Comics

Happy New Year! – 2012 in review

I would like to thank everyone for making this a great year! lots more fun posts in the near future! See you guys in 2013!  please check out my new full time blog with good friend Eric Remly – www.thedklounge.com

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Mondo: Best Posters of 2012

It has been another amazing year in the world of screen printed cult movie art work. One of the best sites out there is Mondotees.com, they work with tons of artists across the globe and have created a collective dedicated to putting artistic spins on your favorite movie posters. They put together art galleries and also do a lot with the Alamo draft house which has many screenings for fans of 80′s horror and sci-fi cult flms. This is an extensive collection of all my favorite screen prints from this past 2012 year! enjoy!

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Alex Sanchez to Release Mad Max Web Comic

This years NY Comic Con was a blast and I was fortunate enough to run into Ironhed comic artist Alex Sanchez. Set up at his artist alley table was a ton of his brilliant art work for purchase. Sanchez is known for his work on comics like  Tales of the Vampires, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Fleshdigger, and Batman: Jokers Asylum. His artwork is uncanny and he’s done tons of work for DC, Marvel, Top Cow, IDW, and Dark Horse. Sanchez has been working on an up and coming Mad Max  web comic which should be dropping sometime soon. Being a huge Mad Max/Road Warrior fan, this could not be more exciting! I’m a huge sucker for post apocalyptic fiction and can’t wait till this comes out. Here’s a few images from Alex’s collection!

Comic Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

do androids dream of electric sheep header philip k dick science fiction

Science fiction is constantly pushing the limits of our imagination, forcing us to question the paths in which human progress and ingenuity will take us. However, very rarely in history do many works reach levels of such philosophical, social, and emotional depth  that they force us to look not only inside ourselves, but at our society as a whole, and to the core of what makes us human. Philip k Dick‘s work has always brought these things to light, pushing fans to think outside the box and really see the truth through the smoke and mirrors.

Synopsis (spoiler alert):

I recently picked up BOOM studios release of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, which is a verbatim translation of the book but in graphic novel form. Tony Parker‘s dark renderings of Dicks dystopian-noir future, immerse the reader in a world where massive corporate structures reduce the average person to ants, and technological perseverance has outgrown whats left of a post “World War Terminus” planet Earth. Many people have left earth for off world colonies and as an incentive for emigrating, have been given an android companion. Those left on earth live in the remaining city filth, which often does not see sunlight due to toxic clouds that fill the skies almost all of the time. In this future people utilize machines called “mood organs” which allow them to punch in any kind of emotions they wish, for any number of feelings or situations they could be in. Many are reliant on these machines and have forgotten how to really feel, as the world has degraded around them, leaving little in the way of personal happiness.

mood organ do androids dream of electric sheep? philip k dick boom comics

Bounty hunter Rick Deckard awakes to an argument with his wife about her use of her mood organ because she frequently punches in negative emotions like sadness and depression. This has put a strain on their relationship and Rick protests against using the machine. He leaves to go up to his hover car parked roof where his neighbor and him discuss the value and status of owning a real life animal. Many animals are extinct due to the ash left by world war terminus; and since humans have grown a intense sentiment for their companionship. Rick fantasizes about owning a real life sheep some day and will stop at nothing to feel the attachment that comes with a living animal. He leaves for work and is surprised as to what he finds when he gets there.

Upon his arrival Rick Deckard finds that he is now responsible to retire 6 rogue “Nexus 6” androids, which have apparently escaped from an off world colony and have attempted to settle in San Francisco. Rick is to administer the Voight-Kampff test on them, which is a test involving a series of questions to determine empathy, a trait that androids lack. Rick is assigned the task of retiring the androids because his senior officer Dave Holden, was attacked while giving the Voight-Kampff to one and is in a hospital recuperating. Rick sees this hunt as a chance to get enough money to finally afford a living sheep, which he is constantly researching in his Sydney’s catalog. This begins Deckards 24 hr manhunt to find the androids and….himself. On his journey, Deckard finds that the androids have integrated themselves into many aspects of society already and that the nexus 6 is the closest thing to a human he has ever seen.  He eventually catches up with them and learns a lot more about himself then he ever had imagined.

