Monday, December 22, 2014 • Evening Edition • "Be glad we're not indoors."
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

June films / películas de junio

June films / películas de junio

By Arion in Blog on July 1, 2013

With fewer posts each month, and even fewer movies some of you might be slightly concerned. But I say thee: fear not, my dear followers, for I shall bring forth films a plenty next we meet. Meanwhile, in June I actually went to the movies several times. The Great Gatsby (2013), based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, reunites the talents of Baz Luhrmann and Leonardo DiCaprio (they had previously worked together in the inspiring “Romeo + Juliet”). Leo is the Great Gatsby, a new rich, who befriends Tobey Maguire during the ‘crazy 20s’, a decade of loose morals and extravagant parties; the intimate friendship between the two men is one of the most fascinating aspects here, but the romance between Gatsby and the girl of his life, and the tragic deliquescence of all his dreams is heartbreaking.Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013) is a darker version of the superhero. The first Superman comics I read (the ones that got me into the DC Universe) were darker too. Or rather more mature. When John Byrne revamped the character in the late 80s, he redefined the essence of the Man of Steel, turning an insipid character into a fascinating hero. I value the darkness in Snyder’s version, but I would have welcomed a more mature approach too. Even so, I can’t complain, this is the best Superman production in the past two decades. Henry Cavill is a superb Clark Kent, Amy Adams an endearing Lois Lane, Russell Crowe a courageous Jor-El and Diane Lane a sensitive Martha Kent (and I really enjoyed Dylan Sprayberry as Clark aged 13). Except for a couple of poorly written subplots, I experienced an unprecedented level of enthusiasm, shared with the friends that went to see the movie with me.   M. Night Shyamalan is one of my favorite directors, and I get angry every time I see that the critics and the public haven’t been kind to him. He’s been unlucky for the past decade. And this situation hasn’t changed with After Earth (2013), a sci-fi odyssey starred by Will Smith and his son. Full of suspense, fantastic sequences and a captivating narrative, After Earth proves that Shyamalan is still every bit as good as he used to be, but alas, it has become trendy to belittle him. In the comedy front I saw Identity Thief (2013), a harmless movie about an obese woman who steals a man’s identity and commits fraud for thousands of dollars; although it made me laugh a couple of times, it has an excessively moralistic and ‘feel good’ approach. Nima Nourizadeh’s Project X (2012), is a much more interesting proposal based on the simplest of premises: a wild party in one of America’s most peaceful suburbs. Thomas Mann is a 16-year-old kid obsessed with losing his virginity and impressing his peers with the most savage party ever; sexual frustration, alcohol, drugs and crazy adventures are the leit motif of this surprisingly amusing movie. Miles Teller (who had a very touching role in “Rabbit Hole”) acts in it too. House at the End of the Street (2012) offers a generous display of suspense and homicides. When Jennifer Lawrence and her mother move into a new house, they find out that their neighbors were assassinated and now only their son leaves in a house that is now part of a many scary urban legends. Max Thieriot (I still remember him from his short role in “Jumper”), the son, is a brooding and melancholic teenager that soon befriends Jennifer. But this isn’t a romantic tale, this is a story about survival and the horror of the psychotic mind.Finally, on the international front, I saw Kynodontas (2009), a Greek film also known as Dogtooth and directed by Giorgos Lanthimos. This is a very innovative filmic project about a father that has raised his children completely isolated from the real world, convincing them that if they abandon the house they’ll be killed or devoured by savage beasts on the outside. His authority is also based on a language, an especially modified dialect created only to diminish the children’s understanding of the world. But when the son grows up he needs to satiate his sexual appetite, and so the father presents him with a woman from the ‘outer’ world, a woman that has sex with him but is more interested in his sisters. Soon, lesbian encounters, introduction of new words (and thus new possibilities) and the presence of objects from the ‘outer’ world will turn the once docile kids into restless rebels.From Brazil comes Do começo ao fim (2009), which focuses on two brothers who are so close that their parents suspect there might be something going on between them besides fraternal affection. As they grow up, a strong homosexual romance takes place. Although the premise is in itself interesting, I think the movie is too self-complacent, portraying two controversial taboos (underage sex and incest) as minor incidents that barely elicit a response from the other characters (not even the boys’ parents react negatively which, no matter how open-minded they might be, it is a bit far-fetched).  More, the next month…____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Con menos posts cada mes, e incluso menos películas, algunos podrías estar ligeramente preocupados. Pero yo os digo: no temáis, mis estimados seguidores, os traeré de ahora en adelante una plétora de películas. Mientras tanto, en junio de hecho fui al cine varias veces. "The Great Gatsby" (2013), se basa en la novela de F. Scott Fitzgerald, y reúne los talentos de Baz Luhrmann y Leonardo DiCaprio (antes ya habían trabajado juntos en la inspiradora “Romeo + Juliet”). Leo es el gran Gatsby, un nuevo rico, quien traba amistad con Tobey Maguire durante los 'locos años 20', una década de moral más relajada y fiestas extravagantes; la íntima amistad entre los dos hombres es uno de los aspectos más fascinantes, pero el romance entre Gatsby y la chica de su vida, y la trágica delicuescencia de todos sus sueños es desoladora."Man of Steel" (2013) de Zack Snyder es una versión más oscura del superhéroe. Los primeros cómics de Superman que leí (los que me atrajeron al Universo DC) también eran oscuros. O más bien maduros. Cuando John Byrne relanzó al personaje a fines de los 80, redefinió la esencia del Hombre de Acero, convirtiendo un personaje insípido en un héroe fascinante. Valoro la oscuridad en la versión de Snyder, pero también le habría dado la bienvenida a un enfoque más maduro. Aun así, no me puedo quejar, esta es la mejor producción de Superman de las últimas dos décadas. Henry Cavill es un Clark Kent soberbio, Amy Adams una encantadora Lois Lane, Russell Crowe un valeroso Jor-El y Diane Lane una sensible Martha Kent (y realmente disfruté con Dylan Sprayberry como Clark a los 13). Excepto por un par de argumentos secundarios escritos pobremente, experimenté un nivel de entusiasmo sin precedentes, compartido con los amigos que fueron a ver la película conmigo.  M. Night Shyamalan es uno de mis directores favoritos, y me enfurece cada vez que veo que la crítica y el público no son amables con él. Él ha sido desafortunado en la última década. Y esta situación no ha cambiado con "After Earth" (2013), una odisea de ciencia ficción protagonizada por Will Smith y su hijo. "After Earth" tiene mucho suspenso, secuencias fantásticas y una narrativa cautivadora, que demuestran que Shyamalan sigue siendo tan bueno como solía ser pero, lamentablemente, se ha puesto de moda menospreciarlo.  En cuanto a comedias, vi "Identity Thief" (2013), una inofensiva cinta sobre una mujer obesa que roba la identidad de un hombre y comete fraude por un monto de miles de dólares; aunque me hizo reír un par de veces, tiene un enfoque excesivamente moralista y de "sentirse bien". "Project X" (2012) de Nima Nourizadeh, es una propuesta mucho más interesante, basada en la más simple de las premisas: una fiesta salvaje en uno de los suburbios gringos más pacíficos. Thomas Mann es un chiquillo de 16 años obsesionado con perder su virginidad e impresionar a sus pares con la fiesta más brutal de todas; frustración sexual, alcohol, drogas y aventuras alocadas son el leit motif de esta película que sorprende y divierte. Miles Teller (quien tuvo un conmovedor papel en “Rabbit Hole”) también actúa aquí. my drawing: from pencils to inks / mi dibujo: del lápiz a la tinta"House at the End of the Street" (2012) ofrece un generoso exponente de suspenso y homicidios. Cuando Jennifer Lawrence y su madre se mudan a una nueva casa, descubren que sus vecinos fueron asesinados y ahora solamente el hijo de ellos vive en esta casa, que ya forma parte de las leyendas urbanas más terroríficas. Max Thieriot (todavía lo recuerdo por su papel en “Jumper”), el hijo, es un melancólico y huraño adolescente que pronto traba amistad con Jennifer. Pero este no es un relato romántico, esta es una historia acerca del horror de la mente psicótica y la sobrevivencia.Finalmente, entre las internacionales, vi "Kynodontas" (2009), un film griego también conocido como "Dogtooth" (Colmillo) y dirigido por Giorgos Lanthimos. Este es un proyecto fílmico muy innovador sobre un padre que ha criado a sus hijos completamente aislados del mundo real, convenciéndolos de que si abandonan la casa serán matado y devorados por las bestias salvajes del exterior. Su autoridad también se base en un lenguaje, un dialecto creado especialmente para disminuir la comprensión del mundo de los chicos. Pero cuando el hijo crece necesita saciar su apetito sexual, así que el padre le presenta a una mujer del mundo 'exterior', una mujer que tiene sexo con él pero que está más interesada en sus hermanas. Pronto, los encuentros lésbicos, la introducción de nuevas palabras (y por tanto nuevas posibilidades) y la presencia de objetos del mundo 'exterior' convertirán a los otrora dóciles jovencitos en incansables rebeldes.De Brasil llega "Do começo ao fim" (2009), que se enfoca en dos hermanos que son tan unidos que sus padres sospechan que entre ellos podría haber algo más que afecto fraterno. Al crecer, se concreta un fuerte romance homosexual. Aunque la premisa es en sí misma interesante, creo que la película es muy auto-complaciente, que retrata dos tabúes controversiales (sexo entre menores de edad e incesto) como incidentes menores que apenas generan alguna respuesta por parte de los otros personajes (ni siquiera los padres de los muchachos reaccionan negativamente, y por más que sean de mentalidad abierta, esto es un poco antojadizo).  El próximo mes, más.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/07/june-films-peliculas-de-junio.html

