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Fashion Beast # 2 - Alan Moore, McLaren Percio

Fashion Beast # 2 - Alan Moore, McLaren Percio

By Arion in Blog on November 12, 2012

“You decided to trade being a coat hanger for a clothes hook?” is the question Doll, a courageous transvestite, must answer. After being fired, Doll wanders in the streets. There’s poverty in this world and a certain level of despair. Some guys are willing to join the army so that they can have food and a roof over their heads. Others, however, choose a different path. In a city obsessed with fashion, what could be better than being a supermodel?Desperate, people come by the hundreds to the auditions held in Celestine’s headquarters. Life on the streets can be hard for the body, and some of the participants are injured, mutilated or obese. Obviously, they get rejected immediately. Doll witnesses how a girl with arms burned by radiation is discarded, as well as an effeminate boy and a woman who has altered her face in order to portray a permanent grin, a horrifying rictus that undermines the very meaning of the smile. Perhaps, in the same way that in real life a supermodel’s smile is repeated in hundreds of photo sessions and events, and thus ends up feeling phony, the idea of a facial plastic alteration like the one we see here makes perfect sense. Everyone wants to be a model / todos quieren ser modelosDoll may be a young man dressing up as woman, but his confidence and attitude are everything the fashion industry expects from a model. And thus, he’s accepted as the new supermodel of the season. In the changing room, Doll runs into Tomboy, the lesbian who dresses up as a guy. Together they synthetize an unexpressed rivalry between genders and forms. They are in-between places, not entirely men and not entirely women either. As Slavoj Žižek asked once:  “what if sexual difference is ultimately a kind of zero-institution of the social split of the humankind?”.Tomboy successfully humiliates Doll by telling him that he isn’t “fooling anybody”. Doll might try to conceal his penis wearing a special underwear, but in the end he’s still a man. Nevertheless, it’s deliciously ironic to have this criticism about sexuality coming from another transgendered individual. If Doll isn’t fooling anyone, neither is Tomboy. They’re both performers, they’re both subverting the heterosexual normativity. And yet, they face each other as adversaries. How can we interpret this attempt at redefining sexuality by breaking the laws of society? In Jacques Lacan's schema of the signifier the words "homme" and "femme" could be placed above two identical doors. The opposition man/woman should imply, at least in a traditional mindset, the sexual difference; but “the true surprise resides in the fact that, at the level of the imaginary referent, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE”. the burned woman and the effeminate boy / la mujer quemada y el chico afeminadoWhen Doll is finally dressed and ready to walk down the runway and dazzle the public, he loses all patience. He questions his role. Whether a coat hanger or a clothes hook, he still can’t escape from the tyranny of clothing. This thing our ancestors invented centuries ago that has now become even more important that people itself. A similar dilemma affects Tomboy too. For Lacan the signifiers "homme" and "femme" can be exemplified in the simplified icons of a man and a woman that always appear in the doors of public bathrooms. Lacan reminds us something. The two doors are always identical. The sign of man and woman could be placed on either door and it would make no difference. Finally, as Žižek affirms, the “sexual difference does not designate any biological opposition grounded in ‘real’ properties, but a purely symbolic opposition to which nothing corresponds in the designated objects - nothing but the Real of some undefined X which cannot ever be captured by the image of the signified”.Neither Doll nor Tomboy can be properly associated to the signified. They have turned their backs to biology and cultural norms. They have repainted the icons of the doors, changing the ladies restroom for the gentlemen restroom back and forth, and amidst all this transgendered transgression, they have restructured symbolic oppositions. Will the fashion industry survive such turmoil? How will the public react to a transvestite being chosen as Celestine’s main model?  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________"¿Decidiste dejar de ser un colgador de abrigos para ser un perchero?", es la pregunta que Doll, un valiente travesti, debe responder. Luego de ser despedido, Doll camina por las calles. Hay pobreza en este mundo y un cierto nivel de desesperación. Algunas personas están deseosas de unirse al ejército para tener comida y un techo sobre sus cabezas. Otros, sin embargo, eligen un camino distinto. En una ciudad obsesionada con la moda, ¿qué podría ser mejor que dedicarse al modelaje?Desesperados, cientos acuden a las audiciones en los cuarteles generales de Celestine. La vida en las calles puede ser dura para el cuerpo, y algunos de los participantes están heridos, mutilados u obesos. Obviamente, son rechazados de inmediato. Doll observa cómo una chica con los brazos quemados por la radiación es descartada, así como un chiquillo afeminado y una mujer que ha alterado su rostro para tener una sonrisa permanente, un rictus horroroso que trastorna el significado de la risa. Tal vez, del mismo modo que la sonrisa de una supermodelo, en la vida real, es repetida en cientos de sesiones de fotos y eventos, hasta que deja de ser auténtica, la idea de una alteración facial plástica como la que vemos aquí tiene perfecto sentido. DollDoll puede ser un muchacho vestido como mujer, pero su confianza y su actitud son todo lo que la industria de la moda espera de un modelo. Y así, es aceptado como el nuevo supermodelo de la temporada. En los vestuarios, Doll se encuentra con Tomboy, la lesbiana que se viste como chico. Juntos, sintetizan una rivalidad no expresada entre los géneros y las formas. Están entre dos mundos, no son enteramente hombres ni tampoco enteramente mujeres. Como preguntó Slavoj Žižek una vez: "¿Qué pasaría si la diferencia sexual es, en definitiva, un tipo de institución-cero de la división social de la humanidad?".Tomboy humilla con éxito a Doll al decirle que él no está "engañando a nadie". Doll puede tratar de ocultar su pene usando ropa interior especial, pero al final sigue siendo un hombre. No obstante, es deliciosamente irónico que esta crítica sobre la sexualidad venga de un individuo transgénero. Si Doll no engaña a nadie, Tomboy tampoco. Ambos actúan, ambos subvierten la normatividad heterosexual. Y aun así, se enfrentan como adversarios.¿Cómo podemos interpretar este intento de redefinir la sexualidad rompiendo las leyes de la sociedad? En el esquema del significante de Jacques Lacan, las palabras "homme" y "femme" podrían colocarse sobre dos puertas idénticas. La oposición hombre/mujer debería implicar, al menos según la mente tradicional, la diferencia sexual; pero "la verdadera sorpresa reside en que, de hecho, al nivel del referente imaginario, NO HAY DIFERENCIA". Tomboy & DollCuando Doll por fin se viste y está listo para caminar por la pasarela y deslumbrar al público, pierde la paciencia. Y cuestiona su rol. Ya sea un colgador de abrigos o un perchero, igual no puede escapar de la tiranía de la ropa. Esta cosa que nuestros ancestros inventaron hace siglos y que ahora se ha convertido en algo más importante que la gente. Un dilema similar también afecta a Tomboy. Para Lacan, los significantes "homme" and "femme" pueden ser ejemplificados en los íconos simplificados de un hombre y una mujer que aparecen en las puertas de los baños públicos. Lacan nos recuerda algo. Las dos puertas son siempre idénticas. El signo de hombre y mujer podrían ser colocados en cualquier puerta y no habría ninguna diferencia. Finalmente, como afirma Žižek, la "diferencia sexual no designa ninguna oposición biológica fundada en propiedades 'reales', sino puramente una oposición simbólica a la que no le corresponde nada en el objeto designado - nada excepto el Real de alguna X indefinida que no puede ser capturada por la imagen del significante".Ni Doll ni Tomboy pueden ser asociados apropiadamente al significante. Le han dado la espalda a la biología y a las normas culturales. Han pintado encima de los íconos de las puertas, cambiando el servicio de damas por el de caballeros y viceversa, y en medio de toda esta trasgresión transgénero, han reestructurado las oposiciones simbólicas. ¿Sobrevivirá la industria de la moda semejante terremoto? ¿Cómo reaccionará el público cuando un travesti sea elegido como el principal modelo de Celestine?Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/fashion-beast-2-alan-moore-mclaren.html