blade runner do androids dream of electric sheep philip k dick city

Alongside the story of Deckard is that of J.R Isidore, who is a “special”, someone genetically damaged and unfit to leave earth and emigrate  to the off world colony. He lives alone in an abandoned apartment complex and is in constant use of his “Empathy Box”, which allows him to completely immerse himself in the pain and struggle of Wilber Mercer. Upon use of the Empathy box, ones mind is transported, along with thousands of other users, into the mind and body of Wilber Mercer. Mercer is an old man, constantly climbing a mountain and having rocks thrown at him. This is a very real experience for those using the empathy box and any pain inflicted by rocks is actually done to them in the real world. This shared mutual pain and struggle has created somewhat of a religious cult called Mercerism. Those who follow Mercer believe in his existence and the idea that no matter how bad things are, you are never alone and that their are others out there like you who feel the way you do. At the same time throughout the story their is an opposing television icon called Buster Friendly who is most likely an android, as his show runs for 23 hours a day and is only off for one hour. Buster Friendly is the force of anti-Mercerism but provides hours of entertainment for those willing to watch. He ends up exposing/debunking Mercerism on live television in a grand announcement which is televised worldwide. Isidore’s loneliess turns into a desperate friendship with android Pris, who uses J.R’s apartment as a hideout for her and the rest of her android comrades. The escaped androids believe that Mercerism is a hoax and discredit Isidore’s beliefs leaving him empty.

Thoughts:

This book was also made into a Ridley Scott film titled “Blade Runner” in 1982, starring Harrison Ford, which received critical acclaim from fans of the book as well as general fans of science fiction. I personally think that the message the book attempts to convey, is not as directly portrayed in the film. The book really emphasizes Deckards aloneness, emptiness, and his questions on the morality of what it means to be human. Many other aspects involving the two major religious themes in the book (Buster Friendly and that of Mercerism) are lost in the movie. Many more things also happen in the book that develop these ideas more thoroughly, while also painting a deeper picture of Deckards inner turmoil, and the desperate cling to empathy to retain his humanity. Deckard questions if he is any different then the androids he is hunting.

doandroidsdreamofelectricsheep_rickdeckard_philipkdick_mercerism_scifi

One thing that i found interesting about Dicks character Buster friendly is the channel that one must dial in to view him: 888. In the bible the number of man is 5, the devil 6, and god 7. As i was reading this i wondered if this was Philip K Dicks way of telling us that television is the next religion. Television provides people with an escape from their everyday life by creating dramatic fantasies. It allows them to relate to something imaginary and be controlled and influenced by pixels of light. In a post apocalyptic future where everything has gone to hell, it is not hard to believe that humans would yearn for an escape as simple as this, and we see Buster Friendly’s influence in his discredit of Mercerism.

Overall, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a masterful work and deserves every bit of credit that it gets. This story leaves the reader with many questions of their own and i believe that any writer that can make his audience question what makes them human, well they’ve done their job. If you haven’t read this book pick it up!

Thank you PKD.

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My new Blog!

To fans of my current blog here at wordpress please check out my new site that i started with close friend Eric Remly. I will still be posting on this blog but will be writing tons of new stuff for this new one. This new blog features content similar to those found at the escape artist. This new site will mostly cover VIDEO GAMES, COMICS, and BEER! what more could you ask for? Please check out

….. www.thedklounge.com ….. Thanks everybody!

The Nobody: Comic Review

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Vertigo is known for releasing some of the most compelling tales in mature storytelling. Stories that not only pull the reader into a new world, but often make them reflect on their own. No writer does this better than Canadian Jeff Lemire. Lemire is famous for his popular works: Essex CountyAnimal ManSweet Tooth, and the just recently released (and amazing), “The Underwater Welder“. These works have won him tons of awards for not only his unique storytelling abilities but artistic approach to his work and to the medium.

Lemire’s art style is uncanny, often his characters appear thin, are almost blank and at times almost emotionless or expressionless. Some even look broken, shattered, flawed or with a sense of desperation behind their eyes. It is in his panel to panel framing that he generates such true to life drama between characters. Lemire sketchy style deliver breathtaking emotion that can only come from a true talent.

