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November films / películas de noviembre

November films / películas de noviembre

By Arion in Blog on November 30, 2012

November was even more international than other months… and I mean it, half of the films I saw were from Europe or Asia. But let’s start with something you’ve probably seen: Skyfall (2012), the 23rd James Bond production is directed by Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig is again Agent 007, and Judi Dench reprises her role as M, the cast also includes Javier Bardem as the villain. I haven’t seen all the James Bond movies, but I’ve seen a lot, and Skyfall is surely the best one, it combines high-octane action with a certain sense of melancholy as Bond feels he’s getting older… for the first time in decades we actually feel that this time agent 007 might lose, and the sad final scene reminds us that even our most beloved childhood heroes cannot remain as indestructible as they once were. I rarely enjoy action as a genre, but Skyfall was really outstanding. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) is written and directed by Stephen Chbosky and it is, without a doubt, one of the best films of 2012. Logan Lerman is a shy teenager that befriends Ezra Miller, a flamboyant gay boy, who introduces him to Emma Watson (Hermione from “Harry Potter”). This story combines teenage awkwardness, friendship, love and the effervescence of youth into one truly fascinating narrative that conceals some very strong themes, such as child molestation and sexual abuse. An extraordinary film that, once again, proves that Ezra Miller knows how to choose his projects ("We Need To Talk About Kevin" and "Afterschool" were also great). Child molestation is always a controversial subject, and director John Crowley handles it very delicately in Boy A (2007) a film that begins with two lonely young boys that become friends, one of them has been raped and all his anger and repressed violence bursts out one day, thus killing a little girl. When the police capture the boys, none of them is willing to confess who killed the girl, so they’re both sent to jail. Years later, one of them, played by Andrew Garfield (famous for his role as Peter Parker in "The Amazing Spider-Man") is set free. With a new identity and in a new town, he will try to rebuild his life from scratch, but the wounds of the past may be too hard to heal. Haunting, sad and very dramatic, Boy A is magnificent cinematographic accomplishment.Of course, no month would be complete without a couple of horror films. I saw Fright Night (2011), here Anton Yelchin is a high school student that can only think about girls, until his former best friend Christopher Mintz-Plasse tells him that his neighbor (Colin Farrell) is actually a vampire. There is a lot of humor in Fright Night and some of the best sequences include David Tennant (a great British actor that played Doctor Who for years) and there are so many hilarious dialogues, for instance, when Christopher says to Anton: "you took my Stretch Armstrong so you could tie it around your balls and jerk off for an hour". My Bloody Valentine (2009), on the other hand, was a huge let down. This is a poorly done remake starred by Jensen Ackles and Kerr Smith… I saw the original in October and it is so much better. I really enjoyed Final Destination (2000) and I’ve seen the sequels, all of them with the same style, all of them disappointing, Final Destination 5 (2011) would be no exception except for the last scene, in which we see Nicholas D'Agosto (a good actor with interesting movies such as “Rocket Science”) and his girlfriend going into the airplane that crashes in the first movie (and we even get to see Devon Sawa getting off the plane). I’ve been meaning to watch Sydney Pollack’s Tootsie (1982) for a while, and it is a very clever analysis on gender and heterosexual normativity; when Dustin Hoffman decides to cross-dress and pretends to be a woman to get a role in a soap opera his entire world changes, being a man can be easy, being a woman is quite hard for him. The cast includes Jessica Lange and the great Bill Murray. I’m a big fan of Jesse Eisenberg and he usually has a knack for choosing the best films (for instance, “The Squid and the Whale” which happens to be on my top 100), however The Hunting Party (2007), starred by Richard Gere and Terrence Howard has a solid premise but it isn’t as good as it could have been. Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), on the other hand, is a great story about loyalty and crime-lords in today’s world. This time I saw movies from Spain, Italy, France and Germany, but let’s start with Antonio Mercero’s Planta 4ª (2003), a gripping tale about a group of kids fighting against cancer. The talented Juan José Ballesta is the protagonist, and we can’t help but to admire his strength and his courage, the other characters are also teenagers that have been diagnosed with cancer, and yet, they’re still rebellious and always ready to make jokes about everything (or even masturbate together while fantasizing about girls). Sigfrid Monleón’s El cónsul de Sodoma (2009) focuses on the life of Jaime Gil de Biedma (played by Jordi Mollà), one of Spain’s most important poets of the 20th century, Gil de Biedma is a successful businessman that comes from a wealthy family, everything in his life seems perfect except for two things: 1) he indulges in unproductive affairs such as poetry and 2) his homosexual encounters with men and boys are about to ruin his family’s reputation forever. Clandestinos (2007) is directed by Antonio Hens who had already done a remarkable short-film “En malas compañías”, for the second time his lead actor is Israel Rodríguez… however, there are some things about the script that didn’t convince me.  I saw again La vita è bella (1997) written, directed and starred by Roberto Benigni, it had been years since I saw it for the first time. I always think it’s hard to come up with upbeat stories about hope, but that’s what Benigni sets out to do. I understand that for some “Life is beautiful” can be too optimistic or even naïve, but I still consider it a charming film -although slightly demagogic- with some unforgettable sequences. Also from Italy comes Il sapore del grano (1986) directed by Gianni Da Campo, this one is a rather peculiar production about Lorenzo Lena, a college student who is hired as a teacher in a small town, there he has casual sex with an attractive girl but he also spends a lot of time with Marco Mestriner, his 12 year old student. One day, in the heat of summer, they kiss and that moment changes everything. Jean Eustache creates a very intimate world in Mes petites amoureuses (1974), a film that revolves around Martin Loeb, a teenager that experiences his sexuality very intensely in a rather conservative society. Eustache portrays the hardships of an impoverished family and the boy’s experiences realistically and, above all, sensitively. Krabat (2008) is German production based on children’s literature. David Kross is a young boy without home or food, until he’s summoned to a grinder, there he meets a group of young men that work for a mysterious and shadowy figure. Daniel Brühl, however, explains to him that this place is ruled by black magic. Director Marco Kreuzpaintner works again with Robert Stadlober, who was the protagonist of his gay-themed coming of age film “Sommersturm”. Finally, from Korea comes Boksuneun naui geot (2002) -AKA “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance”- a very original and intense story about characters doomed to fatality, I can’t say much without spoiling this, but there are so many unpredictable moments here (such as a group of boys masturbating together while they think they’re hearing a woman moaning in pleasure when in fact she is screaming in agony), there are so many violent scenes, and there is also a weird sense of humor even more defying than the usual black humor. Easily the best Korean film I’ve seen in the past decade or so.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Noviembre fue incluso más internacional que otros meses... y lo digo en serio, la mitad de las películas que vie fueron de Europa o Asia. Pero empecemos con algo que probablemente ya han visto: "Skyfall" (2012), la vigésimo tercera producción de James Bond es dirigida por Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig es el agente 007 de nuevo, y Judi Dench reaparece como M, el elenco también incluye a Javier Bardem como el villano. No he visto todas las películas de James Bond, pero he visto bastantes, y Skyfall es seguramente la mejor, combina acción a raudales con una cierta sensación de melancolía, y es que Bond siente que ha envejecido... por primera vez en décadas, sentimos que al agente 007 podría perder, y la triste escena final nos recuerda que incluso nuestros más amados héroes de la infancia no pueden permanecer tan indestructibles como lo fueron alguna vez. Rara vez disfruto algo del género de acción, pero "Skyfall" fue realmente sobresaliente. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (2012) es escrita y dirigida por Stephen Chbosky y es, sin duda, uno de los mejores films del 2012. Logan Lerman es un tímido adolescente que se hace amigo de Ezra Miller, un chico abiertamente gay, quien le presenta a Emma Watson (Hermione de “Harry Potter”). Esta historia combina la torpeza adolescente, la amistad, el amor y la efervescencia de la juventud en una narrativa realmente fascinante que oculta algunos temas muy fuertes como el abuso sexual a menores. Una extraordinaria película que, una vez más, demuestra que Ezra Miller sabe cómo elegir sus proyectos ("We Need To Talk About Kevin" y "Afterschool" también fueron de lo mejor).El abuso sexual infantil es siempre un tema controversial, y el director John Crowley lo maneja con delicadeza en "Boy A" (2007), un film que empieza con dos chiquillos solitarios que se hacen amigos, uno de ellos ha sido violado y toda su ira y violencia reprimida estallan un día, y así termina matando a una niña. Cuando la policía los captura, ninguno de ellos confiesa quién mató a la niña, así que ambos son enviados a la cárcel. Años después, uno de ellos, interpretado por Andrew Garfield (famoso por su rol como Peter Parker en "The Amazing Spider-Man") es liberado. Con una nueva identidad y en un nuevo pueblo, él intentará reconstruir su vida desde cero, pero las heridas del pasado quizá no logren sanar. Impactante, triste y muy dramática, "Boy A" es un magnífico logro cinematográfico.Por supuesto, ningún mes estaría completo sin un par de películas de terror. Vi "Fright Night" (2011), aquí Anton Yelchin es un estudiante de secundaria que piensa sólo en chicas hasta que su ex mejor amigo Christopher Mintz-Plasse le dice que su vecino es un vampiro. Hay mucho humor en "Fright Night" y algunas de las mejores secuencias incluyen a David Tennant (un gran actor británico que interpretó a Doctor Who por años) y hay muchos diálogos hilarantes, por ejemplo, cuando Christopher le dice a Anton: "te llevaste mi Stretch Armstrong para amarrártelo a las bolas y pajearte por una hora". "My Bloody Valentine" (2009), por otro lado, fue una decepción. Se trata de un remake muy pobre, protagonizado por Jensen Ackles y Kerr Smith... vi la original en octubre y es mucho mejor. Realmente disfruté con "Final Destination" (2000) y he visto las secuelas, todas tienen el mismo estilo, y todas decepcionan por igual, "Final Destination 5" (2011) no sería ninguna excepción si no fuera por la última escena, en la que vemos a Nicholas D'Agosto (un buen actor con películas interesantes como “Rocket Science”) y a su enamorada a bordo del avión que se estrella en la primera película (e incluso vemos a Devon Sawa bajándose del avión). He querido ver "Tootsie" (1982) de Sydney Pollack hace tiempo, y es un análisis inteligente sobre el género y la normatividad heterosexual; cuando Dustin Hoffman decide travestirse y fingir ser una mujer para obtener un papel en una telenovela todo su mundo cambia, ser un hombre puede ser fácil, pero ser una mujer es bastante difícil para él. El elenco incluye a Jessica Lange y al gran Bill Murray. Soy un gran fan de Jesse Eisenberg y él usualmente tiene mucho criterio al elegir las mejores películas (“The Squid and the Whale”, por ejemplo, está en mi top 100), sin embargo "The Hunting Party" (2007), protagonizada por Richard Gere y Terrence Howard tiene una premisa sólida pero no es tan buena como pudo haber sido. Por otro lado, "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" (1999) de Jim Jarmusch, es una gran historia sobre la lealtad y los señores del crimen del mundo de hoy. my drawing / mi dibujoEsta vez vi películas de España, Italia, Francia y Alemania, pero empecemos con  Planta 4ª (2003) de Antonio Mercero, un cautivador relato sobre un grupo de jovencitos que luchan contra el cáncer. El talentoso Juan José Ballesta es el protagonista, y no podemos evitar admirar su fortaleza y su coraje, los otros personajes también son adolescentes a los que les han diagnosticado cáncer, no obstante, siguen siendo rebeldes y están siempre listos a hacer todo tipo de bromas (e incluso masturbarse juntos mientras fantasean con chicas). "El cónsul de Sodoma" (2009) de Sigfrid Monleón, se enfoca en la vida Jaime Gil de Biedma (interpretado por Jordi Mollà), uno de los más importantes poetas de España del siglo XX, Gil de Biedma es un exitoso hombre de negocios que proviene de una familia pudiente, todo en su vida parece perfecto excepto por dos cosas: 1) su inclinación por afanes improductivos como la poesía y 2) sus encuentros homosexuales con hombres y chicos están por arruinar para siempre la reputación de su familia. "Clandestinos" (2007) es dirigida por Antonio Hens, quien ya había hecho un notable cortometraje “En malas compañías”, por segunda vez su actor principal es Israel Rodríguez... sin embargo, hay cosas en el guión que no me convencen.  Vi de nuevo "La vita è bella" (1997) escrita, dirigida y protagonizada por Roberto Benigni, han pasado años desde que la vi por primera vez. Creo que siempre es difícil hacer historias esperanzadoras, y esa es la intención de Benigni. Entiendo que para algunos "La vida es bella" puede ser demasiado optimista o incluso ingenua, pero igual considero que es un film encantador -aunque ligeramente demagógico- con algunas secuencias inolvidables. También de Italia llega "Il sapore del grano" (1986) dirigida por Gianni Da Campo, esta es una producción bastante peculiar sobre Lorenzo Lena, un estudiante universitario que es contratado como profesor en un pueblito, allí tiene sexo de vez en cuando con una atractiva chica, pero también pasa mucho tiempo con Marco Mestriner, su alumno de 12 años. Un día del caluroso verano se besan y ese momento lo cambia todo. Jean Eustache crea un mundo muy íntimo en "Mes petites amoureuses" (1974), un film que se centra en Martin Loeb, un adolescente que experimenta su sexualidad muy intensamente en una sociedad bastante conservadora. Eustache retrata las penurias de una familia empobrecida y las experiencias del muchacho de manera realista y, por encima de todo, sensible. "Krabat" (2008) es una producción alemana basada en la literatura infantil. David Kross es un chico sin hogar y sin comida, hasta que es convocado a un molino, allí se encuentra con un grupo de jóvenes que trabajan para una misteriosa y sombría figura. Daniel Brühl, sin embargo, le explica que este lugar es gobernado por la magia negra. El director Marco Kreuzpaintner trabaja de nuevo con Robert Stadlober, quien fue el protagonista de su película de temática gay “Sommersturm”. Finalmente, desde Corea llega "Boksuneun naui geot" (2002) -o "Simpatía por el Sr. Venganza"- una historia muy intensa y original sobre personajes condenados a la fatalidad, no puedo decir mucho sin arruinar las sorpresas, pero hay tantos momentos impredecibles aquí (como cuando un grupo de chicos se masturban mientras piensan que escuchan a una mujer gemir de placer cuando, de hecho, ella está chillando de agonía), hay tantas escenas violentas, y hay también un extraño sentido del humor, incluso más desafiante que el habitual humor negro. No se me ocurre una mejor película coreana en la última década.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/12/november-films-peliculas-de-noviembre.html