Review: Leviathan

Review: Leviathan

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 10, 2012

CoverLeviathan is the new jewel of the seas. A behemoth of a ship that has more resemblances with a floating city than a oceanic cruiser.On its maiden voyage it disappeared into a limbo like dimension before it could reach its destination. The year was 1928. Jump 20 years in the future and the Leviathan is still lost in limbo and a strange murder of a first class passenger triggers an investigation that will take the reader to the deepest secrets of the Leviathan.This 2000AD book also prints the Tales of the Leviathan short-stories that take place before the main story, with are:Chosen One McLean's Last Case Beyond the Blue Horizon How good is it?Leviathan is a horror story about the fate of the Leviathan ocean liner and its crew and passengers.The story starts 20 years after the sudden, and as of yet unexplained, exile of the Leviathan in some sort of limbo. Right from the start its clear that something is wrong with the ship itself and not only the current situation.After a mysterious murder of a first class passenger an old Interpol detective is brought into the case to find out what is going on. The investigation will unveil more than expected and the real secret of the Leviathan will be revealed.The story, while somewhat short, is very compelling and immersive. As soon as the reader turns to page 3 and the mystery is presented is very hard to put the book down.Tales of the Leviathan helps to flesh out the Leviathan Universe. In the three short stories we will learn how a certain something came to be for the first time, what happens when someone dies in the limbo like dimension and the story of Captain Mclean. This last one is the least consequential, but probably the most fun.Leviathan is a Black and White book.  D'Israeli art takes a few pages to get used to, but after that is a joy to look at. D'Israeli uses the B&W contrast masterfully, constantly changing from one type of contrast to another so it never feels stale.The Leviathan as a giant ship is made all the more believable by the detailed drawings of the ship from the inside to the outside.This collected edition also prints a sketch book where D'Israeli detail, among other thing, the making of the Leviathan ship itself. Its great to see how it was flesh out. A floating city That must have hurt Would I recommend it?Simply put its the best horror comic I've read in a while. So yes, if you like horror comics you should find the time and place for this one.If you don't, this might make you like the genre. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-leviathan.html

Materia oscura - Pablo Patrucco (Galería Enlace)

Materia oscura - Pablo Patrucco (Galería Enlace)

By Arion in Blog on November 9, 2012

Random quotes lunch at home / almuerzo en casaEager to fulfill properly my promise here I am again, writing in the most enthusiastic way that I can possibly conceive today. Iris Murdoch wrote once “Love is the general name of the quality of attachment and it is capable of infinite degradation and it is the source of our greatest errors”. And I think that above all kind of erroneous conceptions love and desire, at least in psychoanalytic terms, are not always equivalent. I would like to start thinking again in a more optimistic way. John Donne said “Nobody is an island, no man is complete within himself; each person is a portion of the continent, a part of the Earth; if the ocean takes away but one part of the land, all Europe gets diminished, as if it were a promontory, or the house of one of your friends, or your own house; the death of any man diminishes me for I am attached to the Humanity; and therefore never ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for you”. And as Shakespeare would affirm “O how this spring of love resembleth the uncertain glory of an April day; which now shows all the beauty of the sun and by, and by a cloud takes all away”.In Hamlet the British author wrote: “Oh God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and still count myself as a king of infinite space”. A person’s mind can be a world within itself. And sometimes it is very hard to know what is the right thing to do. All the important things are complex by nature, and that makes it especially difficult for people to choose the right way.And finally, you must visit my favorite blog of the month:www.readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Pablo PatruccoAyer viernes aproveché que estaba en San Isidro por cuestiones coyunturales, para darme una vuelta por la Galería Enlace. Se inauguraba la muestra “Materia oscura” del genial artista Pablo Patrucco. Ya sea en muestras colectivas en la misma galería o en la casona barranquina de 80M2, ya había tenido oportunidad de ver trabajos suyos y siempre me habían fascinado. Hay una belleza real en su obra, el tipo de belleza que podemos encontrar en eventos cotidianos, en el día a día, en momentos mundanos. Sin embargo, lejos de mostrarnos algo “común”, la fuerza de los cuadros de Patrucco consiste en hurgar de manera mucho más honda y profunda, hasta llegar a la raíz misma de ese algo indefinible que llamamos mestizaje o peruanidad.  Pablo PatruccoComo un voyeur, Pablo captura imágenes de personas al azar, en una playa, en una calle, y elimina todo los fondos, todo referente geográfico y se queda solamente con la figura. Se trata de hombres y mujeres, niños y niñas que no saben que están siendo mirados, y sin embargo el retrato que hace el artista sobre ellos es tan fidedigno, rico y cautivante que nosotros, o bien nos sentimos identificados con ellos, o bien nos imaginamos en las situaciones y en los escenarios de los que han sido despojados. Con más de doscientos cuadros, la obra de Pablo capta con ojo agudo y sobre todo una lúcida mirada crítica a los habitantes de la Lima de hoy, una ciudad sobrepoblada, casi al borde del colapso, con millones de rostros anónimos a los que rara vez prestamos atención. Aquí, sin embargo, somos testigos de un crisol que absorbe todas las razas y todos los niveles socioeconómicos, y gracias al estilo fotográfico e hiperrealista de los dibujos a lápiz y carboncillo de Pablo, no necesitamos soñar con esa noción abstracta que es la Lima de hoy, basta con admirarla, sobresaltados o compungidos, en los 200 cuadros que Pablo ha elaborado en el transcurso de cuatro años. Sin duda, se trata de una de las más fascinantes muestras que he visto en el 2012, y si tuviera que elegir una sola, elegiría “Materia oscura” como la mejor del año. mi dibujo a lápiz más color digitalEn el transcurso de la noche me encontré con Renzo Núñez Melgar Vega, con quien comenté los últimos acontecimientos de The Walking Dead, también me encontré con Hugo Salazar, quien me comentó que por fin había leído el texto que escribí sobre su muestra hace ya un año. Me agradeció por haberle dedicado un espacio en mi blog y me dijo que le había gustado lo que había escrito, y sus palabras me hicieron recordar que a pesar de que esta página es más que nada sobre cómics, el arte contemporáneo peruano nunca debe faltar, porque este es el medio en el que nos desenvolvemos. Por supuesto, felicité a Pablo Patrucco por tan extraordinaria exposición. Y me quedé hablando un rato con Didi Arteta y Roberto Ascóniga, director de Enlace. En el transcurso de la noche también me encontré con Rhony Alhalel, Ilse Rehder, Isabelle Decencière  Carmen Alegre; y me quedé conversando un buen rato con mi gran amigo Rafael Velázquez y también con Noah Alhalel, ambos reirrojinos como yo. El lunes regreso a Enlace para ver la muestra con más calma. Hay tantos detalles en cada uno de estos cuadros que podría quedarme horas contemplándolos. Una maravilla.Los dejo con dos de los doscientos cuadros de Pablo Patrucco, un dibujito mío sobre un fulano que juega golf mientras el cadáver de un perro lo acosa, y las infaltables fotos del último almuerzo en mi casa. En esta ocasión los afortunados fueron María Fe Celi y Juan Carlos Gibson, amigos de toda la vida; esta vez decidí cocinar una entrada y un plato de fondo que se pueden hacer a la parrilla (cebolla rellena, lomo marinado en cáscara de naranja y croquetas de camote), además, Juan Carlos tuvo la amabilidad de traer una botella de Cabernet Sauvignon y María Fe a su vez trajo un exquisito postre de Dolce Capriccio. Todo un banquete.  Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/materia-oscura-pablo-patrucco-galeria.html

Solicitations: Aspen Comics February 2012

Solicitations: Aspen Comics February 2012

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 9, 2012

Jam PosterAspen Comics February 2013 solicitations have arrived. CoverFATHOM: BLUE DESCENT TPB David Schwartz – Story / Alex Sanchez ; Scott Clark – Art / Peter Steigerwald ; John Starr - ColorsMichael Turner’s Fathom is explored to new depths in FATHOM: BLUE DESCENT!Aspen Matthews is the link between the world we know and the world below, but the secrets of her past have always remained shrouded in mystery-until now! Absaloma is Aspen’s father and a member of the Blue, searching for answers to his own purpose within the ever-changing landscape under the surface. However, his self-exploration takes a back seat for a search far more important to his livelihood - the search for his captive wife—and Aspen’s mother--Eilah! Kidnapped by the race known as The Black, Eilah's lurid nightmares of this mythical species came to horrifying life when their arrival indeed turned into a reality. Now, with a new focused determination and motivation, it is up to Abseloma and his trusted childhood friend Zo to rescue his wife!FATHOM: BLUE DESCENT TPB is in stores February 2013! CoverLEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN #1 David Wohl – Story / Cory Smith – Art / Jon Starr - ColorsAspen’s Ten Year Anniversary kicks off with the debut of LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN!Meet the Arashi family. They are like any other family living in the city: kids in school, parents working to make ends meet. But unbeknownst to even them, their ancestors held a dark secret: they were a clan of ninja in feudal Japan, in the employ of a prominent leader. But when that leader was murdered under mysterious circumstances, the Arashi Clan was blamed, and forced to flee, going into hiding. Over the centuries, the descendants lost track of the ancient ways. They came to America, abandoning their sordid past to distant memory. However, recently, their secret has been discovered--their ancient enemy has returned, and won't rest until every member of the Arashi clan is killed. Now, the Arashi family must rediscover their long-forgotten birthright if they hope to have any chance of surviving the onslaught to come, and along the way, they will learn the LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN.Writer David Wohl is joined by the artistic talents of Cory Smith and colorist John Starr, as they bring to you the thrilling new adventures of the LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN!LEGEND OF THE SHADOWCLAN #1 is in stores February 6th, 2013! CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS (vol 3) #3 David Wohl – Writer /Alex Lei– Art / Teo Gonzalez - ColorsThe Extinction continues!Working with the CIA, Iris learns that the powerful and malevolent arms dealer Mazutsu is off limits to the Agency, a fact that piques her interest further. Covertly, Iris heads to New Delhi, India in search of her friend Lotus, but surprisingly discovers a deadly battle already in progress, along with the arrival of some rather violent “friends” as well!EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS vol 3 #3 is in stores February 2013! CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #8  – Writer / Jordan Gunderson – Art / Teo Gonzalez - ColorsWill anyone survive the Extinction?Executive Assistant Lotus as Rose discover that trying to ambush a professional assassin in her home is easier said than done. When the arrival of Iris, Lily, Orchid and Aster creates an impossible situation for Rose, she must face the consequences of her actions, including torture at the hands of her once-close friends. Yet, the biggest threat still awaits the group of EA’s, as they learn that they are not the only assassins in search of Rose!EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #8 is in stores February 2013! Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/solicitations-aspen-comics-february-2012.html

