Saturday, December 20, 2014 • Morning Edition • "Assholes welcome."
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada - MAC (Barranco)

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada - MAC (Barranco)

By Arion in Blog on February 13, 2014

Get Real (1998) Directed by Simon Shore  "Be realistic, demand the impossible". Why not? Sometimes being realistic means, indeed, to have no creative freedom and above all no real desire to escape ideological imprisonment.When Steven, a 16 year old student, starts frequenting public toilets hoping to hook up and have random sex with unknown men, he looks aloof and somehow emotionally unattached. His only confident is Linda, a girl somewhat ostracized because of her weight, and they come to a conclusion: no matter how hard they've tried, love has not been a part of their lives.One day, in one of those public toilets the British seem so keen on visiting, he runs into John, another student from his high school. Except that John is not just another student, he happens to be the Golden Boy, not only is he the best athlete and the most handsome boy, he is also rich and very popular. Of course, John neutralizes possible misunderstandings by explaining that he just happened to be there. When Steven, disappointed and embarrassed, decides to depart, John asks him if his parents are home.In Steven's home, the game commences, or rather, what was already there comes to the surface. When John makes fun of a teddy bear in Steven's room, that soon leads into physical contact as Steven tries to retrieve the object from John's hands. Then, after being on top of each other, breathing hard and unmistakably excited, John proceeds to unbutton Steve's trousers and when they're about to kiss things get interrupted.The interruption is a symptom of society's intervention, which in this case does not take the form of an angry mob but rather the moral constraints that are deeply rooted in John's mind. If the gaze of the other defines us completely, then what must we do to be successfully inserted in society? For traditional psychoanalysis homosexuality has been a perversion, a mental illness, a condition that could be remedied, but it has also been the abject, id est, the vilest, the very lowest of the human condition.  my drawing / mi dibujo I would like to believe that much time has passed since then, but it's undeniable that some people, perhaps more than I would care to admit, continue to think as if they had been raised in the Victorian age.On the contrary, Steven has come to terms with his sexuality since he was 11. He has no doubts, no regrets. He feels only angry at the prejudiced people surrounding him at home, at school and everywhere in between. As his relationship with John progresses, they thrive to keep the secrecy, but the clandestine rendezvous and the constant hiding takes a toll on Steven. As John explains to him, they can do anything they want as long as no one else knows about it.Although at first this is hardly a limitation, soon the nature of the relationship will demand openness. Steven wants John to feel proud of them, of their relationship, he demands John to acknowledge him in school, not only outside. How long can they go keeping the secret? And is it really impossible to declare their love to everyone else? Be realistic, sometimes the impossible simply cannot be demanded for the very reason that it shouldn't have been deemed impossible in the first place.As the impossibility of accepting homosexuality is firmly placed in John's head, things will not be easy. But when other school kids start making enquiries and deductions, the entire relationship could come apart. Does this couple have what it takes to surmount seemingly unconquerable obstacles or was this a doomed affair from the very beginning? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marquesa Agatha Ruiz de la PradaEsta ha sido, sin duda, una noche atípica. ¿Por qué? Porque se inauguraron dos muestras imperdibles. Por un lado, Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada engalanó la sala del Museo de Arte Contemporáneo con sus vestidos ultra-contemporáneos. Como le comenté a Érika Beleván mientras me entrevistaba para Polizontes, hace falta ser una persona extraordinaria (es decir, fuera de lo ordinario) y sumamente audaz para usar la ropa que usa Agatha Ruiz de la Prada; quizá su título nobiliario le otorga automáticamente una osadía de las que pocos podrían presumir, pero lo cierto es que sus diseños de ropa son todo menos ordinarios. Y eso lo pude comprobar en la atiborrada sala del MAC, en la que cientos de individuos se fotografiaban con los atuendos de Ruiz dela Prada.No obstante, la enorme afluencia de público me hizo sentir claustrofóbico, así que luego de media hora decidí retirarme a la inauguración de “Kinésica” de Daniela Carvalho en Dédalo, allí saludé a Pedro Casusol, a María Elena Fernández, y me quedé charlando un largo rato con Mónica Cuba y con Isabelle Decenciere. Con dibujos asombrosos, Carvalho transmite una intensidad y una expresividad que pocos artistas son capaces de alcanzar. Sus vívidos retratos de rostros incompletos nos llenan de asombro, y la delicadeza de su trazo nos reconcilia con el arte en mayúsculas. Daniela CarvalhoEn el transcurso de la noche me encontré con Luis Piccini, Pablo Alayza, Eduardo y Gabriel Lores, etc. Quizás me extralimité en la cantidad de copas de espumante que bebí, pero lo cierto es que me divertí como no me divertía en meses. ¡Salud!Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/02/agatha-ruiz-de-la-prada-mac-barranco.html

Preview: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #18

Preview: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #18

By Rui Esteves in Blog on February 13, 2014

CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #18 Vince Hernandez ­ Writer / Jordan Gunderson ­ Art / Teo Gonzalez - ColorsAssassins reaches the end.The epic finale to Blood Origin reveals the true sacrifice required by Daffodil to forge the first Executive Assistant Academy! When the odds of success turn bleak and deadly she must decide whether her choice to painstakingly continue on with her enterprise, or risk losing everything including her life! Don't miss this pulse-pounding conclusion that is essential canon in the Executive Assistant Universe!EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #18 is in stores February 12th, 2014! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 4 Cover B Cover CFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/02/preview-executive-assistant-assassins-18.html

