Sunday, December 21, 2014 • Evening Edition • "Magneto was right."
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

Jupiter’s Legacy # 1 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely

Jupiter’s Legacy # 1 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely

By Arion in Blog on June 23, 2013

1929. The Wall Street Crash. The richest men of the US lose their fortunes in a day. The working class loses absolutely everything. The country is in ruins. “America was the greatest idea in human history, the most resourceful people the world had ever known, and yet here we were reduced to breadlines and soup kitchens”. Sounds like fiction, but anyone with the slightest knowledge of American history will understand how serious the economic crisis of the 20s was. When people have no money and no hope, the entertainment industry thrives. It’s the need for escapism. That’s why two high school teenagers invented a character that was “faster than a bullet and stronger than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”. It’s no coincidence that the greatest financial depression is accompanied by the creation of Superman and hundreds of superheroes (as well as extravagant movies that had little or nothing to do with the “real” world). 1929: America's darkest hour / 1929: la hora más oscura de Estados UnidosIn Mark Millar’s opening chapter, however, something different happens. A bankrupted man seeks out a mysterious island he has inspected in his dreams. He’s accompanied by his brother, his wife and his closest friends. After arriving to the island they return to firm land “wrapped in costumes that raised the spirits of anyone who saw them”, their superhuman powers and abilities seem to rival only their high morals: “We didn’t care about money or politics. Our only desire was to serve our country and our infinite idealism inspired the best in everyone who came near us”... except, of course, their own children. Worshipped as demigods and super-celebrities, these heroes are the most famous people in the world, and of course their sons and daughters cash in their popularity, and bask in the unmerited glory of being the heirs of the saviors of the world. The man who found the island is the world-renowned Utopian, a superhero similar to the father of the genre, the Man of Steel himself. Morality, decency and admiration for the American Way define him. He’s the team leader, responsible for defending the world against countless menaces. After 80 years, all the cool villains have been defeated, all the cosmic threats neutralized, and only the occasional supervillain escapee ruins the languid calm that has been established long ago.  The Utopian: an old hero still active / Utopian: un viejo héroe todavía activoWhen one of those villains tries to escape, he’s attacked by the Utopian and his team. Utopian’s brother, perhaps out of mercy or simply out of boredom, enters into the enemy’s mind and takes him to a ‘psychic painting’ of his own creation. There both of them can experience the peacefulness of a blue lake, in a sunny afternoon. He does it, so that the villain won’t feel any pain as the superhumans break his spine and splinter his bones.  The Utopian’s children, as usual, haven’t responded the emergency call. They’re somewhat occupied getting drunk or taking drugs, and they don’t give a damn about their parent’s old-fashioned sense of justice. Utopian’s brother is sick of the world they live in, he is against the ambition of the bankers that caused the crash in 1929 and the warmongers that profited thanks to the US tendency of declaring war to other nations. The economy is again in peril, Wall Street is out of control again and as a result people are losing their homes and realizing that food has become a luxurious commodity, while the kids of the superheroic generation continue to make millions thanks to publicity endorsements and the clever ways in which they exploit their fame. Mark Millar’s script is fascinating, and he has found the perfect artist for this project. Frank Quitely, perhaps the greatest artist of his generation. Quitely vigorously recreates the atmosphere of 1929 in the first pages, showing us the impoverished streets of New York, the tattered people that make lines to get some food, the dark alleys with homeless guys and the decadent scenario behind them. There is visual drama here, but also historical accuracy. The fighting sequence is as amazing as his work in “Flex Mentallo”, the psychic painting is an idyllic image, aggressively contrasted by the Utopian’s daughter and her habit of snorting cocaine. ______________________________________________________________________     ______________________________________________________________________1929. La caída de Wall Street. Los hombres más ricos de Estados Unidos pierden sus fortunas en un día. La clase trabajadora pierde absolutamente todo. El país está en ruinas. "Estados Unidos fue la idea más grandiosa en la historia humana, las personas más recursivas que el mundo jamás había conocido y, sin embargo, aquí estábamos reducidos a hacer colas para el pan o para la sopa de caridad". Suena como ficción, pero cualquiera con el más mínimo conocimiento de historia estadounidense entenderá qué tan seria fue la crisis económica de los 20.  