Sunday, December 21, 2014 • Evening Edition • "Sometimes true. Always authentic."
The Boys # 3 4 - Garth Ennis Darick Robertson

The Boys # 3 4 - Garth Ennis Darick Robertson

By Arion in Blog on May 8, 2014

Try not to meet your heroes, or else you’ll end up sorely disappointed. This may be a universal truth, applied to those whom we admire the most: writers, filmmakers, artists. Indeed sometimes it is much better to revere our idols from a safe distance. Proximity can be quite dangerous. This is what Annie January (Starlight) learns after she’s accepted in the ranks of The Seven, the world’s superhero elite. All through her childhood, she has looked up to the best and brightest champion: Homelander, a figure of almost messianic connotations, a superman amongst already extraordinarily powerful people, a beacon of optimism and patriotism. But is he the epitome of decency? Or has it all been a lie, a mere result of efficient marketing?An awestruck Annie January realizes the Homelander is very interested in her. Of course, her sexual purity (she’s still a virgin) and naiveté are blinding her. Because Homelander’s interest isn’t based on her merits or her sweet personality. What he wants is a blowjob. As simple as that. And if she refuses she will be automatically expelled from The Seven. Homelander's indecent proposal / la propuesta indecente de HomelanderShocked, she can’t accept the fact that her childhood hero is an unscrupulous man. And when Black Noir and A-Train arrive, she asks them for help. But then again, they are there for the same reason... and after unbuttoning and unzipping, they start fondling their penises to get an erection.The moral dilemma is an old one. She is not being raped but she is being blackmailed. If she rejects the request to practice oral sex with the most respected superheroes of the world, she will be kicked out. She has fought and trained for years to be in The Seven, this is her dream. And no matter what, like so many actresses that were forced to undergo Hollywood’s humiliating ‘casting coach’, she can’t go back to her hometown, she can’t go back to being an ordinary and penniless girl. So she does it. Painfully and miserably, she sucks the dicks of Homelander, Black Noir and A-Train. And that’s how “Cherry” (published in The Boys # 3 & 4, in November and December, 2006) begins. Black Noir & A-Train getting ready for a fellatio / Black Noir y A-Train se preparan para una felaciónMeanwhile, Wee Hughie and Butcher are keeping tabs on Teenage Kix, America’s most popular group of young heroes. Butcher knows that if he can get enough dirt on the adolescent heroes, then they will be ripe for extortion. And there is more than enough dirt (which proves, once again, that if you get to know your heroes intimately you’ll barely be able to survive the experience). Instead of saving the world, Teenage Kix members spend most of their time in wild orgies, or practicing masturbation in public, or stealing meds from sick children, or having as much sex as it’s humanly (or superhumanly) possible, whether it be straight or gay fucking.Writer Garth Ennis shares with us a perverse dynamic of appearances, of superficiality, revealing the truth about The Seven, the world’s most cherished superheroes; and exposing, simultaneously, the debauchery and sexual degeneration of the most famous teenagers in the United States. Of course, the fascinating script wouldn’t be as impressive if not for the remarkable art by Darick Robertson, his overtly detailed pages and his fantastic ability to transmit eroticism and violence in equal dosages, are truly unique qualities.  Annie January about to be sexually humiliated / Annie January apunto de ser humillada sexualmenteAt the end, we’re left with some crucial questions: do we know the heroes we claim to admire? Are we ready to accept who they are behind the cameras? Or is the truth so despicable that we simply deny it, holding onto the sparkling publicity and marketing campaigns, with the same fierceness that a drowning man holds onto the last lifesaver? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________No intentéis conocer a vuestros héroes, o saldréis dolorosamente decepcionados. Esta bien puede ser una verdad universal, aplicada a aquellos a los que más admiramos: escritores, cineastas, artistas. De hecho, a veces es mucho mejor reverenciar a nuestros ídolos desde una distancia segura. La proximidad puede ser muy peligrosa. Teenage Kix's wild orgy / la orgía salvaje de Teenage KixEsto es lo que Annie January (Starlight) descubre cuando es aceptada en las filas de Los Siete, la élite superheroica del mundo. Durante su infancia, ella admiraba al mejor y más resplandeciente campeón: Homelander, una figura de connotaciones casi mesiánicas, un superhombre entre hombres ya de por sí extraordinariamente poderosos, un faro de optimismo y patriotismo. Pero, ¿es el epítome de la decencia? ¿O todo ha sido una mentira, apenas el resultado de un marketing eficiente?Una maravillada Annie January se da cuenta de que Homelander está muy interesado en ella. Por supuesto, la pureza sexual (ella aún es virgen) y la ingenuidad la ciegan. Porque el interés de Homelander no se fundamenta en los méritos o en una dulce personalidad. Lo que él quiere es una mamada. Así de simple. Y si ella se rehúsa, será automáticamente expulsada de Los Siete. Masturbation in public / masturbación en públicoConvulsionada, no puede aceptar el hecho de que su héroe de infancia sea un hombre inescrupuloso. Y cuando llegan Black Noir y A-Train, les pide ayuda. No obstante, ellos están allí por el mismo motivo... y después de desabotonarse los pantalones y bajarse el cierre, empiezan a frotar sus penes para tener una erección.El dilema moral no es nuevo. Ella no está siendo violada pero está siendo chantajeada. Si se niega a practicar sexo oral con los más respetados superhéroes del mundo, la botarán a patadas. Ella ha peleado y entrenado por años para estar en Los Siete, ese es su sueño. Y sin importar qué pase, al igual que tantas actrices que fueron forzadas a pasar por el humillante 'sofá del elenco' de Hollywood, ella no puede regresar a su pueblo natal, no puede volver a ser una chica ordinaria y sin un centavo. Así que lo hace. Dolorosa y miserablemente, les chupa el pene a Homelander, Black Noir y A-Train. Y así es como empieza “Cereza” (publicado en "The Boys" # 3 y 4, en noviembre y diciembre del 2006).Mientras tanto, el Pequeño Hughie y Butcher están espiando a Teenage Kix, el grupo de héroes juveniles más populares de Estados Unidos. Butcher sabe que si encuentra los secretos sucios de los héroes adolescentes, entonces podrá extorsionarlos. Y hay bastantes secretos sucios (lo que prueba, una vez más, que si conoces a tus héroes íntimamente, apenas podrás sobrevivir a la experiencia). En vez de salvar al mundo, los miembros de Teenage Kix gastan todo su tiempo en orgías salvajes, o practicando la masturbación en público, o robando medicamentos de niños enfermos, o teniendo tanto sexo como es humanamente (o superhumanamente) posible, follando homosexual y heterosexualmente. Teenage Kix's dirty secrets / los secretos sucios de Teenage KixEl escritor Garth Ennis comparte con nosotros una dinámica perversa de apariencias, de superficialidad, revelando la verdad sobre Los Siete, los héroes más queridos del mundo; y revelando, simultáneamente, la depravación y degeneración sexual de los adolescentes más famosos de Estados Unidos. Desde luego, el fascinante guión no sería tan impresionante si no fuera por el extraordinario arte de Darick Robertson, sus páginas de detalles prolijos y su fantástica habilidad para transmitir erotismo y violencia en dosis iguales, son cualidades realmente únicas.Al final, nos quedamos con algunas preguntas cruciales: ¿conocemos a los héroes que afirmamos admirar? ¿Estamos listos para aceptar quiénes son detrás de las cámaras? ¿O es la verdad tan despreciable que simplemente la negamos, agarrándonos de la destellante publicidad y las campañas de marketing con la misma fiereza con la que un ahogado se agarra del último salvavidas?Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-boys-3-4-garth-ennis-darick.html