Young Avengers # 15 - Gillen, McKelvie more

Young Avengers # 15 - Gillen, McKelvie more

By Arion in Blog on February 10, 2014

Quite often we assume a cynical posture towards contemporary comic books. We criticize decompression, reiterative exploitation of a certain brand or group of characters, predictability, publicity stunts, lack of creative freedom as a result of editorial impositions, etc. Some might even come to believe that no good comics are produced in Marvel (and DC) due to the current atmosphere of editorial-mandated mega-events. That conclusion, however, would be utterly wrong. I have read hundreds of comics last year, from every publisher, and although I have enjoyed the proposals of independent creators working outside the big two, what I loved the most, without a doubt, was Kieron Gillen’s Young Avengers. The best of 2013 comes, indeed, from Marvel.Upon reading “Resolution part 2”, the final issue, I felt an unexpected sadness. The end awakened in me a strong melancholy, that last page, beautifully illustrated by Jamie McKelvie was like a statement about youth and friendship. It was a snapshot, a captured instant, a moment in the lives of the Young Avengers. And it was also a moment in my life. Looking at them and saying goodbye to them made me go through an experience I’m quite familiar with: the sensation of loss I have experienced every time a friend of mine decides to go to another country or another continent; most of the times I expect them to return after a couple of years, sometimes, however, they never come back. And I know then that, despite all apparent opportunities, I’ll never see them again. That is a very special kind of goodbye. They are within reach, at least theoretically, but they are no longer a part of my life.In a few years, the Young Avengers might return, but they could very well stay in limbo longer than we could possibly anticipate. So yes, it was deeply painful to read the end of this fantastic ongoing series. And now I find myself here, saying goodbye to a group of fictional characters with a heavy heart, almost as if they were real persons going away for a while. That’s the power of good literature and that’s the accomplishment of Gillen. Turning a group of superpowered kids into characters that you will always care for, characters that you can identify with, characters that will make you feel young again.But we must embrace change and move on. Marvel Boy finally understands that, now that he has ruined his relationship with Kate Bishop. Gillen gives us one final glimpse into the minds and souls of the Young Avengers. If in the previous issues we had the original members on the spotlight, now it’s time to pay attention to Marvel Boy and his silent agony. It’s also time to observe Loki not only as the god of mischief but also as a lonely teenager that feels forced to be in charge of the “dirty work”, the things that need to be done and that most of us never acknowledge appropriately. It is Loki who pays, with the treasure of Asgard, for the organization of the party, who makes sure the catering people receive a proper compensation for working through New Year’s Eve. Becky CloonanDavid Alleyne (Prodigy) still feels a bit guilty about kissing Teddy and incurring in Billy’s wrath. “You just let the party that lurks in the pants undue prominence in the parliament of prodigy”, affirms Loki. And as the two teenagers talk, David discovers that Loki isn’t 100% heterosexual “my culture doesn’t really share your concept of sexual identity. There are sexual acts, that’s it”, explains the Norse deity. Either as a joke or as a serious attempt at flirtation, Loki proposes a special celebration with David. The young mutant kindly refuses alleging Loki isn’t his type. Before disappearing into the night Loki asks David what’s his type. “Good guys”, he answers cheerfully.Later on, after David accidentally kisses Tommy, we understand how the discovery of sexuality can be life-defining in youth, and how difficult it is to find a comic in the 21st century that will discuss the matter audaciously and intelligently. Young Avengers is a title of historical significance because it’s the first superhero comic to fully embrace the diversity of sexual orientations and the only 100% GLBT American mainstream book.Jokes aside, if we take a look at the group we might consider the following attributes: Ms. America is lesbian, Prodigy is bisexual, Marvel Boy is pansexual (he will have sex with human males and females, as well as with aliens of all shapes and sizes), Hulkling is homosexual, Wiccan is homosexual, Loki is transsexual (we have seen him as a woman and using his/her feminine charms to seduce men during Straczyinki’s run on Thor), Speed is bi-curious and Kate Bishop is the only heterosexual member of the team. The Young Avengers finale was conceived as a jam special, and this time we get to see the drawings of Becky Cloonan (in charge of portraying a brooding Marvel Boy), Ming Doyle (her depiction of Loki is quite good) and Joe Quinones (who contributes with a lot of humor in Prodigy’s sequence, including the kiss with Tommy). In the letter column, many fans talk about how frustrated they feel now that the title has come to an end. I do not feel frustration, because I truly think that Gillen and McKelvie did the best comic I’ve read in years, and none of it would have been possible with editorial interference or the obsessive desire of endlessly milking the same property… a common practice in the big two. Ming DoyleGillen and McKelvie are very thankful to us, the readers. And I’m very thankful to those who made the book possible: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Annie Wu, Becky Cloonan, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Christian Ward, Clayton Cowles, David LaFuente, Emma Vieceli, Hannah Donovan, Idette Winecoor, Jake Thomas, Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, Joe Quinones, Jordie Bellaire, Kate Brown, Kris Anka, Lee Loughridge, Manny Mederos, Maris Wicks, Matthew Wilson, Mike Norton, Ming Doyle, Morry Hollowell, Nathan Fairbairn, Skottie Young, Stephanie Hans, Stephen Thompson, Tradd Moore, and editor Lauren Sankovitch and assistant editor Jon Moisan.I would also like to congratulate those who shared their secrets, fears, joys and dreams in the letter columns. I have felt really moved by those who wrote in to talk about their lives, and how they struggle against bullying, homophobia and discrimination, if some of them found inspiration on the pages of this book, then the journey has not been in vain. So a big thank you to Reed Beebe, Wally, Brad, Steven Roche, Avery, Hansel, Chuck McKinney, Matt Brooks, Graham Weaver, Amanda, Mason, Steven Butler, Patrick Bartlett, Jonathan Robbins, Mia, Saul Santos, Arcadio Bolaños (yay! that’s me! now click here to read my letter), Jack Ingram, Carlos Aguirre Reyna, Lauren, Becky Male, Izrin Iskandar, Brennan O’Reagan, Zamisk, Joe Douglas, Kami Spangler, Calvin, Trent Farrell, Lyn, Carlton Glassford, Oliver Ortiz, Michael J. Allen, Indie Gale, Clarissa Johnson, Niamh, Souxie, Regina Belmonte, Rachel Yu, Thomas Rowley, Chiara, James Hunter, Bridget Natale, Andy E, Connor Stephenson, C. Morgan Leigh, Zae, Sara Hanley, Lucy, Jacques Farnworth-Wood, Maximillian Jansen, Day Summerfield, Amanda, George Laporte, Christian Hernandez, Rachael, Niels van Eekelen, Sarah Urbank, Lawrence, Summer, Rebecca Luttig, Jack Davis, Rob Rix, Miles PDX, Mikey J. Redd, Carey & Brandon.Young Avengers has been the kind of honest, personal and tremendously creative project that will be forever remembered in comic history. And I’m very proud to say that, however briefly, I was a part of it. I was there. And I fucking loved it.Young Avengers # 11, Young Avengers # 12, Young Avengers # 13 & Young Avengers # 14Young Avengers # 1-10__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________A menudo asumimos una postura cínica en relación a los cómics contemporáneos. Criticamos la poca cohesión, explotación reiterativa de ciertas marcas o grupos de personajes, predictibilidad, trucos de publicidad, falta de libertad creativa como resultado de las imposiciones editoriales, etc. Algunos incluso podrían creer que no hay buenos cómics en Marvel (ni en DC) a causa de la actual atmósfera de mega-eventos mandados por la editorial. Esa conclusión, sin embargo, sería totalmente errónea. Joe QuinonesHe leído cientos de cómics el año pasado, y aunque he disfrutado las propuestas de creadores independientes que trabajan alejados de Marvel y DC, lo que más me encantó, sin duda alguna, fue Young Avengers de Kieron Gillen. Lo mejor del 2013 es de Marvel.Luego de leer “Resolución parte 2”, el número final, sentí una inesperada tristeza. El final despertó en mí una fuerte melancolía, esa última página, hermosamente ilustrada por Jamie McKelvie era como una declaración sobre la juventud y la amistad. Era una instantánea, un momento capturado, un segundo en las vidas de los Jóvenes Vengadores. Y también era un momento en mi vida. Mirándolos y despidiéndome de ellos, fue como experimentar algo que me resulta muy familiar: la sensación de pérdida que he sentido cada vez que un amigo decide irse a otro país o a otro continente; la mayoría de las veces, espero que regresen luego de un de par de años, a veces, sin embargo, nunca vuelven. Y entonces sé que, a pesar de todas las oportunidades, nunca más los veré de nuevo. Ese tipo de despedidas es muy especial. No han desparecido, al menos teóricamente, pero ya no son parte de mi vida.En algunos años, los Jóvenes Vengadores podrían regresar, pero bien podrían quedarse en el limbo más tiempo de lo que posiblemente podríamos anticipar. Así que fue profundamente doloroso leer el final de esta fantástica serie mensual. Y ahora estoy aquí, acongojado, casi como si se tratara de personas de verdad que estarán lejos por un tiempo. Ese es el poder de la buena literatura y ese es el logro de Gillen. Convertir a un grupo de chiquillos con poderes en personajes a los que siempre apreciarás, personajes con los que te identificas, personajes que te hacen sentir joven nuevamente. Pero debemos aceptar el cambio y seguir avanzando. Marvel Boy finalmente lo entiende, ahora que ha arruinado su relación con Kate Bishop. Gillen nos da un último vistazo a las mentes y almas de los Jóvenes Vengadores. Si en números anteriores los miembros originales estaban al centro del escenario, ahora es el momento de prestarle atención a Marvel Boy y a su agonía silenciosa. También es tiempo de observar a Loki no sólo como el dios de los enredos sino también como un adolescente solitario que se siente obligado a encargarse del “trabajo sucio”, las cosas que necesitan hacerse aunque no les demos el reconocimiento adecuado. Es Loki quien paga, con el tesoro de Asgard, la organización de la fiesta, quien se encarga de que la gente del catering reciba una compensación apropiada por trabajar en año nuevo. Joe QuinonesDavid Alleyne (Prodigy) todavía se siente un poco culpable por besar a Teddy e incurrir en la ira de Billy. “Tan sólo le permitiste a la fiesta que acecha en tus pantalones una indebida prominencia en el parlamento del prodigio”, afirma Loki. Y mientras los dos adolescentes conversan, David descubre que Loki no es 100% heterosexual “mi cultura realmente no comparte tu concepto de identidad sexual. Hay actos sexuales, eso es todo”, explica la deidad nórdica. Ya sea como una broma o un intento serio de flirtear, Loki le propone a David una celebración especial. El joven mutante amablemente rehúsa alegando que Loki no es su tipo. Antes de desaparecer en la noche, Loki le pregunta a David cuál es su tipo. “Los chicos buenos”, responde alegremente.Más tarde, después de que David besa accidentalmente a Tommy, entendemos cómo el descubrimiento de la sexualidad puede definir la vida de los jóvenes, y vemos lo difícil que es encontrar un cómic en el siglo XXI que discuta el tema inteligente y audazmente. "Young Avengers" es un título de relevancia histórica porque es el primer cómic que acepta por completo la diversidad de orientaciones sexuales y el único cómic de distribución masiva es que es 100% GLBT.Bromas aparte, si echamos un vistazo al grupo podríamos considerar los siguientes atributos: Ms. America es lesbiana, Prodigy es bisexual, Marvel Boy es pansexual (tendrá sexo con humanos, masculinos y femeninos, así como con aliens de todas las formas y tamaños), Hulkling es homosexual, Wiccan es homosexual, Loki es transexual (lo hemos visto como una mujer y usando sus encantos femeninos para seducir hombres durante la etapa de Straczyinki en Thor), Speed es bi-curioso y Kate Bishop es la única integrante heterosexual del equipo.El final de Young Avengers se concibió como algo colaborativo, y esta vez vemos los dibujos de Becky Cloonan (a cargo de retratar a un cabizbajo Marvel Boy), Ming Doyle (su retrato de Loki es bastante bueno) y Joe Quinones (quien contribuye con humor en la secuencia de Prodigy, incluyendo el beso con Tommy).  Last page, final issue / última página, número finalEn la sección de cartas, muchos fans comentaron lo frustrados que se sentían ahora que el título llegaba a su fin. Yo no siento frustración, porque realmente pienso que Gillen y McKelvie hicieron el mejor cómic que he leído en años, y nada de esto hubiese sido posible con interferencias editoriales o el deseo obsesivo de ordeñar eternamente un mismo producto... una práctica común en Marvel y DC.Gillen y McKelvie nos agradecen a nosotros, los lectores. Y yo le doy las gracias a aquellos que hicieron posible esta colección: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Annie Wu, Becky Cloonan, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Christian Ward, Clayton Cowles, David LaFuente, Emma Vieceli, Hannah Donovan, Idette Winecoor, Jake Thomas, Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, Joe Quinones, Jordie Bellaire, Kate Brown, Kris Anka, Lee Loughridge, Manny Mederos, Maris Wicks, Matthew Wilson, Mike Norton, Ming Doyle, Morry Hollowell, Nathan Fairbairn, Skottie Young, Stephanie Hans, Stephen Thompson, Tradd Moore, y la editora Lauren Sankovitch y el editor asistente Jon Moisan.También quisiera felicitar a aquellos que compartieron sus secretos, sus miedos, sus alegrías y sus sueños en la sección de cartas. Realmente me he sentido conmovido por aquellos que escribieron para hablar de sus vidas, y su lucha contra los abusos, la homofobia y la discriminación, si alguno de ellos encontró inspiración en las páginas del cómic, entonces el viaje no fue en vano. Así que muchas gracias a Reed Beebe, Wally, Brad, Steven Roche, Avery, Hansel, Chuck McKinney, Matt Brooks, Graham Weaver, Amanda, Mason, Steven Butler, Patrick Bartlett, Jonathan Robbins, Mia, Saul Santos, Arcadio Bolaños (¡sí, ese soy yo! hagan click aquí para leer mi carta), Jack Ingram, Carlos Aguirre Reyna, Lauren, Becky Male, Izrin Iskandar, Brennan O’Reagan, Zamisk, Joe Douglas, Kami Spangler, Calvin, Trent Farrell, Lyn, Carlton Glassford, Oliver Ortiz, Michael J. Allen, Indie Gale, Clarissa Johnson, Niamh, Souxie, Regina Belmonte, Rachel Yu, Thomas Rowley, Chiara, James Hunter, Bridget Natale, Andy E, Connor Stephenson, C. Morgan Leigh, Zae, Sara Hanley, Lucy, Jacques Farnworth-Wood, Maximillian Jansen, Day Summerfield, Amanda, George Laporte, Christian Hernandez, Rachael, Niels van Eekelen, Sarah Urbank, Lawrence, Summer, Rebecca Luttig, Jack Davis, Rob Rix, Miles PDX, Mikey J. Redd, Carey y Brandon."Young Avengers" ha sido el tipo de proyecto honesto, personal y tremendamente creativo que será recordado para siempre en la historia de los cómics. Y estoy muy orgulloso de decir que, aunque brevemente, yo también fui parte de ello. Yo estuve allí. Y eso es jodidamente genial.Young Avengers # 11, Young Avengers # 12, Young Avengers # 13 & Young Avengers # 14Young Avengers # 1-10Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/02/young-avengers-15-gillen-mckelvie-more.html

