Archive for the ‘Comics’ Category

Jodorowsky’s Dune

July 20, 2014

jodorowskys_dune_xlg

Frank Herbert‘s Dune is definitively up there among my favorite books of all time. I mean, I know there are a whole lot of people love these books, but I do too!

Over the years we’ve all been teased with film adaptations of Dune, but they’ve never turn out all that well. To be fair, I guess there have only been a couple film adaptations as far as I know, but both kind of suck.

Well, I watched a documentary this week called Jodorowsky’s Dune. It was a pretty good film about what director Alejandro Jodorowsky had planned in the ’70s for his adaptation of Dune… about the the Dune movie that was never made.

Like I say, the film was pretty damn good. What interested me the most was seeing how much goes into getting a film made (or not made, in this case). Writing the script, drawing the storyboards, creating set designs, putting music together, interfacing with the studio. Crazy crazy time consuming.

Who knows, Jodorowsky may have been the one who made a Dune movie worth seeing. I’m really not too sure about the changes he had planned for the story, but I do know he had some very talented people working on the project with him. With the late great Mœbius working on the film’s storyboards (which, my goodness, I’d love to own the hardbound storyboard drawings shown in the documentary!), H.R. Giger (of Alien fame) working on the sets, Salvador Dali hired on as an actor, and Pink Floyd planning on scoring the music (this right after finishing their masterpiece, The Dark Side Of The Moon)… well, it is had to see how any project could go wrong with talent like that working with ya.

But it did go wrong I guess, because the film was never made. But this documentary about the unmade film was made, and I liked it.

Manifest Destiny

June 15, 2014

1621565

I’ve been seriously falling behind on my comic book reading this last year or so. Not intentional, I guess I just found myself busy with other things. I did, however, read the first collection of a new series called Manifest Destiny. This series is published by Image Comics, written by Chris Dingess, and illustrated by Matthew Roberts. I don’t know that I’ve read or have seen any other work by these two creators, but I’ll keep my eyes open. Both the story and artwork are solid and very well done.

Manifest Destiny starts off with explorers Lewis & Clark heading out west in 1804. The primary mission is to explore, but they are also sent to investigate all sorts of supernatural occurrences leaked back by the French to the US Government. Their first encounter is with some sort of centaur/Minotaur/buffalo hybrid beasties who begin hunting them down. That’s pretty early, and as the story progresses, other weird stuff starts going on. Oh, and Sacajawea kicks monster ass, which is great to see.

I love stories about the old west, especially when they have a spooky twist.

manifest-destiny-flower

 

The Uncanny X-Men

May 25, 2014

XMen111

When I was a kid the Uncanny X-Men were my thing. I remember reading one of their comics for the first time, I musta been at around age ten. A friend had a copy of X-Men 111 (I just looked it up). Written by Chris Clairmont and penciled by John Byrne, the X-Men were trapped by Magneto in some big top circus. I thought it was the absolute coolest.

Colossus was my favorite, and if I could have picked any superpower back then it would have been the ability to change my flesh into indestructible steel. I don’t know if that would still be my first choice, but I wouldn’t mind having that super-power today. Wolverine was a close second, of course, but yeah Colossus ruled. And together, their fastball special would warm my nerd heard. Really, the whole team was great (except maybe Cyclops. I always thought he was kind of a weenie. But even he had his place, you betcha! Zapping people with his eyeballs!).

xmen01

I followed their comic through Junior High and into High School, which is when my interest in comics in general started to wane. I still loved em, but was just busy with other stuff I guess, plus I was always broke haha. I’ll be honest, the X-Men did kind of wear me down at the time too though. Even though some great characters like Apocalypse and Cable were introduced around the same time and in these alternate history story-lines, there just started to be too many of those alternate histories, with too many of Jean Grey and Scott Summer’s children coming back from the future (or past!) to the present to set things right. I mean, I love that sci-fi stuff… but in moderation. I clung on to them for as long as I could, but by the time I went to college and they were trying to get me to buy all their metal foil covers, I was out. I pretty much quit buying comics for over ten years.

