The creating of tan’s or little cute mascots for such things as computer OS’s has long been an interesting part of fan creation that has created countless comics and illustrations. A recent little gag strip that uses a copious amount of real history and politics in order to construct funny little stories that are actually kind of thought provoking has come to light thanks to the wonders of the internet. You can read the complete “Afuganisu-tan” saga HERE. And yes it is an overdose of cuteness, you have been warned.
Category Archives: Comics - Page 2
Jerome Siegel’s heirs have been awarded partial rights to Superman.
Jerome sold his share of Superman’s creation to his co-author Joe Schuster over 70 years ago. Now that the Siegel family regained partial control of the copyright, Time Warner will have to pay part of their proceeds of franchise to the family, which according to some experts, may deter some of planned sequels to 2006 big screen revival.
Meanwhile, /film announced that there is plan to get Superman vs. Spiderman, as Siegel signed a contract with Marvel. Strangely, co-directors are both Sam Raimi and Brian Singer. Jake Gyllenhaal is contracted for role of Spiderman, which Toby McGuire respectfully declined this time around.
Still no word on who will be the next Superman. One thing is for sure, Brandon Routh is not reprising his role.
Marvel is ready for its release of Secret Invasion comic series.
The appearance of Skrulls, the shapeshifting deviants plotting against so many of your heroes, and Earthlings, was first intimated in New Avengers #1 (read: long time ago). Since then, we have experienced Skrulls in many forms. From small grey ones with laser guns, to more sophisticated copies of your favorites, exhibiting their visage as well as their powers, such as in case of Elektra.
The fabulous thing about Skrulls is that they are a dark, mysterious alien force, a threat so grave that seemingly entire Marvel universe must coalesce in order to resist. Skrulls are bent on elimination of Earthlings, because as we found out, their very religion posits that Earth really belongs to them, rather than us…and those overdeveloped, spandex-wearing, muscle-bound demi-gods.
So many excellent plot-lines, so many unsolved mysteries are owed to appearance of Skrulls, and their shadowy, Machiavellian plans. Most recently, the Hulk-gone-red phenomenon has been discussed at length, and all fingers point to possibility of Skrulls having something to do with these drastic changes.
The most interesting thing about Skrulls is that their carefully planned interference has caused fragmentation across the superhero lines. Friends cannot trust friends any more, and there are no longer any enemies, because the humanity itself is in peril.
As a result, Nick Fury and Iron Man are both trying to independently assemble a trustworthy team that will help spur off the incoming Skrull attack, bringing to light new faces and old enemies.
The Secret Invasion series is a stroke of genious. Why? Because it reinvents fear. Constant and continuous paranoia of our heroes is coupled with desire to form communities, cooperate and survive. And yet, the mistrust, combined with fear of other: a possibly more superior, more crazy, religious other, the kind that appears normal one minute, and then changes shape into a dangerous, fanatical other; is blinding and dividing.
Strangely enough, just as Bond performed for us the exaggerated fears of Cold War conflict, the Secret Invasion too taps into our contemporary confusion and fear fueled by ideas behind terrorists, Iraq War, as well as economic and political corruption.
The covers for these books lately have just been so good I just had to sit and write about them. I mean what is better than a hail of laser fire being jumped through by the Black Canary, her face thrown back in rapturous glee, along with her boy toy, the Green Arrow, perched on the back with arrow nocked back and ready to fire in mid air? Beyond the cover though, this book has really been a treat the last couple of issues. The Green Arrow is put through the emotional ringer with the shooting of his son by an unknown assailant. Dinah, the Canary, on the other hand, has been standing by her man and keeping Oliver’s well known temper in check with calm emotional support as well as putting him in his place, quite literally when it comes to her superior stunt cycle driving abilities, among other things. Issue #6 starts off with Mr. Arrow and the sultry Black Canary sporting Eastern European big money hustler styled costumes that are so well drawn that their identities are concealed to even the reader. This is one thing that comics really have the advantage of silence over for example as a cartoon, as voice actors would be dead giveaways. Of course using accented dialogue to really conceal the characters helps as well, but the point is, once they burst out of their costumes, it really acts as not only as a genuine surprise, but also of a method bringing the reader into the knowledge of being in medias res as opposed to what seemed like an action packed intro of perhaps some sort of as yet unconnected plot.
The big plot of course though is that Oliver and Dinah are looking for who shot Connor, and their theory is that he was shot using a helocopter with cloaking invisibilty. Through a bit of verbal sparring that leads to actual physical sparring, the gangsters they meet reveal the existance of the chopper, which they later come in contact with in the issue that just like an invisible helocopter would, suddenly hit out of nowhere. This leads to the chase scene that the cover art comes from and the final twist in a full page scene that does what any good comic book should, and that is leave you wondering what is going to happen next.