Angel: Revelations - Aguirre-Sacasa Pollina

Angel: Revelations - Aguirre-Sacasa Pollina

By Arion in Blog on February 7, 2014

“He's smart, tall, handsome, and rich; a star both on the field and in the classroom. All the girls want to date him, all the guys want to be him”, his name is Warren Worthington III, heir of one of New York’s largest –and oldest– fortunes. Yes, Warren has the perfect life, until one day he realizes his body is changing, and it’s not simple hair growing in unexpected places or his voice sounding different, it’s something far more mystifying.Talented writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa examines the youthful days of Warren, a year before he became one of Charles Xavier’s first pupils, months before turning into Angel, founding member of the X-Men. He’s still in high school, in his senior year, “his hair is blonde… he’s 17… he doesn’t’ live with his family, but at his school… where the hills are green… he’s handsome… rich […] he’s worthy”.Warren Worthington III is a sports idol in St. Joseph’s preparatory, and he has even broken a few state records thanks to his agility and velocity. But no matter how much he eats, he’s been losing weight lately, and strange bruises have appeared on his shoulders. Something is growing inside of him, something that does not belong to human physiology. He acknowledges this, and thus stops hanging out with his friends, refusing to participate in sports or games; and he hides from everyone, even his girlfriend. “Whatever’s happening to me, to my body… I have to keep it hidden… I have to keep it a secret”. Warren feels ashamed of himself, disgusted even. But above all, he feels lonely and he wishes he could just go home and deal with this situation privately. He’s been raised by a very traditional family, and one of the rules that comes with old money is to avoid scandals, always. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa intensifies the feeling of loneliness and abandonment, while preserving the normal insecurities of a teenager. The boarding school makes Warren feel claustrophobic, and we can easily imagine his suffering. We’ve seen Angel as a proud mutant with white wings, soaring the skies like a harbinger of the gods. But this story takes place long before that, and the writer genuinely captures that in-between instance, that moment of excision, that particular day when Warren stops being the golden boy everyone loves and starts fearing the monster he could turn into.Nevertheless, the protagonist will eventually be more concerned with moral monstrosity, for example, the heinous crimes of a religious zealot that hunts down mutants. Aguirre-Sacasa combines two different threats, one that comes from the exterior –the mutant exterminator– and another one that lies in the very heart of St. Joseph’s preparatory: father Reynolds, a pedophile that has been raping young boys for over 20 years, and that has now chosen Andrew Palmer –a shy gay kid and Warren’s best friend– as his victim. The two teenagers have, indeed, dark secrets. As feathers start protruding out of Warren’s back, he isolates even more; and as father Reynolds starts abusing of Andrew more and more often, the frightened youngster also feels the need to seclude himself. It is at this weird juncture –two teens trying to conceal physical evidences of something abnormal, trying to pretend that if they close their eyes, the bad things will go away– that Warren and Andrew support each other, until eventually they confess their secrets. Andrew has a crush on Warren, although the proximity, the intimacy they share, leads not to romance but to a very special complicity.Nonetheless, confession doesn’t mean salvation. And as the days go by, the senior students decide it’s time for some hazing, and their target is Andrew Palmer. The older boys capture the fragile kid and proceed to undress him; they plan on physically punishing him as part of the hazing that all seniors must perform on the younger students. It’s interesting to observe, as Slavoj Žižek would describe it, that this isn’t merely an eroticization of the “disciplinary” procedure that older boys feel entitled to, but the constitutive obscene supplement of the activity. In the same way that father Reynolds displays the contours of a particular fantasy –an older male who engages in sexual activities with another, younger male, preferably a child– which bears witness to his own perverted sexual desire, the senior alumni unwittingly bring to light the obscene libidinal foundation of their own crusade against “fags”. In fact, as they accuse Andrew of being Warren’s boyfriend, they lay bare the underlying libidinal economy –the libidinal profit, the ‘plus-de jouir’– which sustains their homophobic behavior.Warren is the only senior student that refuses to participate in the hazing. That decision alone reveals his ethics and his courage. He’s already a hero, long before saving the world or fighting against Magneto, and his heroism starts with criticizing the actions of his peers. But Warren goes even further, he rescues his friend Andrew, even if that means getting into a fight with his former teammates.“Angel: Revelations” is an impressive miniseries that explores mature themes intelligently and sensibly. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa takes advantage of the Marvel Knights imprint to include scenes that would not be accepted in a regular Marvel comic. And artist Adam Pollina also takes this opportunity to draw as freely as he wants. His highly stylized pages are unique; his figures –depurated of anatomical weight– possess an undeniable elfish grace. Indeed, thanks to Pollina’s style, Warren is portrayed as a true creature of the skies, blossoming with subtle sexuality and pure youthfulness. Adam Pollina and colorist Matt Hollingsworth throw in different sensibilities into the mix, and the final result seems influenced by artistic movements like Fauvism and Impressionism. Pollina’s non-naturalistic representations of the human anatomy add depth to a story that emphasizes on the inhuman elements of Warren’s body. “Senior Year” is, without a doubt, one of the finest tales we can possibly find about the earlier days of an X-Man. The glory days of a star athlete / los días de gloria de un atleta estrella__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Warren's body is changing / el cuerpo de Warren está cambiando “Él es listo, alto, guapo, y rico; una estrella tanto de los deportes y los estudios. Todas las chicas quieren salir con él, todos los chicos quieren ser él”, su nombre es Warren Worthington III, heredero de una las más grandes –y añejas– fortunas de New York. Sí, Warren tiene la vida perfecta, hasta que un día se da cuenta de que su cuerpo está cambiando, y no son vellos que salen en algún lugar inesperado o los cambios de la voz, es algo mucho más misterioso.El talentoso escritor Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa examina los días juveniles de Warren, un año antes de convertirse en uno de los primeros pupilos de Charles Xavier, meses antes de ser Angel, miembro fundador de los X-Men. Todavía está en secundaria, en su último año, “su pelo es rubio… tiene 17 años… no vive con su familia, sino en su colegio… donde las colinas son verdes… es guapo… rico […] es valioso”.Warren Worthington III es un ídolo deportivo en la preparatoria St. Joseph, e incluso ha roto algunos records estatales gracias a su agilidad y velocidad. Pero no importa cuánto coma, ha estado perdiendo peso últimamente, y unas extrañas laceraciones han aparecido en sus hombros. Algo en su interior está creciendo, algo que no pertenece a la fisiología humana. Él reconoce esto, y por ello deja de ver a sus amigos, y se rehúsa a participar en juegos y deportes; y se esconde de todos, incluso de su enamorada. “Lo que sea que me esté pasando a mí, a mi cuerpo... tengo que mantenerlo escondido... tengo que mantenerlo en secreto”. Warren se avergüenza de sí mismo, incluso siente asco. Pero por encima de todo, se siente solo, y desearía poder ir a casa y lidiar con esta situación en privado. Ha sido criado por una familia muy tradicional, y una de las reglas de los ricos de antaño es evitar siempre los escándalos. As a teenager all he can think about is... sex / como adolescente, él sólo piensa en... sexo the break-up / la rupturaRoberto Aguirre-Sacasa intensifica la sensación de soledad y abandono, mientras preserva las inseguridades normales de un adolescente. El internado hace que Warren se sienta claustrofóbico, y podemos imaginar su sufrimiento. Hemos visto a Angel como un orgulloso mutante de alas blancas, surcando los cielos como un emisario de los dioses. Pero esta es la historia que ocurrió antes, y el escritor captura genuinamente esa instancia entre dos mundos, ese momento de escisión, ese día particular en el que Warren deja de ser el chico de oro que todos adoran y empieza a temer al monstruo en el que podría convertirse.No obstante, el protagonista eventualmente estará más preocupado por la monstruosidad moral, por ejemplo, los horrendos crímenes de un fanático religioso que caza mutantes. Aguirre-Sacasa combina dos amenazas diferentes, una que viene del exterior –el exterminador de mutantes– y otra que yace en el corazón mismo de la preparatoria St. Joseph: el padre Reynolds, un pedófilo que ha estado violando niños por más de 20 años, y que ahora ha elegido a Andrew Palmer –un tímido chiquillo gay y el mejor amigo de Warren– como su víctima.Los dos adolescentes tienen, de hecho, secretos oscuros. Cuando las plumas empiezan a salir de la espalda de Warren, él se aísla aún más; y cuando el padre Reynolds empieza a abusar de Andrew cada vez más a menudo, el asustado jovencito también siente la necesidad de recluirse. En esta rara coyuntura –dos adolescentes intentando ocultar las evidencias físicas de algo anormal, intentando fingir que si cierran los ojos, las cosas malas desaparecerán– que Warren y Andrew se apoyan entre sí, hasta que eventualmente confiesan sus secretos. Andrew se siente atraído por Warren, aunque la cercanía, la intimidad que comparten, no es el origen de ningún romance sino de una complicidad muy especial. Warren reveals his secrets to Andrew / Warren le revela sus secretos a AndrewNo obstante, la confesión no significa la salvación. Y conforma pasan los días, los estudiantes de último año deciden que es hora de la 'iniciación', y su objetivo es Andrew Palmer. Los muchachos capturan al frágil chiquillo y proceden a desvestirlo; planean castigarlo físicamente como parte de la iniciación que todos los de último año llevan a cabo con los alumnos más jóvenes. Es interesante observar, tal como lo describiría Slavoj Žižek, que esto no es meramente la erotización del procedimiento “disciplinario” que los chicos se adjudican, sino el suplemento obsceno constitutivo de la actividad.  AngelDel mismo modo que el padre Reynolds exhibe los contornos de una fantasía particular  –un hombre mayor que mantiene actividades sexuales con otro menor, de preferencia un niño– que atestigua su propio deseo sexual perverso, los alumnos de último año involuntariamente sacan a la luz la raíz libidinal obscena de su propia cruzada contra los “maricas”. De hecho, cuando acusan a Andrew de ser el enamorado de Warren, desnudan la economía libidinal subyacente –la ganancia libidinal, el ‘plus de goce’– que brinda sostén a su comportamiento homofóbico.Warren es el único estudiante de último año que se rehúsa a participar en la iniciación. Esa decisión revela su ética y su coraje. Él ya es un héroe, mucho antes de salvar el mundo o pelear contra Magneto, y su heroísmo empieza al criticar las acciones de sus colegas. Pero Warren va más allá, rescata a su amigo Andrew, incluso si eso significa pelearse con sus ex compañeros de equipo.“Angel: Revelations” es una impresionante miniserie que explora temas maduros con inteligencia y sensibilidad. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa aprovecha el sello de Marvel Knights para incluir escenas que no serían aceptadas en un cómic Marvel típico. Y el artista Adam Pollina también aprovecha esta oportunidad para dibujar tan libremente como le apetece. Sus páginas sumamente estilizadas son únicas; sus figuras –depuradas de peso anatómico– poseen una innegable gracia élfica. De hecho, gracias al estilo de Pollina, Warren es retratado como una verdadera criatura de los cielos, que florece con una sexualidad sutil y pureza juvenil. Adam Pollina y el colorista Matt Hollingsworth aportan diferentes sensibilidades, y el resultado final parece estar influenciado por movimientos artísticos como el fauvismo y el impresionismo. Las representaciones no-naturalistas de Pollina de la anatomía humana añaden profundidad a una historia que enfatiza los elementos inhumanos del cuerpo de Warren. “Último año” es, sin duda, uno de los mejores relatos que podemos encontrar sobre el pasado de los X-Men.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/02/angel-revelations-aguirre-sacasa-pollina.html