Uncanny Avengers # 1 - Remender John Cassaday

Uncanny Avengers # 1 - Remender John Cassaday

By Arion in Blog on November 7, 2012

When it comes to comic books, I have a tendency of avoiding death and embracing only the final farewell. Death has turned into a cliché, a hollow resource merely employed for shock value. So eventually, deaths have become irrelevant. Funerals, on the other hands, can be of crucial relevancy for those who remain alive.For me the death of Batman or Green Arrow were devoid of meaning and any long-lasting impact. Their funerals, however, are unforgettable tales about the human condition. Neil Gaiman  in “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” and Brad Meltzer in “The Archer’s Quest” have omitted the grisly details, the moment of the heroes demise and have focused their narrative talents in the aftermaths. In a similar venue, Rick Remender gets rid of unnecessary flashbacks about the death of Charles Xavier while concentrating on that which matters the most: the funeral. In the opening pages, brilliant artist John Cassaday reminds us the importance of Professor X. He was the founder of the X-Men, he was arguably the world’s most powerful mutant, he was a mentor for his students and, when necessary, a surrogate father for people like Logan.  oblique planes / planos oblicuosRelying on oblique planes, Cassaday tilts the horizon line. We see Logan’s silhouette leaning towards the right, and this visual patron will be reiterated on several other frames: when Rogue comes looking for him, when the two of them walk together, when they finally leave the mansion. Everything about the X-Men has changed, and so is impossible for Wolverine and Rogue to see things as straight as they are used to. There are no straight lines anymore, everything is unbalanced, and Cassaday makes sure we see it that way too. Havoc, Captain America & ThorLogan’s eulogy is more a confession than anything else. He admits his failure as an X-Man, but he also reaffirms his intention of fighting for Xavier’s dream. It’s especially difficult for the mutant community to come to terms with Xavier’s assassination keeping in mind that the murderer was Scott Summers (Cyclops). Now it’s up to Scott’s brother, Alex (Havoc) to be the leader of a new group of superheroes that will include members from the X-Men and the Avengers in equal quantities.    During the past few years, Cassaday had devoted his time exclusively to drawing covers and I had really missed his interior art. When I sat down in my favorite couch to read Uncanny Avengers I was thrilled to see his amazing art. As usual, he manages to capture the iconic elements of established heroic figures such as Thor and Captain America (let’s not forget that Cassaday drew six extraordinary issues of Captain America in 2002). His fighting scenes are excellent, and whenever I see his heroes in action I can’t stop thinking about how much I loved his Astonishing X-Men. I recommend this title, especially if you are a fan of either the X-Men or the Avengers. I’ll keep buying it for as long as Cassaday is on board.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York under attack / New York bajo ataqueCuando de cómics se trata, tengo la tendencia de evitar la muerte y aceptar sólo la despedida final. La muerte se ha vuelto un cliché, un recurso vacío empleado meramente para espantar al lector. En conclusión, las muertes han pasado a ser irrelevantes. Los funerales, por otro lado, pueden ser de crucial relevancia para aquellos que siguen vivos.Para mí la muerte de Batman o Green Arrow estaban desprovistas de significado y de impacto a largo plazo. Sus funerales, sin embargo, son inolvidables relatos sobre la condición humana. Neil Gaiman en "¿Qué le sucedió al cruzado enmascarado?" y Brad Meltzer en "La búsqueda del arquero" han omitido los detalles sangrientos, el momento del fallecimiento de los héroes y han enfocado sus talentos narrativos en las consecuencias.De modo similar, Rick Remender se deshace de innecesarios flashbacks sobre la muerte de Charles Xavier mientras se concentra en lo que más importa: el funeral. En las páginas iniciales, el brillante artista John Cassaday nos recuerda la importancia del Profesor X. Él fue el fundador de los X-Men, y posiblemente el mutante más poderoso del mundo, fue un mentor para sus estudiantes y, cuando hizo falta, un padre putativo para personas como Logan. Scarlet Witch & RogueApoyándose en planos oblicuos, Cassaday desnivela la línea del horizonte. Vemos la silueta de Logan inclinada hacia la derecha, y este patrón visual será reiterado en varias viñetas más: cuando Rogue va a buscarlo, cuando los dos caminan juntos, luego cuando finalmente abandonan la mansión. Todo ha cambiado para los X-Men, así que es imposible para Wolverine y Rogue enderezar lo que ven. Ya no hay líneas rectas, todo está desbalanceado y Cassaday se asegura de que nosotros también lo veamos de este modo.El discurso de Logan es más una confesión que otra cosa. Admite su fracaso como Hombre X, pero también reafirma su intención de luchar por el sueño de Xavier. Es especialmente difícil para la comunidad mutante procesar el asesinato de Xavier teniendo en cuenta que el asesino fue Scott Summers (Cyclops). Ahora le toca al hermano de Scott, Alex (Havoc) ser el líder de un nuevo grupo de súper-héroes que incluirá en igual proporción a miembros de los X-Men y los Avengers.Durante los últimos años, Cassaday había dedicado su tiempo exclusivamente a dibujar portadas y yo realmente añoraba su arte interior. Cuando me senté en mi sofá favorito para leer "Uncanny Avengers", me emocionó ver su asombroso arte. Como siempre, logra capturar los elementos icónicos de figuras heroicas establecidas como Thor y Captain America (no olvidemos que Cassaday dibujó seis extraordinarios números de "Captain America" en el 2002). Sus escenas de lucha son excelentes, y cada vez que veo a sus héroes en acción no puedo dejar de pensar en lo mucho que me encantaba "Astonishing X-Men". Recomiendo este título, especialmente si son fans de los X-Men o de los Avengers. Yo lo seguiré comprando mientras Cassaday siga a bordo.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/uncanny-avengers-1-remender-john.html

Review: Outer Orbit

Review: Outer Orbit

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 7, 2012

Cover What do a green ex-cop, a blue pizza guy and a brown intergalactic thief have in common?!Nothing, but in Outer Orbit they will have to learn how to live with each other, better yet, after each other.Being in the wrong place at the right time will take a whole new meaning.Spaceships, explosions, sleeping with sheeps, ancient idols, bounty hunters and the most unbelievable circumstances is what makes Outer Orbit such a delightfully fun misadventure.How good is it?Outer Orbit brings us the misadventures of Krunk a badass ex-cop and Quinn the luckiest guy in the Universe. By a wicked whim of fate these two end up together chasing a space hottie named Neoki. These two will cruise the Universe after Neoki and the golden Idol she stole in order to recover the normality of their lives. Well that and love.Krunk is a badass cop with mother issues and a self-made chastity belt turned ex-cop by refusing to have sex with Neoki. Quinn is a joly pizza deliver guy that lets himself to fall in love with the space libertine Neoki. Together they will make on the best or the worst team ever to hit the cosmos. It all depends whom you ask.Story wise Outer Orbit is a simple quest story filled with great twists and awesome humor. Its mostly told in flashbacks. Most of the times its really easy to follow, but from time to time it gets a bit confusing with flashback within flashbacks. Apart from that, its a good funny story.The art is very cartoony and colorful. In fact the coloring takes center stage here, almost overshadowing the pencils. The art direction in Outer Orbit reminds me of the old Freakazoid! cartoon. And it fits the tone of the book very well. Krunk's mother is a cool lady Naked and in prision Would I recommend it?Outer Orbit might not be a industry changer, but its a very funny and entertaining book. Simple but cool plot, good art and a fantastic sense of humor is what you'll find within the pages of this book. Having said that, I think this book would brighten the day of any reader.Yes, I recommend it. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-outer-orbit.html