PR: Aspen Holiday prints, on sale December 10th

PR: Aspen Holiday prints, on sale December 10th

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 30, 2012

Aspen Xmas Aspen Comics To Offer A Second Special Fathom Holiday 2012 Print by Mike DeBalfo and Peter SteigerwaldOn the heels of selling out both the color and sketch versions of their Aspen Holiday 2012 mini-print quicker than expected, Aspen is pleased to offer one more free Aspen Holiday mini print for purchases as well as a full-size print available for sale this December to satisfy demand. With a brand new piece of art by Soulfire’s Mike DeBalfo and colored by Peter Steigerwald, this rare Aspen Holiday image features Fathom’s popular leading lady, Aspen Matthews decked out for the season.Starting December 1st, all orders over $50 on the AspenStore.com will receive this free Aspen Holiday 2012 mini-print with a limited print run of 150 editions, and all orders over $150 will receive a special sketch-version edition with a limited quantity of 50 editions. Aspen strongly encourages customers to make their purchases early to ensure they receive their prints with order while supplies last.Debuting December 10th, the full-size edition of the Aspen Holiday 2012 print will be available for sale on the Aspenstore and will be limited to 150 editions. For more information on the Aspen Holiday 2012 print please check www.aspenstore.com or www.aspencomics.com. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/pr-aspen-holiday-prints-on-sale.html

Review: Mazeworld

Review: Mazeworld

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 29, 2012

Cover Adam Cadman is a convicted murderer that is sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence is carried out and as soon as he blacks out he wakes up on a different world. A world where the mazes are everything, since religion to ethos or even architecture. He wakes up on Mazeworld.There he will be faced with a civil war of sorts that won't let him go idly by. Many adventures await the hanged man.This book collects all three Mazeworld stories originally published in the British magazine 2000AD.How good is it?A man on the brink of death blacks out and wakes up in a fantastic new world where he is the incarnation of an old hero of the people? I know what you're thinking. Its all just a dream. Well, maybe or maybe Alan Grant and Arthur Ranson were a bit more inventive and gave the reader a bigger payoff.When Adam Cadman wakes up in Mazeworld he finds himself hooded permanently with his hangman hood. Because of that he is identified as the returned Hooded Man of the prophecies. Cadman is then dragged into a civil war like situation between the people and the established government. He soon finds his place and thus starts a three part story of adventure, acceptance and  eventually redemption.Alan Grant creates a cool new world with an original ethos and populated with interesting characters besides the protagonist and antagonist. Arthur Ranson was responsible for the art on Mazeworld. The art has its own identity and style. Its well defined and very detailed. Its only sin is being a bit stiff and rigid at times.This is a good book that sadly passed under the radar for many readers when it originally came out. Luckily a group of verbal fans manifested enough interest for Mazeworld to be reprinted.   Kali Ma Lazy slaves MOVE! Would I recommend it?Mazeworld is very much worth your reading time. Competent, but just a bit short of great, art, compelling and interesting story line and good dialogues. While it isn't going to make many top 10 books list Mazeworld makes for a good and entertaining read.I recommend it, especially if you're looking for adventure books that aren't superhero books.Publisher: 2000ADYear: 2011Pages: 192Authors: Alan Grant, Arthur RansonISBN: 1907992480 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-mazeworld.html

Obra Reciente - Pedro Peschiera (Galería Lucía de la Puente)

Obra Reciente - Pedro Peschiera (Galería Lucía de la Puente)

By Arion in Blog on November 29, 2012

Some random thoughts about Spanish and plastic bags in art galleries... Pablo PatruccoWhat’s happening with Spanish? Not only the Royal Academy of Language but also many other institutions are deeply concerned about the level of corruption and contamination that is invading Spanish dialects throughout the world, if you want to keep things simple it is enough to see the ‘spanglish’ phenomena in the US, but there are a lot of countries butchering the language. In my opinion, here in Lima we have one of the best Spanish variations you could ever find, and there are a couple of countries in Latin-America that have different but valid variations, the rest is just rubbish, they can speak Spanish so damn awfully...After visiting art galleries once or twice a week I have had a few problems with some of the things I’ve seen. Seeing a plastic bag framed is an example of today’s art installations / performance pieces, I think Marcel Duchamp was a genius when he made the first ones, but now every pretentious bastard feels entitled to place a plastic bag in a gallery and sell it for the price of a million plastic bags. So, I can’t say I am much of an expert about this, but I am certainly against that kind of installations, I don’t think they have any real value, and yes, it’s stuff I could do myself in no more than five. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Rich Johnston blessing my blog / Rich Johnston bendiciendo mi blogAyer se inauguraron dos muestras en la Galería Lucía de la Puente “Obra Reciente” de Pedro Peschiera y “La naturaleza de la defensa” de Alberto Borea. La propuesta de Peschiera se distingue por los tonos monocromáticos de sus objetos, a veces en oposición directa con el tapiz de fondo. Sin duda, su interés también reside en la exploración geométrica de figuras de corte netamente euclidiano. Aunque particularmente lo que me más me gustó fueron dos cuadros compuestos por palabras en latín, con un degradé que iba del blanco, al gris y al negro. Borea, en cambio, opta por la técnica del collage, usando sobre todo fotografías a blanco y negro, aparentemente con pocos elementos, sus piezas dicen más de lo que uno se imaginaría a simple vista.  my drawing / mi dibujoApenas llegué me encontré con Matías Durán Amez, amigo del colegio a quien no veía probablemente hace unos nueve o diez años. Fue divertido conversar con él, me comentó que ha estado dedicándose al cine y que ha participado en películas como “Días de Santiago” y “Las malas intenciones”. Matías me presentó al joven artista Sebastián Cabrera, que había expuesto sus cuadros en la galería el mes pasado. En esta ocasión, además de mi infaltable copa de Navarro Correas, también tomé pisco sour, chilcanos y whisky, y me encontré con José Medina, Mariella Agois, Dare Dovidjenko, Carmen Alegre, Hugo Alegre, Irene Tomatis, etc. Fue muy divertido encontrarme con mi gran amiga Ximena Basadre y quedarnos conversando un buen rato. Al final de la noche, cuando hablaba con Julio Garay, me enseñó el catálogo de la muestra que también se había realizado esa misma noche en la Fundación Telefónica y para mi sorpresa encontré entre los artistas a Juan Diego Capurro, amigo del colegio; una lástima que no haya podido ir a esa muestra pero sin duda la visitaré en el transcurso de la próxima semana. Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/obra-reciente-pedro-peschiera-galeria.html

