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March comic books / cómics de marzo

March comic books / cómics de marzo

By Arion in Blog on April 13, 2014

I hereby declare March as the month of the best and most brilliant British authors! Indeed, my comic book list this month can be described as a veritable English invasion: Alan Moore (or The Original Writer, as he appears credited in the pages of “Miracleman”, which I’m enjoying more than anything else!), Warren Ellis (who wrote a magnificent first issue of “Moon Knight”, the best All-New Marvel Now title I’ve read so far), Kieron Gillen (he brings his miniseries “Three” to its logical conclusion), Mike Carey (with a great new “Unwritten” saga), and a double dose of Mark Millar (“Jupiter’s Legacy” was very good, and it deserves a review of its own; also the first issue of “Starlight” was a very pleasant surprise, arguably the best comic of the month). And now, without further ado, here are March comic books as per solicitations: JUPITERS LEGACY #4 CVR A QUIETLY (MR) (W) Mark Millar (A/CA) Frank Quitely. Brandon and his Uncle Walter have instigated the superhero revolution, but there are those who would still stand against them. On the other side of the world, Chloe and Hutch are hiding with their enormous secret and hoping to evade the man charged with hunting renegade superhumans. MIRACLEMAN #3 (W)  TBD (A) Garry Leach, Alan Davis (CA) Alan Davis • Face-to-face with a shocking enemy - can Miracleman survive, or will London burn? • A mysterious man with a sapphire grin stalks Michael Moran. Meet the sinister Mr. Cream. Try not to scream. • A glimpse into the future introduced the Warpsmiths. Now, see these strange warriors battle on their world in 'Cold War, Cold Warrior.' • Including the Miracleman stories from WARRIOR #6-8 and the Warpsmith stories from WARRIOR #9-10, plus bonus content. MOON KNIGHT #1 (W) Warren Ellis (A/CA) Declan Shalvey. Marc Spector is Moon Knight!...Or is he? It's hard to tell these days, especially when New York's wildest vigilante protects the street with two-fisted justice and three-that's right, count 'em-different personalities! But even with the mystical force of Khonshu fueling his crusade, how does the night's greatest detective save a city that's as twisted as he is? The road to victory is going to hurt. A lot. Marvel's most mind-bending adventure begins NOW as Moon Knight sleuths his way to the rotten core of New York's most bizarre mysteries!  STARLIGHT #1 CVR A CASSADAY (MR) (W) Mark Millar (A) Goran Parlov (CA) John Cassaday. Forty years ago, Duke McQueen was the space hero who saved the universe. But then he came back home, got married, had kids and grew old. Now his children have left and his wife has passed away, leaving him alone with nothing except his memories... until a call comes from a distant world asking him back for his final and greatest adventure. This issue launches the much-anticipated Millarworld Universe. Get in on the start of something MASSIVE! THREE #5 (W) Kieron Gillen (A) Ryan Kelly, Jordie Bellaire (CA) Jordie Bellaire, Ryan Kelly. It comes down to this: three versus three hundred at the border of Sparta. The men who'd keep them slaves versus the three who would be free. The historical epic reaches its bloody denouement. The end of a story, the start of a legend. UNWRITTEN VOL 2 APOCALYPSE #3 (MR) (W) Mike Carey (A) Peter Gross (CA) Yuko Shimizu. Tom discovers just how quickly the world is dissolving into chaos - and why. But where in all this fractured, insane landscape will he find an ally, and what price will he have to pay? The answer lies in the Divadlo Trinka puppet theatre of Prague, and in the old cliché: 'My enemy's enemy is my friend'. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________¡He aquí que declaro a marzo como el mes de los mejores y más brillantes autores británicos! De hecho, mi lista de cómics este mes puede ser descrita como una auténtica invasión inglesa: Alan Moore (o El Escritor Original, como aparece en la página de créditos de “Miracleman”, colección que estoy disfrutando más que ninguna otra), Warren Ellis (quien escribe un magnífico primer número de “Moon Knight”, el mejor título de All-New Marvel Now que he leído hasta ahora), Kieron Gillen (“Three” llega a su lógica conclusión), Mike Carey (con una nueva y grandiosa saga de “Unwritten”), y una doble dosis de Mark Millar (“Jupiter’s Legacy” estuvo muy bien, y merece su propia reseña; el primer número de “Starlight” también fue una muy grata sorpresa, posiblemente el mejor cómic del mes). Y ahora, sin mayores preámbulos, aquí están los cómics de marzo: my sketch / mi bocetoJUPITERS LEGACY #4 CVR A QUIETLY (MR)Brandon y su tío Walter han instigado la revolución de los superhéroes, pero hay algunos que todavía se les oponen. Al otro lado del mundo, un enorme secreto es ocultado. MIRACLEMAN #3Cara a cara con un impactante enemigo.MOON KNIGHT #1Marc es MOON KNIGHT. ¿O no lo es? Es difícil decirlo, especialmente cuando el más salvaje vigilante de New York protege las calles a puños y con tres, sí tres personalidades diferentes. STARLIGHT #1 CVR A CASSADAY (MR)Hace 40 años, McQueen era el héroe espacial que salvó al universo. Pero luego regresó a casa, se casó, tuvo hijos y envejeció. Ahora sus hijos se han ido y su esposa ha fallecido, y lo único que le queda son sus recuerdos… Hasta que una llamada que proviene de un mundo distante le pide que regrese, que emprenda una última y gran aventura.    my drawing (still in process) / mi dibujo (todavía en proceso)THREE #53 contra 300 en la frontera de Esparta. Los esclavistas versus los tres esclavos que ansían ser libres. El fin de la historia, el inicio de la leyenda.UNWRITTEN VOL 2 APOCALYPSE #3 (MR)Tom descubre qué tan rápidamente el mundo se disuelve en el caos. Y por qué. Pero ¿dónde encontrará aliados en este escenario demencial y fracturado? ¿Y a qué precio? La respuesta está en el teatro de marionetas de Praga y en un viejo cliché: “El enemigo de mi enemigo es mi amigo”. Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/04/march-comic-books-comics-de-marzo.html

Captain America # 4, 5 6 - John Ney Rieber John Cassaday

Captain America # 4, 5 6 - John Ney Rieber John Cassaday

By Arion in Blog on April 9, 2014

Much has been said about the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. And many writers have explored this painful and difficult subject. I know I have tried to do the same with my short story “It’s Always the Statue of Liberty” but no matter how much effort I or others put into it, whatever fiction we might come up with will pale in comparison with reality. Captain America has lived through the 2 most terrible moments of his nation: Pearl Harbor and 9-11. But the difference is that whereas in the 40s there was a sense of traditional warfare, today that has disappeared. As Slavoj Žižek would clarify “we no longer have wars in the old sense of a conflict between sovereign states in which certain rules apply (to do with the treatment of prisoners, the prohibition of certain weapons, etc.)”. After Faysal al-Tariq’s public execution at the hands of Captain America, retaliation on a larger scale begins. And in “Warlords” (published in Captain America # 4, in September 2002), the Sentinel of Liberty knows that this Middle East adversary wasn’t the brains behind the operation. He was merely a pawn. And now, in hot pursuit of the real culprit, America’s greatest hero must travel to Dresden. And it’s in “Warlords: Above the Law” when Steve Rogers is interrogated about America’s War on Terror. Who’s the real enemy? Can we compromise our freedom to defeat our adversary? As Žižek would ask “What if this ‘collateral damage’ is the true aim of the entire operation? What if the true target of the ‘war on terror’ is the American society itself, i.e., the disciplining of its emancipatory excesses?”. Coincidentally, in the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier (an extraordinary production and one of the best Marvel movies to date), the same questions are asked. Things are not black and white anymore, it’s unclear who the real enemy is and, what is even more dangerous, Americans are willing to sacrifice their freedom if that guarantees their safety. For Steve Rogers, the man behind 9-11 is a psychopath willing to trigger World War III; and he remembers, “Ninety percent of the casualties of World War I were soldiers […] But half the people who died in World War II were civilians. Half of sixty-one million”. Captain America knows perfectly well what he’s fighting for. He fights not for the supremacy of the US, nor the conquest of the Middle East. He fights to make sure World War III will never happen. And he will sacrifice his life, if necessary, to avoid war. That’s the paradox of Captain America. He’s a soldier but also a pacifist, he’s a patriotic symbol but also a rebel by disobeying Nick Fury and the White House in order to do the right thing. And that’s an aspect some writers forget. Captain America isn’t about excessive patriotism or mindless superheroic acts, it’s about the American Dream, about what it represents, and about an ideal so pure and ephemeral that it cannot exist in real life but persists still on the pages of a comic book. It really is fascinating to observe the level of complexity in John Ney Rieber’s script. From political ambiguity to historical facts, from philosophical quandaries to traditional heroism, and more, the ideas presented in Marvel Knights Captain America are mature and intelligent, and they demand to be read by an equally mature and intelligent audience.Finally, I must say once again I’m impressed by John Cassaday’s magnificent art. His action sequences are spectacular. Captain America holding onto the American flag is undeniably dramatic; the dynamism and kinetic energy of the double page spread included here is amazing; of course, the combat during the final confrontation is also very intense. And luckily for us, Cassaday excels in his interior work as well as his covers; in particular his cover for the 6th issue remains as one of my all-time favorite Marvel covers. A great writer and an excellent artist turn this 6-issue run into a must read.  Holding the flag / sujetando la bandera________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Se ha dicho mucho sobre la destrucción del World Trade Center, el 11 de setiembre del 2001. Y muchos escritores han explorado este difícil y doloroso tema. Sé que he intentado hacer lo mismo con mi historia corta “Siempre es la estatua de la libertad” pero sin importar cuánto esfuerzo dediquen los demás o yo, cualesquiera sean las ficciones que inventemos, palidecerán en comparación con la realidad. Sentinel of Liberty / centinela de la libertadEl Capitán América ha vivido los 2 momentos más terribles de su nación: Pearl Harbor y el 11 de setiembre. Pero la diferencia es que mientras en los 40s había un respeto por la guerra tradicional, esto ha desaparecido. Como bien esclarece Slavoj Žižek “ya no tenemos guerras en el viejo sentido de un conflicto entre estados soberanos en las que ciertas reglas se aplican (que tienen que ver con el tratamiento de prisioneros, la prohibición de ciertas armas, etc.)”. Captain America versus a sinister warlord / Capitán América versus un siniestro señor de la guerraDespués de la ejecución pública de Faysal al-Tariq a manos del Capitán América, empieza la represalia a gran escala. Y en “Señores de la guerra” (publicado en Captain America # 4, setiembre del 2002), el centinela de la libertad sabe que este adversario del medio oriente no es el cerebro detrás de la operación. Era simplemente un peón. Y ahora, mientras persigue al verdadero criminal, el más grande héroe de Estados Unidos viajará a Dresden. Y es en “Señores de la guerra: por encima de la ley” cuando Steve Rogers es interrogado sobre la guerra contra el terror de los Estados Unidos. ¿Quién es el verdadero enemigo? ¿Estamos dispuestos a sacrificar nuestra libertad para vencer al adversario? Tal como preguntaría Žižek “¿Qué pasaría si este 'daño colateral' es el verdadero objetivo de toda la operación? ¿Qué pasaría si el verdadero blanco de la 'guerra contra el terror' es la misma sociedad estadounidense, es decir, el disciplinamiento de sus excesos emancipatorios?”.Curiosamente, en el film Capitán América: El Soldado de Invierno (una extraordinaria producción y una de las mejores películas Marvel a la fecha), las mismas preguntas son formuladas. Ya no todo es blanco y negro, no es fácil distinguir quién es el verdadero enemigo y, lo más peligroso, los estadounidenses están dispuestos a sacrificar su libertad si así garantizan su seguridad.Para Steve Rogers, el hombre detrás del 11 de setiembre es un psicópata deseoso de hacer estallar la tercera guerra mundial; y él recuerda “Noventa por ciento de las muertes en la Primera Guerra Mundial fueron soldados […] Pero la mitad de la gente que murió en la Segunda Guerra Mundial fueron civiles. La mitad de 61 millones”. El Capitán América sabe perfectamente bien cuál es su lucha. Él no pelea por la supremacía norteamericana, ni por la conquista del Medio Oriente. Él lucha para asegurarse de que la tercera guerra mundial nunca suceda. Y sacrificaría su vida, si es necesario, para evitar la guerra. The final confrontation / la confrontación final Esa es la paradoja del Capitán América. Él es un soldado pero también un pacifista, es un símbolo patriótico pero también un rebelde al desobedecer a Nick Fury y la Casa Blanca con la intención de hacer lo correcto. Y ese es un aspecto que algunos escritores olvidan. El Capitán América no es definido por patriotismos excesivos o actos súper-heroicos sin sentido, se define por el sueño americano y por lo que representa, por ese ideal tan puro y efímero que no puede existir en la vida real pero persiste aún en las páginas de un cómic. Realmente es fascinante observar el nivel de complejidad en el guión de John Ney Rieber. Desde ambigüedad política a hechos históricos, desde dilemas filosóficos a heroísmo tradicional, y más, las ideas presentadas en "Captain America" de Marvel Knights son maduras e inteligentes, y demandan ser leídas por un público igualmente maduro e inteligente. Finalmente, debo decir una vez más que estoy impresionado por el magnífico arte de John Cassaday. Sus secuencias de acción son espectaculares. El Capitán América sujetándose de la bandera estadounidense es de un dramatismo innegable; el dinamismo y la energía cinética de la página doble es sorprendente; desde luego, el combate durante la confrontación final es también muy intenso. Y afortunadamente para nosotros, Cassaday se supera no sólo en el arte interior sino también en sus portadas; en particular la portada del sexto número sigue siendo una de mis portadas Marvel favoritas de todos los tiempos. Un gran escritor y un excelente artista hacen de esta etapa algo imprescindible.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/04/captain-america-4-5-6-john-ney-rieber.html