Future Collection: FATHOM: KIANI (vol 2) #4

Future Collection: FATHOM: KIANI (vol 2) #4

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 6, 2012

Cover AVince Hernandez – writer / Oliver Nome – art / John Starr - colorsThe Blue’s fiercest warrior returns as FATHOM: KIANI vol 2 concludes!It is civil war amongst the Blue under the surface and no one may survive in this Fathom Universe-shattering conclusion! Kiani and her dissidents find themselves with only one option left in their campaign against Siphon and the Elite Council—they must battle his immeasurable forces for their survival…or die! Yet, the tragedy of events leading to this regrettable war between their own-kind will pale to the shocking actions taken by those who Kiani once trusted! Alliances will be broken, cities will fall and the world of Fathom will never be the same again!Brought to you by the creative team of Vince Hernandez, Oliver Nome and John Starr, FATHOM: KIANI vol 2 #4 is a must have for any Fathom fan!FATHOM: KIANI (vol 2) #4 is in stores November 21th, 2012! Preview Page 1 Cover B Preview Page 3 Preview Page 2 Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/future-collection-fathom-kiani-vol-2-4.html

Off-Topic: I keep expecting Miguel O'Hara to pass by my window

Off-Topic: I keep expecting Miguel O'Hara to pass by my window

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 6, 2012

Greatings fellow comics lover,Reading Graphic Novels reached an important milestone. Its actually the first recorded one and by a whim of fate. A moment later and the moment would be lost. The future is now! 2099 pageviews (just under 1800 unique hits) in just one month of activity.While this is not something to write home about, is above my personal expectations, and for that I'm very grateful to everyone that reads or has read RGN. Thanks guys and gals. I hope you enjoy reading RGN as much as I enjoy writing for it.I'll keep looking out my window for Miguel O'Hara to swing by. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/off-topic-i-keep-expecting-miguel-ohara.html

Happy # 1 - Grant Morrison Darick Robertson

Happy # 1 - Grant Morrison Darick Robertson

By Arion in Blog on November 6, 2012

There are scenes that make or break a comic. As a writer, one is always trying to come up with something original that, ideally, will fascinate the audience. Sometimes, though, writers cross an invisible line that might either dissatisfy the readers or have a negative impact on them. Fortunately, Happy has nothing but fascinating ideas. Grant Morrison has succeeded in creating one of the best sequences I’ve seen in the past few months.But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Happy is the story of Nick Sax, a washed-up detective, an alcoholic and a very unhappy individual. Certainly, his city is a miserable place too. And that’s made evident in page 1, when we see a homeless guy vomiting and a dog pissing on him while two gangsters are talking about killing Nick. The amazing art of Darick Robertson makes us feel every snow flake every speck of dust; his streets feel very real, and there’s something absolutely refreshing about the panels distribution in this page. Last panel: homeless guy + dog / última viñeta: mendigo + perro  But the particular scene that makes Happy click for me is the “fellatio incident”. Jack the Hammer dresses up like a giant bug and kills prostitutes when they are performing oral sex on him. Nonetheless, this time the man ejaculates at the same time his head is blown to pieces. Nick Sax has killed him. “Now I’ve seen everything”, he utters. And I’m sure a lot of readers would agree with him. I don’t think any other artist would have been able to pull this off, but Darick provides all the visual elements that are necessary: the fellatio, the raised hammer that, if not for Nick’s intervention, would have smashed the woman’s skull, and then the climax, the instant of erotic and violent explosion: brains bursting out, the hammer falling down, the man’s semen erupting out of his sexual organ. This page is certainly a brilliant combination of intense narrative and absolutely gorgeous art. After drawing The Boys for years, Darick Robertson was the perfect choice for a title that revolves heavily around sex and violence. Jack's final ejaculation / la última eyaculación de JackThe prostitute is drenched in “blood and semen”, but that doesn’t prevent Nick from demanding some sort of favor after saving her life. That’s how our protagonist acts. He’s not a benevolent hero, he only does things that are convenient for him. Of course, that means he has made a lot of enemies. And in a matter of minutes he will be subdued by one of his rivals. Clearly, this is a very dirty, depraved and obscene world. But Morrison adds something else. He goes against the predictable ‘grim and gritty’ and includes the element of the fantastic: Happy, the horse, a sweet creature that seems to have come out from an oversweetened Disney cartoon. The contrast is brutal. After all the things we’ve seen in these pages, a cartoonish flying horse starts talking to Nick using the purest and nicest language we could possibly imagine. I had very high expectations for Happy, and I must say they were met and exceeded. The writer and the artist create a fascinating opening chapter. It’s great to see Morrison in Image doing a creator-owned miniseries, after devoting most of his time in established characters from DC. I can’t wait to read the second issue.  ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Nick SaxHay escenas que elevan o derriban un cómic. Como escritor, uno siempre intenta lograr algo original que, idealmente, fascine a la audiencia. Aunque a veces, los escritores cruzan una línea invisible que podría dejar a los lectores insatisfechos o impactar en ellos de modo negativo. Por suerte, en "Happy" sólo hay ideas fascinantes. Grant Morrison ha tenido éxito al crear una de las mejores secuencias que he visto en los últimos meses. Pero no nos adelantemos. "Happy" es la historia de Nick Sax, un detective fracasado, un alcohólico y un individuo infeliz. Ciertamente, su ciudad también es un lugar miserable. Y esto es evidente desde la página 1, en la que vemos a un pordiosero vomitando y a un perro meando encima de él mientras dos gangsters hablan sobre matar a Nick. El asombroso arte de Darick Robertson nos hace sentir cada copo de nieve y cada mota de polvo; sus calles son muy reales, y hay algo absolutamente refrescante en la distribución de las viñetas en esta página.Pero la escena particular que hace que "Happy" funcione para mí es el "incidente de la felación". Jack el Martillo se viste como un bicho gigante y mata prostitutas cuando ellas le están practicando sexo oral. No obstante, esta vez el hombre eyacula al mismo tiempo que su cabeza estalla en pedazos. Nick Sax lo ha matado. "Ahora lo he visto todo", anuncia. Y estoy seguro que muchos lectores estarían de acuerdo con él. No creo que otro artista hubiese sido capaz de dibujar la escena, pero Darick provee todos los elementos visuales necesarios: la felación, el martillo alzado que, de no ser por la intervención de Nick, habría aplastado el cráneo de la mujer, y luego el clímax, el instante de la violenta explosión erótica: el estallido de los sesos, la caída del martillo, el órgano sexual con la erupción de semen. Esta página es ciertamente una brillante combinación de narrativa intensa y arte absolutamente cautivador. Luego de dibujar "The Boys" por años, Darick Robertson era la elección perfecta para un título que gira en torno al sexo y la violencia. drenched in blood and semen / empapada en sangre y semenLa prostituta está empapada en “sangre y semen”, pero eso no impide que Nick exija cierto tipo de favor luego de salvarle la vida. Así es como actúa nuestro protagonista. No es un héroe benevolente, sólo hace cosas que le convienen. Por supuesto, eso significa que se ha ganado muchos enemigos. Y en cuestión de minutos será abatido por uno de sus rivales.Claramente, este es un mundo muy sucio, depravado y obsceno. Pero Morrison añada algo más. Va en contra de la predecible 'amargura y oscuridad' e incluye el elemento de lo fantástico: Happy (Feliz), el caballo, una dulce criatura que parece salir de un empalagoso dibujo animado de Disney. El contraste es brutal. Después de todas las cosas que hemos visto en estas páginas, un caricaturesco caballo volador empieza a hablar con Nick usando el lenguaje más puro y afable que podamos imaginar.Happy me había generado muchas expectativas, y debo decir que fueron alcanzadas y superadas. El escritor y el artista crean un fascinante capítulo inicial. Es grandioso ver a Morrison en una miniserie de su propia creación en Image, luego de dedicar la mayor parte de su tiempo a personajes establecidos de DC. No puedo esperar a leer el segundo número.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/happy-1-grant-morrison-darick-robertson.html