Future Collection: SOULFIRE (vol 4) #3

Future Collection: SOULFIRE (vol 4) #3

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 27, 2012

CoverSOULFIRE (vol 4) #3 J.T. Krul – Story / Mike DeBalfo – Art / Nei RuffinoMichael Turner’s epic fantasy adventure surges forward into a new era!Infected by the poisonous sickness plaguing her body, Grace’s dragon manifestation of fire and chaos devastates the city of Rome, while Malikai and friends come to grips with the harsh reality that something unthinkable must be done in order to stop her. Meanwhile, Sarin’s rule begins to strain under the weight of his own agenda—as his decisions lead to deadly results for those closest to him!From veteran SOULFIRE scribe J.T. Krul, and featuring the amazing art of Michael DeBalfo along with fan favorite colorist Nei Ruffino, this is the SOULFIRE tale three volumes in the making! New and returning fans will NOT want to miss out as the biggest SOULFIRE story ever told continues right here!SOULFIRE (vol 4) #3 is in stores December 12th, 2012! Cover B Preview Page 1 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 2 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/future-collection-soulfire-vol-4-3.html

Review: Daytripper

Review: Daytripper

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 25, 2012

Cover What is the most important days in your life? Dayrtipper follows the most important days of Bras de Oliva Domingos and by the end of each nothing will ever be same in his life.Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon give the reader their vision of the life of a regular person and how it can be interesting and captivating.How good is it?Its very difficult to talk about Daytripper without giving away too much information. I'm not talking about spoilers but little details that are so sweet and wonderful that any reader should experience them without any preconceptions or previous knowledge of any kind.To be blunt, this is one of the best books I've read in my 20 or so years of reading comics.Daytripper is a book about the life of Bras de Oliva Domingos. A ordinary life filled with love and loss, dreams and realities. Bras is a regular guy. A writer that starts out by writing obituaries to the local newspaper and grows to be a novelist, just like his father.Bras has the same problems you and me have / had. Father issues, first kisses, first real love, the love of our lives, acceptance of certain life facts and friends. This is what Daytripper is about. Of course I'm being over simplistic about this, after all I don't want to give too much away.The story is told in an non-linear way. Every chapter details an important episode in Bras's life. Usually end with great metaphysical significance, which means that to signify some inevitable change in Bras's life Ba and Moon recur to allegories with great visual impact.The brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba make a great creative team. Not only did they create a beautiful  and heartfelt story but also illustrated it in a masterfully way. The art is sheer elegance in it's simplicity. Sorry about the cliche but it truly is the best phrase to describe the art in Daytripper. Everything is very well define, clear, clean and beautifully colored.Most of the book is talking heads. As you may imagine its hard to make talking heads interesting for a whole book. However the art style adopted in Daytripper manages to avoid any loss of interest by the reader. Bras and his second best friend A father is always a touchy subjectWould I recommend it?Daytripper is a must have to any comic book reader. This book is as near perfect as it gets.  Whenever someone asks me for recommendations for comic books this is one of the first I remember. Its perfect to introduce new readers to comic books.Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon take a mundane subject like the life of a regular person and make it into a masterpiece about the human condition.Publisher: VertigoYear: 2011Pages: 256 Authors: Fabio Moon, Gabriel BaISBN: 1401229697 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-daytripper.html

