era claro, incluso a tan tierna edad, que Skizz era algo bastante diferente. Estaba acostumbrado a tener un protagonista –Juez Dredd, Johnny Alpha o Sam Slade– y personajes secundarios. En Skizz, sin embargo, todos parecían desempeñar un papel principal y era difícil ubicar a un personaje con mayor prominencia que los otros. Feeding an alien is not an easy task / Alimentar a un alienígena no es tarea fácilPor supuesto, no tenía idea de quién era Alan Moore y, por cierto, nunca gastaba mi tiempo en leer los créditos para descubrir quiénes eran los autores detrás de las historias que tanto me gustaban. Pero había algo en esas páginas de Skizz que hizo que las leyera una y otra vez. A menudo me sentía como si estuviese espiando a esta gente. Y en ocasiones me sentí extrañamente incómodo al ser testigo de las vidas y pensamientos privados de estos hombres y mujeres. Ciertamente, con los años he asumido este aspecto voyerístico de la naturaleza humana, y ya no lo rehúyo. Espiar a otros, ya sea en la vida real o en la ficción, puede ser una consistente fuente de placer.Me llevó más de una década encontrar los capítulos faltantes, ponerlos en orden, y disfrutar Skizz como debía ser disfrutado: como una novela gráfica de 100 páginas. Y, de nuevo, experimenté esa sensación de proximidad, algo que va muy bien con una historia sobre 'encuentros cercanos' de tipo alienígeno. Todo empieza cuando una nave espacial se estrella accidentalmente en las afueras de Birmingham. "Detuvo en seco los plasmotores. Polarizó los soportes de gravedad. Recitó cinco de las nueve ecuaciones sagradas. Todavía estaba yendo demasiado rápido cuando chocó contra la atmósfera del planeta azul". Zhcchz apenas sobrevive luego del choque, y se da cuenta que está en un planeta 'prohibido', catalogado como peligroso a causa de sus primitivos habitantes.La expedición de Zhcchz en las calles de Birmingham es fascinante. El primer capítulo es contado desde el punto de vista del extraterrestre, y lo vemos sufrir con la gravedad de la Tierra, tropezarse al caminar sobre el pavimento, y ser testigo, horrorizado y asqueado, de las fábricas, esas “extrañas y deformes construcciones, las gigantescas estructuras alienígenas que apestan a veneno. ¿Cómo serán, se pregunta, las criaturas que han construido estos horrorosos monumentos?” Y al acercarse a la avenida más transitada, por fin, los ve -nos ve- y, oculto en las sombras de la noche, determina si estos homínidos representan una amenaza. Y entonces ve a dos borrachos golpeándose entre sí. El concepto de intentar hacerle daño a alguien con una extremidad -un brazo y un puño, en este caso- es inimaginable para Zhcchz y de este modo comprende que los niveles de primitivismo sobrepasan incluso sus suposiciones más pesimistas.  Loz tries to cure Skizz while Cornelius stares at the birds /Loz intenta curar a Skizz mientras Cornelius mira las avesY Zhcchz sigue avanzando, hasta que encuentra un lugar apartado en los suburbios, donde se esconde, lleno de miedo. Aunque tiene suerte, porque allí conoce a una chica llamada Roxy. Pero esto no es "E.T. el extraterrestre", esto es un relato más oscuro de sensibilidad británica y un ejemplo de cómo el concepto de la presencia de otros mundos puede ayudarnos a definir, o redefinir, el sitio en el que vivimos. Y esta no es una ciudad amable, ni un país amable, el Reino Unido es gobernado por Margaret Thatcher, y hordas de desempleados vomitan sus frustraciones en los callejones de Birmingham. El movimiento punk, los motociclistas, los 'hooligans', todo está allí, y todo está combinado con la inocencia de una chica que cuida del extraterrestre. Ella ni siquiera puede alimentarlo apropiadamente, Zhcchz vomita todo lo que ingiere, pero ella igual intenta ayudarlo. Conforme progresa la historia, aparecen nuevos personajes como Loz –un joven astuto que no puede encontrar trabajo pero que puede encontrar soluciones a los más extraños problemas– y Cornelius –un obrero desempleado, amargado y frustrado, que permanece en silencio casi todo el tiempo, excepto cuando dice que todavía tiene su orgullo–. Por supuesto, el gobierno británico sabe que un objeto volador no identificado ha aterrizado en Birmingham, y la investigación los lleva a la puerta de Roxy. Inmediatamente capturan a Zhcchz y lo llevan a una instalación militar. Este es el primer extraterrestre que los humanos han visto, pero a diferencia de Roxy, Loz y Cornelius, el gobierno está convencido de que Zhcchz planea invadir la Tierra. Lo único que quiere el pequeño alienígena es regresar a su mundo, pero en lugar de eso es brutalmente interrogado sobre armas intergalácticas y planes de conquista. Al ser una criatura de gran inteligencia, Zhcchz aprende inglés en cuestión de días pero no puede transmitir un sencillo mensaje a sus captores: "Cuando la tecnología ha alcanzado un cierto nivel las armas son redundantes". Esta especie alienígena tiene una tecnología tan avanzada que pueden desintegrar soles. Obviamente, el concepto humano de guerra es algo tan ajeno para Zhcchz como su tecnología para los humanos.Eventualmente, Roxy, Loz y Cornelius elaboran un brillante plan para rescatar a Zhcchz –a quien han apodado cariñosamente como Skizz– y tienen éxito. Mientras escapan, Alan Moore nos lleva al interior de las cabezas de cada personaje: Roxy, su padre y su madre, las autoridades militares, Loz y Cornelius; este particular recurso narrativo atrapó mi atención hace más de una década. They can disintegrate suns /Ellos pueden desintegrar solesPara crear una distracción, Loz abandona a Roxy y Cornelius, y visita las áreas que le son más familiares: esas zonas habitadas por los pobres y los desem-pleados; y los convoca a todos, y los envía en motos y buses para bloquear el avance de los vehículos del ejército. De cierta manera, ellos también son aliens para un gobierno que se preocupa muy poco por su bienestar. Cuando Roxy habla con Skizz, ella le explica que la gente puede ayudarlo a regresar a su mundo. Que puede ser enviado en un cohete espacial, después de todo, la humanidad ha llegado hasta la luna. Y es entonces cuando Skizz pierde toda esperanza. La distancia entre su planeta y la Tierra es casi infinita, y para él llegar a la luna es una hazaña realmente insignificante. Él entiende que no tiene sentido intentar escapar de los soldados, pero igual sigue al lado de Roxy, no porque crea que puede salvarse sino porque quiere retribuir su generosidad.Los punks, los motociclistas, los 'hooligans' y los desempleados pelean contra los soldados. Pero en la era de Thatcher, los soldados y policías son expertos en someter manifestaciones y movimientos civiles. Los cientos de desposeídos de Birmingham están condenados a perder la batalla. En el último momento, Cornelius, el hombre callado, rompe su silencio y grita. Le han quitado su trabajo, sus derechos, sus beneficios sociales, pero no su orgullo. Desarmados, Cornelius, Roxy y el frágil alien intentan pelear por sus vidas.Jim Baikie nos entrega un asombroso retrato de la pobreza y la miseria urbana. Sus personajes no tienen glamour ni sofisticación, y no obstante, exudan una cierta nobleza, una fortaleza que viene de alguna región desconocida del corazón. Las líneas de Baikie arañan la superficie del papel, creando una sensación de desorden, de espontaneidad, y sus oscuras tintas añaden el toque necesario de melancolía. Juntos Moore y Baikie crean un relato evocativo y significativo sobre los primeros encuentros, una cruel realidad y los mecanismos de la alienación. Serializada originalmente en 2000AD en 1983, hay muchas ediciones recopilatorias. Si pueden encontrar una, suban a bordo, podrán sentirse ligeramente alienados al inicio, pero luego verán que el viaje vale la pena. Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/07/skizz-alan-moore-jim-baikie.html

Aspen Comics Reveals Aspen Splash 2013 SDCC Exclusives

Aspen Comics Reveals Aspen Splash 2013 SDCC Exclusives

By Rui Esteves in Blog on July 12, 2013

Michael TurnerAspen Comics Reveals Aspen Splash 2013 SDCC ExclusivesAspen Comics revealed two new Aspen Splash 2013 exclusives for Comic Con International: San Diego 2013 today. The publisher will feature a special Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald SDCC cover limited to 250 copies, in addition to an exclusive SDCC cover by Mike DeBalfo and Peter Steigerwald, limited to 200 copies. Both Mike DeBalfo and Peter Steigerwald will be appearing at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321 all weekend long as well.Earlier in the week, Aspen revealed an exclusive Comic Con International: San Diego 2013 BubbleGun #2 cover by Pasquale Qualano and Peter Steigerwald, only available at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321 and limited to 200 copies, with quantities made available on the AspenStore.com as well. BubbleGun creator and writer Mark Roslan will be appearing at the Aspen Comics Booth all week long during the con as well. Mike DeBalfo The publisher also has previously revealed a Fathom: The Elite Saga #1 cover by Joe Benitez and Peter Steigerwald, only available at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321, with quantities made available on the AspenStore.com as well. This Comic Con exclusive cover for Aspen’s weekly Fathom event commemorating 15 years of Fathom will be limited to 250 copies, and the publisher will be featuring appearances by both Benitez and Steigerwald at the Aspen Comics Booth throughout the weekend.Aspen will be unveiling more SDCC exclusives throughout the week in addition to some major announcements regarding their upcoming projects to be shown at the “Ten Years of Aspen Comics” panel on Friday at Comic Con. Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/07/aspen-comics-reveals-aspen-splash-2013.html

Preview: DEAD MAN¹S RUN #6

Preview: DEAD MAN¹S RUN #6

By Rui Esteves in Blog on July 11, 2013

CoverDEAD MAN¹S RUN #6Greg Pak ­ Writer / Tony Parker ­ Art / Wes Hartman - ColorsFrom acclaimed "Hulk" writer Greg Pak, legendary "Walking Dead" producer Gale Anne Hurd, and Tony Parker, artist of the Eisner-nominated "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep², comes the biggest blockbuster series of the year ­ DEAD MAN¹S RUN!The finale to the critically revered journey through hell ushers Sam Tinker and his allies straight into the heart of darkness! As the Warden finally makes her true intentions known to the shocked group, they must decide whether they can trust their fate to her actions‹as it might be their only option to remain alive. However, their present comes brutally crashing down on them in the City of Corruption, as the Captain also makes his purpose devastatingly clear to the group, at the cost of several of their lives! Don¹t miss the mind-blowing conclusion to this year¹s most depraved action adventure series!DEAD MAN¹S RUN #6 is in stores July 10th, 2013! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/07/preview-dead-mans-run-6.html

Review: Book of DA

Review: Book of DA

By Rui Esteves in Blog on July 11, 2013

Cover DA rules over the seas. DA is a good deity. DA keeps all the sea creatures happy and gifts them with harmonious lives. All DA asks in return is absolute devotion and servitude.One day a diver crosses path with DA. At first the diver complies with every request DA makes. But one little gesture of defiance changes everything.DA isn't happy, and if DA isn't happy the sea is a bad place to be in.The Book of DA narrates the journey of the diver while he searches for DA, for the reason that made the seas turn on him and the way to turn it around and bring harmony back.How is it?The divers journey is an epic tale. Its almost like a biblical tale in a sense that you have a bigger than life deity that rules over all and the struggle of an insignificant and harmless being for a peaceful life. Its a story of struggle and innocence, of blind servitude and emotional slavery. But its also a story about something else. About something very human and very earthly. DA Mike Mccubbins writes this story in two different ways. In half the story we follow the diver's silent journey. In the other half a priest like character narrates the story to an eager audience. This dichotomy of styles works very well. When the story is in diver mode it transmits a smooth tranquility, even when DA is present. If it were a song it would be Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silent. In priest mode the story picks up the pace. It also and gains a dramatic feel to it that greatly enhances the reading experience. If it were a song it would be Ben Harper's Power of the Gospel.Matt Bryan is in charge of the art of the Book of DA. Question: Do you like high contrast B&W art? I do, very much in fact. For the most part its great. In fact it takes center stage every time the story hits diver mode. In this mode the story is almost only driven by the art. And it works very well. However I'm not very keen on the style Matt adopted for the priest mode. Its not bad, its just to as glorious as the diver mode one is.My biggest complain is the format of the book. Its not in the standard US trade size. Its more like Disney sized books. Matt's art is somewhat minimalist, but I think it would benefit from a larger format. But it was probably a financial decision. We have to keep in mind that the printing that I got was funded by a Kickstarter project. The DiverVerdict?Overall its Book of DA is a very good book. I liked it a lot. Its fresh and unique. A cool little story told in a very graphical format. I love indie books and this is no exception. Recommended.It can be hard to get a hand on a copy of Book of DA, but you can hop on the authors online store and buy a copy.Publisher: Big List of Dead PeopleYear: 2013Pages: 148Authors: Mike Mccubbins, Matt BryanISBN: 9780615778501Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/07/review-book-of-da.html

Preview: FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #4

Preview: FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #4

By Rui Esteves in Blog on July 11, 2013

CoverFATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #4JT Krul ; Vince Hernandez ; David Wohl ­ writers / Ken Marion ­ pencils / Kyle Ritter - colorsThe ending to the most epic storyline in Fathom¹s 15-year history draws near!The return of one of the most significant Blue citizens to ever live will shatter the fabric of the Fathom Universe as we know it! While Anya will learn that Anika¹s fate may be tied to the arrival of this person‹which could lead to the baby¹s unfortunate demise!Aspen newcomer Ken Marion is joined by an all-star group of past and present FATHOM writers, all coming together for a FATHOM story 15 years in the making! Plus, fan-favorite artist Talent Caldwell returns with a stunning 5 part interconnecting cover that all leads up to an unbelievable new direction in the All New FATHOM Universe!FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #4 is in stores July 10th, 2013! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 4 Cover B Cover CFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/07/preview-fathom-elite-saga-4.html

Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. 8 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. 8 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

By Arion in Blog on July 10, 2013

Misato & KajiWhen I first saw Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji Ikari was 14 years old… and so was I. But unlike other fictitious characters Shinji would think, act and react like a real teenager, in fact, in more ways than I could have anticipated, he was living an alternative version of my life. The surprising battles between biomechanical colossuses and gigantic angels captured my attention from the get go, and I don’t think I ever stopped to ask what else was going on. Or what had been going on in a world that had survived the apocalyptical second impact.Reading this manga volume is like pausing the exciting scenes that I remember from the anime; it’s like taking a deep breath and looking at familiar faces with a whole new perspective. For sure, that’s how I’ve felt reading stages 49 through 56: “…Kiss”, “Into the Heart…”, “Mother”, “Flashback”, “A Giant Made of Light”, “The Birth of NERV”, “Message” and “Of Jealousy”. There is also a matter of age here. I’m older now. I’m about to turn 29, I’m just a few days away from being as old as Kaji and Misato. My life no longer revolves around the discovery of sexuality but rather on the formalization of long-term relationships; teen angst has been replaced by simple adult weariness. Of course, now I’m more attuned to the dilemmas experienced by Kaji and Misato. Shinji has been absent for a month, submerged in the Link Connected Liquid (LCL), inside the cockpit of Unit-01. Like a fetus unaware of the existence of the world, the teenager has severed all physical ties to reality and is lost inside his own mind. The Eva here functions as a surrogate mother, its inner machineries are an artificial womb and the LCL replaces the amniotic fluid. For an entire month, Shinji dreams and gets in touch with his unconsciousness. There he finds the ever present figure of his mother: Yui Ikari, and although he’s very tempted to stay there forever, nurtured and sheltered by the motherly bosom, that would cause his death in the real world.  Rei AyanamiThere is one particular scene that I found fascinating. Shinji wakes up naked in the ocean, near the shore. On the beach, he sees his parents and a younger version of himself. His only desire is to walk towards them, in an obvious attempt to regress to a more innocent and tender age. Except that he can’t. His legs don’t obey them, and so he stands there, silent, exposing himself, exposing his naked body, proving with his nudity and the development of his sexual organs that his not the child he used to be, although he is not a grown up either. At least not yet. And then, Yui makes a very meaningful statement: “Is it that you can’t move? Or is it that where you really want to go isn’t where I am?”. Probably every human being has experienced the same existential doubt, where do we go? Do we follow the path carefully laid out for us by our parents? Or do we throw away the notion of family traditions and choose a different destiny?   Meanwhile, everyone misses Shinji, even Asuka. Rei Ayanami is also worried about him. There’s an odd connection between Shinji and his Evangelion –imbued with his mother’s essence–, and Rei, whose link with Shinji’s mother places her on a difficult position: on one hand she feels replaceable, on the other hand, her closeness with Commander Gendo Ikari causes some sort of displaced –or misplaced– Oedipal complex.The exploration of the past continues. Right after Sub-Commander Fuyutsuki is kidnapped, his interrogation begins. Deprived of food and water during 30 hours, the anonymous high council of SEELE –a super-secret organization whose name means ‘Soul’ in German– asks him how GEHIRN (Brain) turned into NERV, how the geo-front was built, what is the role of Gendo Ikari and why did he marry to Yui (rumors state that he marries her for two reasons: for her scientific work and to gain access to SEELE, the only organization wealthy enough to finance NERV). Shinji and his mother, Yui / Shinji y su madre, YuiFinally Ryoji Kaji, the man responsible for Fuyutsuki’s kidnapping, rescues the Sub-Commander, even at the risk of his own life. Cornered in one of the tallest buildings of Tokyo 3, Kaji is wounded. He continues to run, until he has nowhere to go. With the arrogance that characterizes him, he shouts at his enemy. Aim better this time, he suggests. And, indeed, the next bullet destroys his chest cavity. He dies in seconds, but not before imagining the presence of all the boys he unwillingly sentenced to death when he was a teenager. Kaji’s death will have major repercussions on Katsuragi and even Asuka.A very moving sequence takes place between Rei and Shinji, who at last regains consciousness. For weeks, Shinji has been in utero, in a limbo devoid of all human contact. Ayanami, on the other hand, has been in the real world, but also deprived of a much needed human touch. She tells Shinji how much it meant for her to be touched by him, even if this has only happened four times: the first, when a wounded Ayanami was in his way to the infirmary, right before the first time Shinji piloted Unit-01; the second, when the boy accidentally trips and falls on top of a naked Rei; third, wearing their suits, after a battle with an angel; fourth, when Shinji cleans Rei’s hand after a kitchen incident. One of the reasons I love Neon Genesis Evangelion so much is because I can identify with all the characters. Surely, Shinji is the one that reminds me of my teenage years. But at some point in my life I’ve also been as sad and lonely as Rei, counting with desperation the number of times that I had been touched by another human being. And now, for example, I feel a lot like Ryoji Kaji. I look unworried, arrogant, too proud of myself, but I too have skeletons in the closet; like Kaji, I’ve made some really lousy decisions when I was 15 or 16, and just like him I’ve felt, perhaps too many times, that I didn’t deserve happiness. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In his dreams, Shinji talks with Misato / En sus sueños, Shinji habla con MisatoLa primera vez que vi Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji Ikari tenía 14 años... al igual que yo. Pero a diferencia de otros personajes ficticios, Shinji pensaba, actuaba y reaccionaba como un adolescente de verdad, más aún, de una forma que no podría haber anticipado, él estaba viviendo una versión alternativa de mi vida.Las sorprendentes batallas entre colosos biomecánicos y gigantescos ángeles atraparon mi atención desde el comienzo, y no creo haberme detenido jamás a preguntar que más estaba sucediendo. O qué había estado sucediendo en un mundo que sobrevivió al apocalíptico segundo impacto.Leer este volumen del manga es como hacer pausa en las emocionantes escenas que recuerdo del anime; es como tomar aliento y mirar esos rostros familiares con una nueva perspectiva. Desde luego, así es como me he sentido leyendo las etapas 49 a 56: "...Beso", "Dentro del corazón...", "Madre", "Flashback", "Un gigante hecho de luz", "El nacimiento de NERV", "Mensaje" y "Sobre celos". Aquí también va el asunto de la edad. Ahora tengo más años. Estoy a punto de cumplir 29, estoy a pocos días de distancia de ser tan viejo como Kaji y Misato. Mi vida ya no gira en torno al descubrimiento de la sexualidad sino más bien a la formalización de relaciones de largo plazo; la angustia adolescente ha sido reemplazada por el simple hastío del adulto. Por supuesto, ahora estoy más sintonizado con los dilemas experimentados por Kaji y Misato.Shinji ha estado ausente por un mes, sumergido en el Líquido de Conexión de Enlace (LCL en inglés), dentro de la cabina de la Unidad-01. Como un feto que ignora la existencia del mundo, el adolescente ha cercenado todas sus ataduras físicas a la realidad y está perdido dentro de su propia mente. Aquí el Eva funciona como una madre sustituta, sus maquinarias internas son el útero artificial y el LCL reemplaza el fluido amniótico. Por todo un mes, Shinji sueña y entra en contacto con su inconsciente. Allí encuentra la siempre presente figura de su madre: Yui Ikari, y aunque tiene la tentación de quedarse allí para siempre, nutrido y cobijado en el seno materno, eso causaría su muerte en el mundo real. Oedipus complex can take many forms / El complejo de Edipo puede tomar muchas formasHay una escena particular que me resulta fascinante. Shinji se despierta desnudo en el océano, cerca de la costa. En la playa, ve a sus padres y a una versión infantil de sí mismo. Su único deseo es caminar hacia ellos, en un obvio intento de regresión a una edad más tierna e inocente. Excepto que no puede. Sus piernas no lo obedecen, así que él se queda allí, en silencio, exhibiéndose, exhibiendo su cuerpo desnudo, demostrando con su desnudez y el desarrollo de sus órganos sexuales que ya no es el niño que solía ser, aunque tampoco es un adulto. Aún no. Y entonces, Yui ofrece una significativa interpelación: "¿Es que no te puedes mover? ¿O es que donde realmente quieres ir no es donde yo estoy?" Probablemente todo ser humano ha experimentado la misma duda existencial, ¿a dónde vamos? ¿Seguimos el camino cuidadosamente planeado para nosotros por nuestros padres? ¿O nos deshacemos de la noción de las tradiciones familiares y elegimos un destino diferente?Mientras tanto, todos extrañan a Shinji, incluso Asuka. Rei Ayanami también está preocupada por él. Hay una rara conexión entre Shinji y su Evangelion –imbuido de la esencia de su madre–, y Rei, cuyo vínculo con la madre de Shinji la coloca en una posición difícil: por un lado siente que es reemplazable, por otro, su cercanía con el comandante Gendo Ikari genera cierto tipo de complejo de Edipo desplazado o mal emplazado. La exploración del pasado continúa. Apenas el sub-comandante Fuyutsuki es secuestrado, comienza el interrogatorio. Sin recibir agua ni comida durante 30 horas, el anónimo alto consejo de SEELE –una organización súper-secreta con un nombre que significa 'alma' en alemán– le pregunta cómo GEHIRN (cerebro) se convirtió en NERV, cómo fue construido el geo-frente, cuál es el rol de Gendo Ikari y por qué se casó con Yui (los rumores afirman que se casó con ella por dos razones: por su labor científica y para ganar acceso a SEELE, la única organización con el dinero suficiente para financiar NERV). The death of Kaji / La muerte de KajiFinalmente Ryoji Kaji, el hombre responsable por el secuestro de Fuyutsuki, rescata al sub-comandante, aunque al hacerlo su vida peligra. Acorralado en uno de los edificios más grandes de Tokyo 3, Kaji es herido. Continúa huyendo, hasta que no puede más. Con la arrogancia que lo caracteriza, grita al enemigo. Apunta mejor la próxima vez, sugiere. Y, de hecho, la siguiente bala le destroza la cavidad pectoral. Muere en segundos, pero no sin antes imaginar la presencia de todos los chicos que él, involuntariamente, sentenció a muerte cuando era un adolescente. La muerte de Kaji causará graves repercusiones en Katsuragi e incluso en Asuka.Hay una escena muy conmovedora entre Rei y Shinji, cuando él despierta por fin. Por semanas, Shinji ha estado en un útero, en un limbo desprovisto de contacto humano. Ayanami, por otro lado, ha estado en el mundo real, pero sin ese tan necesario contacto humano. Ella le dice a Shinji lo mucho que significó que él la tocara, algo que sólo pasó cuatro veces: la primera, cuando una malherida Ayanami era llevada a la enfermería, justo antes de la primera vez que Shinji piloteara la Unidad-01; la segunda, cuando el chico accidentalmente tropieza y cae encima de una Rei desnuda; la tercera, enfundados en sus trajes, luego de una batalla con un ángel; la cuarta, cuando Shinji lava la mano de Rei tras un incidente de cocina.Una de las razones por las que me encanta "Neon Genesis Evangelion" es porque me puedo identificar con todos los personajes. Seguramente, Shinji es el que más me recuerda mis años de adolescencia. Pero en algún momento de mi vida también he estado tan triste y solitario como Rei, contando con desesperación el número de veces que sido tocado por otro ser humano. Y ahora, por ejemplo, me siento como Ryoji Kaji. Me veo despreocupado, arrogante, demasiado orgulloso de mí mismo, pero yo también tengo secretos oscuros; al igual que Kaji, he tomado algunas decisiones realmente desastrosas cuando tenía 15 o 16 años, y he sentido como él, tal vez demasiadas veces, que no merecía ser feliz.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/07/neon-genesis-evangelion-vol-8-yoshiyuki.html

Preview: BUBBLEGUN #2

Preview: BUBBLEGUN #2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on July 10, 2013

CoverBUBBLEGUN #2 Mark Roslan ­ Story / Mike Bowden ­ Art / David Curiel - ColorsThey like the tech, but live for the high stakes!When the gang realized the ³package² they painstaking retrieved could possibly be the most high-tech performance machine on the planet‹and more importantly, a young, kidnapped cyber boy‹the weight of their crime quickly comes into focus. Secrets are revealed, alliances shattered, and one of the team could literally never recover her psyche as the stakes have grown far greater than they could have ever imagined!Creator and writer Mark Roslan, along with penciler Mike Bowden and colorist David Curiel invite you to take part in what¹s sure to become Aspen¹s next hit sci-fi, action adventure series, BUBBLEGUN!BUBBLEGUN #2 is in stores July 10th, 2013! Preview Page 1, 2 Preview Page 3 Cover BFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/07/preview-bubblegun-2.html

Aspen Comics Announces New Series for 2014

Aspen Comics Announces New Series for 2014

By Rui Esteves in Blog on July 9, 2013

Lola XOXOAspen Comics Announces New Series for 2014Aspen Comics is pleased to announce an all-new series slated for 2014, the action-adventure series Lola XOXO, created, written and illustrated by Siya Oum. The publisher has revealed the first promotional image for the upcoming Aspen series with more information to be revealed at the “Ten Years of Aspen Comics” panel on Friday afternoon from 12-1 pm in Room 9 at next week’s Comic Con International: San Diego 2013. Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/07/aspen-comics-announces-new-series-for.html

Review: O Baile

Review: O Baile

By Rui Esteves in Blog on July 8, 2013

CoverO Baile (The Dance) takes place in 1967 in Portugal. This was during the fascist regime of António Salazar. During this time there was a kind of State Police ( PIDE) that enforced the will of the regime. PIDE was widely feared. Many of the people that were approached by agents of PIDE were never seen again.So you may imagine that PIDE officers were not welcome into people's homes nor were they friendly persons.It turns out that the main character of O Baile is one of those PIDE officers.How is it?He is not good nor evil. He's done some bad things. At least that's implied in the book. The title (The Dance) is a reference for the interrogation that PIDE often forced upon the portuguese people. The job is starting to get to him. He can't tolerate silence. It takes him to a dark place. Maré Santa It all starts when Rui Brás (the PIDE officer) heads on to a small, sea side, village in search of evidence of paranormal activity. The Pope is coming to Portugal and the Government decided to investigate all paranormal reports and put an end to all that nonsense.Nuno Duarte managed to weave an interesting thriller in just 46 pages. It as a bit of drama, some horror, a dash of action and even a tiny bit of romance (well, maybe). What struck me the most was his ability to write a character that could very easily be a giant clichê and make him interesting without being contrived.The art department was ran by Joana Pacheco. She made a great job with it. The character models are all unique and very detailed, the contrast between the day and night fits the real / surreal aspect of the book like a glove. Great job. The big baddie?!Verdict?This is a great book. My only complaint is the low quality binding. As soon as I opened the book it cracked. Apart from that this is very much worth your money. Its a cool and original concept, with great art and very well crafted story telling.Publisher: Kingpin BooksYear: 2012Pages: 46Authors: Nuno Duarte, Joana PachecoISBN: 9789899643789Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/07/review-o-baile.html

Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. 7 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. 7 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

By Arion in Blog on July 8, 2013

Shinji, Asuka & ReiI’ve been there. I know how it feels to quit. Perhaps we all do, perhaps we’ve all been quitters at one time or another –in school, in our jobs, with our loved ones– so we can relate to Shinji Ikari. I know I can. Very much so. You see, I’m not sure who will win in a quitting competition, if Shinji or me. To quit instead of persevere has always been one my greatest defects, and even today sometimes I still feel the temptation of simply giving up. Just like Shinji. This seventh volume includes stages 41 through 48: “Fist”, “Ashen Skies”, “Cross-Examination”, “Atonement”, “A Man’s Battle”, “The Awakening, part 1”, “The Awakening, part 2” and “Eradication”. Everything starts with anger. Shinji is angry, more than that, he’s furious. He hates NERV’s Commander for giving the order that resulted in the demise of his best friend, Toji Suzuhara. Therefore he decides, once again, to tender his resignation to NERV.This friendship is one of Shinji’s most treasured memories. Shinji had been living an existence of isolation; as if he were encapsulated in a transparent sphere that allowed him to observe the world but prevented him from interacting with it. Such a claustrophobic feeling, I should know… my childhood and the onset of my adolescence was also that: staying in a dark room, looking at the world outside my window, and never daring to go out and live in it. “And the window I thought I had shut tight –it started to open”, admits Shinji. And it was all thanks to Toji, and before he knew it, the boy that had meant so much to him was gone. The secret past of Kaji / El pasado secreto de Kaji When a new angel, Zeruel, attacks Tokyo 3, NERV has only two Eva pilots available: Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley Soryu. Before leaving the city, Shinji is intercepted by Ryoji Kaji who leads him to an underground shelter. There, Kaji talks about his past. In the days after the second impact, Japan was a devastated nation, destroyed and desolated, and hundreds of thousands of orphans prowled the urban ruins. Kaji was one of them, with his brother and ragtag group of street urchins, he spent most of his time stealing food from government shelters and military facilities. Until one day he was captured. Tortured by the soldiers, the boy confesses where his gang of friends is hiding, knowing that the penalty for them is death, even if they are underage. For Kaji, things are clear. He managed to survive although that cost him the lives of his brother and his closest friends. Ever since then he has never trusted in soldiers or figures of authority; and he has made an effort to destabilize those in power, and that’s the reason why he’s now a spy uncovering NERV’s secrets.  Not even his love for Misato Katsuragi was enough to grant him peace. He’s still haunted by the ghosts of the murdered children. “Neither of us deserve to be happy”, explains Kaji. He’s got blood on his hands, and so does Misato. And even Shinji is, in some way, responsible for the death of his friend. “Suzuhara died… and you survived”. Kaji and Misato, the love of his life / Kaji y Misato, el amor de su vidaAlthough in the anime, Kaji’s motivation always remained unclear, here we discover the character’s past, his traumas, his fears, and we understand why, despise his initial reticence, Shinji chooses to return to NERV’s HQ. Zeruel has already dismembered and decapitated Unit-02 and neutralized Unit-00. After destroying the geo-front’s barriers and defenses, and exposing Central Dogma, everyone fears for the worst. And that’s when Shinji appears in Unit-01, and attacks the powerful angel, losing an arm in the process and suffering severe damages.   Out of power and reserve batteries, the Evangelion is defenseless against Zeruel. Until something deep within Unit-01 awakens; and thus the beast inside the technological armor is unleashed. After a brutal combat, the angel is annihilated and devoured by the Evangelion. For the first time, the angelic nature of the threat is hard to distinguish from the inhuman nature of the Evangelion. Ultimately, humans and angels may have more in common than what we originally had envisioned. If human beings are the heirs of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (self-consciousness), then surely angels are the heirs of the Tree of Life (immortality). As it’s made clear at the beginning of the series, both “factions” try to analyze and decipher the other. Both fail at it, and war “the ultimate failure of communication” becomes the only alternative. Finally, the leaders of Seele –a secret organization– are discussing the future of NERV. They consider it’s time to leave everything in the hands of their most valuable asset: Tabris. This 14-year-old boy, also known as Kaworu Nagisa, will cause a tremendous impact in Shinji’s life.If you want to read more about Neon Genesis Evangelion click here.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “Suzuhara died… and you survived” /“Suzuhara murió... y tú sobreviviste”He estado ahí. Sé cómo se siente renunciar. Tal vez todos lo sabemos, tal vez todos hemos renunciado en uno u otro momento -en el colegio, en nuestros trabajos, con nuestras parejas- así que nos podemos identificar con Shinji Ikari. Sé que me identifico con él. Muchísimo. Verán, no estoy seguro quién ganaría en una competencia de renuncias, si Shinji o yo. Rendirse en vez de perseverar siempre ha sido uno de mis más grandes defectos, e incluso hoy en día a veces siento la tentación de rendirme. Igualito que Shinji.Este séptimo volumen incluye las etapas 41 a 48: "Puño", "Cielos de ceniza", "Examinación doble", "Expiación", "Una batalla de hombre", "El despertar parte 1", "El despertar parte 2" y "Erradicación". Todo empieza con ira. Shinji está molesto, más que eso, está furioso. Odia al comandante de NERV por haber dado la orden que provocó el deceso de su mejor amigo, Toji Suzuhara. Por lo tanto, decide una vez más presentar su renuncia a NERV.Esta amistad es uno de los recuerdos más preciados de Ikari. Shinji ha estado viviendo una existencia de aislamiento; como si estuviera encapsulado en una esfera transparente que le permitiese observar el mundo pero le impidiese interactuar con él. Es un sentimiento muy claustrofóbico, lo sé muy bien... mi infancia y el inicio de mi adolescencia también fueron así: estar en un cuarto oscuro, mirando al mundo fuera de mi ventana, y no atreverme nunca a salir y a vivir en él. "Y la ventana que pensé que había cerrado del todo -empezó a abrirse", admite Shinji. Y todo fue gracias a Toji, y antes de darse cuenta, el chico que había significado tanto para él ya no estaba allí. Shinji versus ZeruelCuando un nuevo ángel, Zeruel, ataca Tokio 3, NERV sólo tiene dos pilotos disponibles: Rei Ayanami y Asuka Langley Soryu. Antes de dejar la ciudad, Shinji es interceptado por Ryoji Kaji quien lo lleva a un refugio subterráneo. Allí Kaji habla sobre su pasado. En los días posteriores al segundo impacto, Japón era una nación devastada, destrozada y desolada, y cientos de miles de huérfanos acechaban las ruinas urbanas. Kaji era uno de ellos, con su hermano y una pandilla de jóvenes delincuentes, pasaba la mayor parte del tiempo robando comida de los refugios del gobierno y las bases militares. Hasta que un día fue capturado. Torturado por los soldados, el chico confiesa dónde se esconde su grupo de amigos, sabiendo que la penalidad para ellos es la muerte, incluso si son menores de edad. Para Kaji, el asunto es claro. Él se las arregló para sobrevivir aunque eso le costara las vidas de su hermano y sus amigos más cercanos. Desde entonces jamás ha confiado en soldados ni en figuras de autoridad; y ha hecho un esfuerzo para desestabilizar a aquellos en el poder, y esa es la razón por la que es un espía que destapa los secretos de NERV. Ni siquiera su amor por Misato Katsuragi fue suficiente para otorgarle paz. Todavía es acosado por los fantasmas de los niños asesinados. "Ninguno de nosotros merece ser feliz", explica Kaji. Tiene sangre en sus manos, al igual que Misato. E incluso Shinji, en cierto modo, es responsable por la muerte de su amigo. “Suzuhara murió... y tú sobreviviste”.Aunque en el anime, la motivación de Kaji siempre fue insondable, aquí descubrimos el pasado del personaje, sus traumas, sus miedos, y entendemos por qué, a pesar de su reticencia inicial, Shinji opta por regresar al cuartel general de NERV. Zeruel ya ha desmembrado y decapitado a la Unidad-02 y neutralizado a la Unidad-00. Después de destruir las barreras y defensas del geo-frente, y dejar el Dogma Central expuesto, todos temen lo peor. Y allí es cuando Shinji aparece en la Unidad-01, y ataca al poderoso ángel, perdiendo un brazo en el proceso y sufriendo serios daños. Tabris (Kaworu Nagisa)Sin energía y sin baterías de reserva, el Evangelion no tiene defensas frente a Zeruel. Hasta que en las profundidades de la Unidad-01 algo se despierta; y de este modo la bestia dentro de la armadura tecnológica es desatada. Después de un brutal combate, el ángel es aniquilado y devorado por el Evangelion. Por primera vez, la naturaleza angélica de la amenaza es difícil de distinguir de la naturaleza inhumana del Evangelion. En última instancia, los humanos y los ángeles pueden tener más en común de lo que habíamos considerado originalmente. Si los seres humanos son los herederos del árbol del conocimiento del bien y del mal (la auto-conciencia), entonces seguramente los ángeles son los herederos del árbol de la vida (la inmortalidad). Al inicio de la serie es evidente que ambas "facciones" intentan analizar y descifrar al otro. Ambas fracasan y la guerra "el fracaso definitivo de la comunicación" se convierte en la única alternativa.Finalmente, los líderes de Seele –una organizacion secreta– están discutiendo el futuro de NERV. Ellos consideran que es hora de dejar todo en manos de su recurso más valioso: Tabris. Este chico de 14 años, también conocido como Kaworu Nagisa, causará un impacto tremendo en la vida de Shinji.Si quieren leer más sobre Neon Genesis Evangelion hagan click aquí.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/07/neon-genesis-evangelion-vol-7-yoshiyuki.html

A.D.D. Adolescent Demo Division - Douglas Rushkoff Goran Sudžuka

A.D.D. Adolescent Demo Division - Douglas Rushkoff Goran Sudžuka

By Arion in Blog on July 4, 2013

The Adolescent Demo Division is what every teenager dreams about: no responsibilities, no commitments, 24/7 online gaming and free stuff, courtesy of America’s biggest corporation. The A.D.D. is a group of adolescents raised from birth to play online games and be the unrivaled celebrities of the entertainment industry. Treated like royalty in the gamers community, they live in a world of their own: secluded and protected in a corporate facility designed only to nurture their gaming proclivity. The captain of the A.D.D. is Karl, and his best friend is Lionel. Together they try to smile at fans at gaming conventions but they know that, for all their fame and popularity, deep down they are despised and even feared by ‘normal’ people (or ‘realworlders’ as they call them). Karl knows that his friend enjoys a good wank every now and then, aroused by Kasinda’s presence, the only girl in the entire Demo Division. Lionel feels a bit ashamed about this, but as Karl reminds him, at least he can still get a boner, most of these kids can’t. Having sex is a thing of the past, games are all that matter / Tener sexo es cosa del pasado, los juegos son lo único que importaIn order to achieve the highest scores, these teens have been trained only to play games, and thus their social skills are almost nonexistent and their sexual drive has been rechanneled into winning online tournaments. They never have sex, they don’t even jerk off. The closest they get is playing games of high sexual content, in which their reactions (heartbeats, hormonal balance, glands secretions) are analyzed to design even sexier products for the general public. But some of them, in the solitude of their bedrooms or in the showers, are able to resurrect a sexuality that has long staid dormant.Lionel is a special boy. He sees through the patterns and beyond the obvious imagery of games, and understands what’s behind them: product placement, subliminal publicity, hypnotic messages. Killing giant ants in a sci-fi scenario is, in fact, an invitation to join the army; changing the appearance of your online avatar is a request to renew your wardrobe; a car race is a suggestion to open a bank account and so on.As Lionel discusses with Karl, most of these hidden advertisements rely on a powerful element: sexual frustration. The campaign focuses on the unsatisfied sexual lives of millions of teenagers worldwide and offers them a deceitful palliative: a different brand of clothing, collectible cellphone models, new game levels, etc. All this sexual frustration, in Lacanian terms, is joy, id est, an accumulation of tensions, a build-up towards some inscrutable outcome. The opposite of joy is pleasure, and that’s something neither the realworlders nor the A.D.D. are familiar with. Joy sells, pleasure doesn’t.  The death of Karl, captain of the Adolescent Demo Division / La muerte de Karl, capitán la División Demo AdolescenteOf course, Karl makes fun of Lionel’s crazy theories. What the young man sees is merely a reflection of his own blue balls. And certainly, Lionel is in a perpetual state of sexual frustration: Kasinda, the girl he loves and fantasizes about suffers from haptephobia: an intense fear of being touched; repulsion to physical contact. But in a world populated by a generation of youngsters so immersed in their computers and gaming devices, isn’t this the logical result? Isolated teens easily become unrestrained consumers; if teenagers stay home, making online purchases, then the companies can create even more products targeted to them. This is why Nextgen Inc., the corporation in charge of A.D.D., has big plans for the next generation. So far, they have persuaded their consumers, influenced their decisions, but that’s not enough. Nextgen Inc.’s true goal is to reprogram their captive audience. Nextgen Inc. doesn’t care about the high scores A.D.D. gets in gaming championships, they care only for profit. Consequently they experiment with these kids, who’ve been subjected to advertising since they were born, to identify the parts of the brain that resist the subliminal messages… Once they’ve identified the neural resistance they can eliminate it, effectively creating a new generation of blind consumers, a mindless herd that will be under the total control of Nextgen Inc.In a way, a generation of mindless consumers can already be glimpsed in today’s world: we live in an era in which aggressive marketing reigns supreme and in which consumerism has become the definitive lifestyle, discarding those who can’t keep up the rhythm as consumers. Humanity is no longer cooperative, as it was in the past, now it’s only competitive. Therefore “A.D.D. is one part prophecy, one part critique” as Cory Doctorow affirms.Nevertheless, when Karl dies in the laboratories of Nextgen Inc., Lionel discovers that the world he knew was a lie. Instead of being rewarded, the best players are sent to the labs. Lionel is afraid, he knows he’s next. The most terrifying thing is that, submerged in virtual reality and online gaming, none of his teammates seem to grasp the concept of death. Some claim that Karl hasn’t died, that his corpse is only a computer generated image (in fact, some compare his blood with the graphics of a well-known game); Takai, Lionel’s friend, thinks that Karl will simply get an ‘extra’ life in the next level, as usual. The showers: a very real and dangerous game /Las duchas: un juego peligroso y muy realKarl’s death is a huge shock for Lionel, and although he tries to convince the others that there’s no such thing as a reward for the best players, his immediate rival, Matt, doesn’t pay attention to him. In fact, Matt is one of the few kids sexually active, and he decides to humiliate Lionel in the showers. Matt grabs Takai and forces him to suck on Lionel’s penis, it’s only thanks to the timely intervention of the security personnel that nothing else happens. Another assault takes place in the showers, the morning after, but this time Lionel fights like a lion, the naked boys hit each other but in the end it’s Lionel who comes out on top.A.D.D. also stands for Attention Deficit Disorder, and that seems to be one of the characteristics of Takai. However, he and Kasinda join Lionel in an attempt to escape from their corporate imprisonment. As they travel through the building’s ventilation tunnels, Lionel can’t avoid getting an erection (a turge, in his own words) after taking a good look at Kasinda’s ass. As soon as Takai falls asleep, Lionel tries to kiss the girl but she refuses. She can’t accept the idea of being touched by somebody else. Lionel is really horny and Kasinda decides to undress in front of him, she won’t allow to be touched but she’ll make sure to inspire him to touch himself. Thus the notion of the specular image and the masturbatory compulsion are reunited in this moving moment between a boy and a girl; even when they’re together, they’re still miles apart, she’s still afraid of human contact and he’s still jerking off to an unrealized fantasy. There’s nothing real for them to hold on to. And perhaps that’s the reason why, after escaping from Genext Inc. they realize how impossible it is to adapt to the real world. Douglas Rushkoff has written one of the most incisive and thought-provoking graphic novels of the decade, evaluating the condition of the world, the paradigm shifts and the future that awaits us. Goran Sudžuka’s artistic skills turn what could have an ethereal concept into a well-grounded reality, with characters that look so young, so vulnerable and above all so human; his magnificent illustrations are enhanced by the work of José Marzán Jr., and Tanya and Richard Horie. Social criticism, innovation and a harsh assessment on the way technology influences our socialization are fundamental aspects of this original graphic novel that will surely stand the test of time.  As Grant Morrison explains “In a world defined by ubiquitous media, best-selling wargames, autistic disorders and the commodification and exploitation of youth, Douglas Rushkoff and artist Goran Sudžuka vivisect the zeitgeist with a sleek tale of tomorrow’s children, that’s part social sci-fi and part X-Men for the Playstation generation”. Nonetheless, whereas the X-Men are always triumphant in their adventures, there can be no guarantee of victory for the A.D.D., perhaps not even the possibility of survival. And as the final showdown between the powerful corporation and this awkward group of teens takes place, one thing remains clear: not only do we live in a world of consumerism, we may have been consumed by it long ago, and perhaps we don’t even know it. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Lionel versus MattLa División Demo Adolescente es algo con lo que todo adolescente sueña: cero responsa-bilidades, cero compromisos, juegos en línea las 24 horas del día y cosas gratis, cortesía de la corporación más grande de Estados Unidos. La D.D.A. es un grupo de adolescentes criados desde el nacimiento para jugar juegos en línea y ser las celebridades insuperables de la industria del entrete-nimiento. Tratados como la realeza por la comunidad de jugadores, ellos viven en un mundo propio: recluidos y protegidos en una instalación corporativa diseñada sólo para nutrir su proclividad al juego.El capitán de la D.D.A. es Karl, y su mejor amigos es Lionel. Juntos intentan sonreír a los fans en las convenciones de juegos, pero saben que, a pesar toda su fama y popularidad, muy en el fondo son despreciados e incluso temidos por la gente ‘normal’ (o 'mundoreales' como ellos les dicen). Karl sabe que su amigo disfruta de una buena paja de vez en cuando, excitado por la presencia de Kasinda, la única chica en toda la División Demo. Lionel se siente un poco avergonzado por esto, pero como Karl le hace recordar, por lo menos a él todavía se le para, algo que no sucede con la mayoría de estos chavales.Para alcanzar los más altos puntajes, estos jovencitos han sido entrenados sólo para jugar, y por tanto sus habilidades sociales son casi inexistentes y su pulsión sexual ha sido redirigida para ganar los torneos en línea. Nunca tienen sexo, ni siquiera se corren la paja. Lo más parecido que tienen son los juegos de alto contenido sexual, en los que se analizan sus reacciones (latidos del corazón, balance hormonal, secreciones glandulares) para diseñar productos incluso más sensuales para el público en general. Pero algunos de ellos, en la soledad de sus habitaciones o en las duchas, son capaces de resucitar una sexualidad que ha estado largo tiempo dormida.Lionel es un chico especial. Ve a través de los esquemas y más allá de la imaginería obvia de los juegos, y entiende lo que está detrás: colocación de productos, publicidad subliminal, mensajes hipnóticos. Matar hormigas gigantes en un escenario de ciencia ficción es, de hecho, un invitación para unirse al ejército; cambiar la apariencia de tu avatar es una solicitud para renovar tu guardarropa; una carrera de autos es una sugerencia para abrir una cuenta bancaria, etc. Lionel comes out on top / Lionel se alza victoriosoLionel argumenta que la mayoría de estas propagandas ocultas se apoyan en un poderoso elemento: la frustración sexual. La campaña se enfoca en las insatisfechas vidas sexuales de millones de adolescentes a lo largo del mundo y les ofrece un engañoso paliativo: una marca diferente de ropa, modelos de celulares coleccionables, nuevos niveles de juegos, etc. Toda esta frustración sexual, en términos Lacanianos, es el goce, es decir, una acumulación de tensiones, un amontonamiento que no lleva a ningún desenlace. Lo opuesto del goce es el placer, y eso es algo que no resulta familiar ni para los mundoreales ni para la D.D.A. El goce vende, el placer no.Por supuesto, Karl se burla de las locas teorías de Lionel. Lo que el muchacho ve es meramente un reflejo de sus propias bolas hinchadas. Y ciertamente, Lionel se encuentra en un estado perpetuo de frustración sexual: Kasinda, la chica que ama y con la que fantasea, padece de haptephobia: un miedo intenso a ser tocada; una repulsión al contacto físico. Pero en un mundo habitado por una generación de jóvenes tan inmersos en sus computadoras y artefactos para jugar, ¿no es este el resultado lógico? Los adolescentes aislados se convierten fácilmente en consumidores desatados; si se quedan en casa, haciendo transacciones en línea, entonces las compañías podrán crear incluso más productos dirigidos a ellos.Es por ello que Nextgen Inc., la corporación a cargo de la D.D.A., tiene grandes planes para la próxima generación. Hasta ahora, han persuadido a sus consumidores, influido en sus decisiones, pero eso no es suficiente. La meta verdadera de Nextgen Inc. es reprogramar a su audiencia cautiva. A Nextgen Inc. no les importa los altos puntajes que obtiene la D.D.A. en los campeonatos, les importa sólo el lucro. En consecuencia hacen experimentos con estos chiquillos, que han sido sometidos a la publicidad todas sus vidas, para identificar las partes del cerebro que se resisten a los mensajes subliminales... Una vez que la resistencia neural sea identificada, podrán eliminarla, creando de facto una nueva generación de consumidores ciegos, una horda sin mente bajo el control total de Nextgen Inc. Lionel can look, but not touch... masturbation is his only choice /Lionel puede mirar pero no tocar...  la masturbación es su única alternativaEn cierto modo, la generación de consumidores sin mente ya puede divisarse en el mundo de hoy: vivimos en una era en la el marketing agresivo reina supremo y en la que el consumismo se ha convertido en el estilo de vida definitivo, descartando a aquellos que no pueden mantener el ritmo como consumidores. La humanidad ya no es cooperativa, como en el pasado, ahora sólo es competitiva. Por lo tanto  “A.D.D. es en parte profecía, en parte crítica” como afirma Cory Doctorow. No obstante, cuando Karl muere en los laboratorios de Nextgen Inc., Lionel descubre que el mundo que conocía era una mentira. En vez de ser recompensados, los mejores jugadores son enviados a los laboratorios. Lionel se asusta, sabe que él será el siguiente. Lo que más lo aterroriza es que, sumergidos en la realidad virtual y en los juegos en línea, ninguno de sus compañeros parece comprender el concepto de muerte. Algunos sostienen que Karl no ha muerto, que su cuerpo es sólo una imagen generada por computadora (de hecho, comparan su sangre con los gráficos de un conocido juego); Takai, el amigo de Lionel, piensa que Karl simplemente conseguirá una vida 'extra' en el próximo nivel, como siempre. La muerte de Karl es un gigantesco impacto para Lionel, y aunque intenta convencer a los otros de no existe ninguna recompensa para los mejores jugadores, su rival inmediato, Matt, no le presta atención. De hecho, Matt es uno de los pocos chiquillos sexualmente activo, y decide humillar a Lionel en las duchas. Matt sujeta a Takai y lo obliga a chupar el pene de Lionel, es sólo gracias a la oportuna intervención del personal de seguridad que no ocurre nada más. Otro asalto tiene lugar en las duchas, a la mañana siguiente, pero esta vez Lionel pelea como un león, los chicos desnudos se golpean, pero al final es Lionel quien se alza victorioso. Teenagers versus adults / Adolescentes versus adultosA.D.D. también significa, en español, Trastorno de Déficit de Atención, y esa parece ser una de las caracte-rísticas de Takai. Sin embargo, él y Kasinda se unen a Lionel en un intento por escaparse de su prisión corporativa. Mientras viajan por los ductos de ventilación del edificio, Lionel no puede evitar una erección (un túrgido, en sus propias palabras) luego de darle un buen vistazo al culo de Kasinda. Apenas Takai se duerme, Lionel trata de besar a la chica pero ella se niega. Ella no puede aceptar la idea de ser tocada por alguien. Lionel está realmente cachondo y Kasinda decide desvestirse frente a él, ella no permitirá ser tocada, pero se asegurará de inspirarlo a que él se toque a sí mismo. De este modo, la noción de la imagen especular y la compulsión masturbatoria se reúnen en este conmovedor momento entre un chico y una chica; incluso cuando están juntos, siguen estando a kilómetros de distancia, a ella todavía la aterra el contacto humano y él todavía se masturba pensando en una fantasía no concretada. No hay nada real a lo que ellos se puedan aferrar. Y tal vez por esa razón, después de escapar de Genext Inc. se dan cuenta de lo imposible que es adaptarse al mundo real. Douglas Rushkoff ha escrito una de las novelas gráficas más incisivas e inteligentes de la década, evaluando la condición del mundo, el cambio de paradigma y el futuro que nos espera. Las habilidades artísticas de Goran Sudžuka convierten lo que pudo haber sido un concepto etéreo en una realidad de cimientos firmes, con personajes que se ven tan jóvenes, tan vulnerables y por encima de todo tan humanos; sus magníficas ilustraciones son enriquecidas por el trabajo de José Marzán Jr., y Tanya y Richard Horie. La crítica social, la innovación y la cruda evaluación sobre la manera en la que la tecnología influye en nuestra socialización son aspectos fundamentales de esta novela gráfica original que seguramente superará la prueba del tiempo.Como explica Grant Morrison "En un mundo definido por los ubicuos medios de comunicación, los juegos de guerra más vendidos, los trastornos autistas y la cosificación y explotación de la juventud, Douglas Rushkoff y el artista Goran Sudžuka hacen una vivisección del espíritu de la época con un impecable relato de los hijos del mañana, que es en parte ciencia ficción social y en parte X-Men para la generación del Playstation". No obstante, mientras los X-Men siempre ganan en sus aventuras, no puede haber garantías de triunfo para la D.D.A., tal vez ni siquiera la posibilidad de sobrevivir. Y cuando ocurre la confrontación final entre la poderosa corporación y este torpe grupo adolescente, algo queda claro: no sólo vivimos en un mundo de consumismo, quizás ya hemos sido consumidos por él hace mucho, y tal vez no nos percatamos.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/07/add-adolescent-demo-division-douglas_4.html

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