Review: Astronauta Magnetar

Review: Astronauta Magnetar

By Rui Esteves in Blog on February 6, 2014

Cover The Astronaut (O Astronauta) is a brazilian comic book character created in 1963 by Mauricio de Sousa. This BRASA (brazilian Nasa) astronaut has been around for generations, enchanting kids and grown ups everywhere.Between 2009 and 2011 there was a project to recreate the Astronaut in a modern light. Those were shorter stories and were printed in an anthology style book. In 2012 Danilo Beyruth created this 70 pages story that reinvents The Astronaut.If you're not familiar with the character, The Astronaut is all about the simple things in life. Its about the perspective of things. Always going far way just to find value in the simpler aspects of daily life.Magnetar takes place in deep space around a magnetar (neutron star) where The Astronauts gets marooned. The story develops around his journey back home, both literally and figuratively. Contemplating the Magnetar This is a beautiful story. Sweet and heartwarming, with the right amount of humor and a dash of action. Its simple, yet with enough complexity that you'll read it at least twice.The art is just gorgeous. Slick pencils and on the spot coloring permeate these 70 pages with eye candy that translates the tone and feel of the story perfectly. The claustrophobic felling of despair of the marooned Astronaut is beautifully portrayed, as is  the vastness of space (on the few panels that show it). The beginning of the end The only drawback of the book it how hard it is to get a hold of a copy. It wasn't advertised at all and as such few stores even knew of it existence. Luckily my local newspaper stand managed to procure a copy for me.Publisher: Panini ComicsYear: 2013Pages: 82Authors: Danilo BeyruthISBN: 9788565484428Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/02/review-astronauta-magnetar.html

Continuum - Elizabeth López Avilés (Centro Cultural El Olivar)

Continuum - Elizabeth López Avilés (Centro Cultural El Olivar)

By Arion in Blog on February 6, 2014

Far from Heaven (2002) Directed by Todd Haynes  Perhaps this is the most powerful Todd Haynes film I've seen. But in order to fully understand it one must first be privy to Douglas Sirk movies. Rather than a remake "Far From Heaven" is a diegetic exploration of melodrama as a film genre and it's firmly inserted in the 1950s cinematographic tradition. Not only it evokes the sensibilities of a particular era, it also recreates its true nature; everything (from illumination techniques to music, brilliantly composed by Elmer Bernstein) has a common goal. That is why Haynes' magnum opus elegantly confronts Sirk's work, mainly "All that Heaven Allows" and "Imitation of Life".Once the film begins the viewer witnesses the harmless tribulations of a most perfect family, settled in an idyllic environment. Husband and wife are almost celebrities. Surrounded by success and smiling people, nothing seems to seclude them from happiness. Nonetheless, this is but a well elaborated façade, for Frank Whitaker, the man of the house, has succumbed yet again to his homosexual tendencies.In a very conservative society, there is no place for someone who defies the heterosexual normativity. Perhaps, following the infamous Lacan's sexuation graphic, homosexuality symbolizes the abject, id est, the vilest and the lowest... Despite being a successful entrepreneur, Frank is an exscinded individual, but first and foremost he is a subaltern subject. In a way, there are more limitations for him than for black people (racism in 1950's America is also a very important theme in Haynes' production). "negative" version of one my drawingsPeter Brooks and other intellectuals have analyzed the dynamics pertaining melodramas. For a melodrama to occur there must be a victim and a victimary; these stories cannot be fathomed without this binary equation (which, by the way, preexisted Sirk's movies). At moments, it seems as if Frank's wife is the victim, after all, not only must she cope with his husband's proclivities but also she must endure the domestic violence that takes place at some point. In addition to this situation, she must also struggle to hide the truth, although her husband makes that a difficult task (in the middle of a party he'll say aloud "It's all smokes and mirrors, fellas. That's all it is"). However, from one's standpoint it's clear that Frank is but a mere victim of society itself. If homosexuality, according to Lacan, is the representation of the interdict, then it's society who demands and reinforces this interdiction.Homosexuality as an option is then socially banned. But at the same time it's also scientifically forbidden or at least invalidated. Frank's shrink assures him that this "disease" can and must be cured. There is treatment for it. Let's remember that American psychiatrist associations considered homosexuality as some sort of mental disorder until very recently, which just proves how narrow-minded certain doctors can be.But the interdict acquires power precisely because of the nature of its prohibited condition. After all, nothing is more attractive than that which is not supposed to be… Lacan explains that the interdict is always libidinized. Homosexual intercourse becomes highly erotic because it's forbidden. Thus it's evident that even if Frank tries to live the life of a straight man, he will eventually give in to his innermost desires.If Frank is a "masculine gay", unclenched from other generalized gay stereotypes, at least according to Judith Butler's Queer Theory, can he be absolved from his victim role? Absolutely not. Because Haynes film is a brilliant analysis of America, of sexuality, of repression and ultimately of the well-sought ideal of freedom. And Frank is the hero who will face all of these obstacles even if that means paying the highest price. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Aunque conocí a Elizabeth López Avilés hace ya un buen tiempo, recién pude apreciar su obra en el 2012, en la muestra "Silenciosa pasión" (que, por cierto, pueden revisar aquí). En ese momento, quedé deslumbrado por la minuciosa labor de la artista, por su delicado trazo y su innegable talento para la ilustración. Han pasado casi dos años desde que asistí a esa muestra, pero las imágenes de Elizabeth han permanecido en mi memoria. Ayer en la noche, en el Centro Cultural El Olivar de San Isidro, se inauguró “Continuum”, una nueva individual de la joven artista. Llegué temprano, desde luego, y nuevamente quedé extasiado por esos retratos tan cargados de emociones, que sobrevuelan los dominios del erotismo pero aterrizando siempre en el mundo de los dolores cotidianos, de las heridas, superficiales o profundas, con las que todos podemos identificarnos.Como bien afirma el curador de la muestra, Iván Fernández-Dávila, al representar el propio cuerpo, al autorretratarse, la artista reflexiona “acerca de lo femenino en general”. Ciertamente, tal como proponen Ann Rosalind Jones y Hélène Cixous  “l'ecriture feminine” se plantea como una escritura del cuerpo y desde el cuerpo, y en la obra de Elizabeth López siempre encontraremos ese elemento en un primer plano.Al tratase de un trabajo que requiere suma precisión, uno imaginaría que la artista habría tardado al menos un año en completar todos los cuadros. Yo mismo, luego de haber dibujado varios cómics y haberme familiarizado con la tinta china, conozco las complicaciones de esta técnica y comprendo que un movimiento en falso puede arruinar todo un lienzo. En el caso de Elizabeth, la labor es aún más complicada, porque sus finos detalles requieren muchísima más atención, y porque al utilizar acuarelas el error no le está permitido. Cuando mi amigo Iván me comentó que ella había terminado todos los cuadros entre diciembre del 2013 y enero de este año, quedé impresionado. Por cierto, estamos ya en febrero del 2014, y sin embargo nadie debería sorprenderse al comprobar que no he escrito nada sobre arte desde fines del 2013. El motivo resultará obvio para muchos: es difícil encontrar buenas exposiciones de arte en Lima. Lo que uno encuentra, a menudo, es una yuxtaposición de propuestas que pretenden ser vanguardistas y que, en realidad, pecan por falta de creatividad. Es necesario, entonces, despojarse de esos antojadizos atavíos teóricos para desnudar la esencia misma del artista. Por suerte, Elizabeth López es capaz de hacerlo. Y todos nosotros deberíamos felicitarla y darle las gracias por tan estupendo arte. Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/02/continuum-elizabeth-lopez-aviles-centro.html

