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August Films / películas de agosto

August Films / películas de agosto

By Arion in Blog on September 1, 2012

In 2005 I saw “Batman Begins”, it was a much needed reinterpretation on an iconic character that had been mishandled in previous filmic incarnations. Then came “The Dark Knight” (2008), a masterpiece of the superhero genre and one of the best films I’ve seen in my life (I’m including it on my personal Top 100). Now it was time for The Dark Knight Rises (2012), the last part of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne), Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) and Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth) are once again reunited for the shocking conclusion of this saga. An already talented cast is complemented by actors such as Tom Hardy (Bane), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Blake), Anne Hathaway (Selina) and Marion Cotillard (Miranda / Talia). The Dark Knight Rises is an intense story that has been inspired by some of the most extraordinary Batman comics. We have an older Bruce Wayne isolated in his mansion and out of shape, very similar to Frank Miller’s groundbreaking reimagining of the character in The Dark Knight Returns; we also have references to Son of the Demon (the romance of Bruce Wayne and Talia, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul), Knightfall (Bane breaking Batman’s spine) and most especially No Man’s Land (personally one of my favorite sagas from the past 20 years, an ambitious story that lasted for almost two years and was developed through multiple Batman titles simultaneously). The Dark Knight Rises also connects with the two previous films, thus rewarding loyal fans. A truly great Batman film that everyone should have seen by now. Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love (2012) is a very entertaining comedy with some surrealist touches and lighthearted characters. Roberto Benigni is a common man that becomes famous, proving that all famous people are, in reality, as vain, as shallow and as uninteresting as he is, except that they have the fortune of fame. Penélope Cruz is an attractive prostitute that will create more than a few problems for a recently married man. Jesse Eisenberg is a young architect mentored by his older self (Alec Baldwin) who has an affair with his girlfriend’s best friend. There are some great moments here, and I laughed a lot in some of the scenes. It was also so wonderful to see a couple of surprises: Woody acting again and the special appearance of legendary actress Ornella Muti. The Ward (2010) directed by John Carpenter is a horror story about a group of girls in a mental institution, Carpenter creates some truly scary moments, although the ending is a bit of a let dow; Amber Heard is the protagonist and she gives a strong performance. The Hitcher (2007) is starred by Sean Bean (a tremendously dangerous psychopath killer that hitchhikes and kills people on the road), and Zachary Knighton (who had a minor role in the magnificent “The Mudge Boy”) and Sophia Bush; it has good moments, although sometimes the action scenes are too exaggerated. Captivity (2007) is about a supermodel kidnapped by a sadist, as she’s tortured inside a mysterious room, she soon befriends another prisoner. Except for a few minor plot holes, this is a compelling story with lots of suspense packed in it. Attack the Block (2011) is quite an interesting British production that chronicles an alien invasion in one of the poorest areas of London. A group of young kids, including Luke Treadaway (famous for his role as a homosexual teen willing to have sex with an older man in “Clapham Junction”) will defeat the aliens. Humor, explosive surprises and a clever plot add value to an already original approach. Bummer Summer (2010) is a black and white, independent movie directed, written and starred by Zach Weintraub, it deals with teenage romance, hormones and the awakening of sexuality in a subtle and yet compelling manner. Up until the late 80s, the church was insured against lawsuits that involved accusations of sexual abuse. Judgment (1990) narrates the quandaries of a religious family that makes a startling discovery: their youngest son had been repeatedly raped by the town’s priest. Based on a real life case, this movie tackles on the difficult subject of pedophilia within members of the church, and explains why, in the late 80s, the insurance companies decided to stop protecting the church, after all, the cases of child molestation became very frequent. In a similar venue, The Boys of St. Vincent (1992) is a Canadian production that focuses on an orphanage. Inside its walls, priests and reverends practice anal sex with underage boys on a daily basis, without parents or family, these kids are treated as sexual slaves, until one of them manages to escape and tells the shocking truth to the police. It’s also based on a real life case. Richard Bell’s Eighteen (2005) is a peculiar story about male bonding in WWII (Brendan Fletcher is an 18-year-old soldier trying to survive in the aftermath of a gruesome battle) and Paul Anthony is an immature young man who has access to the memories of the young soldier. Homosexuality is present in both scenarios, as the libidinal link between Brendan Fletcher and another soldier, and in Paul Anthony’s family (his gay brother had been abused by his own father). I liked the way homosexuality is only hinted at, being disclosed only in the case of Paul Anthony’s best friend, a male prostitute.  