Aspen Comics Solicitation for July 2014

Aspen Comics Solicitation for July 2014

By Rui Esteves in Blog on April 8, 2014

Damsels in Excess #1DAMSELS IN EXCESS #1 Vince Hernandez – Story / Mirka Andolfo – ArtFive realms. Five princesses. Zero men.In the land of the Five Realms, the existence of men has long since been evaporated from the hearts and minds of women. Princess Bethany--ruler of Evanfar, the largest and most prominent kingdom, finds herself at the center of a vast conspiracy that could not only threaten her kingdom—but also her life! Journey to a place where magic is abundant, unicorns and ferrets can command armies, and five women struggle to find balance—and power--in an ever-changing fairy tale world!Creator Vince Hernandez and artist Mirka Andolfo present to you the newest Aspen hit series – DAMSELS IN EXCESS!DAMSELS IN EXCESS #1 is in stores July 23rd, 2014!FC 32 pages $3.99 (3.99 digital) Soulfire Annual #1SOULFIRE ANNUAL #1 JT Krul, Agnes Garbowska, Mark Roslan - Story Agnes Garbowska, Lori Hanson - artMichael Turner’s SOULFIRE returns!Aspen's first ever SOULFIRE ANNUAL arrives, jam-packed with three all new stories featuring some of the most popular characters in the SOULFIRE universe—and more! Join veteran SOULFIRE writer JT Krul as he presents a young Grace in a world long forgotten, full or dragons and danger! Fan favorite illustrator Agnes Garbowska debuts a new SOULFIRE story all her own, as she handles the writing and art duties in a special tale featuring Grace and several other SOULFIRE favorites! And BubbleGun creator Mark Roslan explodes onto the scene with a futuristic bank robbery that even the magic of Malakai may not be able to stop!Don’t miss out on the debut of the first ever SOULFIRE ANNUAL #1 in this thrilling oversized issue featuring a re-mastered SOULFIRE cover by series creator Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald!SOULFIRE ANNUAL #1 is in stores July 9th, 2014!FC 48 pages $5.99 (5.99 digital) Soulfire TPB vol 2SOULFIRE (vol 2) TPB: DRAGON FALL J.T. Krul – Story / Marcus To – Art / Beth Sotelo - ColorsThe epic second volume of Michael Turner’s SOULFIRE!The Dark Lord Rainier has been defeated, and Malikai—the Samusara, set forth the return of the light. Yet, the return of magic has created problems across the globe, as Grace attempts to bring order to a world devoid of magic for thousands of years. Meanwhile, Rainier, in his endless crusade to rid the world of magic and all that it encompasses, decides the only way to extinguish the light is by fusing both technology and magic in horrific fashion—with terrifying results! Collecting together the sold out Zero issue, as well as issues #1 though #9, plus the rare 10-page Sonia story from Aspen Seasons Winter and the 20-page ‘Resurgence’ story previously only available in the Soulfire: New World Order mini-series, this is 296 pages of everything Soulfire volume 2! And if that’s not enough, we’ll be including a complete covers gallery featuring artwork by such artistic forces as Joe Benitez, Randy Green, Nick Bradshaw and Soulfire creator Michael Turner!! This complete SOULFIRE (vol 2) TPB: DRAGON FALL is a must for any Aspen, Soulfire, Michael Turner, or comic book fan!SOULFIRE (vol 2) TPB: DRAGON FALL is in stores July 9th, 2014!FC 296 pages $29.99 TPB Soulfire TPB Vol 1SOULFIRE: SHADOW MAGIC Vol 1 TPB Vince Hernandez – Story / Sana Takeda – Art & ColorsThe world of magic has gone dark…Before the return of the light forever altered the events of the present SOULFIRE universe, a long ago era of flourishing magic enveloped the land as well as SOULFIRE’s preeminent heroine, Grace. Amidst a bloody war between the two dominant races, the Rahtumi and the Sethoru, that endangered both of their existences, an even greater threat soon emerged. It is a malevolent form of magic that threatens to cast a dark shadow over all that is decent and magical by consuming everything in it’s path. And through all of this perilous disorder, Grace attempts to overcome the greatest obstacle she has yet to encounter in her time in Empyrea—the bonds of love. Collecting together the entire sold out SOULFIRE: SHADOW MAGIC mini-series, and fully illustrated by Sana Takeda, this long-awaited trade paperback is a must have addition to everyone’s SOULFIRE collection!SOULFIRE: SHADOW MAGIC Vol 1 TPB is in stores July 9th, 2014!FC 152 pages $14.99 JIRNI #3JIRNI vol 2 #3 JT Krul – Story / Paolo Pantalena – Art / Brett Smith - ColorsFrom the depths they ascend…As Ara continues her voyage across the seas, she comes to discover more about her guide - Captain Boro. Yet, any bonding between the pair is interrupted when an ancient evil rises from the depths, intent on destroying them all! Boro's men have heard many tales of the fabled mermaids, but when it comes to legends, sometimes the truth is far more terrifying than the myth!JIRNI vol 2 #3 is in stores July 30th, 2014!FC 32 pages $3.99 (3.99 digital) Lolca XOXO #4LOLA XOXO #4 Siya Oum – Story & ArtAspen’s newest hit series continues!The Wasteland Trading Company arrives in the town on Sinmora, where they find their fair share of alcohol and debauchery to satisfy their thirst for action. However, as is often the case in the Wasteland, they bite off more than they can chew, as they learn of a place that no merchant has yet to return from alive, a mysterious site that piques Lola’s curiosity—even if the risk of exploration could mean her life!One of 2014’s most exciting debuts, LOLA XOXO is ready to take you on an incredible adventure unlike any other!LOLA XOXO #4 is in stores July 16th, 2014!FC 32 pages $3.99 (3.99 digital) Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/04/aspen-comics-solicitation-for-july-2014.html

And now for something completly different (new blog)

And now for something completly different (new blog)

By Rui Esteves in Blog on April 6, 2014

Smile Sometime ago I got bitten with the photography bug. Since then its been a great journey of learning the craft and exploring new motives.This means that I've been visiting places I never new existed, meeting new people that share the same passion about photography and learning new things like I haven't done in a long time. This last year was indeed a strange, but interesting year. On top of this I had the good fortune of having an awesome wife that, not only encourages me to do the things I love (be it read comics or make photographs), likes to accompany me and share in the fun.So, what does this have to do with RGN or comics? Nothing, I just want to let you know that I've started a new blog about my experiences with photography and you're all welcome to check it out.My new blog is called O Meu Mundo Pela Lente (My World Though the Lens) and can be found at omeumundopelalente.blogspot.pt.Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/04/and-now-for-something-completly.html