But I have always had a soft spot for the X-Men.

Back in maybe ’04 or so I came across Grant Morrison‘s “New X-Men” for sale and I decided to pick it up. Illustrated by Frank Quiety, I guess these issues kind of got me back in. Not as fanatically as I was when I was a kid, but I did read more of the series, along with related titles like X-Force. So damn good. I’ve gone backward and forward in time since then to get caught up.

Anyway, I am writing about the X-Men because the new X-Men: Days of Future Past came out this weekend and I just saw it earlier. Great movie, and brought back very fond memories!

31749

Let’s Rap With Cap About Conspiracy!

May 11, 2014

hydra.trace.1

First off, I should say this post has spoilers for the new Captain America movie, so quit reading if ya don’t like that sort of thing. Second, this post contains a number of “real life” conspiracy theories that were addressed in the new Captain America movie, so quit reading if ya don’t like that sort of thing.

The new Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an entertaining movie, which is the most important thing in the end. Its just a movie. A superhero movie. But I’m kinda partial to superhero flicks. Turns out, this has easily become a favorite.

In addition to it being a great film though, I saw a whole lot of what many people believe to be real-life conspiracies being played out on the screen. I don’t necessarily buy into all of the good old conspiracy theory stuff, but I don’t dismiss out of hand either. At the very least, I think it is important to stay informed and be able to see the issues from multiple angles. And its plain to see that there is a whole lot of bullshit going on in the world now.

Anyway, seeing these conspiracies play out on the screen was kind of like a slap in the face the first time I saw the movie. When I saw it again, I decided I’d write about it.

The main plot has Hydra infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. and that is a good place to start. In Marvel Comics, Hydra begins as an arm (or hydra-head) of the Nazi party during WWII. Hydra begins to take on a life of its own over time, but it has its roots with the Nazi. In the movie, Hydra infiltrates S.H.I.E.L.D. through coercion and deception in order to take over the US government. Okay, so that is Marvel’s history. In our real world, it could be said that something similar has been going down.

Its well established that during his rise to power, Hitler got a huge bulk of his funding from many American corporations and banks. It is a historical fact that some of these corporations were involved with eugenics research, gave money, support, provided raw materials and weaponry to the Nazi party and Hitler. A side note, but it also well established that George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush (former President George W. Bush Sr.’s grandpappy and father, dis-respectively) helped Hitler rise to power. Another side note, it is also known that Prescott Bush helped plan a government coup in 1933 meant to topple President Franklin D. Rossevelt, because Bush believed that fascist policy would get America through the Great Depression.

Fast forward a little bit. In the movie, after the end of WWII, a number of Nazi scientists were brought over to America where they were allowed to continue their research. Well, in the really-real world this also happened. Hundreds of Nazi scientists were brought over to work with the American military under Operation Paperclip. Many of those (former? current?) Nazis rose to positions of power in our own government, probably most the famous being Wernher von Braun, who went on to become a director of NASA. I’ll leave it to you to imagine how deep their influence went.

Alrighty, back to the movie where S.H.I.E.L.D. is run by a world council which decides the fate of nations. Well, that looked a lot to me like the much anticipated New World Order back here in our world. Or maybe the Bilderberg Group? Actually, the whole Captain America movie seemed to be a story about how the New World Order might rise to power.

I’m kind of skipping around, but back to the movie and how it begins. Cap and a bunch of agents are sent to free hostages and recover stolen data from a hijacked warship. As the film progresses they discover that the kidnappings were part of a government sanctioned operation. Back in our world these are known as False Flag operations, and there are many people who believe our government uses these False Flag operations to manipulate the People into giving away their freedom. This is, to my mind, where you have to tread very lightly and keep a healthy dose of skepticism.