October comics / Cómics de octubre

October comics / Cómics de octubre

By Arion in Blog on November 4, 2012

Rodin EsquejoI had more comics in October than in previous months, and I must say that this is the best equation. More comics = more reading pleasure. This month I received the excellent second volume of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, which I’ll review properly in future posts. I also enjoyed both Millarworld series, Secret Service and Hit-Girl. And I was very impressed with the first issue of Uncanny Avengers (and it was such a thrill to see Cassaday doing interior art again!). There are only 3 issues left until the end of the first season of Morning Glories, and I’m still very much intrigued. Happy # 1 was so great that I’ll probably review it tomorrow (or the day after that). But if I had to choose the best book of the month then the award would go to The Boys # 71, I can’t really say anything about it without spoiling it, but the final confrontation between the two protagonists of this title is an anthological tour de force through the center of the human condition. Death has never been so poignant and so deliciously controversial as it’s here on Garth Ennis penultimate chapter of Dynamite’s best series. And now, without further ado, here are October comics as per solicitations.BOYS #71 (MR) (W) Garth Ennis (A) Russell Braun (CA) Darick Robertson. High above the streets of New York City, Hughie and Butcher reach the end of the line. There's blood to be spilled and truth to be heard. The last Boys storyline reaches its conclusion, in the sixth and final part  of The Bloody Doors Off. 1 issue till the end!!!BPRD HELL ON EARTH PICKENS COUNTY HORROR #1 (OF 2) As the world goes to hell, a backwoods vampire clan shelters themselves in their Gothic southern home, covered in fog and fungal horror, ready to create havoc for a trespassing B.P.R.D. crew.CYBER FORCE #1 (W) Marc Silvestri, Matt Hawkins (A) Khoi Pham, Sunny Gho (CA) Marc Silvestri TOP COW'S TOP-SELLING SERIES RETURNS IN A GROUND-BREAKING WAY! Top Cow celebrates its 20th anniversary with the return of the series that started it all: CYBER FORCE! Top Cow founder MARC SILVESTRI (THE DARKNESS, Incredible Hulk) returns to his first Image series as co-writer, art director and cover artist! Co-writer MATT HAWKINS (THINK TANK, LADY PENDRAGON) and artist KHOI PHAM (Mighty Avengers, Daredevil) join SILVESTRI to bring you a contemporary re-imagining rooted in cutting edge, real world technology. Carin Taylor, codenamed Velocity, has escaped from the CDI controlled Millennium City and is desperately trying to find the one man she believes can help her prevent the end of the world. When she runs a group of other CDI escapees, will they help her… or turn their backs® Not content in pushing the envelope just in terms of story and art, Top Cow will be the first major US comic publisher to launch one of their biggest properties with top tier creators concurrently for both the traditional print market and exploding worldwide digital market for FREE. That's right: Thanks to the support of fans through Kickstarter and participating comic shops, you can get the first FIVE issues of CYBER FORCE at no cost. DOCTOR WHO #1 (W) Andy Diggle (A/CA) Mark Buckingham The Doctor is back! Welcome to a new, exciting era for everyone's favorite Time Lord, as New York Times bestselling writer Andy Diggle (The Losers) pilots the TARDIS as the ongoing series architect. Joining him for this first arc is Eisner Award-winning artist Mark Buckingham (Fables), who also will provide covers for the series. Geronimo!FASHION BEAST #2 Alan Moore and Malcolm McLaren's historic re-imaging of Beauty and the Beast continues! Doll doesn't fit in anywhere.  And when fate seems to wash her in the direction of the mysterious unseen benefactor, Celestine, she discovers that the all-too glitzy fashion world with its glamour and excess is home to a brand of horror that the self-obsessed ignore until it is too late. Stunningly illustrated by Facundo Percio and scripted by long-time Moore collaborator, Antony Johnston, this series delivers Alan Moore's vision down to the letter and will change the way you look at fables for the rest of your life!  Available with a Regular or Wraparound Cover by series artist Facundo Percio or Haute Couture Incentive (by Percio) or the very rare Tarot (by Paul Duffield) Incentive cover. HAPPY#1 (of 4) (W) Grant Morrison (A/CA) Darick Robertson story GRANT MORRISON art / cover DARICK ROBERTSON Meet NICK SAX - a corrupt, intoxicated ex-cop turned hit-man, adrift in a stinking twilight world of casual murder, soulless sex, eczema and betrayal. With a hit gone wrong, a bullet in his side, the cops and the mob on his tail, and a monstrous child killer in a Santa suit on the loose, Nick and his world will be changed forever this Christmas. By a tiny blue horse called Happy… HIT-GIRL #3 (MR) (W) Mark Millar (A/CA) John Romita. So many goons, so little time. Hit-Girl's got both hands full when her sidekick Kick-Ass gets benched, leaving her to take the mafia on  solo. But when her secret crime-fighting binge brings heat to the wrong guy, even Hit-Girl may be in over her head. Meanwhile, Red Mist gets sent where all rich kids go to do penance ! MIND THE GAP #2 CVR A (W) Jim McAnn (A/CA) Rodin Esquejo, Sonia Oback story JIM McCANN? art / cover RODIN ESQUEJO & SONIA OBACK MONOCYTE #1 (OF 4) Menton3 & Kasra Ghanbari (w) Menton J. Matthews III (a & c) Two warring immortal races rule a scarred world where time has no meaning. Death (Azrael) sits impotent, quietly planning his restoration. He summons Monocyte, a forgotten immortal necromancer who long ago chose sleep in his failed quest to die. With a fatal pact sealed, Monoctye strikes out as Azrael's vicious proxy. Art by menton3 (ZvR: Aventure, Silent Hill) and co-written by Kasra Ghanbari.  MORNING GLORIES #22 (MR)(W) Nick Spencer (A) Joe Eisma (CA) Rodin Esquejo. Story NICK SPENCER art JOE EISMA cover RODIN ESQUEJO  'The Ceremony.' NON-HUMANS #1 (of 4) (W) Glen Brunswick (A/CA) Whilce Portacio Los Angeles, 2041 - it's twenty-six years after a NASA probe brought back a strange disease causing many of our familiar toy-like objects to come to life. This is a new world order where cute and fearsome creatures fight for their right to exist in a world that fears them - Blade Runner meets Toy Story.SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING TP BOOK 02 (MR)(W) Alan Moore (A) Stephen R. Bissette & Various (CA) Stephen R. Bissette, John Totleben. Collecting SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #28-34 and SWAMP THING ANNUAL #2, the Earth Elemental says goodbye to the illusion of his own humanity after learning that he is 100 percent plant, meets a crew of benevolent alien invaders and consummates his relationship with Abigail Arcane as only he could.SECRET SERVICE #4 (OF 7) (MR)(W) Mark Millar (A/CA) Dave GibbonsGary's experience at spy school has gone south after too much teasing, so his Uncle Jack is taking matters into his own hands. Under Jack's supervision, Gary begins to show his true colors and receives a great honor--going on a real mission with his uncle.Meanwhile, more secrets come to light about the worldwide disappearances of actors, writers and TV personalities. UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 (W) Rick Remender (A/CA) John Cassaday • THIS IS IT! The greatest era of the Marvel Universe starts here! From the ashes of AvX an all-new, all-different Avengers assemble! • Dive headfirst into Marvel NOW! as the superstar dream team of Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Venom) and John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Captain America) deliver high stakes action in UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 - sporting a jaw-dropping cover by Cassaday! • No fan can miss the blockbuster debut of an all-new Avengers team featuring members from all across the Marvel Universe...a team uniting Avenger and X-Man alike! • Captain America begins his quest to create a sanctioned Avengers unit comprised of Avengers and X-Men, humans and mutants working together - so why is Professor Xavier's dream more at risk than ever? • The funeral of one of Marvel's greatest heroes! • The first attack of the most loathsome villain in history will quake the Marvel Universe forever! • But following the devastating events of Avengers VS X-Men, can Captain America pull together a team that can get along for its first mission? UNCANNY X-FORCE #24 • Aoa Wolverine, Deadpool And Nightcrawler Go On Mission To Kill Aoa Iceman! • What's Left Of X-Force Returns From Otherworld! WALKING DEAD #103 (W) Robert Kirkman (A) Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn (CA) Charlie Adlard. It is a new beginning for THE WALKING DEAD.  Rick Grimes is no longer in charge, and nothing will ever be the same again. It's such a perfect jumping on point, it could easily have been a new first issue - but instead, the world's best selling creator-owned comic just keeps moving forward, with #103 and counting! WALKING DEAD: MICHONNE SPECIAL (W) Robert Kirkman (A) Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn (CA) Charlie Adlard. This special issue of THE WALKING DEAD represents THE WALKING DEAD #19, featuring the first appearance of Michonne as well as the Michonne origin story that first appeared in Playboy Magazine.  Just in time for Michonne's appearance in THE WALKING DEAD  SEASON 3! X-FACTOR #238PETER DAVID (w) LEONARD KIRK (a) Cover by DAVID YARDIN. Madrox investigates a suicide case that isn’t what it initially seems.X-FACTOR #239PETER DAVID (w) PAUL DAVIDSON (a) Cover by DAVID YARDIN. Banshee versus…an actual banshee?! Strong Guy asks M out on a date. (Yikes!)X-FACTOR #240PETER DAVID (w) LEONARD KIRK (a) Cover by DAVID YARDIN. “RUN LAYLA RUN”. A one-off issue featuring Layla Miller racing the clock.X-FACTOR #241Peter David (w) Leonard Kirk (A) Cover by DAVID YARDIN. The first of five issues that will CHANGE THE FACE OF X-FACTOR FOREVER. A rejected Strong Guy does the unthinkable!____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Tuve más cómics en octubre que en meses previos, y debo decir que esa es la mejor ecuación. Más cómics = más lecturas placenteras. Este mes recibí el excelente segundo volumen de Swamp Thing de Alan Moore que reseñará como corresponde en futuros posts. También disfruté con las dos series de Millarworld Secret Service y Hit-Girl. Y el primer número de Uncanny Avengers me impresionó (¡y fue emocionante ver a Cassaday a cargo de todos los dibujos nuevamente!). Sólo faltan tres números para final de la primera temporada de Morning Glories y todavía sigo bastante intrigado. Happy # 1 fue tremendo, y probablemente lo comentaré mañana (o pasado mañana). Pero si tuviera que elegir lo mejor del mes el premio iría para The Boys # 71, no puedo decir nada sin arruinar las sorpresas, pero la confrontación final entre los dos protagonistas de este título es un antológico tour de fuerza al centro de la condición humana. La muerte nunca ha sido tan significativa ni tan deliciosamente controversial como lo es que aquí, en el penúltimo capítulo de Garth Ennis de la mejor serie de Dynamite. Y ahora, sin mayores preámbulos, aquí van los cómics de octubre.BOYS #71 (MR)En las calles de la ciudad de New York, el equipo llega al final de la línea. La sangre es derramada y la verdad es revelada. El fin se acerca.BPRD HELL ON EARTH PICKENS COUNTY HORROR #1 (OF 2) Truhanes. CYBER FORCE #1Una nueva historia enraizada en la tecnología de punta del mundo actual. Taylor, alias Velocidad, intenta encontrar desesperadamente al hombre que ella cree que puede prevenir el fin del mundo.DOCTOR WHO #1El doctor ha regresado. Él es… el último de los amos del tiempo. FASHION BEAST #2DOLL no encaja en ningún lado. Y cuando el destino parece llevarla en dirección de una misteriosa benefactora, Celestina, descubre que el reluciente mundo del glamur y la moda es el hogar de un horror inédito.HAPPY#1 (of 4)Nick es un ex policía intoxicado y corrupto a la deriva en un apestoso mundo crepuscular de asesinatos casuales, sexo sin alma, eccema y traición. Allí, un asesino de niños vestido de Papa Noel arruinará la navidad.HIT-GIRL #3 (MR)HIT-GIRL se queda sin su aliado KICK-ASS y ahora deberá enfrentarse a la mafia sin ayuda. Mientras tanto, RED MIST va al lugar al que todos los niños ricos son enviados para ser castigados.MIND THE GAP #2 CVR A La intriga continúa.MONOCYTE #1 (OF 4) Dos razas inmortales asolan un mundo devastado en el que el tiempo no tiene significado. Muerte se sienta imponente e invoca a un nigromante olvidado e inmortal quien fracasó en su intento de morir.MORNING GLORIES #22 (MR)La ceremonia.NON-HUMANS #1 (of 4)Los Ángeles, 2041. Hace 26 años una sonda de la Nasa trajo consigo algo extraño: ahora muchos objetos inanimados tienen vida. Este es un nuevo mundo en el que criaturas tan adorables como juguetes luchan a muerte.SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING TP BOOK 02 (MR)Alan Moore, Stephen R. Bissette & John Totleben. SWAMP THING #28-34 y SWAMP THING ANNUAL #2SECRET SERVICE #4 (OF 7) (MR)La experiencia de Gary en la escuela de espías no va del todo bien, así que el tío Jack decide intervenir. Bajo la tutela de Jack, Gary demuestra todo su potencial y finalmente es asignado a una misión de verdad.UNCANNY AVENGERS #1Un nuevo equipo de Vengadores reunirá a AVENGERS y X-MEN por igual. El Capitán América quiere que los humanos y los mutantes trabajen juntos. Pero ¿por qué esto pondría en riesgo el sueño del Profesor X?UNCANNY X-FORCE #24 Lo que queda de X-FORCE regresa de Otro Mundo.WALKING DEAD #103Rick ya no está a cargo, y nada volverá a ser igual.WALKING DEAD: MICHONNE SPECIALLa primera aparición de MICHONNE y su origen.X-FACTOR #238MADROX investiga un caso extraño caso de suicidio.X-FACTOR #239BANSHEE contra ¿un BANSHEE de verdad?X-FACTOR #240Corre LAYLA, corre. Empieza la carrera contra el reloj.X-FACTOR #241Un STRONG GUY rechazado hará lo impensable.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/october-comics-comics-de-octubre.html