Captain America # 1, 2 3 - John Ney Rieber John Cassaday

Captain America # 1, 2 3 - John Ney Rieber John Cassaday

By Arion in Blog on April 5, 2014

When I was 16 years old I traveled to New York. I did the things all tourists do. And of course, I visited the World Trade Center. I had the opportunity to admire New York City from high above. And I made a promise to myself: I would visit the city again and I would relive this experience, I would see it all again from the 110th floor. It was March 2000. And a few months later, I realized I could never climb into the Twin Towers again. They were gone. But it wasn’t just a couple of buildings that disappeared that day. Confidence. Safety. Even hope. All of these things seemed to have vanished into thin air.Although I was in shock during the tragic events of 9-11, I was still an outsider. A foreigner. A mere tourist, if you will. I could never imagine how Americans must have felt, let alone how New Yorkers did. And perhaps neither I nor you will ever know. There is no exact science that will reveal the contents of the human heart, but art allows us to at least get a glimpse of it. There are many novels, films and, of course, comic books about 9-11. And, certainly, there was no better suited character for such a story than Captain America, the living embodiment of the American Dream, the Sentinel of Liberty, the greatest hero of the United States.   So where was Captain America when the two airplanes collided against the towers? Where was the defense, the impenetrable shield, when it was needed the most? That is a question that Steve Rogers asks himself, as he witnesses the devastation of ground zero. He feels guilty. He knows he should’ve been there to stop the enemy. But he wasn’t.  There are serious conflicts in Enemy: Dust, the first chapter of this saga (published in Captain America # 1, in June 2002). Possibly for the first time in his life, Steve Rogers questions his duties. Because this time he feels it’s more important to rescue people instead of chasing after the alleged responsible of this attack. Nick Fury orders him to gear up and head towards the Middle East, and Captain America refuses.And it is a wise decision. “We’ve got to be stronger than we’ve ever been -- as a people. As a nation. We have to be America. Or they’ve won”, affirms Steve Rogers. Because to him it doesn’t matter if it’s the knife of a hijacker or the knife of an American citizen about to attack an innocent Muslim man. What matters is that all violence must be averted. And as a patriotic symbol, he makes sure to unify the American people.In Enemy: One Nation, an entire town is held hostage by a terrorist named Faysal al-Tariq. Captain America must intervene, and in the process he relives his traumatic past in WWII. It’s more than “blood on your hands”, he realizes, it’s blood everywhere: “As though you could do -- this. And there could be any part of you that wasn’t stained and dripping”. There is neither solace nor joy in the life of a soldier, and Captain America hates to find himself in a situation that will involve blood spilling.But why did al-Tariq choose to prey on this particular place? What is the secret of this peaceful town? Everyone there works in a local bomb manufacturing facility. They produce weapons that are then deployed in distant countries. The people here try to justify what they do, affirming they only make components, they haven’t killed anyone. And yet, those components are the landmines that cause fatalities somewhere else, those components are responsible for mutilated children in the Middle East. “Does the light we see cast shadows that we don’t -- Where monsters like this al-Tariq can plant the seeds of hate?”, wonders Steve Rogers. And he’s shocked when he sees some of these dismembered kids hitting him with prosthetic limbs.Finally, in Enemy: Soft Targets, the Sentinel of Liberty engages in combat with al-Tariq. This time, he has no choice; as much as he has sworn not to harm or kill people, now he must violate the oath all superheroes hold as sacred. And thus he breaks his rival’s neck. For too long, the innocent have paid for the wrongdoing of the guilty. Captain America accepts full responsibility for his actions. And in a national television broadcast, he demands not to hold a nation accountable for the actions of one man. The United States is not to blame for the death of al-Tariq, Captain America is. Despair and death in New York / desesperación y muerte en New YorkInstead of writing a simple and colorful story about superheroes in red and blue spandex, what John Ney Rieber does is concentrating in the pain and suffering experienced by an entire nation. If superheroes are the quintessential narrative of escapism, John Ney Rieber’s Captain America is the opposite. Indeed, the author forces this iconic hero to face the consequences of a real catastrophe. Steve Rogers helping the rescue team / Steve Rogers ayudando al equipo de rescateAnd it’s the remarkable art of John Cassaday what keeps this story firmly grounded. I said once that I consider him the best artist of the past decade, and he proves how talented he is with works like Captain America. It should suffice pointing out the emotional strength of his pages: the bleak and sad sequence in which Steve Rogers is too late to save the life of an innocent victim; the fascinating aerial view of Steve Rogers helping the firefighters (one of the best uses of a double page spread that I can think of); the irruption of Captain America wielding his shield, finally bringing some light to the anguished and distressed people (Dave Stewart’s sober coloring also plays a fundamental part here); the moments of battle and the brutal execution of al-Tariq at the hands of Captain America are truly astonishing, unforgettable pages.  Sentinel of Liberty / el centinela de la libertad________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The battle begins / la batalla comienzaCuando tenía 16 años viajé a New York. Hice lo que todos los turistas hacen. Visité las Torres Gemelas, claro que sí. Tuve la oportunidad de admirar la ciudad de New York desde muy alto. Y me hice una promesa: visitaría la ciudad de nuevo y reviviría esta experiencia, vería todo de nuevo desde el piso 110. La fecha: marzo del año 2000. Pocos meses después, me di cuenta de que nunca podría volver a subir a las Torres Gemelas de nuevo. Ya no estaban allí. Pero lo que desapareció ese día fue más que un par de edificios. Confianza. Seguridad. Incluso esperanza. Todo ello parecía haberse desvanecido en el aire. Aunque los trágicos eventos del 11 de setiembre fueron un shock para mí, yo era alguien de afuera. Un extranjero. Un simple turista. Nunca podría imaginar cómo se sintieron los estadounidenses, ni mucho menos los habitantes de New York. Y tal vez ni yo ni ustedes lo sabremos jamás. No hay una ciencia exacta que revele los contenidos del corazón humano, pero el arte nos permite al menos echar un vistazo. Hay muchas novelas, películas y, desde luego, cómics sobre el 11 de setiembre. Y, ciertamente, no había un personaje más adecuado para semejante historia que el Capitán América, la personificación viviente del sueño americano, el centinela de la libertad, el más grande héroe de los Estados Unidos.  ¿Dónde estaba el Capitán América cuando los dos aviones chocaron con las torres? ¿Dónde estaba la defensa, el escudo impenetrable, cuando más falta hacía? Esa es una pregunta que Steve Rogers se hace a sí mismo, al observar la devastación. Se siente culpable. Sabe que debería haber estado allí para detener al enemigo. Pero no llegó a tiempo.Hay conflictos serios en "Enemigo: polvareda", el primer capítulo de esta saga (publicado en Captain America # 1, en junio del 2002). Posiblemente por primera vez en su vida, Steve Rogers cuestiona sus deberes. Porque esta vez él siente que es más importante rescatar personas en vez de cazar al supuesto responsable de este ataque. Nick Fury le ordena alistarse y partir hacia el Medio Oriente, y el Capitán América se rehúsa. Children: assassins or victims of war? / niños: ¿asesinos o víctimas de la guerra?Y es una sabia decisión. “Tenemos que ser más fuertes que nunca antes -- como pueblo. Como nación. Tenemos que ser América. O ellos habrán ganado”, afirma Steve Rogers. Porque para él no importa si se trata del cuchillo de un secuestrador o el cuchillo de un ciudadano estadounidense a punto de atacar a un musulmán inocente. Lo importante es detener la violencia. Y como un símbolo de la patria, él se asegurará de unificar a la gente de Estados Unidos.  En "Enemigo: una nación", todo un pueblo es tomado como rehén por un terrorista llamado Faysal al-Tariq. El Capitán América debe intervenir, y en el proceso revive su traumático pasado en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Es más que “sangre en las manos”, constata, es sangre en todas partes: “Como si pudieras hacer -- esto. Y pudiese haber alguna parte de ti que no quedara manchada y goteando”. No hay solaz ni alegría en la vida de un soldado, y el Capitán América odia encontrarse en una situación que involucrará derramamiento de sangre.Pero ¿por qué al-Tariq asedia este lugar en particular? ¿Cuál es el secreto de este pacífico pueblo? Todos allí trabajan en una fábrica local de bombas. Producen armas que luego son usadas en países distantes. Aquí la gente intenta justificar lo que hacen, afirmando que ellos únicamente fabrican componentes, y no han matado a nadie. Y no obstante, esos componentes son las minas de tierra que causan muertes en algún otro lugar, esos componentes son responsables de los niños mutilados en el Medio Oriente. “¿La luz que vemos proyecta sombras que no podemos ver -- en donde monstruos como este al-Tariq pueden sembrar las semillas del odio?”, se pregunta Steve Rogers. Y queda atónito al ver a algunos de estos chiquillos desmembrados que lo golpean con extremidades prostéticas. Captain America versus al-TariqFinalmente, en "Enemigo: objetivos blandos", el centinela de la libertad combate contra al-Tariq. Esta vez no tiene opción; por más que ha jurado no dañar ni matar personas, ahora debe violar ese juramento tan sagrado para todos los superhéroes.  Y le rompe el cuello a su rival. Por demasiado tiempo, los inocentes han pagado por los errores de los culpables. El Capitán América acepta toda la responsabilidad de sus actos. Y en una trasmisión de televisión nacional, exige que la nación no sea culpabilizada por los actos de un hombre. El fallo no es de los Estados Unidos, sino del Capitán América.En vez de escribir una simple y colorida historia de superhéroes en spandex azul y rojo, lo que John Ney Rieber hace es concentrarse en el dolor y sufrimiento experimentado por toda una nación. Si lo superhéroes son la quintaesencia de la narrativa de escapismo, "Captain America" de John Ney Rieber es lo opuesto. De hecho, el autor obliga a este icónico héroe a lidiar con las consecuencias de una catástrofe real. Y el notable arte de John Cassaday mantiene la historia anclada en la realidad. Alguna vez dije que lo considero el mejor artista de la década pasada, y él demuestra lo talentoso que es con obras como "Captain America". Debería bastar con señalar la fuerza emocional de sus páginas: la desoladora y triste secuencia en la que Steve Rogers llega demasiado tarde para salvar la vida de una víctima inocente; la fascinante vista área de Steve Rogers ayudando a los bomberos (uno de los mejores usos de una página doble que podría haber imaginado); la irrupción del Capitán  América portando su escudo, trayendo finalmente algo de luz a la gente angustiada y tensa (el sobrio coloreado de Dave Stewart también juega un rol fundamental aquí); los momentos de batalla y la brutal ejecución de al-Tariq a manos del Capitán  América son páginas absolutamente impresionantes e inolvidables.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/04/captain-america-1-2-3-john-ney-rieber.html

Portuguese retailers give a big thank you to Amazon.co.uk.

Portuguese retailers give a big thank you to Amazon.co.uk.

By Rui Esteves in Blog on April 4, 2014

Amazon I get most my books on-line. Simpy because it ends up being a lot cheaper. In 2004 when I started buying on-line the ratio was 3 books on-line for the same price as 2 in store. Now a days I believe the difference is not as big.When I say on-line I mean Amazon. Amazon has a great service. They have a generous offering of titles, awesome prices, fast delivery and the best on-line ordering system out there. I have nothing but good things to say about their service.However today I got this email: As you've previously had orders delivered to Portugal, we wanted to let you know that our delivery options to Portugal are changing. From April 3, 2014, FREE Super Saver Delivery will no longer be available. You'll have the option of Standard or Priority Delivery for orders being delivered to Portugal.   More information about international delivery rates and times can be found here.We strive to provide our European customers the greatest possible selection at low prices and hope to see you again soon.  Regards,Customer Service Department This will make me either buy one less book per month (it would take it down to 2) or start buying locally again.I better start searching for my LCS's customer card.Goodbye Amazon.co.uk its been great knowing you.Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/04/portuguese-retailers-give-big-thank-you.html

Horizontes - Pedro D’Onofrio Dibos (La Polaca)

Horizontes - Pedro D’Onofrio Dibos (La Polaca)

By Arion in Blog on April 3, 2014

my drawing (uncensored) / mi dibujo (sin censura)I neither condone nor forgive censorship. It seems to me as if censoring a work of art –be it a book, a movie or a graphic novel– is not only a crime but mainly an effrontery towards freedom of speech. For decades, the battle against censorship has had its ups and downs. In the 50s, Wertham and his “Seduction of the Innocent” provided a fatal blow to the comic book industry. In the same decade, however, there were some victories. I’m thinking about the legal battle concerning the alleged “obscenity” of Ginsberg’s Howl:It is not for us to choose the words. Mister Ginsberg, in telling his story, is telling the story as he sees it. He is using his words. There are books that have the power to change men’s minds and call attention to situations that are visible but unseen.Now whether “Howl” is or is not obscene is of little importance to our world, faced as it is with the threat of physical survival, but the problem of what is legally permissible in the description of physical acts or feelings in arts and literature is of the greatest importance to a free society.What is “prurient”? And to whom? The material so described is dangerous to some unspecified, susceptible reader. It is interesting that the person applying such standards of censorship rarely feels as if their own physical or moral health is in jeopardy. The desire to censor is not limited, however, to crackpots and bigots. There is in most of us, a desire to make the world conform to our own views. And it takes all of the force of our own reason as well as our legal institutions to defy so human an urge. The battle of censorship will not be finally settled by Your Honor’s decision, but you will either add to liberal, educated thinking, or by your decision, you will add fuel to the fire of ignorance.Let there be light. Let there be honesty. Let there be no running from non-existent destroyers of morals. Let there be honest understanding.Jake Ehrlich (c. 1957)And finally, for those of you that think taking out a word from Marvel’s edition of Miracleman # 4 is no big deal, I leave you with an extract from an Alan Moore interview (conducted by Pádraig Ó Méalóid):Alan Moore: The problems arose – I remember – It was something really stupid. It was probably one of the later ones, and I’d got a scene, probably taking place mostly inside the mind of Johnny Bates, where I had – there was somebody had called him a queer, a virgin, I think it was probably his adult evil self…Pádraig Ó Méalóid: Yes, that’s right, I know exactly the scene you mean!Alan Moore: He called him a queer, a virgin, and there was some other vaguely controversial, or apparently controversial piece of dialogue, and I remember Dez Skinn phoning me up and saying that he didn’t like these things and he wanted them changed. And I said that I didn’t want them changed because I thought that they were natural, they were a part of the characterisation, and also I didn’t see what the purpose of that was. Warrior was aimed at a fairly intelligent readership, we hadn’t had any complaints, and I tended to think that this was a hangover from Dez Skinn’s days at Marvel, and he mentioned lots of things – ‘why offend even one reader?’ – to which I responded, ‘because the alternative is to gear your entire product to the most squeamish and prudish member of the audience.I wish more readers would express their concerns to Marvel Comics. I plan to keep buying Miracleman and I demand an edition faithful to the original. And that means no censorship. Hopefully this will be the first and last mistake on their part.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Esta semana fueron tres las muestras que marcaron la pauta en el circuito artístico limeño. En primer lugar, “Horizontes”, individual de Pedro D’Onofrio Dibos. El artista presenta una serie de cuadros que juegan con nociones paisajísticas pero que son, a la vez, una exploración de la riqueza de los colores, a partir de ciertos matices centrales. “Horizontes” llega a nosotros gracias a La Polaca, nuevo espacio cultural barranquino que ha decidido optar por el “Lado B” del arte. Y aquí la B no es de Barranco, sino una representación de aquellas propuestas o manifestaciones artísticas que rara vez encuentran cabida en galerías comerciales.  Alexia Pedal BaertlCuando llegué a la concurrida sala me encontré con mi antigua colega de COSAS, Gabriela Maskrey y saludé a Bernat Perez Sobrebals. También conversé brevemente con Nicolás Tarnawiecki, quien además de ser uno de los principales artífices de  La Polaca es reyrrojino al igual que yo.Nuevamente, el Centro Colich nos volvió a sorprender con dos imprescindibles muestras. En primer lugar, destaco “Creaturas” de Alexia Pedal Baertl. Se trata de una seria de esculturas magníficas, cinceladas con precisión, y sumamente simbólicas.Por último, "Primitiva" (muestra colectiva de jóvenes artistas) reúne obras de María Gracia Fernández, Berenice Zagastizábal, Pancho García, Christian Luza, Ana Zegarra, Elizabeth Vásquez Arbulú, Ibrain Plácido, Italo Flores Silva y Carla Lucia Bardález. Mi favorito fue el cuadro de Italo Flores Silva: una lúcida disección de la imagen del felino, ese arquetipo tan constante en la historia de la humanidad y, por qué no, del arte. En el transcurso de la noche conversé con mi amigo Reve (para ver sus obras pueden hacer click aquí y aquí) y con Adriana Pinillos, con quien no hablaba quizás desde la época en la que todavía estaba en Los Reyes Rojos. Una muy buena semana para el arte.Arcadio B.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/04/horizontes-pedro-donofrio-dibos-la.html

Aspen Comics Presents Lola XOXO On April 9th

Aspen Comics Presents Lola XOXO On April 9th

By Rui Esteves in Blog on April 2, 2014

Cover Aspen Comics is thrilled to present its first new property of 2014 on April 9th, the action-adventure series Lola XOXO, created, written and illustrated by Siya Oum (Charismagic, Executive Assistant: Iris). The highly anticipated upcoming six-issue series unfolds in a dystopian western tale following young firebrand character Lola, who has been raised under the protection of a band of traveling merchants.Despite potential dangers in the “Wasteland,” Lola decides to perilously traverse what’s left of the United States in a desperate—and deadly—search for her parents. Oum discusses her enthusiasm for the project: "It has always been a dream of mine to have my own series. It hasn't quite hit me. I can't imagine how I'll feel when I get the first printed issue in my hands. I feel like everything I've ever experienced, everyone I've ever cared for has a hand in inspiring the creation of this Lola XOXO. I couldn't have asked for a better publisher and a better group of friends to guide me through the process. I am forever grateful." Aspen strongly encourages fans to visit their local comic book stores to pre-order the first issue of Lola XOXO, which boasts eleven covers of Oum’s own design. Future issues will feature cover art from a myriad of the industry’s top artists such as Joe Benitez, Jordan Gunderson, Ale Garza and more to be announced soon. Aspen Editor in Chief Vince Hernandez encourages fans to check out the publisher’s latest offering: "Siya [Oum] and Lola XOXO have exceeded all of our expectations, and we're excited to be able to show everyone the result of all her hard work. I've had the pleasure of seeing this project from its earliest stages of development, and it's really been a labor of love for her that shows on every page. I think everyone who checks out the first issue will agree!" Cover B Cover C Cover D Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/04/aspen-comics-presents-lola-xoxo-on.html

Exposición de arte abstracto - Iosu Aramburu (Galería L'imaginaire)

Exposición de arte abstracto - Iosu Aramburu (Galería L'imaginaire)

By Arion in Blog on March 30, 2014

For those of you that are well versed in Spanish, please feel free to read my text about Iosu Aramburu’s art exhibit. For those of you that aren’t, well, no need to fret, that just means you are stuck with me, or rather with another one of my ramblings about recoloring old comic books. In a recent post (which you can read here), I talked about Marvel’s magnificent edition of Miracleman # 1. Now I’d like to draw your attention to the second issue, which included an unexpected surprise: The Yesterday’s Gambit, an Alan Moore story that was never printed in the Eclipse editions.  I have not yet received the third issue, but I understand it also includes previously unseen stories. I’m sure I’ll savor and treasure them. But in the meantime I leave you with Marvel’s recolored pages. And, just like last time, if you want to compare them with the original version, you may do so by simply clicking here and here. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hace casi un año, en la galería barranquina 80M2, la propuesta artística de Iosu Aramburu me dejó asombrado. Como bien denotaba el título de la muestra, “Todo lo sólido” era un proyecto de enorme integridad y cohesión visual.  Iosu AramburuUn año después, la Galería L'imaginaire de la Alianza Francesa le abre las puertas a Iosu, y él, como para no repetirse jamás ni copiarse a sí mismo –tentación frecuente entre muchos artistas de nuestro medio– emprende una iniciativa distinta, en la que el proceso histórico del arte contemporáneo se entremezcla con el accidentado discurso de la modernidad en el Perú. Iosu se pregunta en qué medida la modernidad se instauraría de facto en nuestro país. Lejos del desarrollo de naciones del primer mundo, aquí la modernidad y, cómo no, la postmodernidad parecen estar más marcadas por el fracaso que por otros atributos. Y, de algún modo, todo esto está ligado a la inspiración de los artistas peruanos del siglo XX, al afán por apropiarse de las corrientes en boga –el arte abstracto, por ejemplo– como una forma de insertarse en la aldea global, mucho antes de que estuviese de moda el término de globalización.Así que el espectador debería tener en cuenta qué es lo que el artista nos está comunicando con esos peculiares cuadros pintados con cemento y con esa impresionante escultura de 3 metros de alto por 12 metros de ancho. Hay mucho de reflexión e investigación detrás de “Exposición de arte abstracto”, título ya de por sí cargado con una cierta dosis de ironía. En la inauguración me encontré con mi amigo Mateo Alayza, a quien no veía desde el 2013, ironías de por medio, concretamente desde la última muestra de Iosu. Conversamos un buen rato, y me alegró mucho saber que le está yendo bien. Por supuesto, también me acerqué a Iosu y lo saludé y felicité por tan magnífica muestra. Seguramente, el 2015 volverá a sorprendernos a todos.Lima, marzo del 2014Arcadio Bolaños Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/03/exposicion-de-arte-abstracto-iosu.html