The Utopian’s brother inside one his psychic paintings / el hermano de Utopian dentro de una de sus pinturas psíquicasCuando la gente no tiene dinero ni esperanza, la industria del entretenimiento florece. Es la necesidad del escapismo. Es por eso que dos adolescentes, todavía en secundaria, inventaron un personaje "más rápido que una bala y más fuerte que una locomotora, capaz de saltar edificios de un sólo brinco". No es coincidencia que la más grande depresión financiera fuese acompañada por la creación de Superman y cientos de súper-héroes (así como extravagantes películas que tenían poco o nada que ver con el mundo "real"). Sin embargo, en el capítulo inicial de Mark Millar, sucede algo diferente. Un hombre en bancarrota busca una isla misteriosa que ha inspeccionado en sus sueños. Lo acompañan su hermano, su esposa y sus mejores amigos. Después de llegar a la isla retornan a tierra firma "envueltos en trajes que levantaban el espíritu de cualquier que los viese", sus habilidades y poderes sobrehumanos parecen rivalizar sólo con su elevada moral: "No nos importaba el dinero o la política. Nuestro único deseo era servir a nuestro país y nuestro idealismo infinito inspiró lo mejor en todos los que se nos acercaron"... excepto, por supuesto, sus propios hijos. Idolatrados como semidioses y súper-celebridades, estos héroes son las figuras más famosas del mundo, y desde luego sus hijos e hijas sacan provecho de esta popularidad, y retozan en la inmerecida gloria de ser los herederos de los salvadores del mundo. El hombre que encontró la isla es el mundialmente renombrado Utopian, un súper-héroe similar al padre del género, el mismísimo Hombre de Acero. Lo definen la moralidad, decencia y admiración por el estilo de vida norteamericano. Él es el líder del equipo, responsable de defender al mundo contra incontables amenazas. Después de 80 años, todos los villanos importantes han sido derrotados, todas las amenazas cósmicas neutralizadas, y sólo el ocasional villano fugitivo arruina la calma lánguida que ha sido establecida hace mucho.Cuando uno de estos villanos intenta escapar, es atacado por Utopian y su equipo. El hermano de Utopian, tal vez por piedad o simplemente por aburrimiento, entra a la mente del enemigo y lo lleva a una 'pintura psíquica' de su propia creación. Allí, ambos pueden experimentar la paz de un lago azul, en una tarde soleada. Así, el villano no sentirá ningún dolor mientras los superhumanos rompen su columna y quiebran sus huesos. The Utopian's daughter and her cocaine-addicted friends / La hija de Utopian y sus amigos adictos a la cocaínaLos hijos de Utopian, como siempre, no han respondido la llamada de emergencia. Están un tanto ocupados emborra-chándose o drogándose, y no les importa un carajo el desfasado concepto de justicia de sus padres. El hermano de Utopian está harto del mundo en el que viven, está en contra de la ambición de los banqueros que causaron la caída de 1929 y los que lucran con los conflictos bélicos gracias a la tendencia de Estados Unidos de declararle la guerra a otras naciones. La economía está de nuevo en peligro, Wall Street está fuera de control otra vez y como resultado la gente está perdiendo sus hogares y dándose cuenta que la comida se ha convertido en un bien escaso; mientras tanto, los hijos de la generación superheroica continúan amasando millones gracias a la publicidad y la astuta manera en la que explotan su fama.El guión de Mark Millar es fascinante, y ha encontrado al artista perfecto para este proyecto. Frank Quitely, quizás el mejor artista de su generación. Quitely recrea vigorosamente la atmósfera de 1929 en las primeras páginas, mostrándonos las calles empobrecidas de New York, la gente andrajosa que hace cola para recibir un poco de comida, los callejones oscuros con mendigos y el decadente escenario detrás de ellos. Hay un drama visual aquí, pero también rigor histórico. La secuencia de pelea es tan asombrosa como su trabajo en “Flex Mentallo”, la pintura psíquica es una imagen idílica, contrastada agresivamente con la hija de Utopian y su hábito de inhalar cocaína.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/06/jupiters-legacy-1-mark-millar-frank.html