Swamp Thing # 54, 55 56 - Moore, Veitch Alcalá

Swamp Thing # 54, 55 56 - Moore, Veitch Alcalá

By Arion in Blog on January 29, 2014

I have written some stories and even a few have been published, and I often wonder if they’ll still be read in the future… or even remembered. As writers we face a challenge that defies the norms of narrative or the nuances of punctuation. I am talking, of course, about the relevance of our work, not only for today’s readers but also for those who will come across our work 10 or 100 years later. Alan Moore is one of those writers that can be considered immortal, not only because of his amazing imagination or his undeniable talent, but also because when he wrote his stories he seemed to have taken into account both present and future readers.I have already discussed the importance of ecology in Swamp Thing or the criticism towards a society plagued by racism. After 30 years, we’re finally accepting how essential ecology is and we’re still struggling against racist behaviors that, at least in theory, should’ve disappeared long ago. But there is something else in Alan Moore’s unforgettable run in Swamp Thing: the women problematic. There’s no need for us to be feminists in order to realize that even after 30 years women are still victims of abuse, discrimination and unfair treatment. Yes, theoretically, women and men have the same rights. But if you read the statistics you will still find thousands of cases of domestic violence, of men hurting women, here, there and anywhere in the world. It’s sad but it’s true.Perhaps that’s one of the elements that I was never able to overlook when I first read “The Flowers of Romance” (published in Swamp Thing # 54, November 1986). Moore explores the subject of a woman constantly abused by her husband, to the point that she has turned into an infrahuman creature, unable to take care of herself, and with such low self-esteem that she no longer has the courage to make any decisions at all. And the most horrific part? This was actually based on a real life case: Alan Moore explains that his aunt suffered this dehumanization process at the hands of a viciously aggressive man and the family only found out about this when it was late. “The Flowers of Romance” then, focuses on this disgraced woman, Liz Tremayne, and his abusive and brutal husband, Dennis Barclay. In case some might have forgotten about the couple, they were originally introduced during Martin Pasko’s previous run on the title, and they were briefly featured in “Loose Ends”, Alan Moore’s first historical issue. Ironically, these loose ends are finally tied up when Liz finds Abby and asks her for help; and Dennis, an enraged maniac, decides to kill both women. After a vicious persecution, Dennis dies. Abby and Liz then prepare to travel to Gotham City, to attend the Swamp Thing’s funeral in “Earth to Earth” (Swamp Thing # 55). “If you wear black, then kindly, irritating strangers will touch your arm consolingly and inform you that the world keeps on turning. They’re right. It does. However much you beg it to stop”, that’s how Abby begins this chronicle, affirming that we wrap “ourselves in comforting banalities to keep us warm against the cold”. However, after the initial pain of death, she somehow manages to come to terms with her loss. It’s not an easy task, but she is, after all, a survivor. “My Blue Heaven” is a one of kind insight into the mind of those who have the power to create. Swamp Thing, unable to regrow his body in the solar system, has left his consciousness wander around the cosmos. Now, in a strange and blue planet, he reconstructs himself and he stares desperately at the loneliness of a world in which only the most primitive life forms thrive. In his brilliant introduction, Stephen Bissette further elucidates the parallelisms between the ability to create and the self-congratulatory drive: “It’s arguably autobiographical in many ways […] The story begins as an ethereal and loving celebration of a creator (Swamp Thing/Alan) finding solace and temporary fulfillment in the act of creation/re-creation. The darkness –the loneliness, the masturbatory nature of such creation, the assertion of the shadowy realms of the creator’s unconsciousness– soon unveils the madness the creator knows and fears”. Indeed, “My Blue Heaven” is a poignant philosophical examination of a question more creators should be willing to ask, either about themselves or their works. And, at the same time, it’s a nightmare, a horrifying experience that almost costs Swamp Thing his sanity.  John TotlebenThis extraordinary stand-alone adventure is illustrated by Rick Veitch: “Rick’s roots in the underground comix movement of the early 1970s occasionally erupts into some truly baroque visions of monstrous beauty, rendered with a ferocity and clarity precious few of his mainstream 1980s peers could approach”. Alfredo Alcalá, the inker, “grounds the fantasy of the imagery in a tactile and believable sense of ‘reality’” thanks to his “textural precision and atmospheric style”. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Abby & Swamp ThingHe escrito algunas historias e incluso unas pocas han sido publicadas, y a menudo me pregunto si serán leídas en el futuro... o al menos recordadas. Como escritores, enfrentamos un reto que desafía las normas de la narrativa o las distinciones de la puntuación. Hablo, desde luego, de la relevancia de nuestro trabajo, no sólo para los lectores de hoy sino también para aquellos que encuentren nuestra obra dentro de 10 o 100 años. Alan Moore es un escritor que puede ser considerado inmortal, no sólo por su asombrosa imaginación y su innegable talento, sino también porque cuando escribió sus historias parecía haber considerado tanto al lector del presente como al del futuro.  Abby, Commissioner Gordon, Liz Tremayne & BatmanYa he discutido la importancia de la ecología en "Swamp Thing" o la crítica hacia una sociedad plagada de racismo. 30 años después, finalmente estamos aceptando que lo ecológico es esencial y todavía estamos luchando contra las conductas racistas que, al menos en teoría, deberían haber desaparecido hace mucho. Pero hay algo más en la inolvidable etapa de Alan Moore en "Swamp Thing": la problemática de la mujer. No hace falta ser feminista para darse cuenta que incluso después de 30 años las mujeres siguen siendo víctimas de abuso, discriminación y tratamientos injustos. Sí, teóricamente, las mujeres y los hombres tienen los mismos derechos. Pero si leen las estadísticas todavía podrán encontrar miles de casos de violencia doméstica, de hombres haciéndoles daño a mujeres, aquí o en cualquier otra parte del mundo. Es triste pero es verdad.Tal vez ese es uno de los elementos que nunca fui capaz de relegar cuando leí por primera vez “Las flores del romance” (publicado en Swamp Thing # 54, noviembre de 1986). Moore explora el tema de una mujer constantemente abusada por su marido, al punto que se convierte en una criatura infrahumana, incapaz de cuidarse a sí misma, y con una autoestima tan baja que ya no tiene la valentía de tomar decisiones por sí misma. ¿Y lo más terrorífico? Esto se basó en un caso de la vida real: Alan Moore explica que su tía sufrió un proceso de deshumanización a manos de un hombre viciosamente agresivo y la familia sólo se enteró de esto cuando era demasiado tarde. “Las flores del romance”, entonces, se enfoca en una desgraciada mujer, Liz Tremayne, y su abusivo y brutal esposo, Dennis Barclay. En caso que algunos se hayan olvidado de la pareja, su origen data de la etapa de Martin Pasko, y aparecieron brevemente en “Cabos sueltos”, el primer número histórico de Alan Moore.  Blue planet / el planeta azulIrónicamente, estos cabos sueltos son finalmente atados cuando Liz encuentra a Abby y le pide ayuda; y Dennis, un maníaco rabioso, decide matar a ambas mujeres. Después de una feroz persecución, Dennis muere. Abby y Liz, entonces, se preparan para viajar a Gotham City, para asistir al funeral de Swamp Thing en “Tierra a Tierra” (Swamp Thing # 55).“Si vistes de negro, entonces gente extraña te tocará el brazo, amablemente, consoladoramente, y te informarán que el mundo sigue girando. Tienen razón. Así es. Por más que ruegues que se detenga”, así es como Abby empieza esta crónica, afirmando que nos envolvemos “en banalidades cómodas para mantenernos tibios frente al frío”. Sin embargo, después del dolor inicial de la muerte, ella se las arregla para aceptar la pérdida. No es una tarea fácil pero ella es, después de todo, una superviviente.“Mi cielo azul” es una mirada única a la mente de aquellos que tienen el poder de crear. La Cosa del pantano, incapaz de rebrotar su cuerpo en el sistema solar, ha dejado que su conciencia vague por el cosmos. Ahora, en un extraño planeta azul, se reconstruye a sí mismo y mira con desesperación la soledad de un mundo en el que sólo subsisten formas de vida primitivas. En su brillante introducción, Stephen Bissette indaga sobre los paralelismos entre la habilidad para crear y el impulso de autosatisfacción: “Es probablemente autobiográfico de muchos modos […] La historia empieza como una celebración etérea y amorosa de un creador (Swamp Thing/Alan) que encuentra solaz y satisfacción temporal en el acto de la creación/re-creación. La oscuridad –la soledad, la naturaleza  masturbatoria de semejante creación, la aserción de los reinos de sombras del inconsciente del creador– pronto revela la locura que el creador conoce y teme”. De hecho, “Mi cielo azul” es una importante examinación filosófica sobre una pregunta que más creadores deberían estar dispuestos a formular, ya sea sobre sí mismos o sus trabajos. Y, al mismo tiempo, es una pesadilla, una terrorífica experiencia que casi le cuesta a la Cosa del pantano su cordura.Esta extraordinaria aventura auto-conclusiva es ilustrada por Rick Veitch: “Las raíces de Rick en el movimiento de comix underground de inicios de 1970 ocasionalmente estallan en visiones realmente barrocas de belleza monstruosa, retratadas con una ferocidad y una claridad a la que muy pocos de sus colegas de 1980  podrían haberse acercado”. Alfredo Alcalá, el entintador, “asienta la fantasía de las imágenes en un sentido táctil y creíble de ‘realidad’” gracias a su “precisión de texturas y su estilo atmosférico”.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-54-55-56-moore-veitch-alcala.html

Swamp Thing # 53 - Alan Moore John Totleben

Swamp Thing # 53 - Alan Moore John Totleben

By Arion in Blog on January 26, 2014

The delicate veil of civilization cannot resist the temptation of nature. As soon as the gardens explode, as the trees break their way into the structural fissures of the urban landscape, as Eden falls upon the land of men, human culture surrenders itself to a primordial and wild calling. The time of man will soon be over, the hour of the Green has just begun.Swamp Thing’s vengeance is swift, and Gotham City –now transformed into a jungle– seems to be unable to react. “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (published in Swamp Thing # 53, October 1986) marks the confrontation between Swamp Thing and Batman, between chaos and order, between the prevalence of justice and the obedience of law, between the natural world and the artificial creation. Alan Moore describes this fundamental conflict in a rhythmic narrative of poetic heights. Simultaneously, the British writer reunites dozens of key figures under the same sky. Batman and his technology are no match against the elemental powers of his rival. But Lex Luthor’s criminal mind is a threat unlike any other. Indeed, Superman’s nemesis charges 1 million dollars for a 10 minute consulting on ‘indestructible creatures’. After years of experience trying to annihilate the Man of Steel, Luthor considers that the swamp freak can be easily destroyed. He just needs to find a way to prevent the monster from relocating his consciousness from one place to the next. 10 minutes and 1 million dollars later, he has it all figured out. Now that Gotham is a gigantic garden, hundreds of pilgrims wish to visit this paradise. Amongst them we can find Chester, the well-intentioned hippy that discovered the hallucinogenic properties of Swamp Thing’s fruits, and also Wallace Monroe, a devastated man –still mourning for his wife– who had a catastrophic meeting with Nukeface, back in the swamps of Louisiana.  Gotham succumbs to nature / Gotham sucumbe ante la naturaleza“You thought… that it could not… get worse. You imagined… that things… had reached their limits. Do not… delude yourselves... There are… no limits”. Although the Dark Knight is a formidable opponent, he is vanquished by Swamp Thing. Perhaps, his defeat can be a manifestation of the caped crusader’s doubts. After all, what laws did Abby break? Why is the Louisiana police department after her? And why can’t Gotham deliver this woman into the arms of the creature she loves?  Swamp Thing versus BatmanBatman finally intercedes in the dispute with his keen analytical mind. If Abby’s crime was to be in contact with an inhuman being, then isn’t the entire Justice League guilty of the same charges? And what about the citizens of Metropolis? For all his might and nobility, Superman is still an alien creature. Finally Gotham’s authorities understand that in this instance they must reinterpret the law and grant Abby her freedom. “Amidst the fierce joy of victory… something dark flutters across my mind”. And Swamp Thing is right, because before he can hug Abby, the weapon created by Lex Luthor annihilates him. In a burst of flames, Abby’s hopes are all consumed.John Totleben pencils and inks the entire issue, a 38 page giant-sized spectacular! And his art is so magnificent that I just had to dedicate an entire post about it. Stephen Bissette explains in the prolog the importance of Totleben’s contribution: “John’s exquisite pen and brush work not only delivers on that title’s Boschian promise of delirious visions, but also meshes the artistic sensibilities of Virgil Finlay (one of John’s artist heroes) with the giant monster fever dreams of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko”. Indeed, Totleben’s evocative images preserve the beauty of nature and at the same time exacerbate the horrifying aspects of the creature of the swamp. And the confrontation with the Dark Knight gives Totleben “the opportunity to delineate one of his favorite comic book characters – his Batman is as much a creature of the night as that drawn by Bernie Wrightson […] John’s sinewy shadow-being captures an essential aspect of the Batman”. Certainly, Totleben’s version of the caped crusader is superior to the poor and unimaginative representations that were so abundant in the 80s. “‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ represents the ultimate Totleben Swamp Thing […] smelling of earth, rippling with vine and lichen and moss, and moving with the grace of an elemental dancer”. A classic masterwork. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Batman: a creature of the night / Batman: una criatura de la nocheEl delicado velo de la civilización no puede resistir la tentación de la naturaleza. Apenas brotan los jardines, y los árboles irrumpen entre las fisuras estructurales del paisaje urbano, el edén se precipita sobre la tierra del hombre, y la cultura humana se rinde ante un llamado salvaje y primordial. La hora del hombre está por terminar, la hora de lo Verde acaba de empezar. La venganza de la Cosa del pantano es rápida, y Gotham City –ahora transformada en una jungla– parece incapaz de reaccionar. “El jardín de las delicias terrenales” (publicado en Swamp Thing # 53, octubre de 1986) marca la confrontación entre la Cosa del pantano y Batman, entre el caos y el orden, entre la prevalencia de la justicia y la obediencia de la ley, entre el mundo natural y la creación artificial. Alan Moore describe este conflicto fundamental en una rítmica narrativa de vuelo poético.Simultáneamente, el escritor británico reúne docenas de figuras claves bajo el mismo cielo. Batman y su tecnología no son una amenaza frente a los poderes elementales de su rival. Pero la mente criminal de Lex Luthor sí representa un peligro singular. De hecho, el némesis de Superman cobra 1 millón de dólares por una consultoría de 10 minutos sobre ‘criaturas indestructibles’. Después de años de experiencia intentando aniquilar al Hombre de Acero, Luthor considera que el fenómeno de los pantanos puede ser fácilmente destruido. Lo único que necesita es encontrar la manera de impedir que el monstruo reubique su conciencia de un lugar a otro. 10 minutos y 1 millón de dólares después, ya lo tiene todo resuelto. A giant threat against the city / una amenaza gigante contra la ciudadAhora que Gotham es un gigantesco jardín, cientos de peregrinos desean visitar este paraíso. Entre ellos encontramos a Chester, el hippy bien intencionado que descubrió las propiedades alucinógenas de los frutos de la Cosa del pantano, y también Wallace Monroe, un hombre devastado –de luto por la muerte de su esposa– quien tuvo un catastrófico encuentro con Cara-Nuclear, en los pantanos de Luisiana. Batman & Abby. Background: Chester, Wallace Monroe, Commissioner Gordon & Harvey Bullock“Pensabais... que no podría... empeorar. Imaginabais... que las cosas... habían llegado al límite. No os... engañéis... No hay límites”. Aunque el Señor de la Noche es un oponente formidable, es vencido por la Cosa del pantano. Tal vez su derrota puede ser una manifestación de las dudas del cruzado enmascarado. Después de todo, ¿qué ley infringió Abby? ¿Por qué la policía de Luisiana la persigue? ¿Y por qué Gotham no puede dejar que esta mujer regrese a los brazos de la criatura que ama? Batman finalmente intercede en la disputa con su mente lúcida y analítica. Si el crimen de Abby fue estar en contacto con un ser inhumano, entonces ¿no es la Liga de la Justicia culpable de los mismos cargos? ¿Y qué hay de los ciudadanos de Metrópolis? A pesar de todo su poder y nobleza, Superman sigue siendo un extraterrestre. Finalmente, las autoridades de Gotham entienden que en esta instancia deben reinterpretar la ley y concederle a Abby su libertad.“Entre el fiero goce de la victoria... algo oscuro revolotea en mi mente”. Y la Cosa del pantano tiene razón, porque antes de poder abrazar a Abby, el arma creada por Lex Luthor lo aniquila. En un estallido de llamas, las esperanzas de Abby se consumen.John Totleben dibuja y entinta todo el número, un gigantesco especial de 38 páginas. Y su arte es tan magnífico que tenía que dedicarle un post completo. Stephen Bissette explica en el prólogo la importancia de la contribución de Totleben: “Las exquisitas tintas de John y su trabajo con los pinceles no sólo otorga al título la promesa de Bosch de visiones delirantes, sino que también fusiona las sensibilidades artísticas de Virgil Finlay (uno de los héroes artistas de John) con la fiebre por los monstruos gigantes de Jack Kirby y Steve Ditko”. De hecho, las evocadoras imágenes de Totleben preservan la belleza de la naturaleza y al mismo tiempo exacerban los aspectos terroríficos de la criatura del pantano. Y la confrontación con el Caballero Oscuro le brinda a Totleben “la oportunidad de delinear uno de sus personajes favoritos de los cómics – su Batman es tanto una criatura de la noche como aquel dibujado por Bernie Wrightson […] El vigoroso ser de sombra de John captura un aspecto esencial de Batman”. Ciertamente, la versión de Totleben del cruzado enmascarado es superior a las pobres y convencionales representaciones que eran tan abundantes en los 80s. “‘El jardín de las delicias terrenales’ representa al Swamp Thing definitivo de Totleben […] oliendo a tierra, ondulando sabia, ramas y musgo, y moviéndose con las gracia de un danzante de los elementos”. Una obra maestra clásica.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-53-alan-moore-john-totleben.html

Preview: TRISH OUT OF WATER #4

Preview: TRISH OUT OF WATER #4

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 23, 2014

CoverTRISH OUT OF WATER #4 Vince Hernandez ­ Story / Giuseppe Cafaro ­ Art / Ruben Curto, Manuela Nerolini & MAD5 Factory  - ColorsAll Hell breaks loose as Trish and her friends are dangerously confronted by those under the surface, and the group must tragically separate for their own good. However, a bigger surprise waits for Trish, as she discovers secrets about herself that will forever change her life‹for betterŠor worse!TRISH OUT OF WATER #4 is in stores January 29th, 2014! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Cover B Cover C Cover DFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/trish-out-of-water-4.html

Preview: ALL NEW FATHOM #5

Preview: ALL NEW FATHOM #5

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 23, 2014

CoverALL NEW FATHOM #5 David Wohl ­ Story / Alex Konat ­ Art / Peter Steigerwald ­ ColorsA new direction in the FATHOM Universe continues!Believing the undersea threat from Vana to be over, Aspen Matthews returns to the surface to try to resume a normal life and finds an old flame waiting for her upon her arrival--Chance Calloway. Meanwhile, tensions rise beneath the surface as the true extent of Vana's scheme begins to manifest, and she reveals her actual target--the Capital city of the Blue, Muria!Writer David Wohl, artist Alex Konat and colorist Peter Steigerwald team up once again to bring you the latest adventures of Michael Turner's most beloved creation!ALL NEW FATHOM #5 is in stores January 29th, 2013! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 4 Cover B Cover CFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/preview-all-new-fathom-5.html

Young Avengers # 14 - Gillen, McKelvie, Vieceli, Ward Wu

Young Avengers # 14 - Gillen, McKelvie, Vieceli, Ward Wu

By Arion in Blog on January 22, 2014

When the effervescence of youth erupts there is only one suitable solution: Party like there is no tomorrow! And that’s exactly what the Young Avengers do after saving the universe. They throw the biggest ‘we saved the universe and it’s New Year’ party ever. But it’s not just a simple annual tradition; they are alive and they are celebrating that. It’s both exultant and scary to realize how fleeting life can be for these youngsters, who face not only the cruelest villains but also their own insecurities and fears.As Kieron Gillen affirms “This is a book about the end of the universe”; but unlike most Marvel (or DC) books, here the biggest threat comes from within: we are our worst enemies. Gillen’s run is characterized by “using the characters' emotional lives as a solution to the problem”. And after one year of groundbreaking stories and unexpected plot twists, all things have fallen into place.“Resolution part 1” gives us a glimpse of New Year’s Eve. And in a few pages we understand the relevance of “romantic love and how it affects people, and responsibility, both in terms of growing up and being a hero”. The Young Avengers set up on a long journey at the beginning of the series, and only now do they have the time to take a breath and process what has happened to them. Loki is gone. And without him, his lies have lost all meaning. Hulkling no longer believes he was ‘wished into existence’ by Wiccan’s reality altering powers. When Billy and Teddy are dancing together, the wizard tells his boyfriend that he needn’t worry: “I could never dream you up Teddy. I could never have imagined loving anyone like I love you”.   Jamie McKelvie: the party begins / Jamie McKelvie: la fiesta comienzaNevertheless, love’s victory is never guaranteed. “Love fails because the other person is in love with the reality of an earlier love, to the point where they almost don't care about anything else. Marvel Boy dumps Kate for the idea of an old girlfriend that doesn't really exist”. And a relationship that started in the first issue of this series comes to a bitter end during this final chapter.  Emma Vieceli: young heroes in love / jóvenes héroes enamoradosThe after party sequences are beautifully illustrated by Jamie McKelvie (his double page spread is magnificent); the moment of intimacy between Billy and Teddy is aptly depicted by Emma Vieceli; Christian Ward is responsible for the colorful sequences dedicated to Ms. America; and at last, but certainly not least, Annie Wu draws Kate Bishop pages. Immediately after breaking up with Marvel Boy, Kate decides to dance with Tommy Shepherd (AKA Speed).Wu’s final splash page is admirable for two reasons: because it faithfully captures the youthfulness and pure joy of the kids; and because it’s also a wonderful homage to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s variant cover for Young Avengers # 1. In this prophetic cover, published 1 year ago, Kate Bishop is dancing with Tommy, while Teddy tenderly touches Billy. At midnight, the young heroes are as happy as they should be. There are only two missing characters here: Marvel Boy –who probably regrets having ruined his relationship with Kate– and Loki –neither a child, nor an adult, the god of lies is now destined to become an agent of Asgard. “This is how we think comics could be in this genre in 2013. Take what you like and leave what you don't. And enough of it worked to make me happy with it”, has expressed Gillen. But honestly, I can’t think of a single aspect or element about this book that I haven’t loved, except for the fact that it is ending. But I respect Gillen’s decision, he “did manage to do a big pop statement comic at a major comics publisher to enormous acclaim”. And that certainly deserves a standing ovation. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Annie Wu: Kate Bishop and Marvel Boy break up / Kate Bishop y Marvel Boy rompenCuando la efervescencia de la juventud estalla hay una solución adecuada: una juerga absoluta. Y eso es exactamente lo que hacen los Jóvenes Vengadores después de salvar el universo. Con una gran fiesta, ellos celebran el año nuevo y también haber salvado el universo. Pero no es una simple tradición anual; ellos están vivos y eso es lo que celebran. Es exultante pero también terrorífico observar lo fugaces que pueden ser las vidas de estos jovencitos quienes no sólo se enfrentan a crueles villanos sino también a sus propias inseguridades y miedos. Tal como afirma Kieron Gillen “Esta es una serie sobre el fin del universo”; pero a diferencia de la mayoría de títulos de Marvel (o DC), aquí la amenaza más grande viene de adentro: nosotros somos nuestros peores enemigos. La etapa de Gillen está caracterizada por “usar las vidas emocionales de los personajes como una solución al problema”. Y después de un año de historias innovadoras y giros argumentales inesperados, todo cae en su sitio.“Resolución parte 1” nos da un vistazo a la noche de año nuevo. Y en pocas páginas entendemos la relevancia del “amor romántico y cómo afecta a la gente, y la responsabilidad, en términos de crecer y ser un héroe”. Los Jóvenes Vengadores se embarcaron en una travesía al inicio de la serie, y recién ahora tienen tiempo de tomar aliento y procesar lo que les ha pasado. Loki se ha ido. Y sin él, sus mentiras han perdido todo significado. Hulkling ya no cree que fue 'creado' por los poderes alteradores de la realidad de Wiccan. Cuando Billy y Teddy bailan juntos, el hechicero le dice a su enamorado que no necesita preocuparse: “Nunca podría inventarte en mis sueños, Teddy. Nunca podría haber imaginado amar a alguien tanto como te amo a ti”.   Wonderful homage to Bryan Lee O’Malley's cover / maravilloso homenaje a la portada de de Bryan Lee O’MalleyNo obstante, la victoria del amor nunca está garantizada. “El amor fracasa porque la otra persona está enamorada con la realidad de un primer amor, al punto que casi no les importa ninguna otra cosa. Marvel Boy rechaza a Kate por la idea de una antigua enamorada que no existe realmente”. Y una relación que empezó en el primer número de la serie llega a su amargo final durante este último capítulo. Las secuencias de la fiesta están hermosamente ilustradas por Jamie McKelvie (su página doble es magnífica); el momento de intimidad entre Billy y Teddy está apropiadamente retratado por Emma Vieceli; Christian Ward es el responsable de las coloridas secuencias dedicadas a Ms. America; y por último, Annie Wu dibuja las páginas de Kate Bishop. Inmediatamente después de romper con Marvel Boy, Kate decide bailar con Tommy Shepherd (Speed).La página final de Wu es admirable por dos razones: porque captura fielmente la juventud y el goce total de los chiquillos: y porque también es un maravilloso homenaje a la portada variante de Bryan Lee O’Malley para Young Avengers # 1. En esta profética portada, publicada hace 1 año, Kate Bishop está bailando con Tommy, mientras que Teddy acaricia a Billy tiernamente. A la medianoche, los jóvenes héroes están tan felices como deberían. Sólo faltan dos personajes: Marvel Boy –que probablemente se arrepienta por haber arruinado su relación con Kate– y Loki –ya no es un niño pero tampoco un adulto, el dios de las mentiras está destinado a convertirse en un agente de Asgard. “Así es como pensamos que podrían ser los cómics en este género, en el 2013. Toma lo que te guste y deja lo que no te guste. Y buena parte de ello funcionó para hacerme feliz”, ha expresado Gillen. Pero honestamente, no puedo pensar en un sólo aspecto o elemento de la colección que no me haya encantado, excepto por el hecho de que está terminando. Pero respeto la decisión de Gillen, quien se las “arregló para hacer una gran declaración pop de cómic en una gran editorial de cómics, con una enorme aclamación”. Y ciertamente eso merece que aplaudamos de pie.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/young-avengers-14-gillen-mckelvie.html