Lemire’s 2009 graphic novel “The Nobody“, is a modern-day tale of the HG Wells story “The Invisible Man” but with a small town twist mixed with a fear of the unknown. The Nobody focus’ on mysterious and lonesome individual John Griffin, who suddenly appears in the fishing village of Large Mouth. He is bandaged from head to toe and stirs up quite the controversy among locals. Though he has a friendly and cordial demeanor, his appearance frightens them, leaving them only to question what caused his freakish appearance and why he has come to their small town. This questioning leads to paranoia, and even to unintelligent blind hysteria, putting this loner at the focal point of a very precarious situation.

Brief Summary

His connections with the townspeople are trivial and he spends much of his time alone, working in a hotel room attempting to find a cure for the disease which keeps his physical body invisible. Though accepted by them, he gradually fades away and the towns people begin to forget about him; all except for one girl who attempts to get close to him and uncover the mystery of John Griffin’s past. Along the way, pressure builds among the paranoid people of Large Mouth and finally boils over. As soon as Griffin gets comfortable he is greeted by a mysterious partner from his past and the plot unfolds. In time you find that there is a lot more to Griffin’s invisibility than just a scientific accident, and the result of his playing god is much more scarring and tragic then original HG Wells tale. Lemire does a great job of keeping you on the edge of your seat guessing till the very end.

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One scene in which i found to be of particular importance involves an altercation with a dog. Griffin’s invisible hand becomes exposed, when he gets home he spends time re-bandaging it and finally says to himself “i see you”. It would seem as though Griffin’s sense of self has diminished since the accident. This conveys an interesting idea about how human beings perceive their sense of self. If one cannot see ones body, does one truly exist in physical reality? Does it only require a consciousness or independent thoughts to be alive? is Griffin a man or has he become a ghost left to haunt those left on earth?

The Nobody is a graphic novel classic which is certainly a personal favorite as well as a fan favorite. Fans of mature storytelling will love Lemire’s twist on the horror classic and the drama that unfolds. Lemire takes us on a journey to his own “Twilight Zone” where anything is possible.

I was fortunate enough to meet Jeff at NY Comic Con 2012, he was a really great, humble guy and couldn’t thank us enough for the continued support.

Check out Jeff Lemires blog here! - http://jefflemire.blogspot.com/

The Walking Dead Issue #100

the walking dead amc robert kirkman zomibes issue 100 tv show

All i can say is “Holy fucking shit!?”……The walking dead series has been ongoing for quite some time now and i can’t believe that it has come this far! Robert Kirkman continues to deliver some of the best emotional story telling in the modern comic book medium today. This epic tale of the zombie apocalypse has taken us through many hills and valleys and to hell and back again. I’ve only really had deep connections with a hand full of comic book characters (silver surfer/swamp thing/constantine to name a few) where i completely understood their perspective/outlook and feel the pain as they feel it. Its insane that the walking dead has triggered this emotional reaction and has frequently made waves inside the hearts of myself and readers around the world. Kirkman makes you fall in love with every character and when they pass you feel as though your losing a piece of yourself. But it doesn’t end there….You almost feel worse for the people who have to continue on without that character in their life. As people cling so deeply to one another in such dire times their loss would be devastating.

the walking dead twd amc rick grimes zombies comic con robert kirkman charlie adlard 100th issue twd100

I feel as though Kirkman is preparing us for the apocalypse, almost as if to force the reader to tap into the innate “survival of the fittest” part of the human psyche. In this grim world death is a way of life. Survival forces you to keep your distance from the ones you care about most, for it will only make you and the group weaker. We are all however, subject of the human condition. Kirkman is teaching us to let go of everything we thought about what it is to be human, and to become re-acquainted with the part of us that got us where we are today. It would seem things are getting harder and harder for the survivors and that their world is getting even more ugly than they would’ve imagined. All they can really do is try and adapt while retaining their humanity. Rick and his survivors are a drop in the bucket for hope and to return to the way life was. This is important because there is more to human beings then just survival (culture, arts, ideology, progress), and if we are to leave anything behind as a species for future generations or even outer worldly anthropologists to discover then it is important to show that human beings lived with compassion, and were not just bloody savages.