Transmetropolitan'O'ton #2

Transmetropolitan'O'ton #2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on June 23, 2013

Cover How doesn't love Futurama? A 20th century kid gets frozen and wakes up in the year 3000. Simple concept yet rich in comedy and stories. Well, Transmetropolitan has its own version of that story. Grittier, darker and way more depressing of course.Actually this second volume is more a collection of issue long stories than a continuous story arc. Some will have impact in the future, others will be just footnotes in the grander scheme of thing, but there is one you'll probably re-read once you get to volume 8 or 9.How is it?By telling 5 different issue long stories plus a bunch of short stories this volume slows things down a bit from the first volume. However it plants the seeds for many future plot points. Not all of this stories will create ripples in the Transmetropolitan Universe, but the ones that don't make it up with gripping and (dark) humorous story telling. Dog-Cop The story that resonated more on me is the Futurama "ish" one. Mary had a good life. She lived, loved, witnessed the World changing. She got old and death became a certainty. On the moment of her dead she was put in cryopreservation. In Spider Jerusalem's time she was unfrozen, cloned and release upon the world with a beautiful, slim and fit young body.However her new birth is not as fun and easy like in Futurama. Transmetropolitan's timeline is a harsh and unforgiving place. Its nothing like the world Mary left behind. Mary will pop up here and there in the upcoming volumes. Sad Channon is Sad The other stories are equally entertaining, but in other ways. You'll get to see past Spider, Channon's energy based ex-boyfriend, a talking dog-cop and many other quirky characters.Art wise in this volume we see Darick Robertson becoming comfortable with the art style he created for Transmetropolitan. Most characters start to be drawn in a consistent way and nowhere is that more visible than on Spider Jerusalem himself. From this point on there is only one word to describe his art. Fantastic.Verdict?This is a good volume of a great series. Some characters are introduced, other are fleshed out and some very important details are laid out for you. Don't miss this.Publisher: VertigoYear: 2009Pages: 144Authors: Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson,ISBN: 1401222617Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/06/transmetropolitanoton-2.html

Today's Tom Sawyer (or) My Final Thoughts On Man of Steel

Today's Tom Sawyer (or) My Final Thoughts On Man of Steel

By Starlord in Blog on June 22, 2013

It's been almost a week since I saw "Man of Steel" or as I nicknamed it, "We're Going to Prove to You That Hope is Dead." Well that seems a bit long for a nickname so I'll just go with "The Movie That Raped My Childhood". Yeah... that's better. Let me start with the usual disclaimer that there are HUGE SPOILERS!!!!!  I'm not repeating that or scrolling down to give you time to consider whether you want to continue or not. You were warned. Both of you had better have payed attention. In the week since I saw this movie I've read and been a part of several interesting discussions about this rather dark take on what many would argue to be the super-hero that stands above all others. I've heard people tell me that theaters erupted in applause and shouts of enthusiasm as Superman snapped the neck of General Zod. (BTW, that was the HUGE SPOILER!!!!!) The theater I was in was deathly silent at that linch-pin moment - except for this total dork who actually whispered the word no in the darkened theater. My children will probably never let me live that down. That reaction, however, came after nearly two hours of a film that introduced a literary character that I had never seen before, nor do I ever want to see again. Before I go any further, it was pointed out to me that many do not consider Superman to be literature. I reply with this: In a world where young, rottenly spoiled, rich daddy girls with no real redeeming morals or aptitude for anything remotely resembling real intelligence can be considered celebrities,  I think an argument for Superman being a real literary figure is a moot point. This movie showed, within fifteen minutes into it, that this Superman will not have the very foundation that it was built upon. A foundation that is put in place by Ma and Pa Kent, two mid-western Americans whose gentleness and belief in the human spirit gives Clark the love for his adopted planet and its people that he later swears to protect. No, we are shown a Clark who easily steals another persons cloths for his own needs without even a backward glance. If anywhere in the film they had shown a moment where he returns to leave money or perhaps the same cloths nicely cleaned and waiting for the victims of his larceny that moment could have been easily forgiven. I suppose this shouldn't surprise me since this Pa Kent has raised his adopted son to apparently distrust mankind and protect himself above all others. "Should I have just let them die?" Clark exclaims after saving his fellow schoolmates who were drowning in a bus accident. "Maybe..." Pa mutters with the wooden voice of Kevin Costner who shows us that after all these years he's still too amazing to really give anyone a real acting performance. I suppose we movie goers are still not ready for him to actually... you know... act. So is it any wonder that by the time we wrap up most of his younger years which include his birth and subsequent exportation from Krypton ( which is really the absolute best vision of this part of the story that I have every seen in any Superman movie or television show) the movie goers are well prepared for a Man of Steel who will focus on his own needs and desires while rationalizing it as being the American hero that his Kansas Father (who may have been a super-hero himself since he can pretty much hold his own in an oncoming tornado) has raised him to be. The rest of the movie then shows you what a hero of that caliber can really do. Actually we get our first glimpse when Zod attacks Smallville and our now self absorbed Superman decides to take out most of his hometown instead of worrying about these humans he supposedly loves and wants to protect by taking the battle out of town to begin with. Lesson learned? Uhhhh.... noooooo.... note above picture of Metropolis which gets its just desserts forty five mind numbing minutes later. By mind numbing I mean a senseless and constant visual of nothing more than mass destruction for the sake of making several billion dollars for the company. They also want to make sure we do not confuse this Superman movie with that milquetoast dud that came out a few years ago. Hey guys! No problem with that! We already figured it out when Clark let his dad die because the old man didn't believe in him that much. I still believe that this movie fails on its most basic levels of this character. Some have reminded me that back in the eighties (when pastel sweaters tied around your shoulders was all the rage) comic writer/artist John Byrne actually wrote a Superman story where he "has to kill" and swears never to do it again. Yeah I remember that... I stopped buying the book for about five years, after that. Why? Because in no way should Superman be written into any story where he "has to kill". Where the destruction is so massive that the hundreds of thousands that have been mercilessly slaughtered in the cross-fire can in no way out weigh Superman's "win". When you do this you have stripped away the fundamental structure of why this character was created. You have stripped away the hope for mankind. You have dragged Superman down into the mud and muck that we live in on a daily basis. Oh I hear both of you saying it at this point. "This is just a modern day reflection of Superman." (Note at this point that I've used Superman much more than Clark for one good reason.... Clark (or the humanity side of this character) is rarely acknowledged. Perhaps you are correct. Perhaps I am wrong with my thoughts on this mega-hit. So I'm joining the party. Here is my broad outline of my first screenplay I am going to write. It's called "Today's Tom Sawyer": Act I: A young Tom Sawyer meets his buddy Huckleberry Finn behind the elementary school where they exchange cigarettes and talking crap about someday being old enough to get a hold of that hot Becky to give her a big stiff one.  We also meet Aunt Polly who has just recently returned from the methadone clinic and Tom's half-brother Sid, who spends his days steeling from department stores and his evenings smoking grass and playing X-Box Live. Act II: We find a seventeen year old Tom now disenchanted with his wonderful life and not coping so well with being a father. Really it's all Becky's fault and Tom isn't too sure he really is the father. After all there was that night that him and Becky and their friends got hyped up on ecstasy before Becky happily let everyone take their turn with her as a coked up Tom tried desperately to "get it up". (Nobody told me that would happen!!!) Add to this the fact that his good buddy and his own personal Huckleberry has finally come out of the closet and has begun a rather violent relationship with "Big Jim" has him yearning for the good ol' days of cigs and blunts behind the High School. Note that I am using the word "Big" here since in no way do I want to be fired from The Food Network. Act II ends with Tom selling his ass for money so that he can buy the one thing that all kids his age knows is the ultimate happiness.... heroin. Act III: A now twenty-four year old Tom spends most of his days still living in Aunt Polly's home, playing Playstation with his buddy Huckleberry whose own relationship with Big Jim has finally gone south when Jim left him for an hermaphrodite transvestite. Aunt Polly, miraculously still alive, (because it really is true! Only the good die young) lays in her bed, and in her own waste, begging Tom to go buy her a pack of cigs and a bottle of Johnny Walker. Becky has fared no better, her two year old daughter wanders around the house unsupervised while she lays on the couch shoving needles between her toes and making sure she has enough money for her own cigs and Jack Daniels while wondering how long before somebody comes to take this brat away like they did Tom's punk ass son. Movie fades to black as Tom declares "Fuck the rest of the world, they're just jealous of everything we got over here!" There you are. Another piece of literature that has been updated to reflect our times. This baby is going to sell!!!  Now I'm lost. I may have went off on a tangent. The words I use to sum up this movie for me are not my own but come from a friend Eric Palicki: "It was not the Superman movie I wanted, but I suppose it's the Superman movie we deserve, alas." Originally Published at Starlord's Corner  http://starlordscorner.blogspot.com/2013/06/todays-tom-sawyer-or-my-final-thoughts.html

Héroes - Marcos Palacios (Juan Parra del Riego)