It had been a while since the last time I saw so many short films, so this month all of them come from the Cruel Britannia anthology. All Over Brazil is about an Irish boy who loves sports but has a secret tendency he must hide at all costs: he enjoys dressing up as a woman and wearing his sister’s makeup. I Don’t Care is an intense tale about a young man who helps his sick mother, practically slaved by the constant care of the old woman, he has been deprived of a real life, until he finds an attractive drug addict that seems to be very interested in having sex with him. I liked it, and I thought it had a poignant ending. Downing is an hilarious short film about a gay teen and a girl that go to a party, the gay soon finds himself fascinated by the boy who’s throwing the party, and after sneaking into his room starts masturbating while fantasizing about him. This is a very refreshing take on the typical ‘gay in straight party’ formula, all actors are young but very talented. I highly recommend it. Man and Boy, as the title suggests, depicts the relationship between an underage boy and a mature man, when the child’s father discovers that there’s something fishy going on, he becomes violent, however he doesn’t know that the boy, instead of a victim, had actually seduced the man in the first place. Nightswimming is a melancholic tale about a high school kid and his girlfriend, who break into a gymnasium to swim in the pool, the guard doesn’t say anything but keeps watching them, clearly, the old man feels an unspoken desire towards the young male body he contemplates, and when the girl is sleeping and the adult and the lad are in the bathroom together, something happens between them. Spring is an intense display of a sadomasochist encounter, a student accepts to visit a man that wishes to torture him, I liked the director’s boldness and his treatment of a theme that is rarely explored. Diana and What You Looking At are two interesting short films that explore the lives of transgendered individuals. This month I also watched Positively Naked (2005), a documentary about Spencer Tunick and POZ magazine, the well-known artist decides to photograph a naked group of 85 HIV positive people. As men and women get naked, they also reveal their innermost fears and worries about their disease. Of course, August wouldn’t be complete without some international productions. From Spain comes El Bola (2000) directed by Achero Mañas, Juan José Ballesta has his first main role here, and he excels as a young boy that is abused by his father and seeks shelter in his best friend’s family. There is something unique about the way Mañas portrays a fragmented family, which is nothing but a reflection of an ideologically and economically fragmented coutry. With very moving moments, El Bola deals with the complicated subject of child abuse; coming of age and friendship are also fundamental aspects of the film. Eu Me Lembro (2005) is a Brazilian production in which a young boy remembers his entire life, when he was a kid and he spied on his brother having sex, when he was a teenager and was following his friends advice on masturbation techniques and when he was a young adult, losing his virginity and finding the psychedelic drugs and music that defined the 60s. Peter Kern’s Blutsfreundschaft (2009) is a coming of age story about a young man that becomes a Neo Nazi (Harry Lampl) and after accidentally murdering a man finds refuge in the Helmut Berger’s house, the old man is a homosexual who feels enthralled by the beauty of the teenager, but nothing can be easy in a town subjugated by Neo Nazis and homophobes. Especially memorable are the flashback scenes in which Berger remembers his past as part of the Hitler Youth Movement in WWII, violence and a homosexual romance with another boy tarnished his reputation for life.Svoboda Eto Rai (1990) is a Russian movie about Sasha, a child that is locked up in an institution for underage orphans. The sexual abuse and the constant fights turn this place into a true hell, so Sasha runs away over and over again, always getting captured, until he finally achieves his goal. He travels thousands of miles until he arrives to a state prison. Inside those walls, his father is a prisoner. Wszystko Co Kocham (2009) is a Polish film directed by Jacek Borcuch and starred by Mateusz Kosciukiewicz and Jakub Gierszal (famous for his role as a sexually ambiguous teen in “Sala samobójców”). Translated as “All that we love”, this is an unforgettable story about a group of boys growing up in the turmoil of communism and a socially disjointed nation. The boys have a punk band and are deemed as subversives by teachers and military authorities, however the strength of their friendship allows them to overcome all obstacles. Mateusz Kosciukiewicz loses a relative, has sex for the first time in his life and discovers love in the arms of a lovely girl. If I had to choose the best film of the month it would probably be this one. Curiously, years ago I knew nothing about Poland’s filmic productions and after watching Sala samobójców and Wszystko Co Kocham I’m sure I’ll continue finding many other hidden gems. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ En el 2005 vi “Batman Begins”, una necesaria reinterpretación del icónico personaje que había tenido mala suerte en anteriores reencarnaciones fílmicas. Luego llegó “The Dark Knight” (2008) una obra maestra del género de súper-héroes y una de las mejores películas que he visto en mi vida (la incluyo en mi top 100 personal). Ahora era el momento de "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012), la última parte de la trilogía de Christopher Nolan. Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne), Gary Oldman (comisionado Gordon), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) y Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth) se reúnen nuevamente en la impactante conclusión de esta saga. Un elenco talentoso es complementado por actores como Tom Hardy (Bane), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Blake), Anne Hathaway (Selina) y Marion Cotillard (Miranda / Talia). "The Dark Knight Rises" es una historia intensa que ha sido inspirada por algunos de los más extraordinarios cómics de Batman. Tenemos a un Bruce Wayne avejentado, en malas condiciones y aislado en su mansión, muy similar a la versión de Frank Miller en "The Dark Knight Returns"; también hay referencias a "Knightfall" (Bane rompe la columna vertebral de Batman) y especialmente a "No Man’s Land" (personalmente una de mis sagas favoritas de los últimos 20 años, un ambicioso relato que duró cerca de dos años y fue desarrollado en múltiples títulos de Batman simultáneamente). "The Dark Knight Rises" también se conecta con las dos películas previas, recompensando así a los fans leales. Una gran película que todos deberían haber visto."To Rome with Love" (2012) de Woody Allen es una entretenida comedia con personajes desenfadados. Roberto Benigni es un hombre común que se vuelve famoso, demostrando que todas las personas famosas son, en realidad, tan vanidosas, superficiales y poco interesantes como él, aunque tienen la fortuna de la fama. Penélope Cruz es una atractiva prostituta que creará más de un problema a un recién casado. Jesse Eisenberg es un joven arquitecto que se encuentra consigo mismo en versión adulta (Alec Baldwin) y tiene un romance con la mejor amiga de su enamorada. Hay momentos grandiosos aquí, y me reí bastante en algunas escenas. También fue estupendo ver un par de sorpresas: Woody actuando nuevamente y la aparición especial de la legendaria actriz Ornella Muti. "The Ward" (2010) dirigida por John Carpenter es una historia de terror sobre un grupo de chicas en un manicomio, Carpenter logra crear momentos que asustan aunque el final es un poco decepcionante; Amber Heard, la protagonista, actúa bastante bien. "The Hitcher" (2007) es protagonizada por Sean Bean (un asesino psicópata tremendamente peligroso que mata gente en la carretera), y Zachary Knighton (tuvo un rol menor en la magnífica “The Mudge Boy”) y Sophia Bush; hay buenos momentos, aunque a veces las escenas de acción son demasiado exageradas. "Captivity" (2007) es sobre una supermodelo secuestrada por un sádico, mientras es torturada en una misteriosa habitación, se hace amiga de un prisionero. Excepto por algunos huecos argumentales, se trata de una historia que atrapa y con buen suspenso. "Attack the Block" (2011) es una interesante producción británica que narra una invasión extraterrestre en una de las áreas más pobres de Londres. Un grupo de jóvenes, incluyendo a Luke Treadaway (famoso por su rol como un adolescente homosexual dispuesto a tener sexo con un adulto en “Clapham Junction”), derrotarán a los extraterrestres. Humor, explosivas sorpresas y un argumento bien planteado añaden valor a una propuesta ya de por sí valiosa. "Bummer Summer" (2010), escrita, dirigida y protagonizada por Zach Weintraub es una cinta independiente en blanco y negro que lidia con el romance adolescente, las hormonas y el despertar de la sexualidad de forma sutil pero cautivadora.Hasta fines de los 80, la iglesia estaba asegurada contra demandas por abuso sexual. Judgment (1990) narra los pormenores de una familia religiosa que descubre algo terrible: el hijo menor había sido violado repetidas veces por el cura del pueblo. Basado en un caso de la vida real, la película aborda el difícil tema de la pedofilia en los miembros de la iglesia y explica por qué, en los 80, las aseguradoras decidieron darle la espalda a la iglesia, después de todo, los casos de violación de menores eran cada vez más frecuentes. De similar temática, "The Boys of St. Vincent" (1992) es una producción canadiense que se enfoca en un orfanato. Dentro de sus muros, reverendos y curas practican sexo anal con muchachos menores de edad a diario, sin padres o familia, estos chiquillos son tratados como esclavos sexuales hasta que uno de ellos escapa y cuenta la terrible verdad a la policía. También se basa en un caso de la vida real. "Eighteen" (2005) de Richard Bell es una peculiar historia sobre la amistad entre hombres en la Segunda Guerra Mundial (Brendan Fletcher es un soldado de 18 años intentando sobrevivir luego de una sangrienta batalla) y Paul Anthony es un inmaduro joven que tiene acceso a las memorias del joven soldado. La homosexualidad está presente en ambos escenarios, ya sea como el vínculo libidinal entre Brendan Fletcher y otro soldado, o en la familia de Paul Anthony (su hermano gay había sido abusado por el padre de ambos). Me gustó ver cómo la homosexualidad es solamente sugerida, resultando evidente solamente en el caso del mejor amigo de Paul, un prostituto. my