The last 4-5 issues of this series have really turned me back on to the walking dead story. Though i am sad to see one of my favorite survivors go (rip), i am now re-addicted to the franchise and cant wait to see what happens next! If you haven’t read the walking dead yet, i recommend picking up the compendiums online. You can get them for fairly cheap and you will not be disappointed. Issue to issue it will deliver everything from drama, philosophy, sex, violence, politics, great social commentary, and of course …. zombies! TWD has it all…end of story..

In celebration of the release of issue 100 of TWD here’s a look at some of the awesome covers for the issue.

New Dead Space Motion Graphic Novel

The Dead Space official website has released a graphic novel short of a potential new character in the Dead Space universe. This may give us some hints into potential story lines and characters of the highly anticipated Dead Space 3.

Check out the short here!

Comic Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

do androids dream of electric sheep header philip k dick science fiction

Science fiction is constantly pushing the limits of our imagination, forcing us to question the paths in which human progress and ingenuity will take us. However, very rarely in history do many works reach levels of such philosophical, social, and emotional depth  that they force us to look not only inside ourselves, but at our society as a whole, and to the core of what makes us human. Philip k Dick’s work has always brought these things to light, pushing fans to think outside the box and really see the truth through the smoke and mirrors.

Synopsis (spoiler alert):

I recently picked up BOOM studios release of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, which is a verbatim translation of the book but in graphic novel form. Tony Parker’s dark renderings of Dicks dystopian-noir future, immerse the reader in a world where massive corporate structures reduce the average person to ants, and technological perseverance has outgrown whats left of a post “World War Terminus” planet Earth. Many people have left earth for off world colonies and as an incentive for emigrating, have been given an android companion. Those left on earth live in the remaining city filth, which often does not see sunlight due to toxic clouds that fill the skies almost all of the time. In this future people utilize machines called “mood organs” which allow them to punch in any kind of emotions they wish, for any number of feelings or situations they could be in. Many are reliant on these machines and have forgotten how to really feel, as the world has degraded around them, leaving little in the way of personal happiness.

mood organ do androids dream of electric sheep? philip k dick boom comics

Bounty hunter Rick Deckard awakes to an argument with his wife about her use of her mood organ because she frequently punches in negative emotions like sadness and depression. This has put a strain on their relationship and Rick protests against using the machine. He leaves to go up to his hover car parked roof where his neighbor and him discuss the value and status of owning a real life animal. Many animals are extinct due to the ash left by world war terminus; and since humans have grown a intense sentiment for their companionship. Rick fantasizes about owning a real life sheep some day and will stop at nothing to feel the attachment that comes with a living animal. He leaves for work and is surprised as to what he finds when he gets there.

Upon his arrival Rick Deckard finds that he is now responsible to retire 6 rogue “Nexus 6″ androids, which have apparently escaped from an off world colony and have attempted to settle in San Francisco. Rick is to administer the Voight-Kampff test on them, which is a test involving a series of questions to determine empathy, a trait that androids lack. Rick is assigned the task of retiring the androids because his senior officer Dave Holden, was attacked while giving the Voight-Kampff to one and is in a hospital recuperating. Rick sees this hunt as a chance to get enough money to finally afford a living sheep, which he is constantly researching in his Sydney’s catalog. This begins Deckards 24 hr manhunt to find the androids and….himself. On his journey, Deckard finds that the androids have integrated themselves into many aspects of society already and that the nexus 6 is the closest thing to a human he has ever seen.  He eventually catches up with them and learns a lot more about himself then he ever had imagined.

blade runner do androids dream of electric sheep philip k dick city

Alongside the story of Deckard is that of J.R Isidore, who is a “special”, someone genetically damaged and unfit to leave earth and emigrate  to the off world colony. He lives alone in an abandoned apartment complex and is in constant use of his “Empathy Box”, which allows him to completely immerse himself in the pain and struggle of Wilber Mercer. Upon use of the Empathy box, ones mind is transported, along with thousands of other users, into the mind and body of Wilber Mercer. Mercer is an old man, constantly climbing a mountain and having rocks thrown at him. This is a very real experience for those using the empathy box and any pain inflicted by rocks is actually done to them in the real world. This shared mutual pain and struggle has created somewhat of a religious cult called Mercerism. Those who follow Mercer believe in his existence and the idea that no matter how bad things are, you are never alone and that their are others out there like you who feel the way you do. At the same time throughout the story their is an opposing television icon called Buster Friendly who is most likely an android, as his show runs for 23 hours a day and is only off for one hour. Buster Friendly is the force of anti-Mercerism but provides hours of entertainment for those willing to watch. He ends up exposing/debunking Mercerism on live television in a grand announcement which is televised worldwide. Isidore’s loneliess turns into a desperate friendship with android Pris, who uses J.R’s apartment as a hideout for her and the rest of her android comrades. The escaped androids believe that Mercerism is a hoax and discredit Isidore’s beliefs leaving him empty.

Thoughts:

This book was also made into a Ridley Scott film titled “Blade Runner” in 1982, starring Harrison Ford, which received critical acclaim from fans of the book as well as general fans of science fiction. I personally think that the message the book attempts to convey, is not as directly portrayed in the film. The book really emphasizes Deckards aloneness, emptiness, and his questions on the morality of what it means to be human. Many other aspects involving the two major religious themes in the book (Buster Friendly and that of Mercerism) are lost in the movie. Many more things also happen in the book that develop these ideas more thoroughly, while also painting a deeper picture of Deckards inner turmoil, and the desperate cling to empathy to retain his humanity. Deckard questions if he is any different then the androids he is hunting.

doandroidsdreamofelectricsheep_rickdeckard_philipkdick_mercerism_scifi

One thing that i found interesting about Dicks character Buster friendly is the channel that one must dial in to view him: 888. In the bible the number of man is 5, the devil 6, and god 7. As i was reading this i wondered if this was Philip K Dicks way of telling us that television is the next religion. Television provides people with an escape from their everyday life by creating dramatic fantasies. It allows them to relate to something imaginary and be controlled and influenced by pixels of light. In a post apocalyptic future where everything has gone to hell, it is not hard to believe that humans would yearn for an escape as simple as this, and we see Buster Friendly’s influence in his discredit of Mercerism.

Overall, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a masterful work and deserves every bit of credit that it gets. This story leaves the reader with many questions of their own and i believe that any writer that can make his audience question what makes them human, well they’ve done their job. If you haven’t read this book pick it up!

Thank you PKD.

Comic Review: Sweet Tooth

sweet_tooth_21_vertigo

Vertigo has had many amazingly gritty and off-beat titles through the years; Hellblazer, Transmetropolitan, Preacher, and V for Vendetta to name a few. The stories they put out push the boundaries of the comic book medium and create worlds we would never get the chance to experience without the talented writers they have on board. One newer release that i believe has become highly embraced by the comic book community is Sweet Tooth, written by Jeff Lemire (Animal man, Jonah Hex, Superboy).

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Sweet Tooth is a post-apocalyptic story about a boy named Gus who lives with his father in a cabin in the woods. The interesting thing about Gus is that he was born with antlers and thus opens the main mystery. Since he can remember, it has only been him and his father and that is all he knows. His father is a religious man who tells him that the world outside of the woods is dead and that there are evil people there who will harm him. Unfortunately, his father’s lunacy is not far from the truth, and we find ourselves in a torn world where people scavenged for food and survival of the fittest is king. This new world has become stricken with a plague that has wiped out most of the human population and many remaining survivors attempt to find out the cause. Eventually, Gus’s father passes from the plague, leaving him with his fathers journal alone to face the world; Gus’s curiosity of the land beyond the woods fascinates him, despite his fathers warnings of the evils that exist. His curiosity is cut short by the presence of a few men who attempt to capture Gus, they are slain by a man named Jeppard, whose sordid past has made him cold to the horrors of the new world. Jeppard deems Gus “Sweet tooth” for his candy obsession, and offers to take him along and protect him in the world outside the woods. Thus begins Gus’s journey through the wasteland and a long quest to find out what caused the plauge, where he came from, and who is Jeppard? The story takes tons of twists and turns, with a healthy amount of violent realism, and a lot of quirkiness to follow which makes it a really unique book.

Sweet Tooth is a fantastic piece of post apocalyptic fiction and fans of the genre can definitely appreciate the spin that Lemire has put on the genre. Where the story is going, I can only imagine what will happen next!

Check out issue #1 of sweet tooth here!