Witch Doctor - Brandon Seifert Lukas Ketner

Witch Doctor - Brandon Seifert Lukas Ketner

By Arion in Blog on November 24, 2012

Lukas Ketner“Preventative medicine -- for the apocalypse?”. In a world in which magic and science coexist, the only way to prevent the planet’s destruction is by following the instructions of the doctor… of Witch Doctor. But who is this man and why has he been chosen to cure Earth? Doctor Vincent Morrow is a Sorcerer General, someone who combines the best of two worlds, the cold rationality of science with the uncanny spells of magic. In the best tradition of characters such us Doctor Strange (Marvel Comics Sorcerer Supreme who studied medicine before learning the mystic arts), Doc Macabre (IDW’s specialist in the arcane) or even Doctor House (the best analytic mind and an incomparable talent for figuring out a patient’s personality as well as their illnesses), Vincent Morrow is a man fighting against demons, vampires or monsters, using his intellect and his ability to solve impossible medical mysteries.Writer Brandon Seifert decided to “show you the monsters you’re familiar with in ways you’ve never seen– by grafting the weirdest stuff in the natural world to them”. Inspired by the most peculiar aspects of biology, Brandon does an extraordinary creative exercise, treating monsters as real living organisms; and combining all that with Vincent Morrow’s ability to get rid of any nasty diseases. Every supernatural threat out there is considered a disease, that can be affected by the Earth’s immune systems (sunlight will turn a vampire into ashes, trolls will turn to stone, gargoyles into dust, and so on), but sometimes a medical intervention is necessary, and that’s when Witch Doctor comes in: to destroy the supernatural menaces that nobody else could defeat.In Witch Doctor # 0 (published as a backup feature in The Walking Dead # 85 in May 2011), we see Doctor Vincent Morrow callously experimenting on a parasitoid vampire, much to the chagrin of his helper, the paramedic Gast. What kind of substances could we find in a vampire’s fang? Brandon has the answer: “vasodilator, anticoagulant, and an anesthetic”. All of these elements would be necessary for a vampire to immobilize his prey and suck their blood. All the scientific explanations are skillfully balanced with black humor… so when Gast complains about the doctor’s heartless methods he gets accused of being a post-mortem rights activist. In the four issue miniseries Witch Doctor fights against demonic possession, fairies hatching their eggs and creatures of the Black Lagoon. We’ve all seen films like “The Exorcist”, but when Vincent Morrow is dealing with possession he has a rather medical approach to it. For him, a demonic possession is akin to an infection, and he has more than one way to fix that, even when he finds a case of super-parasitism “one host, more than one parasite”. Lukas KetnerFor all intents and purposes, this is our world, except that every monster and demonic creature exist here. But there is something else, there are creatures of indecipherable nature that not even the doctor can fully comprehend, such is the case of Penny Dreadful, the girl / entity that works for the doctor as his anesthesiologist. Two minds coexist within her, one comes from the netherworld and one has still some traces of human rationality. In order for her to survive she must feed on all the mythical creatures that the doctor sees on a daily basis. The origin of all this supernatural evil is partly based on H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Brandon states that millions of years ago gigantic alien creatures known as the Archaeons landed on our planet, their sole presence was enough to cause a cataclysm that meant the extinction of the dinosaurs, and for millions of years these Archaeons have been hibernating, although just like with any living creature, the microscopic organisms that resided in them had enough biological independency to keep on living. And all supernatural beings are somehow linked to these primordial extraterrestrial bacteria. There are some who think the Archaeons might awaken in our era, and that would certainly mean the end of the world. I found especially fascinating how Brandon affirms certain theories about the Archaeons and the fact that they are much more powerful than gods: “gods metabolize worship, awe, fear”, and if you think about it, it’s true. Every religion consists necessarily on at least one -if not all- of these sine qua non conditions: you worship a god, or you admire a god or you fear a god. Gods need that, they need human souls and worshipping to exist. The Archaeons are so powerful that they need none of that.  Issues # 0, 1 and 2 are great self-conclusive stories that tell us everything we need to know about this world while making us feel intrigued and seduced by the characters. Issues # 3 and 4 are a 2-part story that delves into the fish people (creatures that resemble the classical monster from the Black Lagoon), here we learn more about the Archaeons and Vincent Morrow’s destiny. After the miniseries, there was a one-shot titled “Resuscitation” which starts by mimicking a very well-known urban legend: a man wakes up in a bathtub filled with ice and he has in incision… he’s probably missing a kidney. Except, in this case, we see a man that has had one kidney replaced by a mummified kidney extracted from an old Egyptian deity that has been embalmed for centuries.  Parasitoid vampire / vampiro parasitoideBrandon is a great writer with a lot of imagination. He has truly created an entire world, and that’s no easy task. Better yet, he has created a very fascinating universe and he has reconciled magic with science. And that’s what I said in the letter that was published in the Resuscitation one-shot: “I’m fascinated by a whacky world in which science and magic can coexist, in which eerie creatures and sinister doctors can quarrel in the most unexpected ways”. Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner work so good together that at moments it is evident they are close friends. Obviously they share the same interests and passions. Personally, I can’t possibly imagine another artist in charge of Witch Doctor. Lukas Ketner is also new in the business, but he has more talent than a lot of pencilers working for the big two. For starters, he has done something that isn’t always easy for an artist: he has exceled doing both, interior art and covers. Some artists are great doing covers but not so good on interior art, and vice versa. Lukas, however, does a superb job in every of the six covers of Witch Doctor. We have to admire the creepy expression of Witch Doctor on issue # 0 and the riveting designs of his medical artifacts, instead of a stethoscope he has a mystic eye and instead of a regular injection he has a golden needle with jewels in the shape of a skull. There is so much thought and beauty in Lukas designs, he manages to give weight to elements that, due to their fantastic nature, would probably float away. In his hands, the sword Excalibur is real, and even an umbrella made of angels and devils desiccated flesh is real too.  Demonic possession / posesión demoníacaIn the four covers of the miniseries Lukas plays with white backgrounds to enhance the impact of what we see in the foreground. In the first cover we have the contorted body of a boy possessed by a demon and the doctor trying to figure out what’s going on. This is a cover so strong that you would buy the book based solely on that image. And that’s what covers should accomplish, and that’s what many artists forget nowadays. The second cover is so beautifully inked that it could work perfectly as a black and white illustration; surely Lukas Ketner has been influenced by masters such as Bernie Wrightson and other legendary creators. In the third cover we see the doctor performing an autopsy, I absolutely love the way Lukas pays homage to the Creature of the Black Lagoon (plus, the gooey consistency of what the doctor is holding in his hands is awesome). In the fourth cover, we see the doctor holding Excalibur and a group of silhouettes that force us to imagine what kind of monstrosities he has to fight against. Finally, the Resuscitation one-shot is really amazing. The human skeleton and all his inner organs and veins are exposed, we can see what’s inside of us and that is always very discomforting (unless, of course, you’re in med school), the bandages in the corners are also a very nice touch.There’s so much thought put into every drawing Lukas does. I know this project was years in the making, and that really shows. No detail has been overseen, no design is simplistic. I’ve heard other authors talking about their projects using the expression “years in the making” and after reading those comics I feel like they’ve been wasting their time, because for some people “years in the making” means not paying attention to an idea for a long time. For Brandon and Lukas it’s the opposite, it’s an example of how one can develop an idea over a long period of time. And the result, like a good wine, had to go through a maturing process before being released. This month a new miniseries of Witch Doctor begins. Will it be just as great as the previous issues? Hell yeah!____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Fairy / Hada"¿Medicina preventiva -- para el apocalipsis?". En un mundo en el que la magia y la ciencia coexisten, el único modo de prevenir la destrucción del planeta es seguir las instrucciones del doctor... del Doctor Brujo. ¿Pero quién es este hombre y por qué ha sido elegido para curar la Tierra? El doctor Vincent Morrow es un gran hechicero, alguien que combina lo mejor de dos mundos, la fría racionalidad de la ciencia con los extraños conjuros de la magia. En la mejor tradición de personajes como Doctor Strange (el Hechicero Supremo de Marvel, quien estudió medicina antes de aprender las artes místicas), Doc Macabre (el especialista de lo arcano en IDW) o incluso Doctor House (la mejor mente analítica y un incomparable talento para descifrar la personalidad de un paciente así como sus enfermedades), Vincent Morrow es un hombre que lucha contra demonios, vampiros o monstruos, usando su intelecto y su habilidad para resolver imposibles misterios médicos. Penny Dreadful eating / Penny Dreadful comiendoEl escritor Brandon Seifert decidió "mostrarte los monstruos que te son familiares en formas que nunca has visto- insertando en ellos las cosas más extrañas del mundo de la naturaleza". Inspirado por los más peculiares aspectos de la biología, Brandon realiza un extra-ordinario ejercicio creativo, tratando a los monstruos como organismos vivientes reales; y combinando todo ello con la habilidad de Vincent Morrow para deshacerse de las enfermedades fastidiosas. Cada amenaza sobrenatural es considerada una enfermedad, que puede ser afectada por el sistema inmunológico de la Tierra (la luz del sol convertirá a un vampiro en cenizas, a los trolls en piedra, a las gárgolas en polvo, etc.), pero a veces la intervención médica es necesaria, y esa es la tarea del doctor: destruir las amenazas sobrenaturales que nadie más podría derrotar. En Witch Doctor # 0 (publicado en las páginas finales de The Walking Dead # 85 en mayo del 2011), vemos al doctor Vincent Morrow experimentando cruelmente con un vampiro parasitoide, algo que enerva a su ayudante, el paramédico Gast. ¿Qué tipo de substancias podríamos encontrar en el colmillo de un vampiro? Brandon tiene la respuesta: "vasodilatador, anticoagulante y un anestésico". Todos estos elementos serían necesarios para que un vampiro pueda inmovilizar a su presa y chuparle la sangre. Todas las explicaciones científicas están hábilmente balanceadas con humor negro... así que cuando Gast se queja de los métodos insensibles del doctor, es acusado de ser un activista a favor de los derechos post-mortem.En la miniserie de cuatro capítulos de "Witch Doctor", él lucha contra posesiones demoníacas, hadas que incuban sus huevos y criaturas de la Laguna Negra. Hemos visto películas como "El exorcista", pero cuando Vincent Morrow se encarga de una posesión tiene un enfoque bastante médico. Para él, una posesión demoníaca es afín a una infección, y tiene más de un modo de curarlas, incluso cuando encuentra un caso de súper-parasitismo "un huésped, más de un parásito". Creatures of the Black Lagoon / criaturas de la Laguna NegraSe debe resaltar que este es nuestro mundo, excepto que cada monstruo y criatura demoníaca existen aquí. Pero hay algo más, hay criaturas de naturaleza indescifrable que ni siquiera el doctor puede comprender del todo, tal es el caso de Penny Dreadful, la chica / entidad que trabaja con el doctor como su aneste-sióloga. Dos mentes coexisten en ella, una viene del inframundo y la otra aún tiene algunos restos de racionalidad humana. Para que ella sobreviva, debe alimentarse de las criaturas míticas que el doctor ve a diario.El origen de todo el mal sobrenatural se basa en parte en los Mitos de Cthulhu de H. P. Lovecraft; Brandon señala que hace millones de años, gigantescas criaturas alienígenas conocidas como los Archaeons aterrizaron en nuestro planeta, su sola presencia causó el cataclismo que significó la extinción de los dinosaurios, y por millones de años estos Archaeons han estado hibernando, aunque como pasaría con cualquier criatura viva, los organismos microscópicos que residían en ellos tenían suficiente independencia biológica para seguir viviendo. Y todos los seres sobrenaturales están de algún modo vinculados a estas bacterias extraterrestres primordiales. Algunos piensan que los Archaeons podrían despertar en nuestra era, y eso significaría el fin del mundo.Me pareció fascinante cómo Brandon afirma ciertas teorías sobre los Archaeons y el hecho de que son más poderosos que los dioses: "los dioses metabolizan la adoración, el asombro, el miedo", y si lo piensan es cierto. Toda religión consiste necesariamente en al menos una -si no todas- de estas condiciones sine qua non: adoras un dio, o lo admiras o le temes. Los dioses necesitan eso, necesitan almas humanas y adoración para existir. Los Archaeons son tan poderosos que no necesitan nada de eso.Los números 0, 1 y 2 son historias auto-conclusivas de gran nivel que nos dicen todo lo que necesitamos saber sobre este mundo mientras que nos hace sentir intrigados y seducidos por los personajes. Los números 3 y 4 son una historia de 2 partes que explora a la gente pez (criaturas que se asemejan al clásico monstruo de la Laguna Negra), aquí averiguamos más cosas sobre los Archaeons y el destino de Vincent Morrow. Luego de la miniserie hay un número especial titulado "Resucitación" que empieza imitando una bien conocida leyenda urbana: un hombre despierta cubierto de hielo en una tina con una incisión... es probable que le falte un riñón. Excepto, en este caso, vemos a un hombre a quien le han reemplazado un riñón con un riñón momificado extraído de una antigua deidad egipcia que ha sido embalsamada hace siglos. Mummified kidney / riñón momificadoBrandon es un escritor grandioso con mucha imaginación. Ha creado un mundo entero, algo que no es una tarea fácil. Mejor aún, ha creado un universo muy fascinante y ha reconciliado magia con ciencia. Y eso es lo que dije en mi carta que fue publicada en Resucitación “Estoy fascinado por un mundo loco en donde la ciencia y la magia coexisten, en donde criaturas tenebrosas y doctores siniestros pueden luchar de las formas más inesperadas”.Brandon Seifert y Lukas Ketner trabajan tan bien juntos que por momentos se hace evidente que son buenos amigos. Obviamente comparten los mismos intereses y pasiones. Personalmente no me puedo imaginar a otro artista a cargo de Witch Doctor. Lukas Ketner también es nuevo en el negocio, pero tiene más talento que muchos de los dibujantes que trabajan para Marvel y DC. Para empezar, ha hecho algo no siempre es fácil para el artista: he demostrado excelencia tanto en el arte interior como en las portadas. Algunos artistas son buenos haciendo carátulas pero no tan buenos en el arte interior, y viceversa. Lukas, sin embargo, hace un trabajo soberbio en cada una de las seis portadas de Witch Doctor. Tenemos que admirar la expresión macabra en Witch Doctor # 0 y el cautivador diseño de sus artefactos médicos, en vez de un estetoscopio tiene un ojo místico y en vez de una inyección tiene una aguja dorada con joyas en forma de cráneo. Hay tantas ideas y belleza en los diseños de Lukas, él se las arregla para darle peso a elementos que, por su naturaleza fantástica, probablemente flotarían. En sus manos, la espada Excalibur es real, e incluso el paraguas hecho con carne disecada de ángeles y demonios es también real.En las cuatro portadas de la miniserie, Lukas juega con un fondo blanco para resaltar el impacto de lo que vemos en un primer plano. En la primera portada tenemos el cuerpo contorsionado de un niño poseído por un demonio y al doctor intentando resolver la situación. Esta es una portada tan fuerte que podrían comprar el cómic sólo gracias a esta imagen. Y eso es lo que las portadas deben hacer, y eso es lo que muchos artistas olviden hoy en día. La segunda portada está tan bien entintada que podría funcionar a la perfección como una ilustración a blanco y negro; sin duda, Lukas Ketner ha sido influenciado por maestros como Bernie Wrightson y otros creadores legendarios. En la tercera portada vemos al doctor realizando una autopsia, me encanta el modo en el que Lukas rinde homenaje a la Criatura de la Laguna Negra (además, la consistencia viscosa de lo que el doctor sujeta en sus manos es tremenda). En la cuarta portada, vemos al doctor sujetando Excalibur y un grupo de siluetas que nos obliga a imaginar qué tipo de monstruosidades está por enfrentar. Por último, el especial "Resucitación" es más que asombroso. El esqueleto humano y todos sus órganos internos y venas están expuestos, podemos ver lo que está dentro de nosotros y eso siempre es algo incómodo (a menos, por supuesto, que estudiemos medicina), las vendas en las esquinas son un buen toque.Hay mucho pensamiento en cada uno de los dibujos de Lukas. Sé que este proyecto estuvo en proceso durante años, y eso es algo que se ve. Ningún detalle ha sido descuidado, ningún diseño simplificado. He escuchado a otros autores hablar sobre sus proyectos usando la expresión "años en proceso" y luego de leer esos cómics siento que han estado desperdiciando su tiempo, porque para algunos "años en proceso" significa no prestarle atención a una idea por mucho tiempo. Para Brandon y Lukas es lo opuesto, es un ejemplo de cómo una idea se puede desarrollar en un periodo largo de tiempo. Y el resultado, como un buen vino, tenía que pasar por un proceso de maduración antes de salir a la venta. Este mes comienza una nueva miniserie de Witch Doctor. ¿Será tan grandiosa como los números previos? Sí, demonios.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/witch-doctor-brandon-seifert-lukas.html

Dédalo - Exponatale 2012

Dédalo - Exponatale 2012

By Arion in Blog on November 23, 2012

Pablo PatruccoI have a friend that upholds a rather controversial theory: “No one is able to love, all the persons have the same biological needs of reproduction and that’s it”. I still remember our discussions. We began to stray, then, into a question of whether or not love was a simple biological need or something more wondrous and uncanny. To him, love was a lie, the merest trifle by comparison with biology or the will of the body, as he so aptly put it. This point did sit festering in the back of my mind, though. While I was not prepared, on initial hearing, to acknowledge there might be any iota of truth in my friend’s assertion, I found myself coming back to the point over and over, much in the same way you might find your tongue constantly probing a loose tooth, no matter how painful. Was it possible? Was it possible that love was just a lunatic creation that writers have perpetuated throughout the ages, from the dawn of time? I recall those words, that sometimes the things that may or may not be truth, are the things that a man needs to believe in the most. And therein lies the ultimate test. Pablo PatruccoI would like to think that to fall in love with someone means that you are not only admiring a body, but a soul, a mind and a heart. Everything combined, for a person is a whole, not only skin or hair. Sure, some people have their way with a gorgeous body and that’s it. But I do not accept that a relationship could be possible with a person that only has a good body, a good surface. And as for love at first sight, I guess it could be possible provided that you fall in love for more than one reason. I found a very enlightening phrase in Constantino Carvallo’s book: “For a long time now I don’t believe in reasons. Why we do the things we do?, how do we choose the things we choose? One can search in successive phases the reasons of one’s acts and find, many years later, new explanations that will answer the never ending question of why, why did you take that decision, why did you do that? Why did I study philosophy? What am I doing in this place? What forces me to do what I do? Why do I commit myself with something that is not interesting for others? Why am I like this?, who silences me when I want to speak and, sometimes, who speaks when I am hearing my voice? These are interrogations not worthy of a place in the great gold book of philosophy; but to me are a mystery, the mystery of life itself and the search of that interior place where decisions are taken. Who rules in men? Reason? Emotions? The key question is Why. Men are influenced by sometimes incomprehensible factors. These incomprehension is full of reasons, and many believe in those reasons with conviction, and they proclaim them so much that they end up believing in them. But seduction barely gives you motives, never reasons. Causes of movement. Like some dark eyes, a certain grace in the way of walking, or a warmness in the voice can be the motive of love. We don’t know”.When we really like someone, we have thousand of details in our mind, small things, but essential things. At first we might admire the other person’s body, but then we learn to love and cherish all these details. No one in the world could persuade you in admiring qualities that are not there. Makes one think, doesn’t it?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Ayer se realizó el evento anual más importante de Dédalo, la XVII Exponatale. Quedé fascinado por la enorme creatividad de todos los artistas y diseñadores que han elaborado un sinfín de objetos preciosos justo a tiempo para la temporada navideña. Apenas llegué me encontré con Rossella Di Paolo, importantísima poeta peruana que fue mi profesora en la PUCP. Nos quedamos conversando un rato, la última vez que la vi fue en Lucía de la Puente, y antes de eso en el salón de clases de la facultad de literatura, en el ya lejano 2008.Después me encontré con Louise Böttcher, la mamá de Joshua, uno de mis mejores amigos del colegio. Nos quedamos hablando un buen rato, recordando las épocas en las que todavía Joshua y yo estábamos en el colegio. No veía a Louise desde el 2011, porque Joshua estuvo todo un año en Cerro de Pasco haciendo su SERUM (Servicio Rural y Urbano Marginal de Salud). En un par de semanas es cumpleaños de Joshua así que ahí nos veremos nuevamente. mi dibujoDurante la noche saludé a muchos de los visitantes asiduos de Dédalo, pero fue especialmente gratificante encontrarme con Arturo José Valdés Hamann, uno de mis grandes amigos que, según me cuenta, acaba de tener una hija. Qué duro debe ser asumir la paternidad a los 25 años, pero Arturo José se veía feliz a pesar de los retos que lo esperan. Luego de tomarme un vodka tonic, un vodka con jugo de naranja y un maracuyá sour (que estaba tan delicioso como los que hago yo), saludé a Alonso Cueto, a Pepe Tudela (gerente de programación de Plus TV a quien conocí en el canal), a Fernando Carvallo, a Sebastián Lores, a Eduardo Lores, a María Elena Fernández. Y quedé encantado con el Cuarteto Morella, un grupo de chicos de 17 años del colegio Pestalozzi que se encargaron de hacer de la música el punto central de esta Exponatale. Al final felicité a Pablo Alayza y a Kuno Vollprecht por tanta buena música.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/dedalo-exponatale-2012.html

Review: Saga Volume 1

Review: Saga Volume 1

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 22, 2012

Cover A forbidden love births a forbidden child. In a galaxy where war is the norm and neibor species cannot coexist with each other Alana and Marko find a way to overcome the hate and discover love.Magic versus Science, Royalty with tv for heads and lies detecting cats. All this and more crayziness from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.This migh just be the start to a glorious new series.How good is it?This book is a delight to read. Simple as that.I was a bit fearful for all the hype Saga is getting, but luckily my fears were unfounded. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples present the reader with a masterpiece of the 9th art. In Saga Volume 1 you'll find sequential storytelling at its best.BKV creates a Universe at war. Two enemy races have been going at it for a long time. Why? Thus far your guess is as good as mine. The war isn't the center issue in Saga. Marko and Alana's forbidden love and their lovechild are. Saga follows our three main characters with they struggle to get away from the war and find a peaceful place to raise their child.In this first volume we're introduced to our protagonists, the antagonists, a planet wide sex district, bounty hunters, the war, ghosts and the grandparents. This might seem too much for a single volume but nothing is done in a contrived way. On the contrary, everything comes to be in a organic and dynamic way.Fiona Staples pencils are hard to describe. It takes a few pages to get used to. At first it seems sloppy and fuzzy. But as you turn the pages it grows on you and its hard not to fall in love with it. By the end of the first chapter you'll come to the conclusion that Fiona's art its not sloppy but subtle, its also not fuzzy but an entanglement of pastel backgrounds with vibrant character designs.While disturbing at times, the character designs are really original and a pleasure to look at. Fiona made a great job in creating a vast array of races of all shapes, colors and sizes, that fit the feel BKV gives to the story like a glove.This book is highly on sex and sexuality. There are several explicit sex scenes and dialogue as well as some nudes here and there. Its never cheesy or sexist about it, but it is there. This makes Saga Volume 1 not suited to younger audiences or reading on the train. Its a girl Sassy plants Would I recommend it?Saga Volume 1 is a great book. Original, interesting and very promising. BKV and Fiona might have created the beginning of a long and wonderful journey through the cosmos, exploring new and exciting worlds and cultures while simply trying to lead a peaceful and joyous live.This one is a must read for any sci-fi / fantasy buff or just about anyone who enjoys a good and exciting story, not about war but about life.Publisher: Image ComicsYear: 2012Pages: 160Authors: Brian K Vaughan, Fiona StaplesISBN: 1607066017 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-saga-volume-1.html

Review: Scars

Review: Scars

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 21, 2012

Cover How much of a monster do you have to become to hunt monsters?Scars follows Detective John Cain and his partner when they are faced with the investigation of a horrible murder of a eleven years old girl.This book dwells in the police thriller genre and aims at making the reader uncomfortable. Warren Ellis dwells in this genre using child abuse as the emotional driver for the protagonist.How good is it?Usually I'm not a great fan of police thrillers, even more so in comic book format. I picked this up on a whim and was not disappointed. The story has great pace, the art is clean and enjoyable and the overhaul package is nice.Warren Ellis does a good job in letting the read know who's who and whats whats in the first chapter. From there on its a fast pace story, with some twist and turns that makes sure to leave the reader uncomfortable page after page. Why? Because Ellis wanted so. To be honest, the unsettling felling one gets from reading Scars adds to the whole thriller idea. This is not a story to make the reader feel good. Its ugly and show a very bad side of our society.There are however two major problems with the book. One the mystery is given away for free half way in the book and the story shifts from finding the bad guy to getting the bad guy. Usually this isn't a problem, but something got lost in the shift because the first half of the book is much stronger than the second. Two the ending is a bit abrupt and somewhat predictable. It isn't bad or out of place, but the story deserved something stronger.In between chapter Warren Ellis and Steven Grant write some of their thoughts about Scars and the process that they had to go throw to get the book done. Its a cool read and it add a bit more to the book. Its like seeing a movie with the director commentaries on.Art wise the book is ok. Just like the story, its not perfect, its not the best B&W art out there, but is enjoyable and deserving of the readers time and money. Gory corpses And thus it startsWould I recommend it?Unfortunately Scars doesn't reach Ellis's usual greatness. Its not a bad book, it has its moments, but there's something missing. It does a good job making the reader uncomfortable with John Cain's journey into his own personal hell. But the mystery is given away too early in the story and all that is left afterwards is John's emotional turmoil.Its a good story, good art, just shy of greatness, but still very enjoyable. If you're a fan of the authors or the genre you should read it.Publisher: Avatar PressYear: 2004Pages: 160Authors: Warren Ellis, Jacen BurrowsISBN: 1592910513 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-scars.html

Madrox - Peter David Pablo Raimondi

Madrox - Peter David Pablo Raimondi

By Arion in Blog on November 20, 2012

David Lloyd (covers / portadas)In the Marvel Universe there are thousands of fictional characters, most of them with quite reiterative powers (flight, super-strength, energy rays, etc.), and it couldn’t be any other way, after all, there can only be so many superpowers a writer can imagine. Sometimes, however, we come across unique creations that have not only endured throughout the decades but that have evolved too. One of them is Madrox, the Multiple Man, a character of infinite possibilities.When he was first created, Multiple Man was presented as a mutant with the ability to create duplicates of himself (dupes). Certainly, a guy with the ability to clone himself at will could surely come in handy in any battle (he would be, after all, a one man army in the most literal term). Nevertheless, some fans didn’t take seriously this kind of power, and due to the negligence of some writers the character staid in limbo for some time until Peter David rescued him during his first X-Factor run in the 90s.In 2004, under the Marvel Knights banner, Peter David once again returned to Madrox in this 5-issue miniseries that at last turned the Multiple Man into one of Marvel’s most complex and fascinating heroes. Combining references of the noir cinema genre and a very refined sense of humor, Peter David reminded us why in a world populated by countless superheroes Madrox was, indeed, an exceptional creation. Before 2004, Madrox had been portrayed as a competent combatant (obviously, his ability to turn into 10 or 100 replicas of himself always gave him a numerical and tactical advantage) and that was it. Peter David goes further and makes us realize that every one of these ‘dupes’ has a well-defined personality and can exist by itself for an undetermined amount of time. Now, who wouldn’t want the ability to be everywhere at once? For over a year, Madrox has been sending countless duplicates around the world. Some have trained with the shaolin masters, others have attended med school, others have infiltrated the underworld, etc. The experience of hundreds of individuals as well as their knowledge is at Madrox’s fingertips. And as he summons all of his dupes into New York, more accurately, into Mutant Town, he absorbs them and absorbs all they’ve done.Of course, being ubiquitous doesn’t guarantee one’s safety. And when the Multiple Man finds one of his dupes stabbed, he absorbs him and his memories only to find out that someone is after him. His life is in danger and he can either stay put in New York or leave the city and investigate why he is being targeted for extermination. He must travel to Chicago, leaving one dupe behind to help Strong Guy and Wolfsbane (his former X-Factor colleagues).Wolfsbane and Strong Guy investigate the case of a woman who thinks her husband is cheating on her by means of astral projection. Since they are in Mutant Town, even the weirdest things are possible. And so Wolfsbane confirms the woman’s suspicions and finds out that the man’s astral projection is engaging in sexual activities with another man.Meanwhile, in Chicago, Madrox runs into one of his old acquaintances, Stringer, a respected journalist. Accompanied by two dupes, one of them starts touching Stringer’s face in an unabashedly flirtatious manner. Quickly, Madrox reabsorbs his dupes explaining that they are all different aspects of his personality, and that according to Sigmund Freud, we all have an innate bisexuality (Freudian theory tells us that “every person has the ability to become bisexual at some time in his or her life” so it’s perfectly logical for Madrox to have a bisexual dupe).Straight, bisexual, shaolin monk, small time crook, altruist, selfish, Madrox is all of these things and at the same time none of them. His elucidation is very eloquent: “I can live any life I want. Go in any direction, follow all potential fates simultaneously. But if everything’s possible… then what’s the point of anything”. To some degree, we all experience similar existential doubts. Sometimes our actions depend on the circumstances, and sometimes we obsess about ‘what ifs’… (What if I win the lottery? What if I still had a steady relationship? What if I lose my job?) and that doubt can render us immobile. For Madrox is even worse, because he can indeed try all these multiple combinations, all the ‘what ifs’. But because he can do all of it he also feels he can’t do anything at all. Wolfsbane, Strong Guy & MadroxPeter David has written a comic book highly entertaining and deeply philosophical. There is a reason why Madrox has never been a part of the X-Men. He doesn’t fit in. He’s not the typical hero, he can’t live his life as easily and as automatically as most people can. Jacques Lacan reinterpreted Freudian theory affirming that a discontent individual (such as Madrox) reveals a psychic structure that is constituently exscinded by language. And it’s also through the particular language of each of Madrox’s dupes that we learn the myriad of possibilities and aspects that are buried deep down in the protagonist’s mind. When Madrox creates five dupes to break into a house all of them react and talk differently. One of them accuses Madrox of “illegal trespassing” and threatens to call the police, other considers that if a Madrox dupe was killed he had it coming, other, on the contrary, seeks revenge, other is a pacifist who wants to stay out of the situation, other simply wants to go home and watch TV.  The exscinded mind, in Madrox’s case, is also the exscinded duplicate. He can create identical copies of himself but none of them act even remotely as the original would expect. uncontrollable duplicates / duplicados incontrolablesWhen you can go in all directions at once, suddenly you can’t prioritize one over the other. They are all equally important, they are all equally meaningless. After Madrox breaks into a mysterious mansion, he finds a mobster, his hot girlfriend and his dangerous henchmen (one of them was, in fact, responsible for killing Madrox’s dupe). Captured and locked down, Madrox creates a dupe to break free. However, his duplicate is a manic-depressive who doesn’t care about getting free because in the end to be alive or to be dead it’s all the same to him. Time and time again, Madrox has a hard time dealing with his uncontrollable duplicates. When there’s a fire and he needs to be rescued, the dupe he creates simply runs for his life (“I must’ve made a dupe who’s the incarnation of my sense of self-preservation”); later on, one of his dupes points a gun to his head after trying to drown him (which would be an incarnation of the self-destructive aspect we all carry within ourselves). It’s fascinating to observe a character fighting not only against his rivals but also against himself, like any real human being, Madrox has doubts and questions, harbors love and hate, and under stress he can react in a very unpredictable way. In the end, he doesn’t know if he manages to survive the attack of the gangster’s woman thanks to his special abilities or to his sheer dumb luck. And that’s what’s so great about Madrox, he’s unpredictable, and his adventures have nothing in common with the boring and average “good guys versus bad guys” stories that are so common in most of DC or Marvel’s titles.Without a doubt, Peter David is one of my favorite American writers, and Madrox is one of his greatest works. However, it would be very unfair of me not to mention the magnificent artistic team of this miniseries: David Lloyd (the artist of “V for Vendetta”) excelled himself illustrating the covers. And penciler Pablo Raimondi and inker Drew Hennessy also did a great work. Pablo is an Argentinian artist that has mastered a very expressive style that oozes realism and also sensuality. Guys or girls, Pablo sure knows how to make them all look attractive. His action scenes are vibrant and his calm moments are a perfect invitation for us to take a deep breath and admire his art. With clean lines, an excellent balance between light and shadows and an enormous visual creativity (made evident, for instance, in the design of the monstrous woman that turns into a spider), Pablo is the ideal artist for this miniseries that is, definitely, a must read.  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The depressive side of Madrox / el lado lado depresivo de MadroxEn el universo Marvel hay miles de personajes ficticios, muchos de ellos con poderes bastante reiterativos (vuelo, súper-fuerza, rayos energéticos, etc.), y no podría ser de otro modo, después de todo, un escritor sólo puede imaginar una cantidad limitada de súper-poderes. A veces, sin embargo, nos encontramos con creaciones únicas que no sólo han resistido el paso de las décadas sino que también han evolucionado. Uno de ellos es Madrox, el Hombre Múltiple, un personaje con posibilidades infinitas.Cuando fue creado, el Hombre Múltiple fue presentado como un mutante con la habilidad de crear duplicados de sí mismo (duplis). Por cierto, un sujeto con la habilidad de clonarse a voluntad sería útil en cualquier batalla (él podría ser, después de todo, un ejército de un sólo hombre en el sentido más literal). No obstante, algunos fans no se tomaron este tipo de poder en serio, y a causa de la negligencia de algunos escritores el personaje se quedó en el limbo hasta que Peter David lo rescató para su primera etapa en X-Factor en los 90.En el 2004, bajo el sello "Marvel Knights", Peter David regresó una vez más a Madrox en esta miniserie de 5 capítulos que por fin convirtió al Hombre Múltiple en uno de los héroes más fascinantes y complejos de Marvel. Al combinar referencias del género del cine noir y un muy refinado sentido del humor, Peter David nos recordó por qué en un mundo habitado por incontables súper-héroes Madrox era, de hecho, una creación excepcional.Antes del 2004, Madrox había sido retratado como un combatiente eficiente (obviamente, su habilidad de convertirse en 10 o 100 réplicas de sí mismo siempre le daba una ventaja táctica y numérica) y nada más. Peter David va más allá y hace que nos demos cuenta de que cada uno de estos 'duplis' tiene una personalidad bien definida y puede existir por sí mismo por una cantidad indeterminada de tiempo. ¿Quién no quisiera la habilidad de estar en todas partes al mismo tiempo? Por más de un año, Madrox ha estado enviando incontables duplicados por todo el mundo. Algunos se han entrenado con maestros shaolin, otros han llevado cursos de medicina, otros se han infiltrado en el bajo mundo, etc. La experiencia de cientos de individuos, así como sus conocimientos, está a disposición de Madrox. Y cuando convoca a todos sus duplis a New York, o con más exactitud, a Pueblo Mutante, los absorbe y absorbe todo lo que han hecho. Weird sexual encounter / extraño encuentro sexualPor supuesto, ser ubicuo no garantiza la seguridad. Y cuando el Hombre Múltiple encuentra a uno de sus duplis apuñalado, lo absorbe junto con sus recuerdos sólo para descubrir que alguien lo persigue. Su vida está en peligro y él puede quedarse en New York o salir de la ciudad e investigar por qué es el blanco de un exterminador. Debe viajar a Chicago, dejar atrás a un dupli para que ayude Strong Guy y Wolfsbane (sus antiguos colegas de X-Factor).Wolfsbane y Strong Guy investigan el caso de una mujer que cree que su marido le es infiel en forma astral. Como están en Pueblo Mutante, incluso las cosas más raras son posibles. Y así Wolfsbane confirma las sospechas de la mujer y descubre que la proyección astral del esposo realiza actividades sexuales con otro hombre.Mientras tanto, en Chicago, Madrox se encuentro con un viejo conocido, Stringer, un respetado periodista. Acompañados por dos duplis, uno de ellos empieza a tocar el rostro de Stringer con descarada coquetería. Rápidamente, Madrox reabsorbe a sus duplis y explica que ellos son diferentes aspectos de su personalidad, y que de acuerdo a Sigmund Freud, todos tenemos una bisexualidad innata (la teoría freudiana nos dice que "toda persona tiene la habilidad de ser bisexual en algún momento de su vida" así que es del todo lógico que Madrox tenga un dupli bisexual).Heterosexual, bisexual, monje shaolin, bandido, altruista, egoísta, Madrox es todas estas cosas y a la vez ninguna. Su reflexión es muy elocuente: "Puedo vivir todas las vidas que quiera. Ir en cualquier dirección, seguir todos los destinos potenciales simultáneamente. Pero si todo es posible... entonces nada tiene sentido". En cierto nivel, todos experimentamos dudas existenciales similares. A veces nuestras acciones dependen de las circunstancias, y a veces nos obsesionamos con los "¿qué pasaría si es que...?"... (¿qué pasaría si es que gano la lotería? ¿qué pasaría si tuviera una relación estable con alguien? ¿qué pasaría si pierdo mi trabajo?) y esa duda nos puede inmovilizar. Para Madrox es incluso peor, porque él puede, de hecho, intentar todas estas combinaciones  múltiples, todos estos "¿qué pasaría si es que...?". Pero como puede hacer todas estas cosas también siente que no puede hacer ninguna de ellas.Peter David ha escrito un cómic muy entretenido y de gran profundidad filosófica. Hay una razón por la que Madrox nunca ha sido parte de los X-Men. Él no encaja. No es el típico héroe, no puede vivir su vida tan automática ni tan fácilmente como la mayoría de la gente. Jacques Lacan reinterpretó la teoría freudiana afirmando que un individuo descontento (como Madrox) revela una estructura psíquica que es constitutivamente escindida por el lenguaje. Y es también a través del lenguaje particular de cada uno de los duplis de Madrox que nosotros intuimos la miríada de posibilidades y aspectos que están enterrados muy profundamente en la mente del protagonista. Cuando Madrox crea cinco duplis para entrar en una casa todos ellos reaccionan y hablan de modo distinto. Uno de ellos acusa a Madrox de "allanamiento de morada" y amenaza con llamar a la policía, otra considera que si un dupli de Madrox fue asesinado entonces se lo merecía, otro, al contrario, busca venganza, otro es un pacifista que quiere mantenerse fuera de la situación, otro simplemente quiere irse a su casa a ver televisión. La mente escindida, en el caso de Madrox, es también el duplicado escindido. Él puede crear copias idénticas a sí mismo pero ninguna de ellas actúa de acuerdo a lo que el original esperaría. The monster within... / el monstruo interno...Cuando puedes ir en todas las direcciones a la vez, de repente no puedes darle prioridad a ninguna. Todas tienen igual importancia, todas carecen de importancia. Luego de irrumpir en una misteriosa mansión, Madrox encuentra a un mafioso, a su sensual enamorada y a sus peligrosos secuaces (uno de ellos es, de hecho, responsable por haber matado al dupli de Madrox). Capturado y encerrado, Madrox crea un dupli para liberarse. Sin embargo, su duplicado es un maníaco depresivo al que no le importa salir libre porque, a fin de cuentas, vivir o morir le da igual.Una y otra vez, a Madrox se le hace difícil lidiar con sus incontrolables duplicados. Cuando hay un incendio y necesita ser rescatado, el dupli que crea simplemente corre por su vida ("Debo haber hecho un dupli que es la encarnación de mi sentido de auto-preservación"); después, uno de sus duplis amenaza con dispararle luego de haber intentado ahogarlo (es decir, la encarnación del aspecto auto-destructivo que todos tenemos dentro). Es fascinante observar un personaje que lucha no sólo contra sus rivales sino también contra sí mismo, como cualquier ser humano real, Madrox tiene dudas y preguntas, alberga el amor y el odio, y bajo presión puede reaccionar del modo más impredecible. Al final, él no sabe si logra sobrevivir el ataque de la mujer del gánster gracias a sus habilidades especiales o por pura suerte. Y eso es lo genial en Madrox, es impredecible, y sus aventuras no tienen nada en común con las aburridas y típicas historias de "buenos contra malos" que son tan comunes en la mayoría de títulos de DC o Marvel.Sin duda alguna, Peter David es uno de mis escritores norteamericanos favoritos, y Madrox es uno de sus mejores trabajos. Sin embargo, sería muy injusto no mencionar el magnífico equipo creativo de esta miniserie: David Lloyd (el artista de “V de Vendetta”) se supera a sí mismo ilustrando las portadas. Y los lápices de Pablo Raimondi y las tintas de Drew Hennessy producen una gran obra. Pablo es un artista argentino que domina un estilo muy expresivo que exuda realismo y también sensualidad. Chicos o chicas, Pablo sabe cómo hacer que todos se vean atractivos. Sus escenas de acción son vibrantes y sus momentos de calma son una invitación perfecta para que tomemos aliento y admiremos su arte. Con líneas limpias, un excelente balance entre la luz y las sombras y una enorme creatividad visual (que se hace evidente, por ejemplo, en el diseño de la mujer monstruosa que se convierte en una araña), Pablo es el artista ideal para este miniserie que es, definitivamente, de lectura obligatoria.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/madrox-peter-david-pablo-raimondi.html

Hit-Girl # 3 - Mark Millar

Hit-Girl # 3 - Mark Millar

By Arion in Blog on November 18, 2012

One’s greatest desire is to be desired by the other, said Jacques Lacan once. And although Lacan wasn’t exclusively referring to 12 year-old girls, I think that phrase fits in here quite nicely. As we’ve seen before, Mindy is undefeatable as Hit-Girl, but as a normal child she’s at the mercy of the other: she has no friends at school and she’s humiliated and ridiculed by the ‘cool’ girls. Her greatest desired is to be desired by her peers, or rather, to be admired or at least accepted. She has been putting a lot of effort into it. Taking this challenge as an undercover mission, she has learned everything she needed about clothing, TV series and Justin Bieber. She’s ready to be a normal girl, however she finds that her main rival is merciless. Mockeries about her look are now replaced by mockeries about how she’s so desperately trying to change her appearance. One way or another, Mindy can’t win. Her desire of being desired cannot be fulfilled.So the question is how far would you -or any of us for that matter- go to gain acceptance? Mindy has lost her patience, and finally she decides to be a little bit more Hit-Girl and a little less girlish about this situation. She electrocutes her rival, ties her up and throws her on a garbage truck. And to top it all, she makes one final warning: she is to be accepted now, she is to become the alpha female, she is, in the end, to be desired by all the cool girls in her class. Apparently, her gambit has paid off. Red Mist in trouble / Red Mist en problemasMeanwhile, Red Mist has other concerns in his head. First of all, he wants to avenge his father’s death by killing Kick-Ass. However, it becomes painfully obvious that he’s not up to the task yet. He barely survives his first major criminal strike -robbing a grocery store- and he’s forced to leave the country or face the consequences of his delinquent acts. His idea is to imitate Bruce Wayne, to travel around the world and train with the greatest martial artists. By seeking revenge he’s also looking the approval of his father, something which he never obtained when the man was alive. His desire, as a neglected son, is also to be desired by the other.As in previous issues, John Romita Jr. succeeds in creating the adequate atmosphere for this Kick-Ass spinoff. Certainly, the distinctive style of Romita’s pencils generates a much welcomed sense of unity, filling in the gaps that we might have detected from the end of Kick-Ass volume 1 and the beginning of Kick-Ass volume 2. I should also emphasize the visual strength of Tom Palmer as an inker and the delightful color palette used by Dean White. With only two issues to go it’ll be a surprise to see what happens in the end.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Mindy (Hit-Girl)El mayor deseo de uno es ser el objeto de deseo del otro, dijo Jacques Lacan alguna vez. Y aunque Lacan no se refería de modo exclusivo a niñas de 12 años, pienso que esa frase encaja aquí bastante bien. Como hemos visto antes, Mindy es invencible como Hit-Girl, pero como una chica normal está a merced del otro: no tiene amigos en el colegio y es humillada y ridiculizada por las chicas 'populares'.Su mayor deseo es ser deseada por sus coetáneas, o más bien, ser admirada o por lo menos aceptada. Y ha estado esforzándose mucho para lograrlo. Asumiendo este reto como una misión de inteligencia, ella ha aprendido todo lo que hace falta sobre ropa, series de televisión y Justin Bieber. Está lista para ser una chica normal, sin embargo descubre que su principal rival es despiadada. Las burlas sobre su apariencia son ahora reemplazadas por burlas sobre su desesperado intento por cambiar de apariencia. De un modo u otro, Mindy no puede ganar. Su deseo de ser deseada no puede cumplirse.Así que la pregunta es, ¿qué tan lejos irías -o iríamos en todo caso- para ganar aceptación? Mindy ha perdido la paciencia, y finalmente decide ser un poco más Hit-Girl y un poco menos niña. Electrocuta a su rival, la amarra y la tira en un camión de basura. Además, le hace una advertencia final: a partir de ahora ella será aceptada, se convertirá en la hembra alfa, ella será, al final, deseada por todas las chicas populares de su salón. Aparentemente, su ardid ha dado resultados. my drawing / mi dibujoMientras tanto, Red Mist tiene otras preocupaciones en su cabeza. Primero, quiere vengar la muerte de su padre y matar a Kick-Ass. Sin embargo, comprueba dolorosamente que todavía no está listo para esa tarea. Él apenas sobrevive su primer gran golpe criminal -asaltar una bodeguita- y es obligado a abandonar el país o enfrentar las consecuencias de sus actos delictivos. Su idea es imitar a Bruce Wayne, viajar por todo el mundo y entrenarse con los mayores expertos en artes marciales. Al buscar venganza también está buscando la aprobación de su padre, algo que nunca obtuvo cuando el hombre estaba vivo. Su deseo, como hijo abandonado, es también ser deseado por el otro.  Al igual que en números anteriores, John Romita Jr. crea con éxito una atmósfera adecuada para este serie derivada de Kick-Ass. Ciertamente, el estilo distintivo de los lápices de Romita genera una bienvenida sensación de unidad, llenando los vacíos que podríamos haber detectado entre el final del volumen 1 y el comienzo del volumen 2 de Kick-Ass. También debería enfatizar la fortaleza visual de Tom Palmer como entintador y la deliciosa paleta de colores usada por Dean White. Sólo faltan dos números para que termine todo, y será una sorpresa ver qué pasa al final.  Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/hit-girl-3-mark-millar.html

Review: SCUD the Disposable Assassin, The Whole Shebang

Review: SCUD the Disposable Assassin, The Whole Shebang

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 16, 2012

Cover In the future everyone can buy a robot assassin from a common vending machine. The most popular are the SCUD heartbreaker series. The golden robots that get the job done and self-destruct as soon as the objective is achieved.SCUD the disposable assassin is one of those robots. In a unexpected turn of events this particular SCUD gained self-awareness and took measures to prevent his self-destruction. And from this point forward he became known as... SCUD.SCUD the Disposable Assassin, the Whole Shebang collects the full run of SCUD's adventures.How good is it?SCUD is a wonderful story about a innocent little assassin robot that managed to gain self-awareness and break his preordained destiny. All SCUDs are programmed to self-destruct once they kill their intended target. Our SCUD got a lucky break when he cough a glance at the sticker on his back that details the rules of the SCUDs. He decided to keep his target alive and thus preventing his own death by self-destruct.From this point on what can be expected is a storm of original and completely out-of-the-box storytelling.SCUD the Disposable Assassin is a labor of love of Rob Schrab. He is responsible for both art and story. Rob's joy and love for this work is clear on every page and every panel. This is his child and what a great parent he was. Rob created a whole universe filled with lots original characters and fulled with a dynamic story.The characters is one of the stronger points of this book. SCUD is as crazy but innocent robot but the brothers Mess, Drywall and System steal the show. Drywall in particular is a joy to read and captures the reader's heart in every panel. Sussudio the robosexual, Voodoo Ben Franklin the comicbookguy like villain  Jeff the first target or Hank Gritt SCUD's macho role model are just some of the wonderful and witty characters to find in this book.In the art department Rob is equally competent. He finds new and creative ways almost every chapter to make SCUD's robot face transmit emotion. Every character is very well defined and is instantly recognizable and a joy to look at.This is a Black & White book, and judging from the covers, this is a great thing. Rob made an excellent job creating SCUD's universe, every character design, but his pallets are a bit to bright, for me at least.Overhaul this is a very fun book. It has a massive page number but it will be very hard to put down until the very ending. You're going to Hell! Someone is going to get killed Would I recommend it?I read this in 2012 and was blown away by how good this book is and how little I heard of it till then. Its an absolute joy to read the pages of SCUD. Its funny and crazy and random but its heartfelt and a bit romantic at times.This is an awesome book, a great choice and a cool gift if you'r considering one. This one is a must have to any comic book fan. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-scud-disposable-assassin-whole.html

The Secret Service # 4 - Mark Millar Dave Gibbons

The Secret Service # 4 - Mark Millar Dave Gibbons

By Arion in Blog on November 16, 2012

Gary is good with guns, lethal in hand-to-hand combat and a fast driver. Nevertheless, he lacks the proper elegance and distinguished demeanor of a James Bond. In order to become a spy for the British Crown, he must reinvent himself under the guidance of his uncle Jack. Many things happen in this fourth installment of Millar’s Secret Service. First of all, we see Jack teaching his nephew how to dress like a gentleman. Then, he forces Gary to pass one final test after administering him a somniferous substance. The teenager, then, wakes up in Colombia, undressed, with no money and no weapons. It is under these conditions that he must reach a certain address in which he’ll find a plane ticket to return to England. Gary is quickly intercepted by a police officer, who plans to arrest him under charges of indecent exposure. He even accuses the youngster of being involved in gay activities. Surely, this could be construed as a funny scene about an aggressive macho cop and a disoriented young man. Nevertheless, I think the partial male nudity observed by the police officer is enough to elicit in him the fear of the otherness, the fear of homosexuality. For the man of the law, homosexuality in expressed in a personality, a life style, but also a morphology that entails an indiscreet anatomy (in this case Gary’s state of undress). Without knowledge of the language, Gary must do everything he can to avoid being arrested and to locate the required house. When he gets there he realizes that this house is owned by one of Colombia’s most sought-after drug lords, with a small army at his disposal. Gary must either kill them all or die trying. As in the previous issues, Dave Gibbons does an amazing work. The action scenes, the exotic locations and the behavior of the characters are enhanced by the stylistic choices of one of Britain’s most respected and awarded artists. There are still plenty of mysteries to be resolved before this miniseries concludes, and I’m impatient to hold in my hands the next issue.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Gary es bueno con las armas, letal en combate mano a mano y un veloz conductor. No obstante, carece de la elegancia y la actitud distinguida de un James Bond. Para convertirse en un espía de la corona británica, él debe reinventarse a sí mismo bajo la tutela de su tío Jack.Suceden muchas cosas en este cuarto capítulo de "Secret Service" de Millar. En primer lugar, vemos a Jack enseñándole a su sobrino cómo vestirse como un caballero. Luego, obliga a Gary a pasar un último test luego de administrarle una sustancia somnífera. El adolecente, entonces, despierta en Colombia, desvestido, sin dinero y sin armas. Es bajo estas condiciones que debe llegar a un lugar en el que encontrará un boleto de avión para regresar a Inglaterra.Gary es rápidamente interceptado por un oficial de la policía, quien planea arrestarlo bajo cargos de exposición indecente. Incluso acusa al jovencito de estar involucrado en actividades gay. Seguramente, esto podría ser visto como una escena chistosa sobre un policía machista y agresivo y un joven desorientado. No obstante, creo que la desnudez parcial masculina observada por el policía es suficiente para provocar en él un miedo hacia la otredad, un miedo hacia la homosexualidad. Para el hombre de la ley, la homosexualidad es expresada en una personalidad, en un estilo de vida, pero también en una morfología que implica una anatomía indiscreta (en el caso de Gary sería estar medio desvestido). my drawing / mi dibujoSin conocer el idioma, Gary debe hacer todo lo que puede para evitar ser arrestado y localizar la casa a la que debe llegar. Cuando llega allí, se da cuenta que la residencia es propiedad de uno de los más buscados señores de la droga de Colombia, con un pequeño ejército a su disposición. Gary debe matarlos a todos o morir intentándolo. Al igual que en números anteriores, Dave Gibbons hace un asombroso trabajo. Las escenas de acción, las locaciones exóticas y el comportamiento de los personajes son aumentados por las opciones estilísticas de uno de los más respetados y premiados artistas británicos. Aún hay muchos misterios por resolver antes de la conclusión de la miniserie, y estoy impaciente por ver qué pasará.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-secret-service-4-mark-millar-dave.html

Reverso - Centro Colich (Barranco)

Reverso - Centro Colich (Barranco)

By Arion in Blog on November 14, 2012

“Los colosos custodios de un rey ficticio”- Hugo SalazarHere is a question that has vexed me of late: what really constitutes an act of creation?I have -for a couple of years now- been acknowledged as the creator of quite entertaining tales, if I do say so myself… but I've often wondered, just how "creative" was my process. How do I assemble my little cast of characters, the situations, the emotions and all of it together? You see, since I was child I always loved to write things, it doesn’t matter if at the end they didn’t make much sense, it was fun every step of the way.Now, to have a relationship could be compared to an act of creation. I was thinking about this after reading Constantino Carvallo’s book. Definitely, that book is forcing me to analyze myself… and as a direct result of such confrontation, I end up almost buried under a ton of philosophical sentences.True communication and friendship can also be considered as a true act of creation. When I was still studying Literature in my university, I had an optional class that was supposed to teach me how to write. I remember my first work… my teacher said that my short story wasn’t excellent but it sure had some brilliant moments. So there I was, wondering if my short story was an act of creation that should set an example or quite the opposite. I was genuinely speechless. When someone (a student I can’t remember now) asked me who my greatest influences were, I found that hard to answer. And I mean it. Even something I hate with a passion which surpasses understanding is an influence, since I will be consciously attempting not to do that. my drawing / mi dibujoBack on track: I've said before that I don't think there are any original stories left to tell. All we can do is fiddle the trappings a bit and, one hopes, in the process create something that will at least have the illusion of being new and different.A true act of creation should be, obviously, indubitably, unquestionably, an act in which we use all our energies in a crazy attempt communicating something that is relevant to us -it’s just like solving an existential problem- or, why not, to get to know somebody, to create an open and long lasting relationship with another human being, a human being that deep down has the same fears, uncertainties and desires as we do. Perhaps this is the most human act we are capable of... I don’t know, but finally I started to think that if instead of spending so much time reading and writing would it have been better to spend it in, say, doing something else entirely?________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Ayer martes se inauguraron simultáneamente cinco muestras en el Centro Colich. Andrea Gago exhibió sus “Carpetas de dibujo”, deliciosas ilustraciones muy imaginativas hechas, algunas, con tinta china, y otras con colores pastel. Luego Giancarlo León Waller presentó “Placas”, un interesante trabajo que juega con procesos fotoquímicos, siempre desde una óptica un tanto lúgubre pero no por ello menos atrayente. Luna Moreno compartió su colección primavera-verano 2013, con prendas de muy buen corte y una presentación de lujo. El artista Gianfranco Piccone Sánchez Concha expuso “Fractales andinos”, con cuadros que se dividían en tres secciones, cada una con un estilo de pintura particular. Finalmente, tenemos a “Reverso”, sin duda, lo mejor de la noche: una selección fascinante de objetos hechos con cartón corrugado, en donde la sofisticación del diseño y el aspecto lúdico de los mismos los convierte en piezas únicas que todos desearían coleccionar. En esta ocasión tuve la suerte de contar con la compañía de Max (a quien pueden leer en “Palabras libres y más”). Nos entretuvimos analizando los títulos de piezas como “Estado líquido”, y dicho sea de paso, lo que no faltó fue el líquido. Además de vino tinto, los infaltables chilcanos del pisco Hijo del Sol no se hicieron esperar. Saludé a Carmen Alegre, que siempre se acuerda de Max desde nuestra visita a Lucía de la Puente en marzo, hablé brevemente con Iván Fernández Dávila y Elizabeth López Avilés, quienes me presentaron a Giancarlo León Waller.  También saludé a Hugo Alegre, a Julio Garay, a Isabelle Decencière, a Adriana Urrutia, a José Arturo Lugón, a Lorenzo Osores y a Lothar Busse, el director del Centro Colich. Mientras conversaba con Max sobre la obra de Séneca y sus tres libros sobre la ira (que por cierto todavía no he tenido la oportunidad de leer), saludamos a Rafael Velázquez, a José Medina y a Marcos Palacios. En el transcurso de la noche conversé con Noah Alhalel, Daniel Velázquez (uno de los artífices de Reverso, y no debemos olvidar el lema de la marca: “un mundo nuevo, un mundo divertido… un mundo reverso”). Después de recorrer los cinco espacios en los que se exponían las distintas muestras, Max y yo nos quedamos conversando un rato con Marcos Palacios. Sin duda fue una noche muy entretenida, y muy memorable por diversos motivos, entre ellas la escala que realizamos Max y yo en la sección de joyería del Centro Colich. Aunque, claro, tampoco debemos olvidar nuestro momento estelar junto a Jesús Alzamora, conductor de polizonte, quien nos entrevistó brevemente y con un muy buen sentido del humor (a mí me preguntó qué poder tendría un súper-héroe de mi creación y yo respondí, con la mejor de las intenciones “un hígado de hierro”, y otra de sus preguntas, basándose en mi nombre, fue ¿en qué año ganó el Nobel García Márquez?, en 1982, fue mi respuesta… imposible olvidar la fecha, son dos años antes de que yo naciera). Quizás el próximo jueves, cuando se sienten a ver Polizontes, me encuentren a mí disertando sobre los hígados heroicos y a Max haciendo imprescindibles aclaraciones sobre sus similitudes con el héroe que yo debería ya haber inventado. Por cierto, para los que quieran ver más cuadros del genial artista Hugo Salazar los invito a visitar el siguiente link.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/reverso-centro-colich-barranco.html

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