Planetary # 1 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday

Planetary # 1 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday

By Arion in Blog on March 26, 2014

Jakita Wagner, Elijah Snow & the DrummerWe tend to trust the world as it is presented to us. We try to make sense of it, fearing that if we fail we will lose our sanity. We rely on our senses because we have no other alternative. But the world, and of course the universe, is infinitely more complex than that.Warren Ellis reminds us just how complex it can actually be. In the pages of Planetary, the British writer explores the concept of the multiverse: “A multitude of possible alternatives, none of them quite real, all of them contributing towards the actual reality”. And in order to explore this myriad of possibilities, what we need is a team of “archeologists of the impossible”. Planetary is that team. Except, they’re not a team yet, not at least they find their last member. In the opening sequence of “All Over the World” (published in Planetary # 1, April 1999) we find Elijah Snow eating in a cheap diner, in the middle of an abandoned road. He’s been eating there for ten years. He does not want to leave. Because leaving would be dealing with the consequences of his acts and with the painful memories of his past. But when Jakita Wagner arrives and offers him 1 million dollars for a year of his services, he agrees. After all, he’s tired of drinking coffee that tastes like dog urine. And thus, the team of the archeologists of the impossible is complete. Elijah Snow, Jakita Wagner and the Drummer prepare for their first mission: an incursion in a mysterious cave system inside a mountain in the Adirondacks.   the strangest "museum" / el más extraño "museo"The archeology begins. Deep in the shadowy caves, Elijah and Jakita discover the rests of what seemed to be a museum. Except, it’s a museum that contains objects and bones of creatures that do not belong to Earth. In a fascinating page, beautifully illustrated by John Cassaday, we see some of the enigmatic elements preserved in this museum: a Vulcania raven god (Cassaday draws a very menacing skeleton and as readers we can only imagine how scary that creature would be ‘in the flesh’), the hull of an alien spaceship that resembles a pre-medieval boat and a strange humanoid body that reminds us of Silver Surfer.Finally, the two explorers find Doc Brass, a legendary adventurer that disappeared in 1945. Brass then explains the discovery of the multiverse. It was an accident, of course. Brass and a group of heroes tried their best to bring WWII to an end, and they thought they could use ‘the brain’ –a strange and sophisticated supercomputer– to select a parallel reality in which the war had never happened. Unintentionally, they managed to see the shape of reality, “a theoretical snowflake”, a fractal, that encompasses countless different universes. But what they ignored was that from one of those alternative worlds, another group of supermen had also made the same discovery. And then a gruesome battle ensues.   As an avid comic book reader, Ellis rescues the figures of classic ‘pulp’ heroes from the 30s and 40s. So Doc Brass is actually Doc Savage, the man of bronze, and his allies are similar to the Shadow and other traditional characters from that era. Now, they must face more contemporary adversaries: a team of 7, a parallel version of the Justice League of America (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter).  Impossible version of the Justice League / Imposible versión de la Liga de la JusticiaOnly Doc Brass survives, and knows he must protect ‘the brain’ at all costs. The most powerful weapon humanity has ever seen cannot be claimed by the wrong people. Doc Brass, just like the original Doc Savage is a very intelligent man with extraordinary abilities. He had eliminated his need for food and had stopped his aging, he had also learned how to control his mind to stay awake for years. He hasn’t closed an eye in decades, ever vigilant, constantly concerned of what might happen to ‘the brain’. Finally, relieved by the presence of Elijah and Jakita, he understands it’s no longer necessary to stay on watch. “I figure the year must be 1970 or thereabouts”, he says. Neither Elijah nor Jakita dare tell him the truth. It’s 1999. He has been awake for over 50 years. Ellis proposal is brilliant, but it wouldn’t have amounted to much had it fallen in the hands of another artist. Only John Cassaday had the imagination and the visual creativity to bring to life the fantastic and the uncanny, the human and the superhuman. Whether it is a single planet or the entire multiverse, Cassaday’s undeniable talent shines in every page of this unforgettable first issue.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1: Doc Savage vs. Superman and Shadow vs. Batman2: Wonder Woman & Flash3: Green Lantern, Aquaman & Martian ManhunterTendemos a confiar en el mundo tal como se nos presenta. Intentamos comprenderlo, temiendo que si fracasamos perderemos la cordura. Nos apoyamos en nuestros sentidos porque no tenemos otra alternativa. Pero el mundo, y por supuesto el universo, es infinitamente más complejo que eso.Warren Ellis nos recuerda cuán complejo puede ser. En las páginas de “Planetary”, el escritor británico explora el concepto del multiverso: “Una multitud de alternativas posibles, ninguna de ellas del todo real, todas contribuyentes de la realidad actual”. Para explorar esta miríada de posibilidades, lo que necesitamos es un equipo de “arqueólogos de lo imposible”. Planetary es ese equipo. Excepto que aún no son un equipo, no a menos que encuentren a su último integrante.En la secuencia inicial de “Por todo el mundo” (publicado en Planetary # 1, abril de  1999) hallamos a Elijah Snow comiendo en un cafetín barato, en el medio de una carretera abandonada. Ha estado comiendo allí por diez años. No quiere irse. Porque irse sería lidiar con las consecuencias de sus actos y con los dolorosos recuerdos de su pasado. Pero cuando Jakita Wagner llega y le ofrece 1 millón de dólares por un año de trabajo, él accede. Después de todo, está cansado de tomar un café que sabe a orina de perro. Y así se completa el equipo de los arqueólogos de lo imposible. Elijah Snow, Jakita Wagner y Drummer se preparan para su primera misión: una incursión en un misterioso sistema de cavernas dentro de una montaña en los Adirondacks.  La arqueología comienza. En el fondo de las lúgubres cuevas, Elijah y Jakita descubren los restos de lo que parecía ser un museo. Excepto que es un museo que contiene objetos y huesos de criaturas que no son de la Tierra. En una fascinante página, hermosamente ilustrada por John Cassaday, vemos los enigmáticos elementos preservados en este museo: un dios cuervo de Vulcania (Cassaday dibuja un esqueleto muy amenazante y como lectores sólo podemos imaginar lo aterradora que sería esta criatura 'en carne viva'), el casco de una nave alienígena que se asemeja a un bote pre-medieval y un extraño cuerpo humanoide que nos recuerda a Silver Surfer. Doc Brass (Doc Savage) still awake after half a century /Doc Brass (Doc Savage) todavía despierto después de medio sigloFinalmente, los dos exploradores encuentran a Doc Brass, un legendario aventurero que desapareció en 1945. Brass, entonces, les explica el descubrimiento del  multiverso. Fue un accidente, desde luego. Brass y un grupo de héroes hicieron un gran esfuerzo para dar fin a la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y pensaron que podrían usar ‘el cerebro’ –una supercomputadora extraña y sofisticada– para seleccionar una realidad paralela en la que la guerra nunca sucedió. De manera no intencional, lograron ver la forma de la realidad, “un copo de nieve teórico”, un fractal, que engloba incontables universos diferentes. Pero lo que ignoraban era que, en uno de esos mundos alternativos, otro grupo de súper-hombres también había hecho el mismo descubrimiento. Y así empieza una cruenta batalla.   Al ser un ávido lector de comics, Ellis rescata la figura de los clásicos héroes ‘pulp’ de los 30s y 40s. Así que Doc Brass es, de hecho, Doc Savage, el hombre de bronce, y sus aliados son similares a la Sombra y a otros personajes tradicionales de esa época. Ahora, deben enfrentarse a adversarios más contemporáneos: un equipo de 7, un versión paralela de la Liga de la Justicia de América (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman y Martian Manhunter). Sólo Doc Brass sobrevive, y sabe que debe proteger al ‘cerebro’ a toda costa. El arma más poderosa que ha visto la humanidad no puede ser reclamada por las personas equivocadas. Doc Brass, al igual que el Doc Savage original es un hombre muy inteligente con habilidades extraordinarias. Él había eliminado su necesidad de comer y había detenido su envejecimiento, también había aprendido cómo controlar su mente para permanecer despierto por años. No ha cerrado los ojos en décadas, siempre vigilante, preocupado constantemente por lo que podría sucederle al ‘cerebro’. Finalmente, aliviado por la presencia de Elijah y Jakita, él entiende que ya no es necesario seguir en guardia. “Me figuro que el año debe ser 1970 o por ahí”, dice. Ni Elijah ni Jakita se atreven a decirle la verdad. Es 1999. Él ha estado despierto por más de 50 años.La propuesta de Ellis es brillante, pero no habría llegado muy lejos si hubiese caído en manos de otro artista. Solamente John Cassaday tenía la imaginación y la creatividad visual para traer a la vida lo fantástico y lo insólito, lo humano y lo sobrehumano. Ya sea con un sólo planeta o todo el multiverso, el innegable talento de Cassaday brilla en cada página de este inolvidable primer número.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/03/planetary-1-warren-ellis-john-cassaday.html

Sobre héroes y tumbas - Pablo Patrucco

Sobre héroes y tumbas - Pablo Patrucco

By Arion in Blog on March 24, 2014

Pablo PatruccoArt is immediate and visual, that’s probably its main strength. However, as a writer I have no more than letters and words, and I have to rely on someone else’s patience to have my text read.So I admire those who are able to express themselves visually, and perhaps that has led to me to draw, or at least try, in the past. But I'm never satisfied with my drawings, as I think they have no inherent beauty.  my drawing / mi dibujoHowever, one should define what beauty is in the first place. Here a noble spirit does not equal a beautiful subject, far from it, the mind and the intellect are worthless when the body is the only substance we can dare to grab; the Platonic Ideal world has no meddling with this world, the only world we know. For some, beauty lies, without a doubt, in the Apollonian concept as Nietzsche would understand it: Clean lines, symmetry and harmonic design that serve but one purpose: to conceal the true horror of existence, to veil and cover the real. Kant would also elaborate beauty as the intrinsic relationship between life and death, and in this correlation beauty would be that which reminds people of death, which makes people accept the possibility of death; beauty could only be found in humanity's own mortality, as so many artistic masterworks convey so extraordinarily.Finally, isn't beauty irremediably linked to desire? According to Lacan's theories, there can be a phantasmatic recipient of one's desire. In many ways, this will reside in the imaginary order, first and foremost an image, an image full of erotic power and seductive force, but only an image at last. It's through sheer power of desire, that one seemingly vanquishes an entire life of reality and replaces it with fantasy. There is only fantasy. Fantasy driven by desire. Fantasy that encapsulates and idolizes the object of our desire.Art and beauty share one immortal truth: the ability to move men and women hearts in unforeseen ways; the ability to destabilize society's strict and rigid laws, the ability to find its way regardless of prohibitions or dire outcomes. Perhaps the art I enjoy the most is that which is about the possibility of beauty and the failure of desire.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Bolognesi de Pablo PatruccoDesde hace años admiro la obra de Pablo Patrucco, artista que ha logrado plasmar en sus lienzos la realidad que nos rodea, con una belleza inesperada, una solvencia envidiable y un amor por el detalle que trasciende lo minúsculo para abarcar lo universal. Con una destreza contundente, Patrucco nos demuestra que lo bello, ese ideal platónico que parece cada vez más inalcanzable en nuestra época, es todavía posible.En el 2012, entre mis 7 distinciones anuales al panorama artístico limeño, elegí “Materia oscura”, de Pablo Patrucco, como la mejor muestra individual del año. Han pasado ya muchísimos meses en los que casi no había vuelto a ver nada de este talentoso artista, pero en el transcurso de ese tiempo he sentido cada vez mayor afinidad por su obra. Por eso, me entusiasmé al saber que esta semana se inauguraba “Sobre héroes y tumbas” en la Sala Luis Miró Quesada Garland.Con el título de la muestra, Patrucco sin duda alude a la novela homónima de Sábato, libro que leí cuando estaba en secundaria y que quizás Pablo leyó también por aquellos años. Por esas coincidencias extrañas, una noche, mientras conversaba con Didi Arteta en la Galería Cecilia González, descubrí que Pablo era, al igual que yo, reyrrojino. Y quizás, por haber estudiado en Los Reyes Rojos, ya leíamos obras como “Sobre héroes y tumbas” y también, seguramente, aprendíamos historia de manera ligeramente distinta a como se aprende en otras instituciones educativas. Algo de este cuestionamiento está en la muestra que se exhibe hasta abril en la sala miraflorina. ¿Quiénes son estos próceres de la patria, inmortalizados en bronce y, quizás, invisibilizados a fuerza de rutina y repeticiones memorísticas colegiales? ¿En qué medida la historia de nuestra nación, plagada de guerras, muerte y héroes, tanto falsos como verdaderos, sigue siendo presentada y representada en nuestro imaginario colectivo?Son preguntas atrayentes, y sin duda la lúcida mirada de Pablo Patrucco nos permite tantear una respuesta al tiempo que nos deleitamos con su exquisito trazo. Desde trabajos a lápiz y carboncillo sobre yute, hasta óleos (técnica poco usada por el artista hasta ahora), pasando por un video histórico de una guerra no menos histórica entre Perú y un país vecino, “Sobre héroes y tumbas” se configura desde ya como una de las mejores muestras del 2014. San Martín de Pablo PatruccoEstán todos invitados a darse una vuelta por la avenida Larco y recorrer estas salas en las que los héroes dejan sus tumbas del ayer para afincarse en la contemporaneidad.Arcadio B.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/03/sobre-heroes-y-tumbas-pablo-patrucco.html

Review: A Frozen World

Review: A Frozen World

By Rui Esteves in Blog on March 22, 2014

CoverA Frozen World is disturbing story about a barren, industrial, cold city called Irongates. She devours its inhabitants, sucks the life out of them until only misery remains.In it there are three stories. The first is about a nicotine addicted man that goes through life scavenging the leftovers Irongates allows him to get. That stories leads to the tale of a man that can't cope with the death of his pregnant wife. The last story dwells on the life of a murderer that terrorizes the low-lives of Irongates.Nick Andors is responsible for all creative aspects of A Frozen World. From time to time a book like this appears, a labor of love that not only tells a tale but also transpires much about its creator and connects to the reader on an intimate level. Irongates Nick does a great job with the writing. The pace is just right and the dialog are spot on. The overall plot will keep you turning the page, not in anticipation but in searching for closure and a glimmer of hope in this bleak world.In the art department he keeps the bar high. While its not as flawless as the writing, its still very good, only having a few hiccups here and there, mainly in the details. But above all it fits the dark tone of the book perfectly.The high contrast black and white style that Nick choose for this book is just perfect. Its filled with realistic and surreal characters that greatly increase the bleak, dramatic and gloomy ambiance. I love how he plays with the panel layout. They're very dynamic and create a conductor line to guide the reader that works very well.In sum its a very good book, printed in a big format that I liked very much. If you seek an original idea, a different way of telling dystopian stories, than this is just what you need.Its a pity Nick only sells for the US market, but it you email him, I believe an arrangement can be accomplished.You can get A Frozen World directly from Nick's website afrozenworld.com. Nick also can be found  on Twitter and Facebook.Publisher: Eyekon PublishingYear: 2014Pages: 120Authors: Nick AndorsISBN: 9780989531214Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/03/review-frozen-world.html