Review: Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 2

Review: Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 4, 2012

Cover The second and last Tales of the Jedi omnibus from Dark Horse collects the following stories:The Freedon Nadd Uprising Dark Lords of the Sith The Sith War Redemption Or in other words, the fall of Ulic Qel-Droma, the rising of Nomi Sunrider and the perdition of Exar Kun. 4000 BBY the galaxy was a very different place. Jedi romance was not forbidden, space exploration was not fully developed and Sith plans were more brute force than political cunning. How good is it?This omnibus is all about three major characters, Ulic Qel-Droma, Nome Sunrider and Exar Kun. If these names don't ring a bell then you should go back and read Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 1.Exar Kun is now fully corrupted by the dark side and rages a war on the Galaxy. Its up to the Jedi to stop him and restore peace to the galaxy. Exar Kun will shake the Jedi order to its core. This war path will take another bright Jedi along a dark path. Ulic Qel-Droma, with nothing but the best of intentions will go down a road to perdition and embrace the Sith as a means to an end.As predicted it doesn't go well for Ulic. However his journey is particularly interesting. Unlike most Jedi turned Sith, Ulic does believe to be working for a greater good, never seeing the error of his ways until it was too late. In the process he fights and maims his brother and leaves the love of his life heartbroken,Ulic Qel-Droma's rise and fall story is a classic (if not, it should be) Star Wars story. You can't help but to root for Ulic when he is getting into trouble with the Jedi, feel disappointed with him when he lets himself get corrupted by the Dark Side and feel a bit gloom by the end of it all.Star Wars stories are usually light on female characters but on Tales of the Jedi the reader is able to follow the chronicles of Nomi Sunrider, the woman that started as the wife of a murdered Jedi and grew to be the head of the Jedi Order.She is strong and determined in her ways, as a mother and a Jedi. If you must, you can see her as the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the Old Republic.Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider are some of my favorite Star Wars characters in comic book format and Tales of the Jedi is the only place I can read up on them. On top of this, the Old Republic is a really great era that drinks from the Star Wars lore without having to worry too much about the Movies and continuity problems.Art wise this is a bit weaker than the previous volume. On some chapters is even a bit bland. Overhaul is good, but there are moments where it could be better. In the Redemption story the art reaches its higher point. Ulic Cain Galaxy at WarWould I recommend it?Very Highly. In fact, if I could only read one Star Wars comic (collected edition of course) it would be this one I'ed pick.Great and epic stories, fantastic characters and great Star Wars era. This is what you'll find in this second Tales of the Jedi omnibus. This is a must read for any Star Wars fan.Don't forget to read Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 1 first. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-star-wars-omnibus-tales-of-jedi.html