Swamp Thing # 51 52 - Moore, Veitch Alcalá

Swamp Thing # 51 52 - Moore, Veitch Alcalá

By Arion in Blog on January 19, 2014

We have all known the horrors of civilization, the revolting nature of human culture: prejudice, injustice, discrimination. All these elements are as much part of our DNA as our capacity for language. Alan Moore acknowledges that, and in “Home Free” (published in Swamp Thing # 51, August 1986), he reminds us that after the war in hell, after the ultimate supernatural battle, peace is not guaranteed. On the contrary, after saying goodbye to his allies (Deadman, The Phantom Stranger and John Constantine), Swamp Thing will discover what has transpired in his absence.For months Abigail had been visiting the swamps, without ever realizing that she had been followed by an amateur photographer who takes a few compromising snapshots. He takes those pics to the local newspapers, and the images that show intimacy between this white-haired woman and this creature of the swamp enrage the public. Quickly, Abby is accused of having carnal knowledge with a monster, and she’s brought to court under charges of bestiality and crimes against nature.Humiliated and harassed by every man and woman in Houma, Abby decides to escape. To flee to the big city. But she makes one mistake: she goes to Gotham City. Trying to find solace, she falls into an urban sewer, filled with human putrefaction. Crime runs rampant, moral and physical decay seem to prey upon her, and when she’s captured by the police –mistaken as a hooker– an extradition order is announced. Swamp Thing was able to control his anger in the past. Peace is the way of the wood. He had learned as much from the Parliament of Trees. But this time, he cannot contain his fury. “And out in the swamp the monster raged, and trampled… and roared his lover’s name… and promised war”.A war against civilization and a confrontation against Gotham’s authorities are “Natural Consequences” (Swamp Thing # 52) of Abby’s unfair apprehension. In Arkham Asylum, Swamp Thing meets Batman’s greatest foes but only one of them captures his attention. Jason Woodrue –the Floronic Man– has been incarcerated along the criminally insane, losing whatever was left of his feeble mind to the demented hollering of the Joker, Two Face and the others. Finally, Swamp Thing forgives Woodrue’s trespasses against nature and tells him that no one else in Gotham deserves his forgiveness.And so Swamp Thing gives the city an ultimatum. He will recover Abby or the gothic metropolis will succumb to nature. “All over town, from sudden cracks and fissures, the sidewalks begin to bleed emerald […] Eden comes to the city”. Concrete and steel cannot resist the unstoppable power of life. Plants, trees and flowers invade Gotham’s monotonous landscape. Artificial structures are replaced by vibrant botanical designs. But Swamp Thing has strayed far from the bogs of Louisiana. Gotham isn’t his turf. Gotham is Batman’s city. And the inevitable confrontation between the Dark Knight and the creature of the swamps will only be the preamble of Lex Luthor’s sinister intervention.  Swamp Thing, Deadman & Phantom Stranger Although Stephen Bissette quit as the main artist of the series, he was still drawing the covers. They look slightly more rasping than previous covers, mainly because Totleben is no longer inking them. The artistic team of the title has also suffered an important modification. The penciler is now Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcalá, the inker. Together, they bring about a much needed sense of emotional weight and earthly anguish to Abby’s conundrum.   __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Gotham's urban misery / la miseria urbana de GothamTodos hemos conocido los horrores de la civilización, la repugnante naturaleza de la cultura humana: prejuicio, injusticia, discriminación. Todos estos elementos son tan parte de nuestro ADN como nuestra capacidad para el lenguaje. Así lo reconoce Alan Moore y en “Hogar libre” (publicado en Swamp Thing # 51, agosto de 1986), nos recuerda que después de la guerra en el infierno, después de la batalla sobrenatural definitiva, la paz no está garantizada. Por el contrario, luego de decirle adiós a sus aliados (Deadman, Phantom Stranger y John Constantine), Swamp Thing descubrirá lo que ha sucedido en su ausencia.Durante meses, Abigail había estado visitando los pantanos, sin darse cuenta que había sido seguida por un fotógrafo amateur que obtiene algunas instantáneas comprometedoras. Él lleva estas fotos a los periódicos locales, y estas imágenes que muestran intimidad entre la mujer de pelo blanco y la criatura del pantano enfurecen al público. Rápidamente, Abby es acusada de tener conocimiento carnal con un monstruo, y es llevada a juicio bajo cargos de bestialismo y crímenes contra la naturaleza. Humillada y acosada por todos los hombres y mujeres de Houma, Abby decide escapar. Huir a la gran ciudad. Pero comete un error: ella va a Gotham City. Intentando encontrar algo de calma, cae en este desagüe urbano, lleno de putrefacción humana. El crimen impera, la decadencia moral y física la rodean, y cuando es capturada por la policía -la confunden con una prostituta- la orden de extradición es anunciada. La Cosa del pantano fue capaz de controlar su ira en el pasado. La paz es la táctica de la madera. Él había aprendido esto con el Parlamento de los Árboles. Pero esta vez, no puede contener la furia. “Y afuera, en el pantano, el monstruo iracundo ataca... y ruje el nombre de su amante... y promete la guerra”. Batman's greatest foes / los principales enemigos de BatmanUna guerra contra la civilización y una confrontación contra las autoridades de Gotham son las “Consecuencias naturales” (Swamp Thing # 52) del injusto apresamiento de Abby. En Arkham Asylum, La Cosa del pantano conoce a los principales enemigos de Batman pero sólo uno llama su atención. Jason Woodrue –el hombre florónico– ha estado encarcelado junto con los criminales dementes, perdiendo lo poco que le quedaba de sensatez con los aullidos desquiciados del Joker, Two Face y los demás. Finalmente, La Cosa del pantano perdona las trasgresiones en contra de la naturaleza de Woodrue y le dice que nadie más en Gotham merece su perdón. Y la Cosa del pantano le da un ultimátum a la ciudad. Recuperará a Abby o la metrópolis gótica sucumbirá ante la naturaleza. “Por todas partes, a través de repentinas grietas y fisuras, las veredas empiezan a sangrar esmeralda […] El Edén llega a la ciudad”. El concreto y el acero no pueden resistir el imparable poder de la vida. Las plantas, los árboles y las flores invaden el monótono paisaje de Gotham. Las estructuras artificiales son reemplazadas por vibrantes diseños botánicos. Pero la Cosa del pantano se ha alejado demasiado de las ciénagas de Luisiana. Gotham no es su territorio. Gotham es la ciudad de Batman. Y la inevitable confrontación entre el Caballero de la Noche y la criatura de los pantanos será sólo un preámbulo para la siniestra intervención de Lex Luthor. Lex LuthorAunque Stephen Bissette renunció como el artista principal de la serie, todavía seguía dibujando las portadas. Ahora se ven ligeramente más ásperas que antes, sobre todo porque Totleben ya no las entinta. El equipo artístico también ha sufrido una importante modificación. El dibujante ahora es Rick Veitch y Alfredo Alcalá es el entintador. Juntos, aportan una muy necesaria sensación de peso emocional y angustia terrenal al conflicto de Abby.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-51-52-moore-veitch-alcala.html