I personally am not one of those people who buy into “9/11 was an inside job” hook line and sinker, but there are many people who do, and it is easy to understand why. There are so many unanswered questions and things that were covered up. Whatever you think about the tragedy, its plain to see that our world is completely different since that infamous date. Unending wars against an undefined enemy, post-traumatic national fear (there is a terrorist under your bed!), the self-proclaimed “Patriot” Act, economic collapse (in spite of what we’ve been told, we can’t afford all of this war. Can’t afford it financially or morally), Citizens United, government surveillance… and on… and on.

That paragraph above reminds me of Arnim Zola‘s point about how we have traded in our freedom for security, comfort and convenience. Sounds about right to me.

Speaking of Zola and government surveillance, didn’t Arnim Zola’s monitoring of American citizens in the film sound very similar to what Edward Snowden revealed about our own government?

And didn’t those new S.H.I.E.L.D / Hydra helicarriers sound an awful lot like government drones? Granted, they were fancy drones, but their function was the same. That is, anonymous death. Killing people from the sky.

I thought this might be a long post, but this has gotten L.O.N.G.

Another observation about the Winter Soldier himself. Didn’t his conditioning sound a lot like CIA sponsored MKUltra? Oh yeah, George Bush Sr. was a CIA Director. Haha, go figure.

One last thing… We should all remember what Italian fascist Mussolini said: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Sound familiar, ehh? I guess Mussolini would know. With government bailouts, the Fed, Corporate Personhood, Citizens United, and many of our new policies written down by lawyers on little scraps of paper stink of fascism. Its plain to see that corporate interest and big finance trump the People pretty much every time. Can you say “Hail HYDRA”?

Anyway, it is great to be a skeptic. And I am skeptical about conspiracy :) Very much so. But its also good to remember, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you!”

Geek Out!

Creepy Yearbook

October 31, 2013

Burns_Yearbook

Gotta love Charles Burns! Especially his creepy monster kid yearbook photos

Happy Halloween!

fantagraphics.com | Charles Burns Bio

 

Prophet

September 29, 2013

timthumb

I’ve been kinda sick this week with a bug, so while resting and drinking plenty of water, one of the things I’ve been doing is catching up with the comic series  Prophet.

I don’t even know where to start with this fantastic comic. I don’t think I can write too much about it without giving away spoilers, so I will just quote the description from Comixology’s page:

Prophet has reawakened after being cryogenically frozen for 50 years. Now he must find a way to continue his mission.

That sums up the beginning of the work writer Brandon Graham and artists Simon RoyGiannis Milonogiannis have been doing with this newest version of the series.

The character was first created and the story started some twenty years ago by Rob Leifeld, and was published for 20 issues (I’ve never read those) then dropped. The character Prophet was picked up again in 2012 (with issue #21) by Graham and Roy, and I think it is one of the best things being published in comics right now. Its such a unique and amazing story, and I am really enjoying the artwork. Highly recommended!

I’m going to go back to bed and read some more…

imagecomics.com/comics/series/prophet

prophetart

Salt Lake Comic Con 2013

September 8, 2013

Gandalf

Congratulations Salt Lake City for hosting such a fun and successful Comic Con! I had a blast. The organizers did a great job, the vendors had very cool things for me to see and buy, and it did me good to see so damn many fans.

Whew, what a crazy time. I’m kinda worn out and don’t really feel like going through all of my photos, so I’ll just post this picture of Gandalf because I’ve always liked him so much (and he looks so great under the heating ducts and florescent lights!). I’ll also post this picture of Nova, because he was the last superhero I expected to run into and it made me happy to see him.

I’m not sure what the official or exact attendance numbers were for the convention, but I heard that Thursday had somewhere around 40,000 people, Friday had 50,000 and Saturday was somewhere around 65,000. Not bad for the first year! From what I saw, I believe it. One of the people who was working at the Con also told me they had to turn away thousands of people who were waiting outside to get in because the Salt Palace just couldn’t accommodate any more (which really sucks). But the success also means that another convention next year is extremely likely. I look forward to seeing ya’all again then!

Geek Out x 2!!

saltlakecomiccon.com

photo

Marvel NOW?