Jupiter’s Legacy # 4 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely

Jupiter’s Legacy # 4 - Mark Millar Frank Quitely

By Arion in Blog on May 4, 2014

Like the proverbial calm before the storm, the fourth issue of Jupiter’s Legacy is deceitfully peaceful. It’s 2022 and the world has changed. Brandon and his uncle Walter have conquered America, ruling the nation from the White House. But nothing has changed. Poverty has increased and people have lost their jobs and their savings, the United States is in serious financial problems.Meanwhile, Chloe –the Utopian’s daughter– and her husband have escaped from the slaughter and have remained hidden in Europe for almost a decade. They haven’t been idle, though. In fact, they have a son: Jason; he is a sweet and innocent child, still in elementary school, that dreams about the golden age of the superheroes and the legacy of the Utopian.The family lives in Australia, and they have avoided detection so far by concealing their special abilities. And the resulting dynamic is quite interesting. Jason’s parents have been training him for years not to become the savior of humanity but rather to blend in. They encourage him to lose in every sport he practices, and they suggest him not to say or write anything clever at school. Considered a clumsy and weak boy with average IQ, he has built the perfect secret identity. He’s so normal that no one could suspect he is, in fact, a child of extraordinary powers, both physical and mental. The Utopian’s noble past / el noble pasado de Utopian Australia: under surveillance /Australia: bajo vigilanciaHowever, all children tend to disobey his parents. And Jason has been saving people at super-speed and helping them using his superpowers. Perhaps he ignores that “No good deed goes unpunished”. These mysterious events have piqued the curiosity of Walter and he has hired a ruthless mercenary to find out what’s going on in Australian lands.  Of course, in addition to Mark Millar’s solid narrative and creative concepts, we have the stunning art of Frank Quitely. He draws some pages full of light, able to transmit pure optimism, for instance when Chloe tells his son about the golden era; and there are also powerful and ominous images, like the Australian surveillance overcraft or the first appearance of the government’s mercenary; naturally, there are also moments of undiluted visual fun, id est, when Jason assumes his superheroic identity. Certainly, Pete Doherty’s coloring skills are also superb, and greatly enhance Quitely’s illustrations.Finally, there is that which we should’ve admired in the first place: I was looking at the cover and there’s something really impressive about it. If I were to describe it “thematically” everyone would consider it unexciting: a child and two grownups pose for us, the viewers. And certainly, in the hands of any other artist it would be a failure as a cover, but in the talented hands of Quitely it turns into a beautiful depiction of the protagonists of this chapter, and there is so much ‘heart’ in this illustration that we immediately feel affection towards the family.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Super Jason: ready to save the day / Súper Jason: listo para salvar el mundoComo la proverbial calma antes de la tormenta, el cuarto número de "Jupiter’s Legacy" es engañosamente pacífico. Estamos en el 2022 y el mundo ha cambiado. Brandon y su tío Walter han conquistado Estados Unidos, y gobiernan la nación desde la Casa Blanca. Pero nada ha cambiado. La pobreza se ha incrementado y la gente ha perdido sus empleos y sus ahorros; el país tiene serios problemas financieros. Mientras tanto, Chloe –la hija de Utopian– y su esposo han escapado de la carnicería y permanecen escondidos en Europa por casi una década. Aunque no han estado ociosos. De hecho, tienen un hijo: Jason; él es un niño dulce e inocente, todavía en primaria, que sueña con la era dorada de los superhéroes y el legado de Utopian.La familia vive en Australia, y hasta ahora han evitado la detección al ocultar sus habilidades especiales. Y la dinámica resultante es bastante interesante. Los padres de Jason lo han entrenado durante años para que no se convierta en el salvador de la humanidad sino para que pase desapercibido. Lo alientan para que pierda en todos los deportes que practica, y le sugieren que no diga ni escriba nada inteligente en el colegio. Considerado como un chico torpe y débil, con un coeficiente intelectual promedio, él ha construido la identidad secreta perfecta. Es tan normal que nadie podría sospechar que él es, de hecho, un niño con extraordinarios poderes, tanto físicos como mentales. Government’s mercenary / mercenario gubernamentalSin embargo, todos los niños tienden a desobedecer a sus padres. Y Jason ha estado salvando a personas a súper-velocidad y ayudándolos usando sus superpoderes. Tal vez él ignora que “toda obra buena es castigada”. Estos misteriosos eventos han despertado la curiosidad de Walter así que contrata a un cruel mercenario para averiguar qué está sucediendo en tierras australianas.Por supuesto, además de la narrativa sólida y los conceptos creativos de Mark Millar, tenemos el espectacular arte de Frank Quitely. Él dibuja algunas páginas luminosas, capaces de transmitir puro optimismo, por ejemplo cuando Chloe habla con su hijo sobre la era dorada; y también hay imágenes poderosas y ominosas, como la nave de vigilancia australiana o la primera aparición del mercenario gubernamental; naturalmente, también hay momentos de diversión visual sin diluir, es decir, cuando Jason asume su identidad superheroica. Ciertamente, el coloreado de Pete Doherty es soberbio, y mejora en gran medida las ilustraciones de Quitely.Finalmente, tenemos que lo debíamos haber admirado en primer lugar: estaba mirando la portada y hay algo realmente impresionante en ella. Si la describiera “temáticamente” todos la considerarían inexpresiva: un niño y dos adultos posan para nosotros, los espectadores. Y ciertamente, en las manos de cualquier otro artista sería una portada fallida, pero en las talentosas manos de Quitely se convierte en una preciosa representación de los protagonistas de este capítulo, hay tanto ‘corazón’ en esta ilustración que inmediatamente sentimos afecto por la familia.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/05/jupiters-legacy-4-mark-millar-frank.html