Green Lantern / Superman: Legend of the Green Flame - Neil Gaiman

Green Lantern / Superman: Legend of the Green Flame - Neil Gaiman

By Arion in Blog on March 19, 2014

 Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the 80s were, in fact, DC Comics golden age. Before the “English invasion”, DC had been suffering the afflictions of stagnation and lack of creativity. And then, all of a sudden, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, John Wagner and many other British talents were reinvigorating the DC Universe and redefining the American comic book landscape. Frank MillerAlthough Alan Moore acquired a living legend status after such seminal works like Watchmen and V For Vendetta, he also wrote many stories firmly set on the classic DC Universe. And his superhero work was extraordinarily imaginative and captivating. So it’s quite easy to understand why Neil Gaiman decided to pay homage to Moore’s work when he was asked to write the final chapter of Action Comics Weekly. Action Comics Weekly was a weekly anthology that featured characters such as Green Lantern, Phantom Stranger, Deadman, the Blackhawks and, of course, Superman. Neil Gaiman had already surprised readers and editors with his deep and enthralling takes on Black Orchid –a long forgotten superheroine who was once a member of the Suicide Squad–, Lex Luthor and Poison Ivy. And when editor Mark Waid suggested Neil for the last story of Action Comics Weekly, everyone was excited about it.Gaiman decided to explore the friendship between Green Lantern and Superman. In the opening sequence, Hal Jordan goes to the Daily Planet to visit Clark Kent. There is something unique and almost magical in the way Neil shows us how these two superheroes get along, not just in costume as Green Lantern and Superman but also in their civil identities as Hal Jordan and Clark Kent. But then, with the continuity changes established after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, it was decided that not a single superhero would know Superman’s secret identity, and therefore Neil’s story didn’t fit in and was simply filed away.Lucky for us, in 2000, DC decided to rescue this unpublished script. Reading it I just couldn’t stop feeling nostalgic for something that was never meant to happen. In my head, I tried to imagine what would have happened if Alan Moore would have written more Superman and Green Lantern stories or if Neil Gaiman would have had a long run in Action Comics. Because, in a strange way, there is a special connection here. Moore wrote stories such as “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” for “Tales of the Green Lantern Corps” and, after writing several Superman comics, he also announced his ideas for a ‘Superman in Hell’ saga (which never came to fruition).  Clark Kent, Hal Jordan & Lois Lane (art by Mike Allred & Terry Austin) And Neil Gaiman recovers all these elements, and combines them with Moore’s vision of hell as shown in “Down Amongst the Dead Men” (Swamp Thing Annual 1985). In fact, Neil also had the excellent initiative of having John Totleben (one of the main artists during Moore’s run in Swamp Thing) to magnificently illustrate Superman and Green Lantern’s journey through the land of the recently deceased.The author of Sandman reunites characters that apparently have nothing in common such as Deadman or the Blackhawks from WWII. And he makes it work brilliantly. For instance, in the 40s, the Blackhawks discover a mysterious lantern that half a century later ends up in a museum exhibition attended by Clark and Hal. This lantern sends Superman and Green Lantern to the afterlife, and it’s there where they must fight for the survival of their souls.  Long before Gaiman had written about the Eternals in Sandman, long before Death and Lucifer, there was this unforgettable story. So faithful to Alan Moore’s ideas and, at the same time, so close to Neil’s heart, back then a young writer still working for the DC Universe instead of focusing on his own creations. The love Neil feels towards DC superheroes is unmistakable, page after page, we run into subtle references, homages and little details that reminds us the richness of the DC Universe and the noble adventurers that have populated their pages since the 30s.Many of the most renowned artists of DC (and Marvel and Image and Dark Horse) participate here: Eddie Campbell (“From Hell”), Mike Allred (“Madman”), Mark Buckingham (“Peter Parker: Spider-Man”), John Totleben (“Swamp Thing”), Matt Wagner (“Grendel”), Eric Shanower (“Age of Bronze”), Jim Aparo (“Batman”), Kevin Nowlan (“Tomorrow Stories”) and Jason Little; Matt Hollingsworth is the main colorist, and Terry Austin and Arthur Adams are the inkers; and the cover is by Frank Miller (“The Dark Knight Returns”). The art alone turns this one-shot into a must have. Against the Green Flame (art by Mark Buckingham) / contra la llama verde (arte de Mark Buckingham)I can only imagine what other amazing stories Neil would have written for Superman or Green Lantern, but at the same time, as we can see in the final pages of Legend of the Green Flame –and paraphrasing Geoffrey Chaucer– “all good things must come to an end”.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________A veces es fácil olvidar que los 80s fueron, de hecho, la era dorada de DC Comics. Antes de la "invasión inglesa", DC padecía de estancamiento y falta de creatividad. Y entonces, de repente, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, John Wagner y muchos otros talentos británicos le devolvieron el vigor al universo DC y redefinieron el escenario del cómic estadounidense. Deadman in the land of the dead (art by John Totleben) / Deadman en la tierra de los muertos (arte de John Totleben)Aunque Alan Moore adquirió el status de leyenda viviente luego de obras tan influyentes como "Watchmen" y "V For Vendetta", también escribió muchas historias firmemente asentadas en el universo DC clásico. Y su trabajo de superhéroes fue extraordinariamente imaginativo y cautivador. Así que es bastante fácil entender por qué Neil Gaiman decidió rendir homenaje al trabajo de Moore cuando le pidieron escribir el capítulo final de "Action Comics Weekly".  Trapped in hell (art by Eric Shanower & Arthur Adams) / Atrapados en el infierno (arte de Eric Shanower & Arthur Adams)"Action Comics Weekly" fue una antología semanal que presentaba personajes como Green Lantern, Phantom Stranger, Deadman, los Blackhawks y, desde luego, Superman. Neil Gaiman ya había sorprendido a los lectores y editores con su profunda y atrayente interpretación de Black Orchid –una heroína largo tiempo olvidada que fue alguna vez integrante del Escuadrón Suicida–, Lex Luthor y Poison Ivy. Y cuando el editor Mark Waid sugirió a Neil para la última historia de "Action Comics Weekly", todos estaban emocionados.Gaiman decidió explorar la amistad entre Green Lantern y Superman. En la secuencia inicial, Hal Jordan va al Daily Planet para visitar a Clark Kent. Hay algo único y casi mágico en la manera en la que Neil nos muestra cómo se llevan estos dos superhéroes, no sólo usando el uniforme como Green Lantern y Superman sino también en sus identidades civiles como Hal Jordan y Clark Kent. Pero luego, con los cambios de continuidad establecidos después de las Crisis en tierras infinitas, se decidió que ningún superhéroe conocería la identidad secreta de Superman; por lo tanto, la historia de Neil no encajaba y fue simplemente archivada. Afortunadamente para nosotros, en el 2000, DC decidió rescatar este guión inédito. Al leerlo no pude dejar de sentirme nostálgico por algo que no estaba destinado a suceder. En mi cabeza, intenté imaginar qué habría pasado si Alan Moore hubiese escrito más historias de Superman y Green Lantern o si Neil Gaiman hubiese tenido una prolífica etapa en Action Comics. Porque, de una extraña manera, aquí hay una conexión especial. Moore escribió historias como “Mogo no socializa” para “Tales of the Green Lantern Corps” y, después de escribir varios cómics de Superman, también anunció sus ideas para una saga de ‘Superman en el infierno’ (que nunca se concretó). Y Neil Gaiman recupera todos estos elementos, y los combina con la visión del infierno de Moore, como apareció en “Abajo entre los muertos” (Swamp Thing Annual 1985). De hecho, Neil también tuvo la excelente iniciativa de hacer que John Totleben (uno de los principales artistas de Swamp Thing en la etapa de Moore) ilustre magníficamente la travesía de Superman y Green Lantern por la tierra de los recientemente fallecidos. The final challenge (art by Kevin Nowlan) / El reto final (arte de Kevin Nowlan)El autor de "Sandman" reúne a personajes que aparentemente no tienen nada en común como Deadman o los Blackhawks de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Y logra que todo funcione de manera brillante. Por ejemplo, en los 40s, los Blackhawks descubren una misteriosa linterna que termina, medio siglo después, en exhibición en el museo al que van Clark y Hal. Esta linterna envía a Superman y Green Lantern al más allá, en donde deberán luchar por la supervivencia de sus almas.Mucho antes que Gaiman escribiese sobre los Eternos en Sandman, mucho antes que Muerte y Lucifer, existió esta inolvidable historia. Tan fiel a las ideas de Alan Moore y, al mismo tiempo, tan próximo al corazón de Neil, en ese entonces un joven escritor que trabajaba para el universo DC en vez de enfocarse en sus propias creaciones. El amor que Neil siente hacia los superhéroes de DC es inconfundible, página tras página, encontramos referencias sutiles, homenajes y pequeños detalles que nos recuerdan la riqueza del universo DC y a los nobles aventureros que han poblado sus páginas desde los años 30.Muchos de los artistas más renombrados de DC (y Marvel, Image y Dark Horse) participan aquí: Eddie Campbell (“From Hell”), Mike Allred (“Madman”), Mark Buckingham (“Peter Parker: Spider-Man”), John Totleben (“Swamp Thing”), Matt Wagner (“Grendel”), Eric Shanower (“Age of Bronze”), Jim Aparo (“Batman”), Kevin Nowlan (“Tomorrow Stories”) y Jason Little; Matt Hollingsworth es el colorista principal y Terry Austin y Arthur Adams son los entintadores; y la portada es de Frank Miller (“The Dark Knight Returns”). Sólo por el arte este cómic es imprescindible.Únicamente puedo imaginar qué otras asombrosas historias hubiese escrito Neil sobre Superman o Green Lantern, pero al mismo tiempo, como podemos ver en las últimas páginas de "Leyenda de la llama verde" –y parafraseando a Geoffrey Chaucer– “todo lo bueno debe llegar a su fin”.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/03/green-lantern-superman-legend-of-green.html

The Bojeffries Saga - Alan Moore Steve Parkhouse

The Bojeffries Saga - Alan Moore Steve Parkhouse

By Arion in Blog on March 13, 2014

Not too long ago, I used to stay up late watching reruns of old, black and white TV shows. My favorites, of course, were “The Munsters” and “The Addams Family”. There was something especially endearing about these families, and I would often think that my life would be very unpredictable had I been raised amongst vampires, werewolves and Frankenstein monsters. Surrounded by those who are not humans in nature, perhaps we can more easily identify that which makes us humans in the first place.  I wonder if Alan Moore, growing up in the 60s, ever saw these American series. If so, Moore would have felt strangely close to these families of lycanthropes and Dracula heirs. Although charismatic and vivacious, the Munsters and the Addams clans were nonetheless stuck in a society which seemed to value adulthood’s solemnity above all else. In a way, The Bojeffries Saga feels like watching the beloved protagonists of “The Munsters” and “The Addams Family”, innocent and wholesome as children, stepping into adulthood and tripping painfully and tragicomically into a miserable reality. Because this isn’t the American golden age, this is England in the 80s, and also the ugliest side of it, the one you rarely read about, the one you would definitely ignore as a tourist.So we see Reth Bojeffries engaging into the rites of passage that are common for a boy his age, although rather uncommon for anyone outside his peculiar family, id est, the nocturne activity of fishing bats with his father, Jobremus Bojeffries. “The night wore on, and a fine drizzle of ironies in the small hours led to a bout of serious events just before morning. All the next day there were scattered circumstances, and that’s how it was in England”. Perhaps, The Bojeffries Saga is the most essentially British work Moore has ever written. It’s so deeply rooted in the United Kingdom that, in fact, it takes place in Northampton, Moore’s hometown.Living in an impoverished area of Northampton, the Bojeffries have never seen a mansion like the one owned by the wealthy Addams family, not even a decent middle class house like the Munsters residence. They live in a council house, and they haven’t been able to pay rent since the time Queen Victoria sat on England’s throne. And nevertheless, they endure. They soldier on, because they must.  Grandpa Podlasp & Trevor InchmaleTroubles begin when Trevor Inchmale, an obstinate rent collector, discovers that the Bojeffries haven’t paid a quid in over a century. But how could they pay rent when Jobremus, head of the family, is an unemployed middle-aged man with no apparent skills, save that of bat-fishing? Or when uncle Festus Zlüdotny is a vampire from eastern Europe, condemned to a life of seclusion due to his inability to speak English and also, mainly, due to his mortal allergy to sunlight? Or when uncle Raoul Zlüdotny, barely able to control his monthly lupine curse, makes minimal wage in a local factory? Or when grandpa Podlasp is in the last stages of organic matter (and, of course, not receiving any sort of retirement pension at all)? Or when Ginda Bojeffries, Reth’s histerical sister, is more obsessed with the inferiority of mortal men than with the notion of making any money? Or when the baby is, well, more akin to a nuclear reactor than a toddler?Throughout the first 70 pages, we can see the struggles of the Bojeffries family who, despite their apparent inhumanity, are all too real for us. Alan Moore’s black humor accompanies every ordeal, and as quotidian as it may seem, the elements of everyday life are slightly tweaked and repurposed, until they make us laugh out loud, much in the same way we would when confronted against the awful aspects of life… you know what I mean, the kind of high pitched laughter that seems only possible in moments of utter despair. Because, how could we not be moved by the survival attempts of a group of werewolves, vampires and monsters that, unbelievably as it might sound, are more relatable to us than our own neighbors? And how could we not admire uncle Raoul’s optimism, trapped as he is in a dead-end job? And how could we remain indifferent to Ginda’s sexual naiveté, made evident in the chapter “Sex With Ginda Bojeffries”, a hilarious erotic comedy in which nothing ever works accordingly to her female urges (from the whacky “foreplay” to the disappointments of “premature evacuation”)?  The final chapter is perhaps the cruelest: “After They Were Famous”, a shocking tale narrated as a documentary that follows the members of the Bojeffries family in the present. Since the original stories begun in 1983, Alan Moore decided that the end should take place almost 30 years later, in 2009. Here they are “existing side-by-side with culture as it is now, as opposed to culture as it was in the eighties and the early nineties”, explains Moore. For over 3 decades, the artistic consistency has been preserved by penciler and inker Steve Parkhouse. With very moody settings, extraordinary cast designs and smooth sequential approaches, Parkhouse surprises us with his aesthetic integrity, “a style equal parts Robert Crumb and the Bash Street Kids' Leo Baxendale”.“The Bojeffries Saga” was a lost masterpiece, now recovered by Top Shelf and Knockabout editors. And like every gem that has remained hidden for years, it might seem opaque at first, but once you rub it against your skin, you’ll be amazed at how much it can actually shine. And you’ll never be able to let go of it.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Hace algunos años, me quedaba hasta tarde viendo las retransmisiones de viejas series de televisión a blanco y negro. Mis favoritas, desde luego, eran "Los Munster" y "Los locos Adams". Había algo especialmente encantador en estas familias, y a menudo pensaba que mi vida sería muy impredecible si es que hubiese sido criado entre vampiros, hombres lobo y monstruos de Frankenstein. Rodeados por aquellos que no son naturalmente humanos, tal vez podemos identificar más fácilmente aquello que nos hace humanos en primer lugar. Reth, Ginda and Jobremus Bojeffries & Festus and Raoul Zlüdotny Me pregunto si Alan Moore, al crecer en los 60, alguna vez vio estas series estadounidenses. Moore se hubiese sentido extrañamente cercano a estas familias de licántropos y herederos de Drácula. Aunque carismáticos y vivaces, los clanes Munsters y Addams, no obstante, estaban atascados en una sociedad que parecía valorar la solemnidad de la adultez por encima de todo.En cierto modo, "The Bojeffries Saga" es como mirar a los queridos protagonistas de "Los Munster" y "Los locos Adams", inocentes e íntegros como niños, dar los pasos hacia la adultez y tropezar tragicómica y dolorosamente con una realidad miserable. Porque estos no son los Estados Unidos de la edad dorada, esta es la Inglaterra de los 80s, y también el lado más feo de dicha nación, el que no figura en textos, el que definitivamente ignoraríamos como turistas.Así vemos a Reth Bojeffries en los ritos iniciáticos que son comunes para un chico de su edad, aunque nada comunes para alguien que no pertenezca a esta peculiar familia, es decir, la actividad nocturna de pescar murciélagos con su padre, Jobremus Bojeffries. “La noche se desgastó, y una fina garúa de ironías en las horas del alba fue el preámbulo de un espasmo de eventos serios justo antes de la mañana. Todo el día siguiente hubo circunstancias regadas, y así es como era en Inglaterra”. Tal vez, "The Bojeffries Saga" es el trabajo más esencialmente británico que Moore ha escrito. Está tan profundamente enraizado en el Reino Unido que, de hecho, sucede en Northampton, el pueblo natal de Moore.Los Bojeffries viven en un área empobrecida de Northampton, nunca han visto una mansión como la que le pertenecía a la acaudalada familia Addams, ni siquiera una casa decente de clase media como la residencia de los Munster. Ellos viven en una vivienda de ayuda social, y no han sido capaces de pagar el alquiler desde la época en la que la reina Victoria se sentaba en el trono de Inglaterra. Y no obstante, resisten. Siguen luchando, porque deben hacerlo.Los problemas empiezan cuando Trevor Inchmale, un obstinado hombre dedicado a cobrar alquileres, descubre que los Bojeffries no han pagado ni una libra esterlina en más de un siglo. Pero ¿cómo podrían pagar el alquiler cuando Jobremus, jefe de familia, es un desempleado de edad madura y sin habilidades aparentes, salvo la pesca de murciélagos? ¿O cuando el tío Festus Zlüdotny es un vampiro de Europa del este, condenado a una vida de reclusión a causa de su inhabilidad para hablar inglés y también, principalmente, debido a su mortal alergia a la luz solar? ¿O cuando el tío Raoul Zlüdotny, apenas capaz de controlar su maldición lupina mensual, gana salario mínimo en una fábrica local? ¿O cuando el abuelo Podlasp está en las últimas etapas de la materia orgánica (y, por supuesto, no recibe ninguna pensión de jubilación)? ¿O cuando Ginda Bojeffries, la histérica hermana de Reth, está más obsesionada con la inferioridad de los mortales que con la noción de ganar dinero? ¿O cuando el bebé es, bueno, más afín a un reactor nuclear que a un infante? Family vacations / vacaciones familiaresDurante las primeras 70 páginas, podemos ver el combate de la familia Bojeffries quienes, a pesar de su aparente inhumanidad, son muy reales para nosotros. El humor negro de Alan Moore los acompaña en cada tribulación, por cotidiana que pueda parecer; los elementos de la vida diaria son ligeramente retorcidos y reinventados, hasta que nos hacen reír a carcajadas, tal como reiríamos cuando nos enfrentamos a los aspectos desagradables de la vida.... ya saben a qué me refiero, el tipo de risa aguda que parece ser posible solamente en momentos de absoluta desesperación. Porque ¿cómo podríamos no conmovernos por los intentos de supervivencia de un grupo de hombres lobos, vampiros y monstruos que, por increíble que suene, son más cercanos a nosotros que nuestros propios vecinos? ¿Y cómo podríamos dejar de admirar el optimismo del tío Raoul, atrapado como está en un empleo miserable? ¿Y cómo podríamos ser indiferentes a la ingenuidad sexual de  Ginda, evidenciada en el capítulo “Sexo con Ginda Bojeffries”, una hilarante comedia erótica en la que nada funciona de acuerdo a las urgencias femeninas (desde las desquiciadas “caricias previas” hasta las decepciones de la “evacuación precoz”)?  El capítulo final es tal vez el más cruel: “Después de que fueron famosos”, un impactante relato narrado como un documental que sigue a los miembros de la familia Bojeffries en el presente. Como las historias originales empezaron en 1983, Alan Moore decidió que el final debería suceder casi 30 años después, en el 2009. Ellos “existen lado a lado con la cultura como es ahora, en oposición a cómo era la cultura en los 80s y a inicios de los 90s”, explica Moore. Por más de 3 décadas, la consistencia artística ha sido preservada por los lápices y tintas de Steve Parkhouse. Con escenarios llenos de temperamento, extraordinarios diseños de elenco y eficaces enfoques secuenciales, Parkhouse nos sorprende con su integridad estética, “un estilo en partes iguales como el de Robert Crumb y el de Leo Baxendale de Bash Street Kids”.“The Bojeffries Saga” fue una obra maestra perdida, recuperada ahora por los editores de Top Shelf y Knockabout. Y como toda joya que ha estado escondida por años, podría parecer opaca al comienzo, pero una vez que se frota bien, se asombrarán de lo mucho que puede brillar. Y ya nunca más la podrán soltar.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-bojeffries-saga-alan-moore-steve.html

Gabinete de dibujos - Galería Pepe Cobo

Gabinete de dibujos - Galería Pepe Cobo

By Arion in Blog on March 12, 2014

Click to enlargeYears ago, Marvel Comics announced that they had bought the publication rights of Marvelman, perhaps the most iconic superhero of the United Kingdom. Although the value of the character wasn’t circumscribed to his historical roots, but rather to Alan Moore’s brilliant reinterpretation of the classic superhero. In the past 5 years many lost faith and wondered if we would actually get to see the reprinting of Moore’s run, and from 2008 to 2013 nothing happened, until finally Miracleman # 1 appeared in the solicitations of January 2014. Although I own the first 5 issues published by Eclipse Comics in the 80s, I must say I was thrilled to find out that they would restoring the original art and also adding extras (such as Garry Leach’s sketches, Warrior covers, etc.). In fact, Marvel has included stories that were never printed by Eclipse (e.g. Yesterday’s Gambit in Miracleman # 1, written by Moore and with art by Steve Dillon and Alan Davis). I must also say that I’m surprised at the high quality level of Marvel’s edition. The recoloring is impeccable and allows us to distinguish details that were lost in the original Eclipse version. Since I’ve already reviewed the first issues of Miracleman, I thought it would be interesting for you to compare the old versus the new pages. So I forthwith present you with 4 Miracleman pages which appeared on the first issue. Click HERE to see it. And in case someone wants to read a fascinating article about coloring techniques in the 80s and computer coloring in the present, please click HERE. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Luego de algunos meses de reposo la Galería Pepe Cobo contraataca y tomo por asalto la escena de arte limeña. En esta ocasión “Gabinete de dibujos” reúne obras de Borofsky, Fernando Bryce, Condo, Dokoupil, Espaliú, Förg, Freymann, Giacometti, Jacoby, Mangold, Mullican, Muñoz, Picabia, Polke, Schuyff, Thek, Trockel, Villar Rojas y Andy Warhol. Rara vez en Lima se puede apreciar una colectiva con artistas de semejante magnitud. Yo, particularmente, quedé fascinado por los 4 dibujos de Andy Warhol, dos en formato pequeño a un costo de 10,500 dólares cada uno, y dos en formato grande a 40,000 dólares cada uno. Sin duda, los mejores son estos últimos que, por cierto, pertenecen a la serie Male Nudes, es decir, desnudos masculinos, y que en este caso reproducen la desnudez de un modelo masculino desde el cuello hacia la zona pélvica y en el otro cuadro desde el torso hacia las piernas (abarcando, desde luego, las nalgas y el ano). Los desnudos de Warhol son, sin duda, una fascinante mirada hacia el arte homoerótico incipiente del siglo pasado, y merecen ser vistos con toda nuestra atención. Yo, al menos, confronté estos cuadros al menos por media hora. Son realmente una maravilla.En la misma noche se inauguró “Inversiones” de Sergio Fernández, en la Galería Lucía de la Puente. Allí me encontré con Mariella Agois (quien luego me acompañó hasta Pepe Cobo), Dare Dovidjenko y mis grandes amigos Hugo Salazar y Tomás Prochazka; también conversé con Rebeca Vaisman y Hugo Alegre. Por supuesto, también aproveché para darme una vuelta por la Galería Wu Ediciones y quedé encantado con la muestra “Laguna” de Ignacio Álvaro. Allí me encontré con Daniel Paz Parodi y varios amigos más. Sin duda, esta fue una noche magnífica, llena de diversión y que, ojalá, se repita próximamente.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/03/gabinete-de-dibujos-galeria-pepe-cobo.html

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