The action really is cranked up in this issue compared to the angst ridden hospital scenes of the last issue, which really provides a counter weight. In that issue, the presense of the clock is particularly heavily felt as it is repeated with small changes in its hands and is seen hanging over Oliver like the angst and dread that he has for his son. There is also the excellent use of flashbacks to give even more emotional weight as he deals with the fact that he was never really there for his son and now in the time where he is finally able to connect with him, he is taken away and now reduced to a vegetative state. With the weight of the past issue’s darma and flashbacks hanging over this issue, it almost seems as if having the helicopter magically appear and the action romp that follows in which the Green Arrow and Black Canary shoot it down seems of course a bit too convenient. The art kind of falters a bit too when Arrow and Canary switch drivers in mid air on the motorcycle that really fails in bringing to life what could have been an operatic moment of movement. Back to the simplicity of taking down the chopper though, the simplicity just further sets up the real scene of impact, which is also the big finish, and that is the revealing of who they find flying the chopper. Again, the simplicity is simply to set up the reveal, but in true classic comic cliffhanger fashion, that only serves as a teasing glimpse. In other words, there be a mystery to solve, and I am interested to see how it unfolds in later issues as well as the anticipation of the well crafted visual and narrative complexities that are being bought to each issue, even if you can probably consider them action comic cliches, they are still done quite well, which elevates it to a really good read.
Other than that, if you have not picked up Warren Ellis’ Gravel #1 that came out a couple of weeks ago, I suggest you give it a look. It’s twisted horror theatrics along with the great no-nonsense hard ass lead, makes for a great read. It reminded me of Sandman in parts in terms of its use of classic horror comic visuals that are shockingly engrossing.
The creator, self publisher, artist, and author, of the seminal comic Bone has just recently released a fantastic new comic entitled “RASL,” pronounced rassle, like “let’s go on out in the yard and have us a rassle after we chug these beers.” I picked it up the other day and it looks like quite the interesting series. Jeff Smith recently did an interview at Newsarama where he explained the premise of the book in a much better way then I could. He says:
“RASL is this guy who has a special immersion suit that allows him to go into other dimensions. It’s a very sci-fi idea, or at least a far-out idea of physics, where he straps these giant engines on his shoulders and knees, and using thermo-magnetic forces, he can actually warp space around his engines and step into a parallel dimension. And if you give him enough money, he’ll go to those dimensions and steal things for you. He’s found a really lucrative market in doing things like getting someone their own Mona Lisa, or something like that. A world leader who is really rich can pay him go get their own Venus de Milo or whatever.”
If that does not excite you, then I am not going to ask what is wrong. The first issue, puts us right into the action as RASL spray paints his name on a man’s house and steals a painting with the man in the room. He then runs away from cops, straps on his suit, and poof, makes a jump into another dimension. RASL, the character, is drawn in a very gritty, muscular caveman look, and judging by the first issue he is quick as well is resourceful and cagey. However, the real interesting character is what appears to be an Agent Smith sort of character dressed in a black suit who has a horse like monkey face that will adorn the cover of issue #2 that is due out in May.
Another cool thing about RASL is that is entirely self produced by Jeff Smith’s own Cartoon Books and he has been posting some interesting articles on his Blog about self published comics of late that are a really good read. In the age of self produced internet web comics, the rebel spirit of self production seems hardly the immense task that is, but it is still cool to see something like this come out and made available through the traditional comic book store market. Go check it out and see what you think.
The Weekly Comic List from our friends over at Comic List.com, and since I did it a couple of weeks ago, I figured I would make a couple of picks again for this week. After all, what better way then to spend Valentine’s Day then to cuddle up with a loveable lover like a comic book? Or two in this case because there are two books in particular from IDW Publishing that I am quite intrigued by. The first is the fifth in a series of adaptions of Cory Doctow’s works into comic book form. This time “I, Robot” is on the menu, which was a smashing read, capturing beautifully the thematics of Assimov in Cory’s usual awesome flair for prose. If you are as interested as me look for Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales. Good title too, eh? Another good one is the third in a series I have been picking up, which is Doctor Who Classics #3. This is a series of reworkings of classic Doctor Who comics featuring brilliant artwork of the classic Tom Baker era doctor in full science fiction campy glory. This issue wraps up the “Iron Legion” story that began in issue #1 and sends the doctor into a new one entitled “The City of the Damned.” This has everything a Doctor Who or a classic science fiction fan would want in a comic. As always check them out in your local comic book distribution area of preference.
One of my favourite comic book publishers has always been Crossgen, who sadly slipped and fell into bankruptcy and scandal, devastating a range of interesting titles that pushed into many under represented genres in North American Comics. This of course included the total grand awesomeness of Ruse, a Victorian Detective styled comic with a jerk/genius master detective lead and his equally punchy female partner who secretly harboured magical powers. Disney acquired the rights to many of the titles, including Ruse, which is rumored to have a script for a movie somewhere, along with a company called CheckBooks who obtained the rights to publish some of the Crossgen titles in collected graphic novel format. Anyways, three of those graphic novels came out this week including Negation Hounded Vol. 3, Sigil Vol. 6, and Soujourn Vol.6. You can get details about these titles over at Comic List.com and of course pick them up at wherever you purchase your graphic novels, and revel in the unfinished stories that were being created as part of the vast and mostly interlinked universe of Crossgen. You can also check out what some of the creators got up to following the death of Crossgen in 2003 over at CGCreators.net, which unfortunately, just like Crossgen itself, is no longer around. But through the wonders of web archive, the site is preserved for anyone who is interested.
According to an article on Comic List.com Marvel has signed a deal with European comics publisher Soleil, to translate and release the French publisher’s comics in English here in the North American market. Titles such as Sky Doll, Universal War One, Samurai and Le Fleau Des Dieux, will be making their debut in English for the first time outside of internet scanlating groups in North America. At the above link you can check out some of the previews for some of the titles, and they look like some interesting books in a vast array of genres. You can also check out Marvel Comics site HERE for more news about this awesome development.