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Best and Worst Dressed in Sci-Fi.

6/6/2008 12:49:22 PM permalink

Who loves short-shorts? HULK LOVES SHORT-SHORTS!
It's a big old sci-fi/superhero costume throw-down! The best of the best versus all of the rest! From the Incredible Hulk to Howard the Duck, I take some of the best and worst character translations, line 'em all up, and sort the buggers out! So, lets make like my Katamari, and get rolling...
Hulk VS Thing -
This is an interesting one. CGI VS Big Rubber suit. Well, I like a tall Hulk. I don't mind him being a larger than human size, though I have to admit, I don't enjoy his equal-to-human proportions. I feel like since Hulk is the strongest there is, he should have a bit more of a swelled-up weight-lifter look to him. Hulk is roid-rage. Big, green, roid-rage. Hulk shouldn't look like a human could - he should be like, 100% more than human. The Thing's rubber suit, on the other hand, looked pretty crappy in photos, but in the context of the movie, with the sound effects of gravel grinding with his every move, it came off a lot better. Still, was he big enough? Weird enough? In the same way that I like the Hulk to look big, I like the Thing to look ugly. I like the idea that the rocks look almost like tumors. Ben is a scary rock monster, not a funny looking muppet. It'll be weird if we ever get our crossover between the two. I think I'd rather see Ben Grimm brought over to the world of CG, to be honest.
Crow VS Blade - Goth it up! The Crow nails it. If you've read the book then you know that what wound up in the movie of the Crow looked exactly like what was in the pages. The story was adapted a little, sure, but visually? Dead on. Dead on!
Blade was a little looser. I mean sure, the "costume" looked cool, but for one thing, why would Blade wear a costume? He looked a bit like he was doing fancy cosplay. The other thing is... Like Luke Cage, I don't love Blade because he's black. I love him because he's an icon of bad-assness from the 1970's. Where's his afro? Where his open-chest vest? The movie versions of Blade didn't look bad, they looked well made. Just a little... pretty. Should Blade really look pretty?
A Tale of 2 Punishers. So on one hand, we got Dolph, who looks like Frank Castle on the worst day of his life, but no skull shirt. WHAT?? BZZZZT! Automatic disqualification! Seriously guys, spend 12 bucks on your movie, and buy a shirt with a skull on it. Or find a Punisher fan and ask if you can borrow his.
Then there's Thomas Jane, who I'll admit, looked like the Punisher and wore a shirt with a skull on it. So that was good. But then he was a boring drunk who never seemed to shoot anybody. And that was bad.
TMNT VS TMNT VS TMNT. The live action stuff was... amusing, but weird. As a kid I couldn't tell if I thought they were real or real stupid. As an adult - real stupid.
TMNT-731213 The classically animated version? Sickeningly insipid. And poorly animated.
CG - Powerful. For the first time, the Turtles moved like they should. They were freerunning through the city, the rain and the lights of the city gleaming off their shiny green skin. The voices weren't bad, the characters were strong, and the motion was fluid. Everything had a great weight to it as well, especially when Raph was throwing those heavy chains around. The shots of the Turtles moving through the city were the shots I've wanted from every urban vigilante movie I've seen. Perhaps one of the greatest adaptions of comic imagery I have seen.