Preview: BUBBLEGUN #4

Preview: BUBBLEGUN #4

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 17, 2014

CoverBUBBLEGUN #4 Mark Roslan ­ Story / Mike Bowden ­ Art / David Curiel, Erick Arciniega - Colors / Josh Reed - LetteringThey like the tech, but live for the high stakes!The BUBBLEGUN team is banged up, worn down, and low on confidence after their leader is taken from them. Molli, in desperation, resorts to extreme measures in order to rescue her captive sister back from the dangerous clutches of Drazic, Craine and Vitadrone. The odds of survival are low, which is par for the course with this group!Creator and writer Mark Roslan, along with penciler Mike Bowden and colorist David Curiel invite you to take part in what¹s sure to become Aspen¹s next hit sci-fi, action adventure series, BUBBLEGUN!BUBBLEGUN #4 is in stores January 22nd, 2014! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Cover B Cover C Cover DFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/preview-bubblegun-4.html

Young Avengers # 13 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

Young Avengers # 13 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

By Arion in Blog on January 16, 2014

One day, walking down the street, attending classes, going to your office, or simply having fun at a party, you fall in love. It doesn’t matter who you fall in love with. What counts is that suddenly, for one hour, one week or one year you find someone else, someone that inspires you and complements you. You find someone to love. And that’s no easy feat.When Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie decided to reinvent Marvel’s most notable juvenile team, they focused exactly on that idea. Finding someone else, and holding on to him or her, for as long as possible, no matter what. And yet, in the pages of “The Kiss and the Make-Up”, Billy Kaplan and Teddy Altman come to a hard and painful realization: they can no longer be a couple. And they break up.In subsequent issues, Mother, an inter-dimensional demon reunites an army of –you guessed it alright– former boyfriends and girlfriends of the Young Avengers. In one way or another, the failure of love symbolizes a prophecy of universal doom. And Loki’s mischievous plots provoke the deterioration of Hulkling and Wiccan’s relationship. Finally, Loki admits his treachery and explains how he had been manipulating everyone since the beginning of the series. It’s sad to see that now Kid Loki –and therefore his naïve and innocent aspect– is gone; Teen Loki has no hope of redemption. Alex Power (from Power Pack) / Alex Power (de Power Pack)When Marvel Boy declares he is more into the bondage-sadomasochism elements embodied by Oubliette, the Exterminatrix –and one of his many ex-girlfriends– Kate Bishop feels betrayed and hurt. Simultaneously, Ms. America can barely stand against his former couple. There are no guarantees when it comes to romance and rejected partners.  If Wiccan is to triumph over Mother, he must rely not on hatred or anger but on love. Love and reconciliation. In one truly exciting and touching moment, Prodigy explains to Hulkling what is the nature of love: “A magical power someone else has over you for no reason you can really justify but cascades through you until every cell calls out for his touch”. And so Teddy joins Billy in the ultimate battle. And together, with one passionate kiss, they prove that their love is, indeed, stronger than Loki’s lies and greater than any pan-dimensional demon. In the words of Gillen himself: “Love is the heart of the book. There are two dovetailing romances. One is between Wiccan and Hulkling, and the other is between Marvel Boy and Kate. Wiccan and Hulkling have this moment of transcendent love in issue #13. It's one of the key parts of the issue. It's a moment where they genuinely understand each other and they save the universe. It's an old fashioned, only slightly ironic ‘love will save the world’ kind of beat”.“Young Avengers part 2”, is an extraordinary example of an intelligent narrative combined with an outburst of emotions. An unforgettable issue that marks the end of Jamie McKelvie’s run as the main artist (in this case inked by Stephen Thompson and Mike Norton); and he bids us farewell with an offering of breathtakingly beautiful art. McKelvie’s salacious hidden images and ambiguous designs demand to “be read” narratively and conventionally and yet ultimately resist any harmonizing univocal meaning; his elegant approach is the result of a style that simultaneously "tells" and yet aestheticizes. And his unrivaled graphic experimentation is a joy to behold (especially the page of the kiss that saves the universe and the double page spread that shows Wiccan contemplating the complex reality that we, as readers, have experienced in the pages of this brilliant ongoing series).________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The kiss that saved the universe / El beso que salvó al universoUn día, mientras caminas por la calle, vas a clases, te sientas en tu oficina o simplemente te diviertes en una fiesta, te enamoras. No importa de quién te enamoras. Lo que cuenta es que repentinamente, por una hora, una semana o un año, encuentras a alguien más, alguien que te inspira y te complementa. Encuentras a alguien a quien amar. Y esa no es una hazaña sencilla. Cuando Kieron Gillen y Jamie McKelvie decidieron reinventar al equipo juvenil más  notable de Marvel, se enfocaron exactamente en esa idea. Encontrar a alguien, y no dejar que se vaya, por tanto tiempo como sea posible. Y, no obstante, en las páginas de “El beso y la reconciliación”, Billy Kaplan y Teddy Altman llegan a una dolorosa conclusión: ya no pueden seguir juntos como pareja. Y se separan.En capítulos recientes, Madre, un demonio inter-dimensional reúne un ejército de –seguro ya lo adivinaron– ex-enamorados y ex-enamoradas de los Jóvenes Vengadores. De un modo u otro, el fracaso del amor simboliza una profecía de condena universal. Y las intrigas de Loki provocan el deterioro de la relación de Hulkling y Wiccan.  Finalmente, Loki admite su traición y explica cómo había estado manipulando a todos desde el inicio de la serie. Es triste ver que ahora el Loki infantil  –y por lo tanto su aspecto ingenuo e inocente– ya no existe; y el Loki adolescente no tiene esperanzas de redención. Reality can be quite complex / La realidad puede ser muy complejaCuando Marvel Boy declara que lo que busca son los elementos de dominación y sadomasoquismo encarnados por Oubliette, la Exterminatrix –y una de sus muchas ex-enamoradas– Kate Bishop se siente traicionada y herida. Simultáneamente, Ms. America apenas puede enfrentarse a su antigua pareja. No hay garantías cuando se trata de  romance y compañeros rechazados. The victorious Young Avengers / los victoriosos Jóvenes VengadoresSi Wiccan ha de vencer a Madre, debe apoyarse no en el odio o en la ira sino en el amor. El amor y la reconciliación. En un momento realmente emocionante y conmovedor, Prodigy le explica a Hulkling cuál es la naturaleza del amor: “Un poder mágico que alguien tiene sobre ti sin ninguna razón que puedas justificar y que cae como una cascada sobre ti hasta que cada célula clama por ese contacto”. Así que Teddy se une a Billy en la batalla definitiva. Y juntos, con un apasionado beso, demuestran que el amor es, de hecho, más fuerte que las mentiras de Loki y más poderoso que cualquier demonio pan-dimensional.En las palabras del mismo Gillen: “El amor es el corazón de este título. Hay dos romances entrelazados. Uno es entre Wiccan y Hulkling, y el otro es entre Marvel Boy y Kate. Wiccan y Hulkling tienen este momento de amor transcendental en el antepenúltimo número. Es una de las partes claves de ese cómic. Es un momento en el que ellos se entienden el uno al otro genuinamente y salvan el universo. Es un enfoque un poco de vieja escuela, ligeramente irónico, del tipo ‘el amor salvará al mundo'”.“Jóvenes Vengadores parte 2”, es un extraordinario ejemplo de una narrativa inteligente combinada con una explosión de emociones. Un número inolvidable que marca el fin de la etapa de Jamie McKelvie como el artista principal (en este caso entintado por Stephen Thompson y Mike Norton); y su despedida es un ofrecimiento de arte tan hermoso que nos quedamos sin aliento. Las sensacionales imágenes ocultas de McKelvie y sus ambiguos diseños demandan “ser leídos” narrativa y convencionalmente y, no obstante, en última instancia se resisten a un significado armónico y unívoco; su elegante enfoque es el resultado de un estilo que es simultáneamente "narrativo" y estético. Y su incomparable experimentación gráfica es un disfrute para nuestros ojos (en especial la página del beso que salva el universo y la página doble que muestra a Wiccan contemplando la realidad compleja que nosotros, como lectores, hemos experimentado en las páginas de esta brillante serie mensual).Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/young-avengers-13-kieron-gillen-jamie.html

Review: Spider-Man 2099 Volume 2

Review: Spider-Man 2099 Volume 2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 16, 2014

Cover (close enough) The Marvel 2099 was an attempt to create a separate Universe, a possible future, for creators to play around with similar and new concepts. One of the first books to see the light of day was the Spider-Man 2099.The year was 1992 but it was only on 2009 that this series first got collected. Fulled by nostalgia I got it as soon as it hit the stores. I wasn't expecting much to be honest, these old stories aren't always up to par by these days standards. Memories often betrays us, but I was willing to experience these stories again for nostalgia sake.It came as a surprise when I just couldn't put the book down. It was really good., engaging, fast paced, and took a few liberties with the usual super-hero memes. I'm not saying it was a master piece, but it was really, really good, especially if you consider it was a 90s super-hero comic book.But 2009 was way before I started this blog, so no review for volume one (maybe one day).It took Marvel 4 years to release the second volume. Why? Who knows? Poor sales of the first volume? Change of strategy? Douchebaggery? Your guess is as good as mine.  But it was, eventually, released! (Huzzah!)Spider-Man 2099 tells the story of Miguel O'Hara, a scientist in one of the biggest corporations of the World that through a botched experiment gained Spide-Man like powers. There are a few differences, like he produces his own webs, but its basically the same set of powers. Miguel also creates one of the best looking Spider-Man outfit ever put on paper, apart from the arm-pit web one of course.In this volume Miguel is already comfortable in the Spider-Man shoes. Unlike the previous collection there isn't a grand story arc that encompasses the whole book. Instead we get several episodes of his superhero adventures with a social guideline to tie them together (albeit a bit loosely).You might ask "If there isn't a collection long story arc then what do I get?" Well what you get is pure Spider-Man super-heroic fun stories. The underdog superhero struggling to balance his personal life, with his work (aka revenge on Alchemax) and the protecting of 2099's average Joe.In these pages you'll get to experience the first appearances of Mutagen (a crazy man searching for the cleansing of the human gene pool), the Net Prophet (possibly someone from the 616 Timeline) and Thanatos (another crazy person with, as of yet, obscure motivation) Mutagen Net Prophet ThanatosArt wise its a though book to describe. On one hand it suffers from the 90s Marvel art style. On the other hand it has great costume designs (Mutagen is a exception), awesome mood, especially in the portrait of the high city versus the slums. I find it an example of the 90s style done right, but it's not perfect.There is an issue drawn by a different artist, and that issue stands out like a sore thumb. Its a shame really, because it tarnishes a good job by LeonardiIts a good bang for your buck. Cool stories, interesting characters and nice looking art. It was great to re-read these stories. Hope Marvel doesn't take another 4 years to publish the next volume.Publisher: Marvel ComicsYear: 2013Pages: 240Authors: Peter David, Rick LeonardiISBN: 0785185372Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-spider-man-2099-volume-2.html

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