drawing / mi dibujoHacía tiempo que no veía tantos cortometrajes, así que este mes todos vienen de la antología “Cruel Britannia”. "All Over Brazil" es sobre un chiquillo irlandés que ama los deportes pero tiene una tendencia secreta que debe ocultar: disfruta vistiéndose como mujer y usando el maquillaje de su hermana. "I Don’t Care" es un intenso relato sobre un joven que es el enfermero de su madre, prácticamente esclavizado al cuidar a esta mujer enferma, ha sido privado de una vida real, hasta que encuentra a un atractivo drogadicto que está muy interesado en tener sexo con él. Tiene un buen final. "Downing" es un hilarante cortometraje sobre un adolescente gay que va a una fiesta con una chica, el chico gay se siente rápidamente fascinado por el dueño de la casa, y luego de entrar a su cuarto se masturba mientras fantasea con él. Este es un giro refrescante en la típica fórmula de "gay en una fiesta heterosexual", todos los actores son jóvenes pero sumamente talentosos. Lo recomiendo. "Man and Boy", como sugiere el título, retrata la relación entre un menor de edad y un adulto, cuando el padre del chaval descubre que algo raro pasa, reacciona violentamente, sin embargo, él no sabe que el jovencito, en vez de ser una víctima, había seducido al adulto. "Nightswimming" es un melancólico relato sobre un estudiante de secundaria y su enamorada; ambos se meten a nadar en una piscina sin permiso, y el guardia no les dice nada pero los observa, claramente, el hombre siente un deseo innombrable hacia el joven cuerpo masculino, y cuando la chica duerme y el viejo y el muchacho están juntos en el baño, algo sucede entre ellos. "Spring" es un intenso vistazo a un encuentro sadomasoquista, un estudiante acepta visitar a un hombre que desea torturarlo, me agradó la audacia del director y el tratamiento de un tema que rara vez es explorado. "Diana" y "What You Looking At" son dos interesantes cortometrajes sobre transexuales. Este mes también vi "Positively Naked" (2005), un documental sobre Spencer Tunick y la revista POZ, el conocido artista decide fotografiar a un grupo de 85 portadores del SIDA desnudos. Mientras hombres y mujeres se desvisten, también revelan sus más profundos miedos y preocupaciones sobre su enfermedad.Por supuesto, agosto no estaría completo sin algunas producciones internacionales. De España llega "El Bola" (2000) dirigida por Achero Mañas, Juan José Ballesta tiene su primer rol protagónico y destaca como un niño que al sufrir el abuso de su padre busca cobijo en la familia de su mejor amigo. Hay algo único en la manera en que Mañas retrata a una familia fragmentada, que no es otra cosa sino el reflejo de un país ideológica y económicamente fragmentado. Con momentos conmovedores, El Bola asume la complicada temática del abuso infantil, el crecimiento y la amistad son también aspectos fundamentales del film. "Eu Me Lembro" (2005) es una producción de Brasil, un joven recuerda toda su vida, añora la época en la que era un niño y espiaba a su hermano durante sus coitos furtivos, la época en la que era un adolescente siguiendo los consejos de sus amigos sobre técnicas masturbatorias; finalmente cuando ya es joven, pierde la virginidad y encuentra las drogas psicodélicas y la música que definieron los 60. "Blutsfreundschaft" (2009) de Peter Kern describe los avatares de un jovencito que se vuelve neo nazi (Harry Lampl) y luego de asesinar accidentalmente a un hombre busca refugio en el hogar de Helmut Berger, un anciano homosexual fascinado por la belleza del adolescente, pero nada es fácil en un pueblo subyugado por neo nazis y homofóbicos. Son especialmente memorables los flashback en los que Berger recuerda su pasado como parte del movimiento juvenil hitleriano en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, la violencia y el romance homosexual con otro muchachito embarran su reputación de por vida."Svoboda Eto Rai" (1990) es una cinta rusa sobre Sasha, un niño que está encerrado en una institución para huérfanos menores de edad. Los abusos sexuales y las constantes peleas hacen de este lugar un infierno, así que Sasha intenta escapar una y otra vez y siempre es capturado, hasta que finalmente alcanza su meta. Viaja miles de millas hasta que llega a una prisión estatal. Su padre es un prisionero allí. "Wszystko Co Kocham" (2009) es un film polaco dirigido por Jacek Borcuch y protagonizado por Mateusz Kosciukiewicz y Jakub Gierszal (famoso por su rol como un adolescente sexualmente ambiguo en “Sala samobójców”). Traducida como "Todo lo que amamos", esta es una inolvidable historia sobre un grupo de chicos que crecen en el caos del comunismo y de una nación socialmente descoyuntada. Los muchachos tienen un grupo punk y son considerados como subversivos por profesores y autoridades militares, sin embargo la fuerza de la amistad les permite sobreponerse a todos los obstáculos. Mateusz Kosciukiewicz experimenta la muerte de un familiar, el sexo por primera vez en su vida y descubre el amor en los brazos de una adorable chica. Si tuviera que elegir la mejor película del mes probablemente sería esta. Curiosamente, hace años no sabía nada del cine polaco, y luego de ver "Sala samobójców" y "Wszystko Co Kocham" estoy seguro que seguiré encontrando joyas ocultas.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/09/august-films-peliculas-de-agosto.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 27 - Moore, Bissette Totleben

By Arion in Blog on August 27, 2012

Stephen R. Bissette & John TotlebenToo often we overlook how extraordinary some of DC’s characters could be. In order for us to surmise the formidable features of someone like Jason Blood, we must first understand him as a human. Because demons cannot exist in a world deprived of humanity, like symbiotic creatures, without human souls the devil would die of starvation. Jason Blood has been portrayed before as a mere man who dabbles with occultism, but here he’s so much more. Alan Moore gives us a glimpse of Blood’s attitude and that’s more than enough to fear him almost as much as we would fear a demon such as Etrigan -Blood’s alter ego.Abigail has just started working in an institution specialized in autistic children. She’s excited about her new job, she longs for at least a resemblance of her old, normal life. And then Blood appears and she knows that for her normality has forever been forfeit.“The Sleep of Reason” (June 1984) is a beautifully crafted tale that encompasses a rich and complex cast of characters; in its polyphonic approach lies its greatest narrative strength. We have Jason Blood admiring Goya’s famous painting and remembering how he met the artist centuries ago, we have Abby and her compassion towards children, we have Paul, the autistic child that dreams of the Monkey King, a white creature of fear, we have Matt Cable, Abby’s unapologetically alcoholic husband and, of course, we have Alec Holland too.“Yes, for every child, rich or poor… there’s a time of running through a dark place; and there’s no word for a child’s fear”; in “A Time of Running” (July 1984) Alan Moore quotes “Night of the Hunter” by James Agee, and we understand that, indeed, infantile fears are unnamed; they’re dark things that can barely be comprehended.As we had seen before, Paul had witnessed the arrival of the Monkey King, a creature capable of awakening people’s deepest fears, and so long as fear prevails, this nightmarish monster will become stronger. When a naked teenager named Vince attacks Abby, she understands that something wrong is going on in Elysium Lawns. As Abigail concludes: “I used to think I knew from fear… I didn’t. All I knew were the suburbs of fear… and now here I am, in the big city”.  The Sleep of Reason / El sueño de la razón Matt Cable“By Demons Driven” (August 1984) takes us right into the heart of the conflict, as both the Swamp Thing and the Demon Etrigan battle against the Monkey King. The devil’s herald is no match against a monster that is nurtured by fear, and the Swamp Thing, although immune to the powers of the white beast, can’t do anything to deter him. In the end, only Paul’s childish innocence can defeat the Monkey King. In every page, we have Moore’s poetry. He’s a master of both, content and style. His complex vocabulary complements the rhythm of his phrases; his unusual synecdoches and his incredibly creative metaphors, add meaning and depth to an already fascinating saga. Therefore, only a creative team as talented as the one formed by Stephen R. Bissette and John Totleben could do any justice to Moore’s script. Their technique is akin to Francisco de Goya’s style and other Romanticism artists as well. Whenever the characters run for their lives, we have a ragged surface, without smooth finishes, and at the same time we also have exquisitely painted details. Tatjana Wood’s coloring also helps Bissette and Totleben, the red in the victims’ blood is like a dark alizarin crimson smeared on thick inks, it looks crusty and scratchy, just like real blood would. With a few gestures of the brush, Totleben transforms Bissette’s pencils into the most sublime expression of art. Time and time again, both artists provide us with moments of unassuageable pathos.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Monkey King / Rey MonoA menudo olvidamos lo formidables que pueden ser algunos de los personajes de DC. Para conjeturar las misteriosas razones de alguien como Jason Blood, primero debemos entenderlo como humano. Porque los demonios no podrían existir en un mundo desprovisto de humanidad. Como criaturas simbióticas, sin almas humanas, los demonios morirían de hambre.Jason Blood ha sido retratado antes como un simple sujeto que experimentaba con el ocultismo, pero aquí es mucho más que eso. Alan Moore nos permite ver la actitud de Blood, y eso es más que suficiente para temerle casi tanto como al demonio Etrigan -el otro yo de Blood. from man to monster / de hombre a monstruoAbigail ha empezado a trabajar en una institución especializada en niños autistas. Está emocionada con su nuevo trabajo, busca algo que al menos se parezca un poco a su antigua vida normal. Y entonces Blood aparece y ella comprende que ya no podrá alcanzar esa normalidad. “El sueño de la razón” (junio de 1984) es un relato hermosamente diseñado que engloba un rico y complejo elenco de personajes; en su enfoque polifónico yace su mayor fortaleza narrativa. Tenemos a Jason Blood admirando la famosa pintura de Goya y recordando cómo conoció al artista hace siglos, tenemos a Abby y su compasión por los niños, tenemos a Paul, el niño autista que sueña con el Rey Mono, una criatura blanca del miedo, tenemos a Matt Cable, el inexcusablemente alcohólico esposo de Abby y, por supuesto, también tenemos a Alec Holland. the Demon Etrigan / el demonio Etrigan"Sí, para cada niño, rico o pobre... llega la hora de correr a través de un lugar oscuro; y no existen palabras para el miedo de un niño"; en "La hora de correr" (julio de 1984) Alan Moore cita "La noche del cazador" de James Agee, y entendemos que, de hecho, los miedos infantiles son innombrables, son cosas oscuras que apenas pueden ser entendidas.Como habíamos visto antes, Paul había sido testigo de la llegada del Rey Mono, una criatura capaz de despertar los miedos más profundos de la gente, mientras el miedo prevalezca, este monstruo de pesadilla se hará más fuerte. Cuando Vince, un adolescente desnudo, ataca a Abby, ella entiende que algo terrible está sucediendo en los Jardines Elíseos. Tal como concluye Abigail: "Solía pensar que conocía el miedo... No era así. Todo lo que conocía eran los suburbios del miedo... y ahora aquí estoy, en la gran ciudad". "Conducido por demonios" (agosto de 1984) nos lleva directamente al corazón del conflicto, mientras Swamp Thing y el demonio Etrigan batallan contra el Rey Mono. El heraldo del diablo no es rival contra un monstruo que se nutre del miedo, y Swamp Thing, aunque inmune a los poderes de la bestia blanca, no puede hacer nada para detenerlo. Al final, sólo la inocencia infantil de Paul podrá derrotar al Rey Mono. By Demons Driven / Conducido por demoniosLa poesía de Moore está en cada página. Es un maestro tanto del contenido como del estilo. Su vocabulario complejo complementa el ritmo de sus frases; sus inusuales sinécdoques y sus metáforas increíblemente creativas agregan significado y profundidad a una saga ya de por sí fascinante. Por lo tanto, solamente un equipo creativo tan talentoso como el formado por Stephen R. Bissette y John Totleben podía hacerle justicia al guión de Moore. Sus técnicas son similares al estilo de Francisco de Goya y otros artistas del romanticismo. Cuando los personajes corren por sus vidas, tenemos una superficie ajada, sin acabados suaves, y al mismo tiempo tenemos detalles exquisitamente pintados.Los colores de Tatjana Wood también ayudan a Bissette y Totleben, el rojo en la sangre de las víctimas es como púrpura oscura, escarlata embarrada en tinta espesa, se ve quebradiza y con relieves, tal como se vería la sangre de verdad. Con unos cuantos gestos del pincel, Totleben transforma los lápices de Bissette en la más sublime expresión de arte. Una y otra vez, ambos artistas nos regalan momentos de inconsolable pathos.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/08/saga-of-swamp-thing-25-26-27-moore.html


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How To Sell Superheroes To Children

How To Sell Superheroes To Children

By David Bird in Blog on August 18, 2012

There comes a time when all bloggers feel the need to tell the comics industry how to save itself from any number of problems and concerns.Originally Published at Power Honor Grace http://powerhonorgrace.tumblr.com/post/29689507893


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How To Sell Superheroes To Children

How To Sell Superheroes To Children

By David Bird in Blog on August 18, 2012

There comes a time when all bloggers feel the need to tell the comics industry how to save itself from any number of problems and concerns.Originally Published at Power Honor Grace http://powerhonorgrace.tumblr.com/post/29689507893

My Pull List

My Pull List

By David Bird in Blog on July 2, 2012

I haven't posted a pull list in a while. Here's what I am picking up at my local comics shop: Alabaster: WolvesB.P.R.D.CasanovaCourtney CrumrinDarkhorse PresentsFataleFatimaMind MGNTMouse GuardManhattan ProjectsProphetRaslSpacemanWorld's FinestAlso on my pull list are: Infinite Vacation (Which hasn't lived up to the promise of the first two issues, but only has one issue left. Eventually.)Hellboy (Hellboy in Hell. Coming the end of 2012.)And, if they should ever seen print again: FellLiberty MeadowsAnd here's what I am getting at Comixology: Digital comics: Ame-ComiDouble BarrelLegends of the Dark KnightOlder titles that I picking up an issue (or two) per week--and the next issue I'll be picking up: Robin #24-25 (the 1993-2009 run)Doom Patrol #22 (Morrison's run)Chase #2I also pick up older arcs. My next will be Batman: Prey, starting in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #11. The only current, non-digital, series I am getting is Rachel Rising. I've gotten the first two issue and will get issue three this week. My digital comics day is Monday.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

My Pull List

My Pull List

By David Bird in Blog on July 2, 2012

I haven't posted a pull list in a while. Here's what I am picking up at my local comics shop: Alabaster: WolvesB.P.R.D.CasanovaCourtney CrumrinDarkhorse PresentsFataleFatimaMind MGNTMouse GuardManhattan ProjectsProphetRaslSpacemanWorld's FinestAlso on my pull list are: Infinite Vacation (Which hasn't lived up to the promise of the first two issues, but only has one issue left. Eventually.)Hellboy (Hellboy in Hell. Coming the end of 2012.)And, if they should ever seen print again: FellLiberty MeadowsAnd here's what I am getting at Comixology: Digital comics: Ame-ComiDouble BarrelLegends of the Dark KnightOlder titles that I picking up an issue (or two) per week--and the next issue I'll be picking up: Robin #24-25 (the 1993-2009 run)Doom Patrol #22 (Morrison's run)Chase #2I also pick up older arcs. My next will be Batman: Prey, starting in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #11. The only current, non-digital, series I am getting is Rachel Rising. I've gotten the first two issue and will get issue three this week. My digital comics day is Monday.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Rave Ups:  It Still Moves by Amanda Petrusich

Rave Ups: It Still Moves by Amanda Petrusich

By in Blog on June 26, 2012

Published by Faber & Faber in 2008, It Still Moves is one part road trip dairy, one part cultural study, and one part musicological thesis.  The author Amanda Petrusich a contributing writer for Pitchfork.com and tons of other music publications.  She has also written one other book:  Pink Moon (about the classic Nick Drake album of the same name) as a part of the 33 1/3 series by Continuum Books.  I found her writing to be well thought out, organized, and meticulously researched.  She uses a well planned road trip to a string of important musical destinations as a vehicle to parcel the more historical/factual info in as a story.   The travel portion of the book does come off as a little forced at times, as she very obviously tried to make the best of a few of the less than inspirational experiences at a few of the featured locations.  Overall the book does a wonderful job at delivering a full/wide view of American Music, hitting all the cornerstones of what “Americana” is thought of, including The Blues, Country, Folk, and the more recent interpretations and combinations of the those styles. The book is composed of 17 parts including an introduction and epilogue. Here is a rough guide to what they cover: Intro – Just that, acts to identify what the book is going to try to accomplish which is mainly to discover just what “Americana” is. Chapter 1 – Examination of the American Highway, and how that relates to American music. Chapter 2 – Focuses on the history of the Blues kicked off with a visit to Beale Street in Memphis Tennessee. Chapter 3 – Sam Phillips, Sun Records, and the birth of Rock N Roll also in Memphis. Chapter 4 – Elvis Presley and his impact on popular music with a visit to Graceland. Chapter 5 – Further examination of the Blues through travels to Clarksdale Mississippi. Chapter 6 – Country music by way of Nashville Tennessee. Chapter 7 – Alternative Country Chapter 8 – Continued travels through Virginia and Kentucky. Chapter 9 – Minstrel shows and early radio. Chapter 10 – Appalachian folk music, The Carter Family, and early Country music. Chapter 11 – Americana by way of Cracker Barrel. Chapter 12 – John Lomax, Leadbelly, Moses Asch, and Folkways Records. Chapter 13 – Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music and Smithsonian Folkways. Chapter 14 – Woody Guthrie, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and the Folk revival of the 1960s. Chapter 15 – Independent Folk. Epilogue – Continued ruminations on the definition of Americana. The driving question here is “What is Americana?”, which I think is an important one to ask.   Although I’m not sure the book fully answers it, then again I’m not sure any book can or should try.  Americana, at least when it relates to music, is just one of those terms that is too complicated to define.  Whenever you are trying to precisely define a label that is used as a shortcut to describe an art form you inevitably will get your self into trouble.  It is a journal full of pitfalls, contradictions,  and personal opinion.  Although I personally often fall back on the genre/sub-genre/style labels in my writing, I try not to be restrictive with my labels when setting something in stone.  Take Neil Young for instance, can you really say he is strictly a “country-rock” artist?  If you do, you are completely omitting all of his work that does not exactly fit into that label.  I prefer to keep it simple and classify things in general terms like Pop/Rock. Just for fun here is a link to the Webster Dictionary definition of Americana. I would also like to offer a playlist of music that is directly mentioned in the book or inspired by the books subject. Originally Pubished at:

PHG Reviews

PHG Reviews

By David Bird in Blog on May 27, 2012

I haven't been doing a lot of reviews lately, but I have posted a couple on my tumblr account, Power Grace Honor. The first was for Courtney Crumrin Vol. 1: The Night Things - Special Edition and the second for World’s Finest #1. I hope to have one up for the Fable's trade, Cinderella: Fables Are Forever soon.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

PHG Reviews

PHG Reviews

By David Bird in Blog on May 27, 2012

I haven't been doing a lot of reviews lately, but I have posted a couple on my tumblr account, Power Grace Honor. The first was for Courtney Crumrin Vol. 1: The Night Things - Special Edition and the second for World’s Finest #1. I hope to have one up for the Fable's trade, Cinderella: Fables Are Forever soon.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

PHG Reviews

PHG Reviews

By David Bird in Blog on May 27, 2012

I haven't been doing a lot of reviews lately, but I have posted a couple on my tumblr account, Power Grace Honor. The first was for Courtney Crumrin Vol. 1: The Night Things - Special Edition and the second for World’s Finest #1. I hope to have one up for the Fable's trade, Cinderella: Fables Are Forever soon.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Nemesis v. Archenemy

Nemesis v. Archenemy

By David Bird in Blog on May 22, 2012

I watched the first episode of the BBC's Sherlock series this week (actually I watched the first two, but the second isn't relevant to this post) and I was reminded of an article by Chuck Klosterman, The Importance of Being Hated. In it he contrasts a nemesis with an archenemy: RECOGNIZING YOUR NEMESIS •At some point in the past, this person was (arguably) your best friend. •You have punched this person in the face. •If invited, you would go to this person's wedding and give him a spice rack, but you would secretly hope that his marriage ends in a bitter, public divorce. •People who barely know both of you assume you are close friends; people who know both of you intimately suspect that you profoundly dislike each other. •If your archenemy tried to kill you, this person would attempt to stop him. RECOGNIZING YOUR ARCHENEMY •Every time you talk to this person, you lie. •If you meet someone who has the same first name as this person, you immediately like him less. •The satisfaction you feel from your own success pales in comparison to the despair you feel at this person's triumphs, even if those triumphs are completely unrelated to your life. •If this person slept with your girlfriend, she would never be attractive to you again. •Even if this person's girlfriend was a hateful bitch, you would sleep with her out of spite.Apparently you need both if you're going to be anything in this world. BTW, If you've never read any Klosterman, you're really missing out. Check him out now.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Nemesis v. Archenemy

Nemesis v. Archenemy

By David Bird in Blog on May 22, 2012

I watched the first episode of the BBC's Sherlock series this week (actually I watched the first two, but the second isn't relevant to this post) and I was reminded of an article by Chuck Klosterman, The Importance of Being Hated. In it he contrasts a nemesis with an archenemy: RECOGNIZING YOUR NEMESIS •At some point in the past, this person was (arguably) your best friend. •You have punched this person in the face. •If invited, you would go to this person's wedding and give him a spice rack, but you would secretly hope that his marriage ends in a bitter, public divorce. •People who barely know both of you assume you are close friends; people who know both of you intimately suspect that you profoundly dislike each other. •If your archenemy tried to kill you, this person would attempt to stop him. RECOGNIZING YOUR ARCHENEMY •Every time you talk to this person, you lie. •If you meet someone who has the same first name as this person, you immediately like him less. •The satisfaction you feel from your own success pales in comparison to the despair you feel at this person's triumphs, even if those triumphs are completely unrelated to your life. •If this person slept with your girlfriend, she would never be attractive to you again. •Even if this person's girlfriend was a hateful bitch, you would sleep with her out of spite.Apparently you need both if you're going to be anything in this world. BTW, If you've never read any Klosterman, you're really missing out. Check him out now.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Count Down To Official White Status

Count Down To Official White Status

By David Bird in Blog on May 18, 2012

It's official! The number of white births in America has fallen below fifty percent, with the Latino population continuing to make large gains in US demographics. As a Canadian, I have to ask, aren't Latinos white people too? America is the only country in world where Latin Americans are sectioned off into their own little 'racial' group instead of being considered another European ethnicity. Historically, there is some precedence. My father's family came from Ireland. Even though the Irish are a nation so pale that many risk bursting into flame whenever they go into direct sunlight, it is only in the last century that Americans included them amongst the white races. The problem was religion. The US has always been proud of its religious diversity, but the reality is that the diversity was one of Reformation churches. If you weren't Protestant, you weren't welcome. Now you might reply that it is silly to consider religion in determining race, but that's because of the success non-Protestants have had in gaining acceptance. It is silly to include religion in defining race now, it wasn't then. The definition of race has changed. Following the Irish, many others have found acceptance, particularly the 'Latin' and Meditarrean nations. The Italians, the Greeks. But not the Spanish. Maybe the proximity of Latin America weighs on the discussion, making Latinos an Other that is right here, rather than way over there in the 'Old Country'? I don't know, but I do know that when faced with the rise of 'non-white' groups in the past, America has reacted, not by embracing multi-culturalism, but by redefining what it means to be white. I predict it'll happen again. Yes, there are some Latinos that are black, there are even some that are Asian, but most are white. America will simply be recognizing something that every other nation already sees.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Count Down To Official White Status

Count Down To Official White Status

By David Bird in Blog on May 18, 2012

It's official! The number of white births in America has fallen below fifty percent, with the Latino population continuing to make large gains in US demographics. As a Canadian, I have to ask, aren't Latinos white people too? America is the only country in world where Latin Americans are sectioned off into their own little 'racial' group instead of being considered another European ethnicity. Historically, there is some precedence. My father's family came from Ireland. Even though the Irish are a nation so pale that many risk bursting into flame whenever they go into direct sunlight, it is only in the last century that Americans included them amongst the white races. The problem was religion. The US has always been proud of its religious diversity, but the reality is that the diversity was one of Reformation churches. If you weren't Protestant, you weren't welcome. Now you might reply that it is silly to consider religion in determining race, but that's because of the success non-Protestants have had in gaining acceptance. It is silly to include religion in defining race now, it wasn't then. The definition of race has changed. Following the Irish, many others have found acceptance, particularly the 'Latin' and Meditarrean nations. The Italians, the Greeks. But not the Spanish. Maybe the proximity of Latin America weighs on the discussion, making Latinos an Other that is right here, rather than way over there in the 'Old Country'? I don't know, but I do know that when faced with the rise of 'non-white' groups in the past, America has reacted, not by embracing multi-culturalism, but by redefining what it means to be white. I predict it'll happen again. Yes, there are some Latinos that are black, there are even some that are Asian, but most are white. America will simply be recognizing something that every other nation already sees.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Count Down To Official White Status

Count Down To Official White Status

By David Bird in Blog on May 18, 2012

It's official! The number of white births in America has fallen below fifty percent, with the Latino population continuing to make large gains in US demographics. As a Canadian, I have to ask, aren't Latinos white people too? America is the only country in world where Latin Americans are sectioned off into their own little 'racial' group instead of being considered another European ethnicity. Historically, there is some precedence. My father's family came from Ireland. Even though the Irish are a nation so pale that many risk bursting into flame whenever they go into direct sunlight, it is only in the last century that Americans included them amongst the white races. The problem was religion. The US has always been proud of its religious diversity, but the reality is that the diversity was one of Reformation churches. If you weren't Protestant, you weren't welcome. Now you might reply that it is silly to consider religion in determining race, but that's because of the success non-Protestants have had in gaining acceptance. It is silly to include religion in defining race now, it wasn't then. The definition of race has changed. Following the Irish, many others have found acceptance, particularly the 'Latin' and Meditarrean nations. The Italians, the Greeks. But not the Spanish. Maybe the proximity of Latin America weighs on the discussion, making Latinos an Other that is right here, rather than way over there in the 'Old Country'? I don't know, but I do know that when faced with the rise of 'non-white' groups in the past, America has reacted, not by embracing multi-culturalism, but by redefining what it means to be white. I predict it'll happen again. Yes, there are some Latinos that are black, there are even some that are Asian, but most are white. America will simply be recognizing something that every other nation already sees.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

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