Batman VS Daredevil VS Darkman - 3 Way Grudge Match! Batman. Never quite a ninja. I guess the new suit isn't bad, in a logical, real-world, protective gear kind of way. But I still wish he looked a bit more like... The Shadow? I feel like the cape should function as a long coat, so he doesn't always look like a total superhero tool. He can just look like a weird private investigator, skulking in the shadows, looking for clues. I'll say this - I hated every other suit that came before Batman Begins. It is truly the lesser of all those other evils. Danny DeVito looked more like a tall, handsome, physically fit Bruce Wayne, than that ugly little pug-dog, Keaton.
Daredevil... got it right. How? I don't know. But it looked like functional real-world clothing, yet still like the suit I remember from the comics. It looked so good, that the only thing that could have ruined the movie, would be if everything else, from the directing, to the script, to the sets, to the music, had been absolutely terrible. And of course, it all was. So...
Darkman - Huh? Yeah, he counts. While his masks were stupid, I liked the raincoat-and-hat thing he had going on. I still remember what he looked like, running off into the distance. He looked kinda cool. Kinda spooky too. And that's how I like my vigilantes. Cool an' spooky.
Wolverine VS Kill Bill! Too bad about Logan. It wasn't bad, sure, but was it great? Was it the guy I remember seeing in those John Byrne books? 5 feet and 3 inches of mean little redneck, with a short fuse and arms as thick as stove pipes? Well, no. I like Hugh, but he's a bit... tall and delicate to me. He looks like an actor, not like a tough sack of shit escaped military experiment. Just look at Harvey Keitel in The Bad Lieutenant. There's a mean little tough guy.
The Bride, on the other hand, also rubs Logan's nose in the fact that... Yellow works just fine, if you have a skilled costume designer. Did X-Men have a skilled costume designer? Not really. The X-cast couldn't even walk in their suits. Whereas The Bride looked hot, bad-ass, and killed ninja fucks by the truck-load. How can you argue with results? She's everything Logan wishes he was, right down the costume. Take a note people - If you are truly bad-ass, you can wear whatever you like, and people won't say shit. Wolverine just wan't enough of a bad-ass. By the by, I say, turn his yellow suit, including the mask, into a bad-ass Luchador costume. It'd work. Just change that opening scene in the first movie from fist-fight to a Canadian bare-knuckle wrestling matching. We do it all the time up here, in full costume, with masks. I'm wearing mine right now.
Hellboy VS Howard the Duck. Now, I a lot of people love Hellboy, but I just... I think it looks kind of stupid. The face looks weirdly fake, like an actor wearing weird makeup. And it just doesn't say "Mike Mignola" to me. It's not terrible, but is it cool and believable and representational of the art of comics? Not enough. I didn't think the character in the movies really had the personality of the character in the comics either. If anything I thought the movie Hellboy was more like the Fantastic Four's Ben Grimm! I just didn't think they quite nailed the voice of the personality, you know? Maybe the new one will get it better.
Howard though, really got shafted. That suit was just awful. The fact that it had to be a human and look nothing like the original character really hurt it, I think. Howard has a thin little duck neck. He looks like Daffy. He looks like a cartoon duck, not a little dude in a stupid duck suit. They should remake the movie with a CG duck. ... So there you have it... A series of savage comparisons, with no real winners, and a nice handful of losers. Just like life baby, just like real life.

Tags: Stupid Hero Battles, SHIT LIST!!

Green Genes Likes the Blue Jeans!

6/1/2008 11:34:55 AM permalink

Did anybody else take a close look at the big HULK theatrical release poster? Did you see what Bruce Banner is wearing? A blue jean jacket, over a blue jean shirt, with blue jeans. I believe that's called "The Redneck Tuxedo" in some parts. Seriously though, did Levis give money to the Hulk movie? Was Bruce Banner's Wardrobe provided by a bunch of retired cowboys? I hesitate to add that I was out shopping for jeans recently, and finding a pair with my waist size and leg length was a big pain in the tight-fitting ass. Yet somehow, Bruce Banner finds blue jeans that are not only the right size on him, but retain their proportions when he Hulks out? My jeans won't fit me after I eat half a burrito, but Banner can grow 6 feet taller and 5 feet wider, and his jeans still fit him perfectly!?!

Tags: Tales Of The City Streets, Stupid Hero Battles, I'm a pretty little girl.

Superhuman Watch: When Muscles Explode!

5/26/2008 12:56:43 PM permalink

Remember Greg Valentino? I remember when I saw Greg Valentino getting arrested. I remember looking at his body, his massive arms in those little handcuffs, and thinking, "Is that what a superhuman looks like?" Physiology in comics is an odd thing. The way some characters are drawn isn't just unrealistic, it's disturbing. Female characters are one thing, and a whole problem unto themselves, but what I'm talking about today is the guys.
Bully and Sphere
When I look at some superhero comics, I get confused. I know it's just a comic, BUT - if this guy is wearing bullet-proof gear, why can I see the contours of his muscles? And why are all the characters drawn with their muscles super-flexed? When I look at some of those heroes in tights, I'm looking at a realistically drawn man who looks about 6', 300lbs, and with maybe a 1% body fat. And that's weird. It's weird and unhealthy.
jimlee superman
I know it's just a comic, and I appreciate stylized realism, like Eric Larsen, Frank Miller, or Sam Keith, but some artists really walk an uncomfortable line between realism and exaggerated-realism. Hey, not everybody has trouble with it - some mainstream superhero artists draw bodies I really like to see! My top 3 would be Frank Quitely, Darick Robertson & Steve Dillon, from books such as WE3, Transmetropolitan, and Preacher, respectively. Of course, those guys have also done some kick-ass superhero books as well - see New X-Men, Wolverine The Brotherhood, and some Gen 13 specials, respectively. Those guys really manage to draw people who look like people, and at the same time, have a sense of style that allows the comics to transcend mere realism or illustration, and create drawn images that seem alive.
Most pictures I see of contemporary Captain America? He looks like a steroid freak. He looks unhealthy. Not the old Jack Kirby Cap, that guy looks fine. Kirby's Cap was a gymnast, and had a strong, gymnast's build. But a lot of guys these days, from Green Lantern to Luke Cage, they're disproportionately way too big, and it's weird. I don't think it's because it's "just a comic", I think it's because a lot of these artists are forgetting their training - basic human physiology, and how it relates to perspective and proportion. How does a body move? How does it work? Why? These are the things an artist needs to know, especially if they're going to spend most of their career drawing the human form.
big arms
Greg Valentino's arrest photo was the genesis of the character Bully, in my comic, The Young Offenders. I saw Greg on TV, and got me thinking about how unhealthy, weird, and gross it would be, if you saw a person in real life who looked like most superheroes look. Superman, 9 issues out of 10, is drawn a like a juice freak whose balls fell off - and I don't mean that offensively, I mean it literally. His body is too big, his muscles are all too thick, and his crotch is too smooth. Hey - not everybody gets it wrong. I think Frank Quitely nails Superman, and makes him look like the sort of big weight-lifting guy whom a person might actually be attracted to, instead of a steroid-abusing body freak.
Bully Crying
Bully, on the other hand, does look like steroid freak. He's got bullet-proof skin and he can crush bricks in hands, but his body image pays the price for those abilities. When you see him coming at you, you don't feel good. You don't think, "hey, here comes a hero." You think, "what the fuck is wrong with that guy? Why does he look like that?" Realism in comics is tricky. Where do you draw your line, so to speak? Of course, a lot of it comes down to personal taste. I prefer more realistic looking characters to hyper-stylized characters, but that ain't even entirely true, because I also love stuff that's ultra-cartoony. From hyper-deformed characters in manga, to the bent work of Robert Crumb! So things don't have to look like reality to make me happy, I guess. They just have to look like some real work went into the process!
I guess what it comes down to for me, is that I like it when things look a certain way on purpose. When I look at most pictures in superhero comics these days, I think a lot of them wind up looking silly and gross. As pictures of men in skin-tight outfits, they look silly, and as examples of human physiology, they look gross. And that's cool, if that's your intention with the story you're drawing/telling. I wanted to do a story about how people would respond to young man with overblown musculature, so that's how our guy looks.
So I guess you have to ask yourself, before you start to draw your story, what kind of story is it going to be, and how are you going to tell it - both with the words you choose and with the pictures that will be designed. As always, we're all starting with blank pages, and that means it can look and feel like anything you can imagine! Tough guy between the panels, SHL For more on the upper limits and extremes of human physiology, please check out the fascenating documentary, The Man Whose Arms Exploded." [youtube]ITG-IbHEYEE[/youtube]

Tags: Tales Of The City Streets, Stupid Hero Battles

Scott Pilgrim the Movie

5/16/2008 1:24:24 PM permalink

Mary Elizabeth Winstead. You might remember her from such films as "Death Proof" and "Live Free or Die Hard".
Well, Mary is currently in talks to portray one of indie comic's hottest and coolest female stars - Ramona Flowers! I guess it's too soon to get too excited, so I'm only getting a little excited. Admittedly, I haven't seen the vast majority of anything she's been in, but she did play a great roll in a Quentin Tarantino movie, and that's enough to earn her a tentatively positive nod of approval from me. Could be cool... Hope it plays out. [youtube]XYBy7F3XuCc[/youtube]

Tags: remix, Tales Of The City Streets

Superhero Watch

5/16/2008 1:50:00 AM permalink

Barely days after beginning my semi-series of "superhero watch" articles (though years into my active superhero watching), an honest-to-god JET-MAN has gone public. No lie. No illusion. This guy has jet-wings, and can fly. [youtube]IRnpAHJWH7E[/youtube] Some people will laugh this off as extreme sports gone stupidly expensive, but to me, this is up there with the Moon Landing and the Panama Canal for crazy-ass human achievements. And as a big fan of people with jet-packs, let me just say how personally satisfying I find it to see a jet-person in flight. This is up there with like, "aliens have landed and they want to give us all robots." Somewhere out there in the world, right now, there's a jet-pack which has been used not just to fly around, but to fly around and look cool. It seems very awesome to me, in the most classically "awe-struck" fashion. This man is now one of Earth's premier superheroes. He even admitting to doing a smooth 360-degree barrel roll just "to impress the girls." You crazy Swiss bastard! His name is Yves Rossy. But the world shall know him as... FUSIONMAN! (I have to keep this brief and unedited, as there's Lost to be watched. But come on people - a man with a jet-pack has been filmed, trying to impress girls! And right after the Iron Movie comes out. Crazy, huh?)

Tags: Tales Of The City Streets, The World's Most Comfortable Couch!

Freewheeling Freerunning.

5/12/2008 2:14:59 PM permalink

Had a couple of extra clips I wanted to throw along with the previous stuff. Here's the game The Xenos was talking about. It does look cool, though the 1st person thing does throw me. Don't know what's up with that. [youtube]5fM7F2yXTUA[/youtube] There was also this, one of the better freerunning clips I've run across on-line. [youtube]li3Wd_2_Y-4[/youtube] Oh, and for those of you who haven't seen it - here's maybe the best freerunning scene from District B-13, one of the greatest action movies I've seen in recent years. [youtube]5r0jqLFkdmA[/youtube]

Tags: Tales Of The City Streets

Superhuman Watch!

5/9/2008 1:52:30 PM permalink

Back in an old interview, Grant Morrison made a claim that Superhumans were coming to life in stages, from being first simple drawn images (comics), to moving drawn images (cartoons), to living, breathing images (live-action). Eventually, Morrison was certain, the superhumans would make the jump from the worlds of imagination, to reality. Living, breathing, superheroes would enter on our reality like astronauts landing on the moon. I'm down with Morrison, so since reading that I've been keeping my eyes out for real-life superheroes, and villains, in whatever forms they might take. One of the biggest places I see superhuman qualities developing, is in the activity some call Parkour. [youtube]0gPYQ9ua8O8[/youtube] I've been a big fan of Parkour, or freerunning, for years. Amazing displays of athleticism, under the most uncontrolled circumstances. No money involved. No fame. A really awesome thing about Parkour, is that it's by definition not a spectator sport. You got a guy freerunning, you're going to see one, maybe 2 cool tricks, and then he's gone, out of view, around the corner, over a wall, and across a rooftop. Freerunning is for the runner, not to the watcher. It's not about the display, it's about what you can do. I like the diversity of skills and strengths it demands as well. Sure you can run. How's your grip? How's your abdominal strength? How flexible are you? What's your endurance like? What's your pain threshold? Can you make snap decisions on the fly? Can you move forward confidently, even when fear is trying to hold you still? Fear is the mind-killer. A lot of the freerunning I see puts comics and movies to shame. After I've seen what some teenager in Paris can do, Spider-man & Batman have to work pretty hard to impress me. Speaking of Spidey - The guys I see freerunning, they don't have little fibers coming out of their fingers, or molecular suction abilities. They grip things with the strength of their fingers - just like Spider-man used to, back when Ditko and Romita Sr. were drawing him. I gotta say too - I miss that about Spider-man. I don't like it when he's just "magically sticky," I like it when he's a real guy, whose strength-to-weight ratio allows him to do things like pull himself up the side of a brick wall by his hands. He can curl a 10 ton barbel in one hand, and he only weighs about 165lbs; why would that guy need help holding himself to the side of a surface? He'd grip the side of bricks like a basketball player holding the ball in the palm of his hand. [youtube]6qhgIdP3l3I[/youtube]

I love Parkour, and I respect the hell out of anybody bold enough to go freerunning. I don't do it myself, but Parkour is a huge influence on my writing. As a comic writer who digs the sci-fi action scenes, I'm often depicting superhuman feats, and I find it's good to stay up on what normal humans are accomplishing. What can I learn from these Scottish freerunners, that I can incorporate into a character like The Spaz? If you really could just run across the city like it was a big jungle-gym, what would that look like? How would it feel? I love seeing a master marital artist using their skills to esoterically navigate the cement structures that we plod through everyday like bored cattle. I love reading about it, which is one of the reasons I've read comics throughout my life, from the Ninja Turtles, to Spider-man, to Daredevil, to Batman, to Sin City, to The Invisibles, to Air Gear. I love all the weird parts of the city you can travel through, and I love seeing them in the comics I read, and the movies I watch. Anyway, I just think freerunning, or Parkour, is totally freaking awesome. And I think it's awesome for some of the same reasons that I'm into comics, and movies based on comics. Looks dangerous too. Of course, I figure anything that's truly worthwhile usually has some degree of danger attached to it. You just gotta go in prepared for what you're doing.

Tags: Spider Rant, Tales Of The City Streets, The Young Offenders

Pump Up The Volume!

4/27/2008 7:10:50 PM permalink

My public profile has increased in size! Before long, my ego shall be large enough to demolish battleships with its mighty strides! Tough Hangin', featuring dj newkid, pulled off what some are calling are "successful" interview with none other than myself. The show's about an hour long, with some 20-30 minutes of me sounding off about writing, comics, and writing my own comic, The Young Offenders. There's that, and there's also some really great music. Tough Hangin' is always worth checking out, and I really enjoyed my time on the program! Want To Listen To What I Got To Say? Also, if you happened to pick up the preview copy of the upcoming "Avengers/Defenders" from Marvel comics, look for me in the background, fleeing in fear from the Thunderblots. I believe I'm upside-down because the shot is from Spider-man's perspective. Check it out, gnu believers - Savage Henry Lee spotted in the Marvel Universe, screaming and running for his life. All is as it should be.

Tags: The Young Offenders

All the news that's fit to savage!

4/20/2008 6:43:30 PM permalink

It's time for... Nerd News! Ye Olde Weekly Geekly! The Savage Spaz Sunday Special! Featuring... The Spirit? DC VS MK?? Spider-Man 4??? The Young Offenders???? Bits and bites of this and that? Yes, it's a big old Kitchen Sink post; a big stoner jam featuring facts, fictions, frustrations, and flabbergastations! Dare you...
Continue??? VIDEO GAMES!!
Wow. Well, we got the new Grand Theft, as well as the movie-based Iron Man, coming out in like a week? And then there's the Hulk game coming a bit after that. I've probably logged more hours playing Grand Theft games than any other game, but if the Iron Man game can pull of the feel of being a semi-sober Tony in a big metal suit, then I can imagine winding up with a pretty impressive product. And who doesn't love playing Hulk Smash, huh? Meanwhile, every bloody day and night, I wake up thinking about the forthcoming Champions on-line RPG. I want it so bad I can taste it. I should just start running windows on my mac so I can play City of Heroes, but no. [youtube]qD1buYCITJs[/youtube] But forget that crap! There's a new Spider-Man game coming out "in the fall," and it looks wild! It's called Shadow of the Spider or something. At least, it's going to be a big sandbox game like Spider-Man 2 (yay) and Spider-Man 3 (boo). I don't know much about the game, other than it will utilize a cranked-up verison of the engine which ran those previous spider-man games I mentioned. As well, Luke Cage will be in it. So I'll just give them my money now. [youtube]V3meatht9Q8[/youtube] And that's not even the crazy news. The crazy news is...
DC VS Mortal Kombat.
[youtube]H45dmLYEzGg[/youtube] Seriously? Seriously. Batman VS Sub-Zero. Superman VS Scorpion. A 3D fighting game featuring... DC superheroes and Moral Kombat characters. I dunno. I love fight games, and I'd love to see Mortal Kombat update itself with something original. And a fight game with DC characters, where Superman can get laid out flat due to a vulnerability to magic? That's some crazy, crazy action. And I'll take a piece of it when it comes available, unless the reviews state that it totally sucks. Man, the Mortal guys should force DC to be DK, but I guess that would just get konfusing.
Movies are coming out too!
And yet I've mostly just been watching Top Chef?
I'm a General Infantry Jerk...
Did you guys see the pictures of the GI Joe cast that were leaked and then pulled? Every time I think about those photos, I start laughing. I start laughing so hard, and I just can't stop. I know it's not that funny, it's just... stupid. I'm saying it now, and I apologize in advance to all those boys out there looking forward to a bad-ass super-military movie full of action and hot chicks and cool things. The GI Joe movie will be a "Street Fighter" for this decade. It's a mildly over-hyped B movie attempting to coast on the free publicity that will come with being compared to Transformers. The producers of this movie are doing their best to fool the fans into thinking that this is a real, big-budget, important movie, but it is not. It's one of those kids' movies with a tiny bit of crossover adult appeal, that gets crapped out over a weekend. Like Double Dragon and Super Mario Brothers. [youtube]NKVNAlO4uuo[/youtube]
I'm The Goddamn Spirit!
[youtube]9XTFX64LbLY[/youtube] OK, love or hate the look of it, I'll just say this - I'd rather see an adaption of Will Eisner's Spirit, than Frank Miller's re-imagining of the Spirit. I've had a lot of people really pointing out how sloppy, boring, and silly Frank Miller's "hard boiled" writing style is getting; I think it was Alan Moore who said, "All the women are whores and all the men are unstoppable killing machines." That was cute & fun for the first few Sin City comics, but it's getting old, and I don't really dig seeing that interpretative style brought to Eisner's character. That said, FM is still a pretty intelligent, talented guy, and I'd love to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. I just don't know though. Either way, I'm not a big Spirit fan, though I have enjoyed other Eisner projects such as "Contract With God". I probably won't see this movie until my girlfriend rents it.
The Young Offenders!
[youtube]-bSQSbb5O14[/youtube] Chapter 03 for The Young Offenders is now complete and up at the web-page! That's 29 pages of violence, threats, and ambiguous morality, all rendered in crisp, clean tones of pure black & white! We're looking at putting all 3 chapters into a single volume, which Peter is currently designing the cover for. From there, it's just a short walk to the photocopying process. [youtube]h3mnQoQxSvI[/youtube] As well, I also have an interview lined up. Not an interview as in me talking to somebody famous, but an interview wherein I will be spoken with about the only thing I seem to know much about - comics in general, and The Young Offenders in specific. I'm thrilled to be showing up on newkid's tough hangin' radio program. He's running it both on the airwaves as well as on-line, so even if you're one of the few people who doesn't live in the middle of nowhere Canada, you'll still get a chance to hear my clear, strong tones describing my "creative process" or defending my various outrageous political beliefs. No, it won't be too crazy, it'll be fun. I promise. Should be happening this Friday, and then archived, so you can hear me whenever! You can check out the first episode of tough hangin' over at Rossland Radio! If you're into chilling out to hip-hop and bit of vaguely indie rock, you'll dig it, I promise. Dude doesn't talk too much for his first show, but I enjoyed his musical selection so much that I've played the show a few times over.
Littler Things
You ever look at those weird little awesome music files you've got, and think to yourself, "I should totally put this up at youtube so other people can enjoy it too!" I've got a bunch of tunes, like Iggy Pop doing Louie Louie, and Aretha Franklin's version of The Weight, and a bunch of XClan... I just feel like I should share this awesome shit, right? Give other folks a chance to rock out to these hard-to-find tunes. Anyway, that's what I'm thinking about doing today. Smoking illegal drugs and violating copyrights. I'm like a cross between Robin Hood and Jack the Ripper. Hack the Robber. ... My Ninja Turtle toys haven't arrived yet. I hope they come soon. To celebrate completing Chapter 03 of The YO, I've been rereading some of the old Eastman & Laird TMNT comics. They're really great! ... When the hell is the new season of Venture Brothers coming out? Come on... I need it... Come on... ... Oh, and you know what else? I saw Southland Tales last night. Yeah. Did you know it's almost 2 and a half hours long? Well, here's my review. It's slightly shorter. [youtube]c6UcOKJk9vs[/youtube]

Tags: review, Tales Of The City Streets, The Young Offenders, Video Gamery News & Reviews, Stupid Hero Battles, The World's Most Comfortable Couch!, SHIT LIST!!, Talkin' Comics!


4/10/2008 12:18:14 PM permalink

Quiet around here. Well, I'm not about to make anything better with this post... Because I'm talking about Manga. I guess that means this little recommendation will appeal to the 12% of our audience who reads this stuff. Anybody who knows anything about Manga has probably heard of Death Note. It was a huge seller in Japan - we're talking millions of copies. Do you know what Marvel or DC would do if one of their graphic novels sold millions of copies? They'd crap their pants and declare themselves King of the Universe. Death Note sells in numbers that make the big 2 look like Fatangraphics spin-offs. Death Note even had 2 live action movies made off it, as well as an anime series. All of which were pretty damn good, from what I saw of them. I really enjoyed the series, but I've come to bury Death Note, not to praise it. Because Death Note is over. The King is Dead. All Hail The King! All Hail... RalΩGrad

[youtube]Te1vaLCfOYQ[/youtube] Yes - a new manga series from the artist of Death Note, and it's just starting, so it's a great time to get involved! Now, A friend of mine who couldn't get into it, he claimed that RalΩGrad was "nothing but fan service". To which I said something like, "Yeah!" Dude, my favorite comic these days is Air Gear, OK? As an intelligent heterosexual male, I got no problem with pictures of pretty girls made out of soft curvy bits. Of course, RalΩGrad takes it even a bit further... Let me break down the plot to you, something I normally avoid... There's a world, kinda like ours, but more mystical and old timey. And this world is at war with shadows, who are evil demon monsters. And this one, super-powerful demon, it goes into a small baby. To keep everybody safe, they trap the baby in a dark cell, and never let it see the light, which keeps the shadow inert. But 15 years later, there comes a day when they need the boy. So they let him out. He's had a tutor, who's taught him of the world, but he's never seen anything before. And he's inhabited by perhaps the most powerful dragon-demon known on earth.
But he's 15. You know what he really wants? Boobies. Boobies, and plenty of them. Seriously, this 15 year old is the biggest fans of boobs you've known since... you were 15 years old. This kid loves them. He's obsessed with them. I mean, sure he's a bad ass fighter who can change form and grow wings and swing a sword that's bigger than my apartment building, but at the end of the day - he's in it for the boobies. The crazy thing is, the character even justifies his view point a number of time. When caught in a to-the-death battle for the rights to play with a princess' boobies, the character explains at length how, if there were no boobies in the world, there would be nothing for men to fight or care about. I think a little something is lost in the translation. I don't know what the Japanese equivalent for "Boobies" is, but I'm sure it sounds a little more classy. I should mention too, that the girls aren't just sex-pots. They're characters as well. They're sassy and smart and evil and funny and weird. It's not like the girl's are just there to be boobs - they're engaging characters with boobs. I feel like this book isn't about objectifying women, it's about appreciating them. 15 year old boys really appreciate women. This isn't like those comics where the Black Cat or Power Girl just walk around and everybody giggles into their sweaty palms. This kid walks right up to them and says what you wish you could've said when you were 15. "Can I touch those?" I'd love to see DC publish a teen-hero story like this - it takes me back to the old Superboy series I read back in the 90's, and how he loved sexy girls, but you'd never see him groping them or getting sexually aroused, or any of the other things that teen boys like to do with hot girls. I was the same "age" as Superboy at that time, and going through the same things as he was, except he was good-looking, perfectly physically fit, and rich and famous, but he still didn't actually get to squeeze any boob? After about 8 issues of that I had to bail. It was too much. Or, as the case may have been, too little. Listen - I like manly comics. Manly men, doing manly things. And this little kid, covered in rorschach-style tribal tattoos and growing wings and claws, all while trying to lay his little hands all over all the big soft boobies he can find... This is a manly comic for manly men. rgsqueeze Can you imagine being 15 years old in some weird fantasy world full of ruination and war? And your life is just you walking around, being a young, tattooed, shape-changing, fire-breathing bad-ass, picking fights with demons, and trying to hook up with all the pretty girls you can? Really, as far as fantasies go, it's a pretty good one. I have to say, and I know I'd be better off keeping things brief, but I just gotta say, RalΩGrad is why I read comics. Crazy, original ideas. Beautiful art. Magic and imagination, baby. This book's got 'em in spades. This isn't 50-year old men in tights, punching their way into obsolescence. This book is a living new idea, full of supernatural circumstances and brutal violence and sexy boobies. You have to enjoy 2 things to enjoy RalΩGrad. The first thing you have to enjoy is fast-paced magical battles featuring bizarre creatures from the dark fringes of imagination. The other thing you have to enjoy is hot dames, and plenty of 'em! RalΩGrad. Because you deserve something better. [youtube]fanumrkw2DI[/youtube]

Tags: review, I'm a pretty little girl.

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Date Joined: August 6, 2007