Planetary # 2 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday

Planetary # 2 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday

By Arion in Blog on April 27, 2014

Death has a tendency for homogenization. It cares not for religion, nationality or socioeconomic status, and quickly sends all deceased people to the same place: the cemetery. But does this apply solely to us? Perhaps animals also give some thought on the matter of their own death. There are mythical tales about ivory seekers that would track down elephant graveyards, vast regions where all these colossal creatures would gather for one last breath before falling down and joining their kin.Warren Ellis takes this premise as the starting point of “Island” (published in Planetary # 2, May 1999), and expands on it very creatively. What would have happened if real monsters had existed on our planet? Where would they’ve gone to die? The answer is a refreshing cocktail of references that include WWII and B-movies from the 50s.When Elijah Snow, Jakita Wagner and the Drummer travel to Japan to visit the subsidiary offices of Planetary –funded by the mysterious Fourth Man, the same individual responsible for sponsoring the Archeologists of the Impossible– they make a startling discovery: the security perimeter in Island Zero has been breached. But what secrets remain buried in there?Hiroshima was the target of the first atomic bombs in history. But something happened that day. Perhaps it was the radiation or something far more sinister… anyway, the result was mindboggling, to say the least. Gigantic monsters started to appear on Island Zero. Monsters strangely similar to Godzilla and other B-movie creatures. In the 50s, these monsters reigned supreme on an island that no one dared to visit, and at the same time Godzilla movies were all the rage; however, in the 70s, productions about scaly, giant lizards were not popular anymore, and around that time, the decline of the monsters from the Japanese island begun. Mothra King GhidorahIn 1999, a group of Asian insurrectionists have set foot on Island Zero, ignoring what they might find there. As improvised archeologists, they find the impossibly big skeletons of monsters that defy logic and nature. Mothra lies desiccated in a deserted valley; not far, the kilometric corpse of Godzilla is rotting… Elijah and Jakita arrive too late, there are no secrets to protect, only the remains, the lifeless carcasses of creatures that could never belong to this world.“Island” is an amazing self-contained episode written with the necessary nostalgia to make us feel sympathetic towards the traditional figure of the monster, while at the same time serves as an examination of the consequences of war, nuclear attacks and governmental secrecy.  John Cassaday’s art is exceptionally brilliant. The double page spread where we can see the Japanese expedition admiring the insectoid Mothra combines fantasy and horror elements, B-movie sensibilities, Ray Harryhausen’s approach to special effects and real life scenarios into one powerful image. The skeleton of King Ghidorah –a dragon with 3 heads– looks quite menacing, even if it represents no immediate danger. The dead Godzilla is equally creepy and reinforces the mystery of Island Zero. How did they all die? What inscrutable instinct led them to this graveyard? Finally, the cover is a heartfelt homage to the classic Godzilla posters from Toho Studios.  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________La muerte tiende a la homogenización. No presta atención a la religión, la nacionalidad ni el estatus socioeconómico, y envía rápidamente a todos los fallecidos al mismo lugar: el cementerio. Pero, ¿esto se aplica únicamente a nosotros? Tal vez los animales también reflexionan sobre su propia muerte. Hay relatos míticos de buscadores de marfil que descubren cementerios de elefantes, vastas regiones en las que estas criaturas colosales se reunían para exhalar el último aliento antes de caer y unirse a los suyos.  GodzillaWarren Ellis toma esta premisa como el punto inicial de “Isla” (publicado en Planetary # 2, mayo de 1999), y la expande de manera muy creativa. ¿Qué habría pasado si hubiesen existido monstruos en nuestro planeta? ¿Adónde habrían ido a morir? La respuesta es un refrescante cocktail de referencias que incluyen a la Segunda Guerra Mundial y a las películas de serie B de los 50s.Cuando Elijah Snow, Jakita Wagner y Drummer viajan a Japón para visitar la oficina subsidiaria de Planetary –financiada por el misterioso cuarto hombre, el mismo individuo responsable de auspiciar a los arqueólogos de lo imposible– descubren algo espeluznante: el perímetro de seguridad en la Isla Cero ha sido penetrado. Pero, ¿qué secretos están enterrados allí?Hiroshima fue el blanco de las primeras bombas atómicas de la historia. Pero algo pasó ese día. Tal vez fue la radiación o algo mucho más siniestro... de todos modos, el resultado fue increíble. Monstruos gigantescos empezaron a aparecer en la Isla Cero. Monstruos extrañamente similares a Godzilla y a otras criaturas de películas de serie B. En los 50s, estos monstruos reinaron en una isla que nadie se atrevía a visitar, y al mismo tiempo las películas de Godzilla estaban de moda; sin embargo, en los 70s, las producciones sobre lagartos gigantes y escamosos ya no eran tan populares, y por esos años, comenzó el declive de los monstruos de la isla japonesa. Island Zero En 1999, un grupo de insurrectos asiáticos desembarcan en la Isla Cero, ignorando lo que podrían encontrar allí. Como arqueólogos improvisados, encuentran los esqueletos imposiblemente grandes de monstruos que desafían la lógica y la naturaleza. Mothra yace disecado en un valle desértico; a poco distancia se pudre el kilométrico cadáver de Godzilla... Elijah y Jakita han llegado demasiado tarde, no hay secretos que proteger, sólo restos, carcasas sin vida de criaturas que nunca pertenecieron a este mundo.  “Isla” es un asombroso episodio autoconclusivo, escrito con la nostalgia necesaria para hacernos sentir compasión por la figura tradicional del monstruo, mientras que al mismo tiempo sirve para examinar las consecuencias de la guerra, los ataques nucleares y los secretos gubernamentales.El arte de John Cassaday es excepcionalmente brillante. La página doble en la que vemos a la expedición japonesa admirando al insectoide Mothra combina fantasía y elementos de terror, la sensibilidad de las películas de serie B, el enfoque de efectos especiales de Ray Harryhausen y escenarios de la vida real en una poderosa imagen. El esqueleto de King Ghidorah –un dragón con 3 cabezas– se ve bastante amenazador, incluso cuando no representa peligro inmediato. El Godzilla muerto es igualmente tenebroso y refuerza el misterio de la Isla Cero. ¿Cómo murieron todos? ¿Qué inescrutable instinto los guió a este cementerio? Finalmente, la portada es un sentido homenaje a los clásicos afiches de Godzilla de Toho Studios.  Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/04/planetary-2-warren-ellis-john-cassaday.html

Aspen Tour Continues At Calgary Comic Entertainment Expo

Aspen Tour Continues At Calgary Comic Entertainment Expo

By Rui Esteves in Blog on April 23, 2014

Lola XOXO Aspen Comics’ 2014 con tour season continues at this weekend’s Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo from April 24-27th. The publisher’s booth #904 will feature creators Siya Oum (Lola XOXO), Peter Steigerwald (The Zoo Hunters), Frank Mastromauro (Shrugged, Overtaken) and Paolo Pantalena (Jirni), as well as a host of con-exclusive items.Lola XOXO debuted on April 9th, and Aspen will be offering a special Lola XOXO #1 Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2014 exclusive cover by series creator and illustrator Siya Oum, limited to 500 copies. Fans are encouraged to get their copies signed by Oum in person, as she will be appearing exclusively at the Aspen Booth #904 throughout the weekend.Aspen will also be releasing a new series of their industry-leading art prints featuring new and popular cover images from Lola XOXO and Fathom: Kiani by Oum and Pantalena. Limited quantities of all con exclusives will also be available starting this weekend on the AspenStore.com.For more information please check www.aspencomics.com. Kiani Lola XOXO Lola XOXOFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/04/aspen-tour-continues-at-calgary-comic.html

DAYS OF SCANDALS PAST

DAYS OF SCANDALS PAST

By Arion in Blog on April 21, 2014

It seems to me as if, for the past few days, we’ve been prompted to choose sides. Bryan Singer (director of the upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) has been sued for sexually molesting a 15 year old boy in 1998. Some consider his accuser (Michael Egan) to be a liar, and others are ready to attack the filmmaker, labeling him as a pedophile. Nevertheless, in our hastiness, we are forgetting Aristotle's law of excluded middle, and we’re letting sensationalistic press to form (or rather deform) our judgment.Until more evidences comes to the surface, I cannot corroborate nor deny the veracity of Mr. Egan’s accusations, but regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, Singer is now on the spotlight. After a preliminary inspection, Egan’s claims appeared to be salacious and untrue. First of all, this is a civil lawsuit, which means that even if Singer is found guilty on all charges, he is not going to be criminally prosecuted. The one and only purpose of a civil lawsuit is to obtain a reparation, id est, a monetary settlement (in this particular case, the initial amount is 300,000 dollars and an additional sum decided by the court). Creating this public relations nightmare only a month before the premiere of Singer’s new film looks extremely convenient for Egan. To hush it all up and minimize bad publicity, Singer (or anyone in his place) would probably consider paying a large sum of money before the situation gets out of hand. RIVER PHOENIX, COREY HAIM, JONATHAN BRANDIS, CHRISTOPHER PETTIET and BRAD RENFRO were sexually abused by Hollywood pedophiles. Suicide and accidental drug overdose sent them all to their graves while they were still young.Some have pointed out that there are precedents of Singer’s misbehavior. In fact, in 1997 three teenagers who acted as extras in Singer’s “Apt Pupil” pressed charges against the director and his filming crew. The three boys said that they were not informed that they would have to be completely naked during a shower scene and that their genitals were photographed by one of Singer’s cameramen. I have studied these allegations at length and I consider them to be unsubstantiated. There were dozens of extras and only three considered something suspicious was going on; besides, all extras and their parents or legal guardians were informed of the need for nudity during the shower scene. Those who were uncomfortable or too young would appear instead on the locker room scene, wearing towels around their waists and/or underwear. Even the boys who sued Singer admitted that, when they refused to remove their underwear, they were simply relocated to the locker room.Others have tried to smear Singer’s reputation by pointing out his preference towards twinks. Nevertheless if a 48-year-old man decides to date an 18-year-old boy, then that is his prerogative and there is nothing illegal about that. It is an “open secret” that Bryan Singer and Roland Emmerich (both openly gay directors) organize raucous parties in which hundreds of young men struggle to be selected for “private casting sessions”; and although it is morally reprehensible of them to abuse of their popularity or status as successful Hollywood directors, still there is nothing illegal about these activities.So without any precedents of misconduct and with the opportunistic date of Mr. Egan’s accusations, I was ready to disregard this entire situation as a simple attempt to take money from Singer. However, there is a detail that I cannot overlook which confers validity to Michael Egan’s testimony: Marc Collins-Rector. As we can read in the plaintiff’s deposition, the first rape took place in an Encino mansion (the M&C Estate), property of Marc Collins-Rector, a registered sex offender who has plead guilty on multiple child molestation charges. Collins-Rector was a very successful scammer; after securing millions of dollars from investors for his “digital entertainment” company (DEN), he squandered all the money creating a nefarious pedophile ring, raping teenage boys and prostituting them to Hollywood directors and producers. When he was discovered, he quickly fled to Spain, whereupon he continued taking advantage of underage boys.It is a fact that Marc Collins-Rector forced teenagers to have sexual intercourse with him and with powerful men from the entertainment industry. Although it can be difficult to prove that Bryan Singer was present during one of these parties, it is also a fact that Singer and Collins-Rector were, if not friends, at least acquaintances. What worries me the most, certainly, is this connection between Singer and Collins-Rector. I don't necessarily believe in being “guilty by association”, but Collins-Rector did rape young boys, and one of the victims was Alex Burton (Pyro from Singer’s first X-Men film). Alex Burton and Michael Egan were two of the plaintiffs in a 2000 suit against Marc Collins-Rector and two of his associates. I have read the allegations from 2000 and they are consistent with the accusations presented now in 2014. Collins-Rector organized these parties so that big shot Hollywood guys could take sexual advantage of teenaged boys, who were either drugged or persuaded to have sex after being offered roles in movies and a career in Hollywood. Egan’s lawyer, Jeff Herman, has recently filed charges of sexual abuse against powerful producers such as Garth Ancier (Disney), David Neuman (NBC) and Gary Goddard (The Goddard Group); supposedly, these men were also a part of Collins-Rector’s pedophile ring. Even if Singer proves that he neither orally copulated nor anally raped Michael Egan in the Encino parties in 1998 and in Hawaii in 2000, he will still have to explain the nature of his incriminatory connection with Marc Collins-Rector. The truth, however, remains unchanged. Hollywood’s scandals (sexual or otherwise) are frequent. The system of the “casting coach” was famous even in the 40s or 50s, a time in which aspiring actresses would provide sexual favors to directors or producers in order to become movie stars. However the situation here is entirely different. We are not talking about adults, we are talking about underage boys. And we are also talking about pedophilia and ephebophilia, and the heinous crimes committed by men in a position of power within the film industry.And with power comes impunity. We have the case of Jimmy Savile, a powerful figure in the British television industry; for several decades he raped and sexually molested almost 500 children and teenagers; some of his victims pressed charges but the lawsuits did not prosper. Evidence of Savile’s debauchery only came to the surface 50 years later. In a similar venue, Victor Salva (director of “Jeepers Creepers” and other popular horror movies), sexually molested a 12-year-old boy and had the audacity to film it; that videotape was evidence enough to send him to jail for years, but for some reason Salva was incarcerated only for a few months and to this day continues to make movies mostly with young male actors. There are many examples that demonstrate how the law rarely applies to the rich and how money can help men to commit crimes and get away with it.Many underage actors have been victims of sexual abuse and few have been able to survive these traumatic experiences. River Phoenix (“Stand by Me”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”) was sexually molested when he was only 12 years old. I can only try to imagine the suffering he went through and I can also understand why he eventually developed an addiction to illegal substances; in the end, being drugged might have been the only way to silence the pain. River Phoenix died at a young age of an accidental drug overdose.Contemporary to River Phoenix, Corey Haim (“Lucas”, “The Lost Boys”) was also a teen idol and a superstar. However, in the set of Lucas “Haim, innocent and ambitious as he was, allowed himself to be sodomized” by a Hollywood mogul. Corey Haim was 14 years old and the man who sodomized him was 42; it is believed that Corey was abused by either David Nicksay or David Geffen (both wealthy Hollywood producers), but it didn’t end there. Corey Haim continued to be raped by a number of Hollywood big shots (one of them was rumored to be director Joel Schumacher, although these rumors in particular cannot be verified). Concurrently, another famous child actor named Corey Feldman (“The Goonies”, “Gremlins”) was also the victim of several pedophiles who were powerful figures in the film industry. At that time, many people knew what was going on, some executives would even make fun of the child stars saying things like “Oh yeah, the Coreys, everyone's had them”. I cannot imagine how anyone could survive after so much pain and suffering, but this clearly affected their lives and turned them into drug addicts. Corey Haim had many problems as a consequence of his drug addiction, and after making millions of dollars in the box office he eventually went bankrupt and died of health problems related to his drug addiction. It was a tragic loss. I really admired Corey Haim as an actor and I was devastated to find out what had happened to him as a child.A few years later, underage actors Jonathan Brandis (“The Neverending Story II”, “Sidekicks”) and Christopher Pettiet (“Point Break”, “Boys”) started to become famous. However, it was also suggested by well-connected sources that they both were victims of sexual abuse. Christopher died of an accidental drug overdose and Jonathan committed suicide. They were both quite young when they died. It has also been said that Heath Ledger was sexually abused, but those rumors were debunked as they do not come from verifiable sources (that is why I’m not including him on this list).Finally, talented actor Brad Renfro (“The Client”, “Apt Pupil”) was another victim of the institutionalized child abuse that runs rampant in Hollywood. Brad was allegedly raped at age 12 by Joel Schumacher but it is also possible that other directors he worked with sexually exploited him. As a consequence, he became a drug addict and eventually died of an accidental drug overdose. I considered Brad Renfro as one of the best actors of his generation, and I still remember how shocked and saddened I was when he passed away. As you can all see, this wasn’t an isolated event. This is an atrocious pattern that is systematically repeated every decade. There are many wonderful and gifted actors that share the same tragic destiny. And unless things change, Hollywood will continue to be responsible for the death of the brightest and the youngest.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Considero que, en los últimos días, nos hemos apresurado al establecer ciertos dictámenes. Bryan Singer (director de “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) ha sido demandado por abusar sexualmente de un chico de 15 años en 1998. Algunos consideran que su acusador (Michael Egan) es un mentiroso, y otros están listos para atacar al cineasta, calificándolo de pedófilo. No obstante, en nuestra prisa, olvidamos el principio del tercio excluido de Aristóteles, y permitimos que la prensa sensacionalista forme (o más bien deforme) nuestro juicio.Hasta que nuevas evidencias salgan a la luz, no puedo corroborar ni mucho menos negar la veracidad de las acusaciones del señor Egan, pero sin tener en cuenta el resultado de esta demanda, Singer está ahora bajo la lupa. Luego de una inspección preliminar, los argumentos de Egan parecían ser dolosos e inverosímiles. En primer lugar, esta es una demanda civil, eso significa que incluso si es que Singer es encontrado culpable de todo lo que se le imputa, no será procesado criminalmente. El único propósito de una demanda civil es obtener una reparación, es decir, una compensación monetaria (en este caso particular, el monto inicial es de 300,000 dólares y una suma adicional establecida por la corte). Crear esta pesadilla de relaciones públicas apenas un mes antes del estreno de la nueva película de Singer es extremadamente conveniente para Egan. Para lograr que se calle y para minimizar la mala publicidad, Singer (o cualquiera en su lugar) probablemente consideraría pagar una fuerte suma de dinero antes de que la situación se salga de control. RIVER PHOENIX, COREY HAIM, JONATHAN BRANDIS, CHRISTOPHER PETTIET y BRAD RENFRO fueron abusados sexualmente por pedófilos de Hollywood.  El Suicidio y la sobredosis  accidental los mandó a la tumba cuando aún eran jóvenes.Algunos han señalado que Singer tiene precedentes de conducta impropia. De hecho, en 1997 tres adolescentes que actuaban como extras en “Apt Pupil” presentaron cargos en contra del director y su equipo de filmación. Los tres muchachos dijeron que no se les informó que deberían estar completamente desnudos durante una escena en la ducha y que sus genitales fueron fotografiados por uno de los camarógrafos de Singer. He estudiado extensamente estos alegatos y considero que carecen de fundamento. Hubo docenas de extras y solamente tres consideraron que algo sospechoso estaba sucediendo; además, todos los extras y sus padres o guardianes legales fueron informados de la necesidad de desnudez durante la escena en la ducha. Aquellos que se sintieron incómodos o que eran demasiado jóvenes aparecerían en la escena de los vestuarios, usando toallas alrededor de la cintura o ropa interior. Incluso los chicos que demandaron a Singer admitieron que, al rehusarse a quitarse la ropa interior, fueron simplemente reubicados en el vestuario.Otros han intentado mancillar la reputación de Singer al señalar su preferencia por los "twinks". No obstante, si un hombre de 48 años decide tener una cita con un chico de 18 años, entonces esa es su prerrogativa y no hay nada ilegal en ello. Es un “secreto a gritos” que Bryan Singer y Roland Emmerich (ambos directores abiertamente gays) organizan bulliciosas fiestas en las que centenares de jovencitos se esfuerzan por ser seleccionados para “sesiones privadas de casting”; y aunque es moralmente reprobable que ellos abusen de su popularidad o status como exitosos directores de Hollywood, aun así no hay nada ilegal en estas actividades.Así que sin ningún precedente de conducta impropia y con la oportunista fecha de las acusaciones del señor Egan, estaba listo para desdeñar todo este asunto como un simple intento de quitarle dinero a Singer. Sin embargo, hay un detalle que no puedo pasar por alto y que confiere validez al testimonio de Michael Egan: Marc Collins-Rector. Tal como podemos leer en el legajo del demandante, la primera violación ocurrió en una mansión en Encino (la finca M&C), propiedad de Marc Collins-Rector, un predador sexual registrado que confesó ser culpable de múltiples cargos de abuso sexual a menores de edad. Collins-Rector era un exitosísimo estafador; después de conseguir millones de dólares de inversionistas para su compañía de “entretenimiento digital” (DEN por sus siglas en inglés), dilapidó todo ese dinero creando una nefasta red de pedofilia, violando adolescentes y prostituyéndolos con directores y productores de Hollywood. Cuando fue descubierto, huyó rápidamente a España, en donde continuó aprovechándose de jovencitos menores de edad.Es un hecho que Marc Collins-Rector obligó a los adolescentes a tener sexo con él y con poderosos hombres de la industria del entretenimiento. Aunque puede ser difícil probar que Bryan Singer estuvo presente durante alguna de estas fiestas, también es un hecho que Singer y Collins-Rector eran, si bien no amigos, al menos sí conocidos. Lo que más me preocupa, ciertamente, es esta conexión entre Singer y Collins-Rector. No creo necesariamente que se pueda ser "culpable por asociación", pero Collins-Rector violó a chicos jóvenes, y una de las víctimas fue Alex Burton (Pyro en la primera película de X-Men de Singer). Alex Burton y Michael Egan fueron dos de los demandantes en un acto judicial del 2000 en contra de Marc Collins-Rector y dos de sus asociados.He leído los alegatos del 2000 y son consistentes con las acusaciones presentadas ahora en el 2014. Collins-Rector organizaba estas fiestas para que lo más poderosos de Hollywood pudieran aprovecharse sexualmente de adolescentes varones, quienes eran drogados o persuadidos para tener sexo a cambio de papeles en una película y una carrera en Hollywood. Recientemente el abogado de Egan, Jeff Herman, ha presentado cargos de abuso sexual en contra de poderosos productores como Garth Ancier (Disney), David Neuman (NBC) y Gary Goddard (Grupo Goddard); supuestamente, estos hombres también formaban parte del círculo de pedófilos de Collins-Rector. Incluso si es que Singer demuestra que no hubo copulación oral ni violación anal en detrimento de Michael Egan en las fiestas en Encino en 1998 y en Hawaii en el 2000, aun así tendrá que explicar la naturaleza de su incriminatorio vínculo con Marc Collins-Rector. La verdad, no obstante, es inalterable. Los escándalos de Hollywood (sexuales o de otra índole) son frecuentes. El sistema del “sillón del casting” era famoso incluso en los 40s o 50s, una época en la que aspirantes a actrices proporcionaban favores sexuales a directores o productores para convertirse en estrellas. Sin embargo, la situación aquí es enteramente distinta. No estamos hablando de adultos sino de chicos menores de edad. Y también estamos hablando de pedofilia y efebofilia, y de los monstruosos crímenes cometidos por hombres en una posición de poder dentro de la industria del cine.Y con el poder viene la impunidad. Tenemos el caso de Jimmy Savile, una poderosa figura de la industria televisiva británica; por varias décadas abusó sexualmente y violó a casi 500 niños y adolescentes; algunas de sus víctimas presentaron cargos pero las demandas no prosperaron. La evidencia de la depravación de Savile sólo salió a flote 50 años más tarde. De manera similar, Victor Salva (director de “Jeepers Creepers” y otras populares películas de terror), abusó sexualmente de un niño de 12 años, y tuvo la audacia de filmar el acto; esa cinta de video era evidencia suficiente para que lo mandaran a la cárcel por años, pero por alguna razón Salva solamente estuvo encarcelado por unos cuantos meses y hasta el día de hoy continúa haciendo películas, casi siempre con actores muy jóvenes. Hay muchos ejemplos que demuestran cómo la ley raramente se aplica a los ricos y cómo el dinero puede ayudar a los hombres a cometer crímenes y a salir impunes. Muchos actores menores de edad han sido víctimas de abuso sexual y pocos han sido capaces de sobrevivir a estas traumáticas experiencias. River Phoenix (“Stand by Me”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”) fue abusado sexualmente cuando tenía apenas 12 años. Sólo puedo intentar imaginar su sufrimiento pero lo que sí puedo entender es que eventualmente él desarrollase una adicción a las sustancias ilegales; al final, estar drogado pudo haber sido la única forma de silenciar el dolor. River Phoenix murió bastante joven de una sobredosis accidental de drogas.Contemporáneo a River Phoenix, Corey Haim (“Lucas”, “The Lost Boys”) también fue un ídolo juvenil y una súper estrella. Sin embargo, en el set de Lucas “Haim, inocente y ambicioso como era, permitió que lo sodomizara” un magnate de Hollywood. Corey Haim tenía 14 años y el hombre que lo sodomizó tenía 42; se cree que Corey fue abusado por David Nicksay o David Geffen (ambos acaudalados productores de Hollywood), pero no fue la única vez. Corey Haim siguió siendo violado por numerosos cargos altos de Hollywood (se rumorea que uno de ellos fue el director Joel Schumacher, aunque estos rumores en particular no pueden ser verificados). Al mismo tiempo, otro famoso astro infantil llamado Corey Feldman (“The Goonies”, “Gremlins”) también fue la victima de varios pedófilos que eran figuras influyentes en la industria del cine. En ese entonces, mucha gente sabía lo que estaba pasando, algunos ejecutivos incluso se burlaban de las estrellas infantiles diciendo cosas como “Oh sí, los Corey, todo el mundo se los ha tirado”. No puedo imaginar cómo alguien lograron sobrevivir después de tanto dolor y sufrimiento, pero claramente esto afectó sus vidas y los convirtió en drogadictos. Corey Haim tuvo muchos problemas como consecuencia de su adicción a las drogas, y después de ganar millones de dólares en la taquilla, quedó en bancarrota y murió de problemas de salud relacionados a su drogadicción. Fue una trágica pérdida. Realmente admiraba a Corey Haim como actor y quedé devastado al descubrir lo que le había pasado en su infancia.Pocos años más tarde, los actores menores de edad Jonathan Brandis (“The Neverending Story II”, “Sidekicks”) y Christopher Pettiet (“Point Break”, “Boys”) empezaron a hacerse famosos. Sin embargo, fuentes bien conectadas han sugerido que ambos fueron víctimas de abuso sexual. Christopher murió de una sobredosis accidental de drogas y Jonathan se suicidó. Los dos eran bastante jóvenes al momento de morir. También se ha dicho que Heath Ledger fue abusado sexualmente, pero estos rumores fueron desacreditados al no provenir de fuentes verificables (es por eso que no lo incluyo en esta lista). Finalmente, el talentoso actor Brad Renfro (“The Client”, “Apt Pupil”) fue otra víctima del abuso infantil institucionalizado que desborda Hollywood. Brad fue supuestamente violado a la edad de 12 años por Joel Schumacher pero también es posible que fuese explotado sexualmente por otros de los directores con los que trabajó. Como consecuencia, se volvió un drogadicto y eventualmente murió de una sobredosis accidental de drogas. Consideraba a Brad Renfro como uno de los mejores actores de su generación, y todavía recuerdo el impacto y la tristeza que sentí cuando falleció. Como todos pueden ver, esto no fue un evento aislado. Este es un esquema atroz que se repite sistemáticamente cada década. Hay muchos actores maravillosos y talentosos que comparten un mismo destino trágico. Y a menos que las cosas cambien, Hollywood continuará siendo responsable de la muerte de los mejores y los más jóvenes.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/04/days-of-scandals-past.html

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

By Arion in Blog on April 20, 2014

Podría decirse que le debo la vida a Gabriel García Márquez, aunque quizás lo más precisa sea reiterar que le debo mi nombre: Arcadio.    Mi padre, gran admirador de la obra de Gabo y colombiano de nacimiento, leyó “Cien años de soledad” y por supuesto quedó encantado con esta novela emblemática del Boom latinoamericano. La odisea de la familia Buendía y los conflictos generacionales de Arcadios y Aurelianos eran inolvidables. Y tal vez una forma de rendir homenaje a los pergaminos de Melquíades fuese nombrar a su primogénito con tan insigne nombre.   Así que, como pueden ver, nací destinado a formar parte del mundo de la literatura, ya sea como lector, como escritor o, por lo menos, como una versión de carne y hueso de uno de los vástagos de la familia más ilustre de Macondo.    Leí “Cien años de soledad” por primera vez a los 15 años, en un momento muy difícil de mi adolescencia, y la novela, literalmente, me salvó la vida. Hay tanta intensidad en las páginas del autor colombiano que es imposible no sentir esa energía, esa bocanada de oxígeno fresco que llegaba en el momento que más falta me hacía. Volví a leerla 4 años después, y me pareció incluso más fascinante que antes. Por supuesto, sabía que al leerla por tercera vez la disfrutaría aun más, y así fue. Una y otra vez, he reído a carcajadas, he llorado a lágrimas y he sentido que recuperaba el aliento y las ganas de vivir gracias a “Cien años de soledad”.    Jamás he leído otra novela con tanta pasión y entusiasmo, y ciertamente este es el único libro que he leído tres veces y que seguramente volveré a releer. Afirmar que se trata de una obra genial es quedarse corto. Es una obra maestra que está muy por encima de la genialidad, y que demuestra el impresionante talento de Gabriel García Márquez.   A lo largo de los años he leído casi la totalidad de sus novelas, sus cuentos completos e incluso artículos periodísticos y ensayos. Mi admiración por el ganador del premio Nobel de literatura iba aumentando con cada nuevo texto suyo que llegaba a mis manos.   La noticia nos llegó el día jueves, pero dudo que el impacto haya sido igual para todos. A mí me impactó particularmente, por la cercanía que siempre he sentido por la obra de García Márquez y, sobre todo, porque le debo en buena medida mi nombre y la habilidad de haber sobrevivido a los rigores de una realidad demasiado horrenda y cruel. Quizás la fantasía, o el realismo mágico, son el único bálsamo capaz de curarnos por dentro.    La noticia de la muerte es, sin duda, triste. Pero nos queda una certeza inamovible: novelas como “Cien años de soledad” han hecho de García Márquez un autor inmortal. No nos dejemos intimidar por las ausencias y celebremos el poder de la imaginación.     Arcadio B.    Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/04/gabriel-garcia-marquez.html

Next on RGN #11

Next on RGN #11

By Rui Esteves in Blog on April 19, 2014

Happy Easter Lately I've cut down on my reading considerably. This is due to several reasons, but what this means is that I reduced my buy list to those books that really resonate with me, entertain and help me have a good time reading them.Sure there's no way to know if a book is good before reading it, but I'm keeping to the series that have proven themselves and reduced my budget for new things.Anyway, Happy Easter everyone and these are the books I currently have on my reading pile and will review in the next weeks. The Goon Volume 3 The Goon Volume 4 The Goon Volume 5 Transmetropolitan Vol 5Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/04/next-on-rgn-11.html

Review: NARGGS's New Family

Review: NARGGS's New Family

By Rui Esteves in Blog on April 16, 2014

CoverNARGGS's New Family is yet another Kickstarter funded project that came to life.This is not the kind of book I usually read, but their Kickstarter pitch was so personal and emotional that I had to pitch in and help this come to life. If I remember correctly it was a difficult project to fund, but eventually it got there.Jim and Tyler Kirkham are the authors of this children's book. Tyler you might know from his work in mainstream comics. Wizard's homeNARGG's New Family first stated as The Family Troll. Jill and Tyler then decided that The Family Troll could be associated with Internet trolling and change the name. I liked the first name, it made sense and this being a children's story I can't see that happening. Of course its their decision, but maybe they're spending way too much time on the "wrong" (if there is such thing) side on the Internet. The family The story is very simple, as in most children's books, and it tells the tale of a young couple that wants to have children but is unable to, so they adopt a baby troll.Even if the theme is very adult, the story is told in such a way that the younglings will be able to follow and enjoy it very much.The art in the book is very good and Tyler did a great job in drawing the book in a kid friendly style. Also the book is printed in a format similar to the European standard, with helps the art to stand out even more, due to the size of the pages.Publisher: Overcast StudiosYear: 2013Pages: 28Authors: Tyler Kirkham, Jill KirkhamISBN: 97809891284007Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/04/review-narggss-new-family.html

The Boys # 1 2 - Garth Ennis Darick Robertson

The Boys # 1 2 - Garth Ennis Darick Robertson

By Arion in Blog on April 15, 2014

If power corrupts, then superpowers will prove to be ultra-corrupting. And what we find in the pages of The Boys is a hyper-corrupted society, in which superheroes run rampant, having realized that they never have to face any consequences for their actions. And why would they, if their superhuman abilities grant them a de facto diplomatic immunity? Or, in other words, who would dare to punish a superman, capable of feats no ordinary human could even dream of? In “The Name of the Game” (published in The Boys # 1 & 2, in October 2006), Irish writer Garth Ennis plunges deep into the depravation of a world in which the powerful reign supreme while millions of human beings must simply conform to the status quo. Certainly, Ennis take on the superhero genre is a genuine homage to the ideas established almost 30 years ago by Alan Moore. Whereas Moore only suggested or briefly revealed the inherent weaknesses of the superhuman psyche, Ennis exploits them aggressively. But ultimately, both authors had the courage to explore the true consequences of the supermen’s decisions, and in doing that they ushered comic books into an unprecedented era of maturity. Everything begins one sunny afternoon in Scotland. Hughie and his girlfriend prance around at the rhythm of love. For the first time in their young lives, they have discovered what it feels like to love and be loved. After an intimate declaration and a passionate kiss that Hughie will remember all his life, something unexpected happens. A-Train, a well-known American superhero, breaks the barrier of sound in pursuit of a villain; the result of this persecution will be rather tragic. In a fraction of a second, Hughie’s girlfriend is killed by A-Train’s super-velocity maneuver.  Collateral damage / daño colateralIn a shocking sequence, marvelously illustrated by Darick Robertson, we get to see Hughie and the girl holding hands, and in in the next panel she has been destroyed, her arms have been ripped apart and her fractured body has been slammed into a wall. Of course, A-Train doesn’t give a damn about the death of an innocent bystander. Feeling nothing but arrogance and disdain for the lives of normal people, A-Train simply scratches his testicles and abandons the place. This is the moment that will forever change Hughie’s life. After such a traumatic death, others would swear revenge. But not Wee Hughie. He simply stays in his apartment, getting drunk and smoking pot, and he even signs a document promising he’ll never press charges or sue A-Train. It is in that moment of desperation, after hitting rock-bottom, that Butcher –a mysterious British secret agent– finds Hughie. And explains to him what the game is about. What it has always been about. For Butcher, the hundreds of superheroes that exist in the world are like a time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. If anything, they’ve become invulnerable to humanity, and sooner or later, they’ll turn into the greatest threat the world has ever seen. He’s now assembling a team, a team that will gather intel on the supes and will blackmail them when necessary, as a means of keeping them under control.In two issues, Garth Ennis builds a fascinating world, eerily similar to ours and yet different. In this reality 9-11 was averted and thus the World Trade Center still stands proudly in the heart of Manhattan. Here Butcher mocks Hughie for his absurd conspiracy theories –Area 51, aliens, the sort of stuff you could find in an old episode of X-Files– and explains to him the truth: corporations rule the world. Greedy and callous men sit in their luxurious offices deciding the fate of mankind, and all they want to do is maintain the status quo, let those who are in power remain in that position. The awful truth is not hidden in an underground bunker or in a secret lab, it’s right there in front of us, because as Edgar Allan Poe suggested once, sometimes the best way to hide something is by making it evident.  A-Train, showing his contempt / A-Train mostrando su desprecioDarick Robertson’s art is breathtakingly beautiful. With highly detailed images and very precise and careful lines, he turns this already fascinating universe into something we can’t stop admiring. Complex, rich and full of emotions, Robertson’s pages are a joy to behold. And, of course, Tony Aviña’s coloring is top notch. This is how the very addictive game of The Boys begins. And this, my friends, is the initial chapter of one of the most fascinating titles of the past decade.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Si el poder corrompe, entonces los superpoderes son ultra-corrompedores. Y lo que tenemos en las páginas de “The Boys” es una sociedad híper-corrupta, en la que los superhéroes no tienen límites, al haber descubierto que nunca deberán asumir las consecuencias de sus actos. ¿Y por qué habrían de asumirlas si sus habilidades sobrehumanas les otorgan una inmunidad diplomática de facto? O, dicho de otro modo, ¿quién se atrevería a castigar a un superhombre capaz de hazañas que ningún humano ordinario podría siquiera soñar? En “El nombre del juego” (publicado en The Boys # 1 y 2, en octubre de 2006), el escritor irlandés Garth Ennis se sumerge en la depravación de un mundo en el que los poderosos reinan con supremacía mientras que millones de seres humanos deben simplemente conformarse con el statu quo. Ciertamente, el enfoque del género superheroico de Ennis es un genuino homenaje a las ideas establecidas hace casi 30 años por Alan Moore. Mientras Moore sólo sugirió o reveló brevemente las debilidades inherentes de la psique superhumana, Ennis las explota agresivamente. Pero, en última instancia, ambos autores tuvieron la valentía de explorar las verdaderas consecuencias de las decisiones de los superhombres, y al hacerlo le dieron al cómic una madurez sin precedentes.  Wee Hughie & ButcherTodo empieza en una tarde soleada, en Escocia. Hughie y su enamorada danzan al ritmo del amor. Por primera vez en sus jóvenes vidas, han descubierto qué se siente amar y ser amados. Después de una declaración íntima y un apasionado beso que Hughie recordará toda su vida, algo inesperado pasa. A-Train, un superhéroe estadounidense bastante conocido, rompe la barrera del sonido en persecución de un villano; el resultado de esta persecución será bastante trágico. En una fracción de segundo, la enamorada de Hughie muere a causa de la maniobra a súper-velocidad de A-Train.En una impactante secuencia, maravillosamente ilustrada por Darick Robertson, vemos a Hughie sujetando las manos de la chica, y en la siguiente viñeta ella ha sido destrozada, sus brazos han sido arrancados y su cuerpo fracturado está incrustado en una pared. Por supuesto, a A-Train no le importa un carajo la muerte de un inocente. Él no siente más que arrogancia y desdén por las vidas de la gente común y corriente, A-Train simplemente se rasca los testículos y abandona el lugar.Este es el momento que cambiará la vida de Hughie para siempre. Después de una muerte tan traumática, otros jurarían venganza. Pero no el pequeño Hughie. Él simplemente se queda en su departamento, emborrachándose y fumando marihuana, e incluso firma un documento prometiendo que nunca presentará cargos ni demandará a A-Train.  Dog abuse / abuso caninoEs en este momento de desesperación, después de tocar fondo, que Butcher –un misterioso agente secreto británico– encuentra a Hughie. Y le explica en qué consiste el juego. En qué ha consistido desde siempre. Para Butcher, los cientos de superhéroes que existen en el mundo son como una bomba de tiempo, listos para estallar en cualquier segundo. Ellos se han vuelto invulnerables a la humanidad, y tarde o temprano, se convertirán en las más grandes amenazas a nivel mundial. Ahora él está armando un equipo, un equipo que reunirá información sobre los 'súper' y los chantajeará cuando sea necesario, de esta forma los mantendrá bajo control.En dos números, Garth Ennis construye un fascinante mundo, estremecedoramente similar al nuestro y no obstante diferente. En esta realidad el 11 de setiembre fue evitado y por ende las Torres Gemelas aún se alzan orgullosamente en el corazón de Manhattan. Aquí Butcher se burla de Hughie por sus absurdas teorías conspiratorias –Área 51, aliens, el tipo de cosas que podrían encontrar en un viejo episodio de "X-Files"– y le explica la verdad: las corporaciones gobiernan el mundo. Hombres codiciosos e insensibles se sientan en lujosas oficinas y deciden el destino de la humanidad, y lo que quieren es mantener el statu quo, hacer que aquellos que están en el poder permanezcan en esa posición. La horrible verdad no está escondida en un bunker subterráneo o en un laboratorio secreto, está allí frente a nuestras narices, porque como sugirió Edgar Allan Poe, a veces la mejor manera de ocultar algo es haciéndolo evidente. El arte de Darick Robertson es tan hermoso que nos quita el alienta. Con imágenes altamente detalladas y líneas muy precisas y cuidadosas, convierte este mundo ya de por sí fascinante en algo que no podemos dejar de admirar. Complejas, ricas y llenas de emociones, las páginas de Robertson son un disfrute. Y, por supuesto, el coloreado de Tony Aviña es de primera. Así es como comienza el muy adictivo juego de “The Boys”. Y este, amigos míos, es el capítulo inicial de uno de los títulos más fascinantes de la década pasada.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-boys-1-2-garth-ennis-darick.html

Aspen Comics Wonder Con 2014 Schedule of Events, Creator Appearances and Massive Comics Giveaway

Aspen Comics Wonder Con 2014 Schedule of Events, Creator Appearances and Massive Comics Giveaway

By Rui Esteves in Blog on April 14, 2014

Kiani Hot off the heels of their all-new series launch of Lola XOXO last week, Aspen Comics is gearing up for creator appearances, signings and more events scheduled for this weekend’s WonderCon 2014. Aspen creators Frank Mastromauro (Overtaken), Peter Steigerwald (The Zoo Hunters), Vince Hernandez (Fathom: Kiani), Mark Roslan (BubbleGun), Siya Oum (Lola XOXO), J.T. Krul (Soulfire), Nei Ruffino (Soulfire), David Wohl (Fathom), Ale Garza (Fathom), and Oliver Nome (Fathom: Kiani) will be appearing throughout the weekend at the Aspen Comics Booth #601.The publisher will be offering two new comic exclusive releases at their booth this weekend, Lola XOXO #1 (Limited to 500 copies) and Fathom: Kiani #1 (Limited to 200 copies), both of which feature WonderCon 2014 exclusive covers by Siya Oum. Fans can get their copies signed by Oum at the Aspen Comics Booth #601.Aspen will also be offering a new set of their industry-leading art prints featuring popular, recent cover art by Michael Turner, Siya Oum and Eric “Ebas” Basaldua. Each print is hand-numbered and highly limited.Fans that visit the Aspen Comics Booth #601 throughout the weekend will also be treated to the publisher’s largest-ever free giveaway, featuring over 25,000 free comics over the course of the con weekend.On Saturday, Aspen creators will be appearing in the Official Aspen Comics Panel 2014 in Room 208 at 2:30pm to reveal looks at their upcoming new titles including Lola XOXO, Jirni Volume 2, Damsels in Excess, The Zoo Hunters and more. All fans in attendance will receive a free gift courtesy of Aspen Comics, following a special one-on-one Q&A with fans.Also, on Saturday from 4-5pm, the publisher will be hosting a special “Free Sketch Hour” for fans featuring popular Aspen cover artists Ale Garza and Oliver Nome. Aspen encourages fans to arrive early, as this event will be first come-first serve only.Editor-in-Chief Vince Hernandez will be holding the Aspen Comics Portfolio Reviews in Room 206B from 1:30-2:30 on all three days of the con, and Aspen strongly encourages those looking to get reviewed to arrive, early as spots are limited to one hour.For more information please check www.aspencomics.com Fathom LOLA XOXO LOLA XOXO All New Soulfire Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/04/aspen-comics-wonder-con-2014-schedule.html

Review: Papa

Review: Papa

By Rui Esteves in Blog on April 13, 2014

CoverPapa is a collection of 3 short stories written by Vera Greentea. Each of them having a different theme and artist.In this collection you get:PAPA, a story about a man that spends his days obsessing with a superhero and ends up neglecting his kid and wife. One day his kid finds that superhero dead.  The Princess and the Robot, when the King of Arr is faced with the decision of saving his kingdom or his daughter he gets creative. Nightbirds, a man searches the path to heaven, not in a spiritual sense, but in the a literal way. This Kickstarter founded project is all about shock deliveries. For the most part it works well enough, but by the last story you're already expecting it and its looses most of the shock value. Papa Regardless of that, all three stories are good shorts. Each has a different theme but there is an obsession under-theme to them. In Papa its about the father's obsession with the dead superhero and in Nightbirds its about a man's obsession with finding heaven. In The Princess and the Robot the obsession under-theme seems not to be present, instead its all about love and choices. The Princess and the Robot All stories have a different artist and a different art style, however they are all great in their own styles. I prefer the art of Lizzy John (Nightbirds) but its a personal preference, because all three artists (Joseph Lacroix, Ben Jelter and Lizzy John) do a great job bringing to life Vera's creations. Nightnirds I liked it. Its not a perfect book, but its interesting enough to have me read it several times since I got it.You can grab yourself a copy of this cool book at the Greentea Publishing site.Publisher: Greentea PublishingYear: 2013Pages: 56Authors: Vera Greentea, Joseph Lacroix, Ben Jelter, Lizzy JohnISBN: 9780983163060Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/04/review-papa.html

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

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