September 1, 2013

infinityteasermain

With the 1st (Annual?) Salt Lake Comic Con coming up next week and all, I feel like I need to write about my new comic book obsession with Marvel. Its true, I’ve been reading a whole lot of Marvel comics. Nobody is more surprised than me, but I’ve loved it.

In general, for me, these last 20+ or so years Marvel has seemed to have too many big events, too many cross-overs, too much hype, too much time travel, and I just wasn’t interested too many super-heroes or their mis-adventures. Don’t get me wrong, I was never against picking up a Marvel book at all.  If I found a book that looked interesting, I’d pick it up. And there have been many Marvel books that I’ve enjoyed over the years. But in general, yeah… been interested in other comics and stories.

It was Jonathan Hickman who brought me back. Funny enough, I first became aware of Hickman through his work on Marvel titles like the Fantastic Four and S.H.I.E.L.D. about four or five years ago. These are both very good books and I’d buy them sort-a regularly. But it was Hickman’s creator-owned work that really stood out for me. Titles like the Pax Romana, Manhattan Projects and East of West helped convince me he is one of the best writers in the business.

When I heard Hickman was going to be writing more books with Marvel, I had to give his new stories a try. Marvel has kinda been branding there newest books as Marvel Now! So… ya know.. whatever. Anyway, the first issues I read was the New Avengers and, holy Toledo, that got me hooked! Then I started reading the main Avengers series, and that was also very good. So good that over the last few months I went on to read more new NOW! titles like Thor: God of Thunder, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, Indestructible Hulk, and others. I’ve enjoyed them all and can’t think of a bad one yet (well, I tried that Age of Ultron and it was kinda blah, but I’m not going to dwell on it). And now there is the new Infinity series. Woohoo! Usually I steer clear of the big comic book event type series, but Infinity is off to a good start, and Jonathon Hickman is involved with that too so I think it’ll be pretty sweet.

Geek Out!

marvel.com

521fb4d761cc1

James Jean Drawings

August 4, 2013
Tuba - by James Jean

Tuba – by James Jean

Sometimes I realize that it has been a little while since I have looked into what artist James Jean has been up to, and then I spend a chunk of my time looking through his websites. That happened this week, and I was drawn in once again. I’ve especially liked looking at his new drawings and studies, some of which I am posting here. I love it so damn much! I especially like going through his work on Instagram and seeing how his work evolves.

Moses - by James Jean

Moses – by James Jean

Pescados - by James Jean

Pescados – by James Jean

Tumor - by James Jean

Tumor – by James Jean

Puppet - by James Jean

Puppet – by James Jean

Threadless THOR!

July 27, 2013
Thor_Grey

“Threadless THOR!” – click for larger view

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I was a dorky kid… not all that much has changed! I lived more in books and my imagination that in this world… I’m pretty sure that hasn’t changed.

I’ve always been a huge comic book fan. When I was about six or so I spent a significant amount of time in the hospital having and recovering from surgery on my eye. I remember my folks bringing me over a nice big stack of comics to help pass the time. Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spider-man, Scrooge McDuck. It wasn’t too long after that when I discovered The Mighty Thor! I loved the character right away.

At about 8 or 9 I even dreamed of being old enough to change my name to Thor one day (I never really liked the name Todd as a kid). The Mighty Thor Powelson! Ha! I outgrew it quickly and realized that sounded pretty dumb, but I sure still liked Thor. And it all worked out anyway. My full name is Arthur Todd Powelson, and I discovered that Arthur actually means “Eagle of Thor”. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice…

The online tshirt company Threadless has regular design contests, and when I saw their “Design a Thor T!” contest, I knew I wanted to participate. You can see my tshirt design at the top of this post. I hope you enjoy! If you do, I also hope you’ll take a minute and vote for my submission:

beta.threadless.com/thor/threadless-thor

It’s Clobberin’ Time!

.. Err, wrong post!

But while you’re there visiting Threadless, please take a moment and score my other designs as well:

www.threadless.com/profile/792843/oglzogl


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers

%d bloggers like this: