Archive | June, 2013

Summer Viewing

28 Jun

It’s Friday, June 28 and we’re only a few days away from the Kickstarter launch of Caustic Soda. Over the next few weeks I’ll be diving into the elements of ‘process,’ including inspiration. The rad folks at io9 have curated one of the best kludge budget film lists I’ve seen in many a dual earth or double moon. It’s a veritable treasure trove of brilliant and inventive film making.

ImageNotably, director Alex Rivera’s sly fi film, Sleep Dealer, a film about off-shoring, remote labor crews and a terrifying vision of the future.


Also included are Korea’s The Host (not Stephanie Meyer), Safety Not Guaranteed (love story nerd swoon), and Duncan Jones’ (son of Ziggy Stardust) brilliant film, Moon.

Add these to your list of summer “must see” films.

Quite a few others are included on the list such as Primer, Timecrimes, and Another Earth. The latter looks like an amazing flick.

Comic Book Wednesday: Sandman Volume 1

26 Jun

ImageThis #comicbookwednesday we’re looking at Neil Gaiman’s iconic Sandman series, specifically, Volume 1 Preludes and Nocturnes from Vertigo (DC’s spandex and cape averse imprint). My partner gifted this glorious volume to me nearly a decade ago and ten years prior (at Stormies Comics in Wheat Ridge, CO) I had picked up a copy of Gaiman’s Black Orchid, a story and world that I couldn’t quite get my head around (at 11 years old) because at the time I was more interested in spandex and capes, specifically Rogue, Storm and Jean Grey.

ImageThough I missed the serialized comics, Sandman Vol 1 revitalized my love of graphic narrative. Sam Keith’s illustrations are exquisite and McKean’s stylistic approach adds depth to Gaiman’s strange tale of immortal revenge set in a world of fiction and dream and superheros. It’s layered and borrows much from Shakespeare (who doesn’t?, especially Brits like Gaiman). Morpheus’ appearance is part impressionistic rendition of the author, with bits of the Cure’s Robert Smith. The first Volume includes issues 1-20. The hardback edition comes with a beautiful slip cover, black leather bound with glossy full-color pages. It’s heavy. You could practically kill someone with it or use if for a doorstop or drop it on your head and travel to the dream realm and meet Morpheus.

If you’re unsure about the world of comic books, this is the perfect entry point.


Transhuman – Comic Wednesday

19 Jun

ImageFor comics wednesday we’re looking at writer Jonathan Hickman and artist JM Ringuet’s darkly humorous tale of genetic lunacy, Transhuman (available as Trade Paperback from Image Comics). It’s told in a wonderfully intuitive mockumentary style, sort of similar to Christopher Guest appropriating JG Ballard and Phil K Dick.

This is the book that put Hickman on the map as an incredibly talented visual narrative storyteller and if you’ve read any of his Marvel titles, I’m sure you’d agree.

Also, Manhattan Projects #12 is available. Feynman gets all spider monkey drone and as a result, Einstein gets all Scarface shower scene on the traitor.  

Lone Wolf and Cub “Graphic Wednesday”

12 Jun

This Graphic Wednesday is brought to you by Father’s Day! (My second favorite day of the year next to Halloween)

ImageToday we’re looking at creator Kazuo Koike and artist, Goseki Kojima’s epic manga, Lone Wolf and Cub. Volume 1 of the (Darkhorse) Omnibus encompasses nearly 700 pages of the story of a kill-for-hire Ronin, Ogami Ittō, a former disgraced shogunate executioner and his three-year-old son Daigorō on a path of meifumadō “road to hell,” a cursed journey of vengeance to clear his name and destroy the Yagyu clan. The exquisitely detailed panels and writing vibrate with energy as the assassin and his progeny journey through feudal Japan.

The manga was adapted into six films starring Tomisaburo Wakayama.

Check out the Baby Cart to Hades kill count from the third film installment. Dig that funky 70’s grindhouse soundtrack!

Wakayama also had a memorable part as Sugai, the antagonist/anti-hero in Ridley Scott’s 1989 film, Black Rain. The actor’s monologue from the film is worth an entire viewing, at the least to hear him reproach Michael “Cunning” Douglas’s character. “I was 10 when the B-29 came. My family lived underground for three days. We when came up the city was gone. Then the heat brought rain. Black rain. You made the rain black, and shoved your values down our throats. We forgot who we were. You created Sato and thousands like him. I’m paying you back.”

You can watch Lone Wolf and Cub on Netflix and Zatoichi “the blind swordsman” also with Wakayama on Hulu. Most importantly, you can pick up the Omnibus manga from your local comic book shop (Villainous Lair if you happen to reside in Normal Heights/Kensington/University Heights in San Diego). If they don’t have it, they’ll order it.

Happy Comic Wednesday!

Novel Wednesday – NYC2123: Dayender

5 Jun

It’s Novel Wednesday!
This week we’re taking a look at the online graphic novel, nyc2123: Dayender. Intrigue, espionage, and a post-catastrophic tsunami that maroons Manhattan, turning it into a John Carpenter-esque meets Rockstar Games Vice City American Mogadishu.


Written and illustrated by brothers (?) Chad and Paco Allen, the series was released almost half a decade ago and presented as a PSP graphic novel (also available on browsers). It’s cyberpunk with elements of SnowCrash/Ghost in the Shell and Necromancer. The writing is quick, smart and the art has elements of the Scanner Darkly/Linklater interpolated rotoscope. 

Check it out here