Next on RGN #8

Next on RGN #8

By Rui Esteves in Blog on June 30, 2013

Lisbon's Book Fair Its been way to long since I last published a review. WAYYYYYYYyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to long. But now I'm back and I've been reading some great books.The last couple of weeks I've had little time to read comics, but the ones I found time to read made it worth it.I also had the chance to visit Lisbon's Book Fair. This is something I enjoy doing. Its a great place to find books at discount prices. Between me and my wife we always come home with mountains of stuff to read. Good times. O Baile There was a time when Portugal was ruled by a dictatorship. It wasn't that long ago (39 years ago to be precise). This was before my time, but a little History never hurt anyone.In those days there was a branch of the police that worked as the enforcers of the regime. They were called International and State Defense Police (PIDE in Portuguese). O Baile (the dance) is about one agent of said police.He lives a miserable life. He doesn't like his job. But he sees no way out. His life is his life and there's nothing that can be done about it.Then came the Zombies... Book of DA DA controls the seas. The fish have no feelings, they only feel what DA feels. DA is a good entity, it only expects the full submission of every living being in the seas.The Diver didn't know that and, by disobeying DA, upsets the whole sea.Book of DA is more than it seems to be. It narrates the story of the epic journey of the Driver, as well as a more mundane one.And of course the 3rd edition of Transmetropolitan'o'ton.Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/06/next-on-rgn-8.html

Preview: CHARISMAGIC #3

Preview: CHARISMAGIC #3

By Rui Esteves in Blog on June 28, 2013

CoverCHARISMAGIC #3 Vince Hernandez ­ Story / Vincenzo Cucca ­ Art / Emilio Lopez, Wes Hartman - ColorsBe prepared because everything you thought you knew about magic is about to vanish!The group reunites at the House of Illusions and finally unlocks the secrets of the mysterious wooden box that nearly cost Hank and Kenny their lives. Yet, the true reveal of its power quickly becomes evident, as the group enters an entirely new realm‹one that will take them to new heights beyond their wildest imagination. However, their trail is not hard to follow, especially for Torgan, the magical lion made of fire!Featuring a returning cast of Charismagic¹s favorite characters along with several new and astonishing faces and creatures of magic, this new volume of CHARISMAGIC is a perfect jumping-on point for all!CHARISMAGIC #3 is in stores July 3rd, 2013! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Cover B Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/06/preview-charismagic-3.html

Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 6 - Brandon Seifert Lukas Ketner

Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 6 - Brandon Seifert Lukas Ketner

By Arion in Blog on June 27, 2013

I knew we wouldn’t get the typical outcome in this, the final issue of Mal Practice. And I was right. Brandon Seifert keeps exploring the elements that make of Witch Doctor a unique character and an innovative comic book. The large doses of black humor, the constant ironies, the unexpected plot twists, the medicine background firmly inserted into the world of the fantastic, all of these elements seem to shine here even brighter than in the previous chapter. We probably had imagined that Penny Dreadful would break free from her imprisonment, but taking a look at her tortured face shows us that this time she’s not taking any prisoners (well, she never does, but still…). Lukas Ketner gives us a very shocking page divided in three panels, the first one shows us how Penny Dreadful tears her own arm apart, dropping it to the floor. Even with only one arm, she still manages to destroy and devour the malignant harpy that had captured her. Penny DreadfulGast, on the other hand, deals with his opponent creatively. Instead of a direct confron-tation he replicates Doctor Vincent Morrow’s spell and summons the Surgeons, these powerful and inhumane creatures that get rid of everything they consider a ‘disease’.Meanwhile, Witch Doctor faces his nemesis who plans to pour a potent magical potion into the water reservoir of the city. After being beaten down, the doctor realizes that he doesn’t have the time to create a specific spell to neutralize the potion but he can do one thing about it: piss on it (literally). Like I said, I knew I’d be surprised by the final pages of the miniseries but I didn’t think I’d be so amused by the urination tactics of the protagonist. If you want to read more about Witch Doctor, click on the following links: Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 1, Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 2, Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 3, Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 4 & Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 5.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The arrival of the Surgeon / la llegada del CirujanoSabía que el desenlace no sería típico en este número final de Mal Practice. Y tenía razón. Brandon Seifert continúa explorando los elementos que hacen de Witch Doctor un personaje único y un cómic innovador. Las tremendas dosis de humor negro, las constantes ironías, los giros argumentales inesperados, el trasfondo médico firmemente insertado en el mundo de lo fantástico, todos estos elementos parecen brillar aquí incluso más que en el capítulo anterior.Probablemente habíamos imaginado que Penny Dreadful se liberaría de su prisión, pero al dar un vistazo a su rostro torturado nos muestra que esta vez no dejará a nadie con vida (bueno, nunca lo hace, pero aun así...). Lukas Ketner nos entrega una página impactante dividida en tres viñetas, la primera nos muestra cómo Penny Dreadful se arranca su propio brazo, arrojándolo al suelo. Incluso con un sólo brazo, se las arregla para destruir y devorar a la maligna harpía que la había capturado. Is urine powerful enough? / ¿Tiene la orina suficiente poder?Gast, por otro lado, se enfrenta a su oponente de manera creativa. En vez de una confrontación directa replica el hechizo del Doctor Vincent Morrow e invoca a los Cirujanos, estas poderosas e inhumanas criaturas que eliminan todo lo que consideran una ‘enferme-dad’.Mientras tanto, Witch Doctor lucha contra su némesis, quien planea derramar una potente poción mágica en las reservas de agua de la ciudad. Después de ser golpeado, el doctor se da cuenta que no tiene tiempo para creer un hechizo específico que neutralice la poción, pero puede hacer algo más: mear (literalmente). Como dije, sabía que sería sorprendido en las páginas finales de la miniserie, pero no creí que me divertiría tanto con las técnicas urinarias del protagonista.Si quieren leer más de Witch Doctor hagan click en los siguientes links: Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 1, Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 2, Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 3, Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 4 & Witch Doctor Mal Practice # 5.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/06/witch-doctor-mal-practice-6-brandon.html

Fashion Beast # 9 - Moore, Johnston Percio

Fashion Beast # 9 - Moore, Johnston Percio

By Arion in Blog on June 25, 2013

Celestine, Le Patron, the unrivaled leader of the fashion industry is also a frail man... introverted, brooding, indecisive, intellectual but ineffectual in the practical aspects of life... It is because of this unfamiliarity with relationships, friendship and love that he cannot cope with Doll’s absence.Unable to return to a miserable and lonely life, Celestine cuts his own veins and bleeds to death. But is this some sort of sacrificial ritual that gets lost in the trivial world of fashion? He doesn’t know how to live without Celestine, but he knows exactly what he’s doing as he slits his wrists. As Slavoj Žižek explained once, when knowledge and act are combined, the contemporary hero arises.  Bleeding to death / desangrándose hasta la muerteKnowing and doing, without caring for repercussions is akin to the Hegelian speculative judgment: “the lowest and the highest coincide: on the one hand, ‘he knows very well what he is doing, and he nonetheless does it’ is the clearest expression of the cynical attitude”.Doll arrives in time to hear Celestine’s last agonizing words. The fashion empire is to be inherited by Tomboy, Doll’s eternal adversary. However, the Madames convince Doll to retain her position as the house’s top model and refuse to carry out the last will of Le Patron. Celestine, also, “knows very well what she is doing, and she nonetheless does it”. As Žižek affirms, "the properly modern post -or meta- tragic situation occurs when a higher necessity compels me to betray the very ethical substance of my being”.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ FuneralCelestine, el patrón, el líder sin rivales de la industria de la moda es también un hombre frágil... introvertido, cabizbajo, indeciso, intelectual pero ineficaz en los aspectos prácticos de la vida... Es a causa de esta falta de familiaridad con las relaciones, la amistad y el amor que él no puede superar la ausencia de Doll.Incapaz de regresar una vida solitaria y miserable, Celestine se corta las venas y se desangra hasta morir. Pero ¿es este algún tipo de ritual sacrificial que se pierde en el trivial mundo de la moda? Él no sabe cómo vivir sin Celestine, pero sabe exactamente qué está haciendo cuando se cercena las muñecas. Como explicó Slavoj Žižek, cuando el conocimiento y el acto son combinados, el héroe contemporáneo se alza. my drawing: from pencils to inks /mi dibujo: del lápiz a la tintaSaber y hacer, sin preocuparse por las repercusiones es similar al juicio especulativo hegeliano: "Lo más bajo y lo más alto coinciden: por un lado, 'él sabe muy bien lo que está haciendo y no obstante lo hace' es la expresión más clara de la actitud cínica".Doll llega a tiempo para oír las últimas palabras agonizantes de Celestine. El imperio de la moda va a ser heredado por Tomboy, el eterno adversario de Doll. Sin embargo, las Madamas convencen a Doll para que retenga su posición como la top model de la casa y rehúse cumplir con la última voluntad del patrón. Celestine, también, "sabe muy bien lo que está haciendo y no obstante lo hace". Como afirma Žižek, "la situación propiamente moderna, post -o meta- trágica  ocurre cuando una necesidad superior me compele a traicionar la mismísima sustancia ética de mi ser".Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/06/fashion-beast-9-moore-johnston-percio.html

Preview: JIRNI #3

Preview: JIRNI #3

By Rui Esteves in Blog on June 24, 2013

CoverJIRNI #3 JT Krul ­ Story / Paolo Pantalena ­ Art / Brett Smith - ColorsTake an incredible JIRNI with Aspen¹s newest hit series!Discover a whole new world of adventure! As her companion Nylese reaches the end of her journey while finally discovering the fabled city of her people, Ara's road ahead remains ever perilous. Throughout facing many dangers and threats in her challenging quest, how can she possibly survive Torinthal's powerful and deadly d'jinn, when it comes seeking her end?After years of preparation, creator JT Krul is ready to take you on a JIRNI unlike any other! Accompanied by the incredible talents of artist Paolo Pantalena and colorist Brett Smith, this is one JIRNI you won¹t want to miss!JIRNI #3 is in stores June 26th, 2013! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Cover BFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/06/preview-jirni-3.html

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