Héroes - Marcos Palacios (Juan Parra del Riego)

By Arion in Blog on June 20, 2013

catálogo de la muestraHace tres años, en una de las animadas inauguraciones de la galería Yvonne Sanguineti, mi amiga Paola Tejada me presentó a Marcos Palacios. Yo entonces era una figura nueva en la escena de las galerías limeñas, y cada vez que alguien me presentaba a una artista plástico alcanzaba insospechados niveles de entusiasmo.Por suerte, en el transcurso de los meses siguientes seguí viendo a Marcos, y pronto entablamos una gran amistad. Marcos y yo no solamente tenemos una relación estrictamente de galerías, y es que en más de una ocasión -en muchas ocasiones, de hecho- nos hemos quedado conversando hasta altas horas de la madrugada en algún bar de Miraflores o Barranco. Esto es algo que nunca he hecho con ningún otro artista, y quizá por ello, en algún momento, me sentí preocupado y pensé que no sería capaz de admirar la obra de Marcos con la neutralidad necesaria.  el artista tuvo la gentileza de darme su autógrafo "El bombero", uno de los cuadros de Marcos PalaciosMenos mal, esto no sucedió, y cuando vi sus cuadros en Yvonne Sanguineti, en la Galería Shock o en otros locales encontré algo único en su propuesta. Un amor por la pintura, una fascinación por el pincel y una obsesión con los colores intensos. Sin embargo, recién en “Héroes”, muestra inaugurada el día de ayer en el Centro Cultural Juan Parra del Riego, he podido apreciar la ambiciosa propuesta de Marcos. En cuadros de gran formato, Palacios explora arquetipos de la vida limeña al mismo tiempo que los vincula con el expresionismo más vigoroso. En sus cuadros, podemos admirar las pinceladas firmes, fuertes, recias, que dejan una estela indeleble en la textura y que confieren una singular personalidad a todos estos héroes que Marcos nos presenta. My drawing: from pencils to inks / mi dibujo: de lápiz a tintaEl expresionismo, la intensidad del color y el poder del trazo, son elementos que confluyen armónica y estéticamente en la propuesta de Marcos. El resultado, como no podía ser de otro modo, es un conjunto de cuadros en gran formato que embelesan a conocedores y neófitos por igual. Hay algo exquisito y apremiante en las energías cromáticas capturadas por Marcos, y cuando él nos muestra a sus personajes nosotros inmediatamente somos transportados al mundo del aquí y el ahora. Sin duda, Marcos Palacios ha logrado una unión temática coherente y un alucinante despliegue visual que incentiva nuestro amor por el arte. El arte, una vez más, respira por todos sus poros y nos recuerda que, a pesar de todo, nosotros, también, inhalamos y exhalamos arte en dosis iguales. Como hubiese dichos Sócrates, una sociedad sin arte es una sociedad de cerdos. Viendo los cuadros de Marcos, comprendo por qué el arte es tan esencial como el aire que respiramos.Desde que nos conocimos, el 2010, he asistido a muchas de las muestras colectivas de Marcos, y aunque ya había quedado embelesado con sus cuadros en formato pequeño recién ahora he podido admirar su propuesta visual en toda su magnitud. Me siento privilegiado por haber conocido a Marcos y poder ver, el día de hoy, todos sus cuadros.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/06/heroes-marcos-palacios-juan-parra-del.html

Preview: FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #2

Preview: FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on June 20, 2013

CoverFATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #2 JT Krul ; Vince Hernandez; David Wohl­ writers / Ken Marion ­ pencilsThe most epic storyline in Fathom¹s 15-year history continues!Anya rises above the surface and right into the hands of the US Government, in order to get the attention of Aspen Matthews, her last resort for help under the surface. Meanwhile, Killian relentlessly continues his search to unite his family once again, by confronting the pain and destruction of his past in the treacherous lava city of Aescylot. However, the Blue¹s new Elite Commander will discover the city of fire has ushered forth a new savior and she is no stranger to Killian!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! Fantastical new lands will be explored, and a host of new (and deadly!) characters will be introduced, all leading up to an unbelievable new direction in the All New FATHOM Universe!FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA #2 is in stores June 26th, 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/2013/06/preview-fathom-elite-saga-2.html

The Outhouse is not responsible for any butthurt incurred by reading this website. All original content copyright the author. Banner by Ali Jaffery - he's available for commission!