October films / Películas de octubre

October films / Películas de octubre

By Arion in Blog on November 2, 2012

October means Halloween, and Halloween means horror movies! But first, let’s start with Dredd 3D (2012), directed by Pete Travis and starred by Karl Urban. I’ve been a fan of Judge Dredd (created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra) since I was a child and I must say this was a very good adaptation of the character, everything that was great about the comic book finds its way onto the big screen. The post-apocalyptic future, the violence, the corruption of a city crowded with millions of unemployed citizens and a very solid script turn Dredd into a must see.I wish I could say the same about a couple of green movies, and by green I mean “not quite done yet”. Green Lantern (2011), has a few good scenes, although the ‘all ages’ approach doesn’t let it fly. And there are some serious misunderstandings about the functioning of the ring of power (in one scene Hal Jordan creates fire using the ring, which has never been possible in the comic book). Green Hornet (2011) has enough plot holes to play golf in them. One big mistake after another, one bad decision after another. It’s very disappointing and not even the pointless humor of some of the scenes saves this disaster. Now on the horror front I saw Scott Derrickson’s Sinister (2012). When Ethan Hawke, a writer, starts investigating the disappearance of a child, he finds some very disturbing videos that show how entire families are murdered in their homes. There are some really strong scenes, and some intense suspense which is everything I ask from a horror movie. Almost three hours long, It (1990) adapts what is considered one of Stephen King’s best novels. This is a tale about childhood, about innocence, and a vile creature that threatens to destroy the lives of a group of friends. Tim Curry plays an evil clown that specializes on killing children in a small town. The cast includes some really good actors such as Annette O'Toole, John Ritter, Seth Green and Jonathan Brandis. I always enjoy seeing large groups of young people being chased by some maniac, which is exactly what happens in My Bloody Valentine (1981). On St. Valentine’s Day, dead bodies start appearing everywhere on a small town. A group of young men and women are in the mines celebrating, and soon they turn into victims. Not precisely profound but very, very entertaining. Razorback (1984) on the other hand, is an Australian movie about a wild boar that kills and eats people. The protagonist, however, will have to fight against the animal and also against some very depraved individuals. The film is very surreal at points, and very experimental in cinematographic terms. I really liked it.Shot as a ‘real’ documentary, Apollo 18 (2011) is supposed to be the secret landing on the moon. Three astronauts are sent to retrieve rock samples, but they discover a dead Russian astronaut. Who killed him? Or, better yet, what killed him? Filmmaker Gonzalo López-Gallego takes advantage of the lunar surface and the isolation of the astronauts to generate a unique and at times suffocating atmosphere; and the scary moments are well planned and well executed. Sarah Michelle Gellar is a girl haunted by incomprehensible visions and nightmares in The Return (2006), a movie about the wounds of the past and the necessity to punish the guilty. I found it compelling enough, although somewhat weak on the horror department. It’s Alive (2008) describes the life of a young couple and their newly born son. What they can’t imagine is that this baby is actually a monstrous creature that kills and devours people. What I liked: it has some violent sequences. What I didn’t like: it is unnecessarily moralistic especially for the horror genre.  Forbidden love and “Romeo and Juliet” are pretty much synonyms, but in Private Romeo (2011) what we have is another kind of forbidden love, the one that doesn’t dare speak its name. A young cadet falls in love with one of his classmates. The premise was very promising but the final result was a disappointment. The Devil’s Playground (1976) directed by Fred Schepisi tackles on the very delicate subject of adolescence and sexual awakening. With tact and intelligence, Schepisi recreates the lives of a group of boys growing up in a boarding school; within those walls the priests insist that the body is the source of sin, and that certain physical acts can condemn the soul. Tom, a 13 year-old kid has a hard time struggling against his sexual urges, through this journey of self-discovery he will kiss a girl and then he will engage in mutual masturbation with a boy. Michael Lander’s Peacock (2010), is a somber tale about Cillian Murphy, a shy and nervous man who dresses up as a woman. As a transvestite, he can’t make a decision. Is it better to be a man or a woman? However, troubles begin when Ellen Page and Susan Sarandon enter in the scene. The awful past of the protagonist (which includes a mother that would torture him with the most refined cruelty) is revealed. Certainly no month would be complete without an international selection, and so from Iceland comes Nói Albinói (2003), directed by Dagur Kári. The protagonist is a 17 year-old albino who lives in a secluded town in which nothing of importance happens… until a new girl arrives. The Icelandic landscape, the coldness, the taciturn people, everything is perfectly combined in this strange and original production. Nic Balthazar’s Ben X (2007) is a Belgian movie that explores segregation and bullying in high school. Greg Timmermans is an autistic teenager that tries to survive, literally survive, the attacks of an abusive group of boys. His autism makes it hard for him to establish relationships with other people, and perhaps that’s why it’s so heartbreaking to see how he’s humiliated and mistreated by others. Arguably the best Belgian film I’ve seen in a decade. I highly recommend it. Finally, from Denmark comes At Kende Sandheden (2002) directed by Nils Malmros. Entirely shot in black and white, this production takes place throughout several decades. First we see the protagonist when he was 13 years old, and his reaction to sexuality; when he witnesses two of his friends touching each other he accuses them of lewd behavior. Later on he becomes a doctor and one of Denmark’s most respected neurosurgeons, however, during WWII he will be forced to use a procedure that might cause cancer on his patients; a fact that will haunt him even after his retirement.  ________________________________________________________________________Octubre significa Halloween, ¡y Halloween significa películas de terror! Pero primero empecemos con "Dredd 3D" (2012), dirigida por Pete Travis y protagonizada por Karl Urban. He sido fan de "Judge Dredd" (creado por John Wagner y Carlos Ezquerra) desde que era niño y debo decir que esta es una muy buena adaptación del personaje, todo lo que era genial en el cómic encuentra su lugar en la pantalla grande. El futuro post-apocalíptico, la violencia, la corrupción de una ciudad repleta con millones de ciudadanos desempleados y un guión muy sólido convierten a Dredd en algo que todos deben ver.Me gustaría poder decir lo mismo de un par de películas verdes, y por verdes quiero decir un poco crudas. "Green Lantern" (2011), tiene algunas escenas buenas, aunque el enfoque "para niños" no la deja volar. Y hay serios errores sobre el funcionamiento del anillo de poder (en una escena Hal Jordan crea fuego usando el anillo, algo que nunca ha sido posible en el cómic). "Green Hornet" (2011) tiene suficientes huecos argumentales como para jugar golf en ellos. Un gran error tras otro, una mala decisión tras otra. Es muy decepcionante y ni siquiera el humor sin sentido de algunas escenas puede salvar este desastre.  Ahora, en el frente del terror vi "Sinister" (2012) de Scott Derrickson. Cuando Ethan Hawke, un escritor, empieza a investigar la desaparición de una niña, encuentra unos videos muy perturbadores que muestran a familias enteras asesinadas en sus hogares. Hay algunas escenas realmente fuertes, y un suspenso intenso, o sea todo lo que pido de una película de terror. En casi 3 horas de duración, "It" (1990) adapta la que se considera como una de las mejores novelas de Stephen King. Este es un relato sobre la infancia, la inocencia y una criatura vil que amenaza con destruir las vidas de un grupo de amigos. Tim Curry personifica a un payaso maligno que se especializa en matar niños en un pequeño pueblo. El elenco incluye a buenos actores como Annette O'Toole, John Ritter, Seth Green y Jonathan Brandis.Siempre disfruto al ver a grupos de jóvenes siendo perseguidos por algún maniático, y eso es exactamente lo que sucede en "My Bloody Valentine" (1981). En el día de San Valentín, los cadáveres aparecen por doquier en un pueblito. Un grupo de jóvenes está en las minas celebrando, y se convierten en víctimas. No es algo precisamente profundo, pero sí muy, muy entretenido. "Razorback" (1984), por otro lado, es una película australiana sobre un jabalí salvaje que mata y come gente. El protagonista, sin embargo, deberá pelear contra el animal y también contra algunos individuos sumamente depravados. El film es surrealista por momentos, y muy experimental en términos cinematográficos. Realmente me gustó.Filmado como un documental 'real' "Apollo 18" (2011) se plantea como una misión secreta a la luna. Tres astronautas son enviados para recoger muestras de rocas, pero descubren a un astronauta ruso muerto. ¿Quién lo mató? O, mejor aún, ¿qué lo mató? El cineasta Gonzalo López-Gallego aprovecha al máximo la superficie lunar y el aislamiento de los astronautas para generar una atmósfera única y a veces asfixiante; y los momentos de miedo están bien planeados y bien ejecutados. Sarah Michelle Gellar es una chica acosada por visiones incomprensibles y pesadillas en "The Return" (2006), una película sobre las heridas del pasado y la necesidad de castigar a los culpables. Me pareció interesante, pero un poco débil en el apartado de terror. "It’s Alive" (2008) describe la vida de una joven pareja y su hijo recién nacido. Lo que no pueden imaginar es que este bebé es, de hecho, una criatura monstruosa que mata y devora gente. Lo que me gustó: tiene secuencias violentas. Lo que no me gustó: es innecesariamente moralista especialmente para el género de terror.El amor prohibido y "Romeo y Julieta" son casi sinónimos, pero en "Private Romeo" (2011) lo que tenemos es otro tipo de amor prohibido, aquel que no se atreve a decir su nombre. Un joven cadete se enamora de uno de sus compañeros. La premisa era muy interesante pero el resultado final es una decepción. "The Devil’s Playground" (1976) dirigida por Fred Schepisi lidia con el delicado tema de la adolescencia y el despertar sexual. Con tacto e inteligencia, Schepisi recrea las vidas de un grupo de chicos que se crían en un internado; dentro de estos muros, los curas insisten en que el cuerpo es la fuente del pecado, y que ciertos actos físicos pueden condenar el alma. A Tom, un muchachito de 13 años, le cuesta luchar contra sus ímpetus sexuales, a través de este viaje de auto-descubrimiento besará a una chica y practicará la masturbación mutua con otro chiquillo.  my drawing / mi dibujo"Peacock" (2010) de Michael Lander, es un sombrío relato sobre Cillian Murphy, un hombre tímido y nervioso que se viste como mujer. Como travesti, no pude tomar una decisión. ¿Es mejor ser hombre o mujer? Sin embargo, los problemas empiezan cuando Ellen Page y Susan Sarandon entran en escena. El horrendo pasado del protagonista (que incluye a una madre que lo torturaba con la crueldad más refinada) es revelado.Ciertamente, ningún mes estaría completo sin una selección internacional, y así de Islandia llega "Nói Albinói" (2003), dirigida por Dagur Kári. El protagonista es un albino de 17 años que vive en un pueblo aislado en donde nada importante pasa... hasta que una nueva chica llega. El paisaje islandés, la frialdad, la gente taciturna, todo se combina perfectamente en esta extraña y original producción. "Ben X" (2007) de Nic Balthazar es una película belga que explora la segregación y el acoso en la secundaria. Greg Timmermans es un adolescente autista que intenta sobrevivir, literalmente sobrevivir, a los ataques de un grupo de chicos abusivos. Su autismo le dificulta establecer relaciones con las personas, y tal vez por eso es tan desolador ver cómo es humillado y maltratado por otros. Posiblemente la mejor película belga que he visto en una década. La recomiendo de todas maneras. Finalmente, de Dinamarca llega "At Kende Sandheden" (2002) dirigida por Nils Malmros. Filmada enteramente en blanco y negro, esta cinta abarca varias décadas. Primero, vemos al protagonista cuando tenía 13 años, y su reacción a la sexualidad; cuando ve a dos de sus amigos tocándose el uno al otro, los acusa de conducta lasciva. Después, se convierte en doctor y en uno de los más respetados neurocirujanos de Dinamarca, sin embargo, durante la segunda guerra mundial se verá obligado a usar un procedimiento que podría causarle cáncer a sus pacientes; un hecho que lo acosará incluso después de su jubilación.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/11/october-films-peliculas-de-octubre.html

Review: Doctor Strange Season One

Review: Doctor Strange Season One

By Rui Esteves in Blog on November 1, 2012

Cover Marvel's Season One line focus on retelling of established superheros origin story. And this one retreads the penance path of Stephen Strange into enlightenment and magic.Stephen will have to learn to deal with a witty Ancient One, a arrogant Mordo, a reckless Wong and mysterious Sofia Di Cosimo.This adventure will take Stephen and the reader around the world and back, in search of 3 rings of power that together are able to control the Vishanti.How good is it?I went into Doctor Strange Season One with no expectations. I like reading comics that are Magic themed and also like the little I've read about Doctor Strange. It seemed a good choice.Greg Pak brings us the retelling of the origin of Doctor Strange. Right out of the box it starts telling us some very important events in Stephen's life instead of showing us. If the reader isn't familiarized with Doctor Strange's origin, it will be hard to understand the meaning of the journey.There are many leaps of faith the reader has to make during this story. Either Pak was to ambitious with his story or very careless, because the amount of events that happen just because is mind-boggling. For instance, the first time Mordo makes an appearance, and supposedly the first time he meets Stephen, he tells him about his plan to betray the Ancient One on the 5th phrase.The rest of the book feels like a Where is Carmen Sandiego cartoon. Our heroes skip around the world on a quest for 3 rings of power. It is all very convenient and straight forward. The best aspect of the story is the 3 ring owners that they find. One a rotten apple, one a giving man and a crazy old woman. Cool mix of ideas but, like the rest of the book, not very well executed.The absolute worst was how Stephen was able to beat Mordo in battle. Not going into details, but when I think Magic, and future Sorcerer Supreme, I don't think what happened in the book. Maybe Pak was trying to be funny or throw off the reader giving him something unexpected. He managed to do the latter but in a bad way.Emma Rios's art still has a long way to go before its great. It does the job, every character is distinguishable, but apart from that it leaves a bit to be desired. Usually is too muddy and undefined, especially when magic is being practiced. Clothes make the man Most fights with Mordo are a mess of green streaks and yellow dashes that are meant represent something but in many panels are very hard to understand. In the non action panels however the art is considerable better. Characters are better defined and emotions are transmitted to the reader in a competent way. Evil magic is evilThis hardcover also has the first issue of the new Defenders series. Well those pages would be better spend in the main story. Maybe that way Pak could have the time needed to flesh out plot. Would I recommend it?Unless you really have to read this, or are a die hard Doctor Strange fan, then I don't recommend this book.The story is too convenient most of the time. Character motivations are far from believable, and Stephen method of defeating Mordo took me right out of the story.Keep in mind that its not all bad, for example the dynamics between Wong and Stephen is a cool twist on the classic relationship. But if we put the good against the bad this book just isn't worth his price. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-doctor-strange-season-one.html


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Mind the Gap # 2 - Jim McCann Rodin Esquejo

Mind the Gap # 2 - Jim McCann Rodin Esquejo

By Arion in Blog on October 30, 2012

I think I was 12 years old when I first read a Sherlock Holmes book, and in an instant I became a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation. Who doesn’t enjoy following clues and solving mysteries? Evidently, in the 21st century the classic ‘whodunit’ has changed. And “Mind the Gap” is a nice example of the creative alternatives we might find in this particular literary genre.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/10/mind-gap-2-jim-mccann-rodin-esquejo.html

Review: Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 1

Review: Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 1

By Rui Esteves in Blog on October 30, 2012

Cover 5000 years BBY the Star Wars Universe was very different.The exploration of the Galaxy was a place for pioneers only, Light Sabers still had a external power cell and the Jedi and the Sith were very different than the ones we came to know and love in the Luke Skywalker era.Learn of the corruption of Naga Sadow and the recreation of the Sith species, the rise of Ulic Qel-Droma and the origin of Nomi Sunrider.Tales of the Jedi details the stories that first defined one of the most exciting eras of the Star Wars expanded Universe, and it all starts with this first volume.How good is it?This omnibus is, simply put, 400 pages of great stories set in the (arguably) best and most exciting era in the Star Wars expanded Universe.Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 1 is mostly about Naga Sadow, a corrupted Jedi that embraces the dark side and has a era specific Sith concept (later picked up in Star Wars Legacy, 150 ABY). The one Sith, a race of Sith here the strong strive and the weak perish, a society were the Sith Lord's rule is absolute and with very little room for individuality or free will.Of the 3 story arcs in this omnibus the first 2 (The Golden Age of the Sith, The Fall of the Sith Empire) are mainly about the Sith.I liked this story very much, mainly because its not a Luke Skywalker "ish" story. Its not about "The Special One" Jedi that is prophesied to rise and bring peace back to the galaxy. Instead its about how a Sith Lord gained power and influence among the Sith race. How he tried to conquer the galaxy by force and how it ultimately turned out and its consequences.For a book entitled Tales of the Jedi it dedicates a great deal of its content to Sith centric stories. Don't get me wrong, its a very interesting story I just find the title somewhat misleading.The other story has the most imposing and epic title ever placed on a Star Wars comic book story, Knights of the Old Republic. Two of the best Star Wars video games of all times will inherit this name as will another Star Wars comic book series further down the line.Knights of the Old Republic will introduce the reader to two very strong and captivating characters. Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider. Here we will follow Ulic's rise in the Jedi ranks as well as Nomi's blossoming into Jedi Knighthood. Nomi is a rare, but much needed, type of character in the Star Wars Universe, a strong female lead. Her origin story will have a very familiar feel, but all is forgiven because she is a very interesting character indeed. She is far from a usual Jedi. She is a, well, she, also she didn't get drafted has a youngling nor conforms to the usual mindset of the Jedi.Most these stories were printed back in the last half of the 90s, and they show their age. The art is a bit dated and the narrative shows some aging at times, but its still very enjoyable. Even considering its age , the art is still very good considering the usual Star Wars books art standard. In other words, while it won't make you want to join the empire it will still make you externally powered light saber look awesome. Especially in the Naga Sadow's story. The Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider story the art suffers a bit more, but is still very enjoyable. Ulic Qel-Droma Nomi Sunrider Would I recommend it?Most definitely.This collects the first stories of my favorite, and arguably most original, Star Wars era in comics in a very affordable package. The origin of Nomi Sunrider, the rise of Ulic Qel-Droma and the empire of Naga Sadow are stories very worth a couple of read through. If any other reason is necessary then why not read the stories that inspired the truly great KOTOR video games. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2012/10/review-star-wars-omnibus-tales-of-jedi.html

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