US Marine and his dog. Okinawa, 1945.
Just a reminder that the band Sunn O))) has their discography up over at bandcamp for streaming or purchase. This is some excellent doom/drone music.
Also Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson’s excellent Southern Lord records is streaming several of their releases on there. Check them out.
This is some fine heavy metal.
Raymond Pettibon, American Cartoonist
By Dan Morris
From the mid-1970s to early 1980s, Raymond Pettibon created a massive body of work for SST Records. He conceived and designed promotional flyers, album cover artwork, and posters most often for the band Black Flag. At the same time, Pettibon…
Here’s an article I wrote about Raymond Pettibon and his connection to Alternative comics. It’s not talked about as much I think it should be. I hope this starts a discussion.
"I won a million dollars."
OSCARS WEEK: Day 3
Best movie of 2013 hand down
Directed by Frances Bodomo, a Ghanian filmmaker based in New York City, ‘Afronauts’ is based on a true story. The film recently made its world premiere at the Sundance Film festival where Bodomo also picked up big prizes.
“On 16 July 1969, America prepares to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to beat America to the moon. Inspired by true events.”
WORLD PREMIERE: 2014 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
Watch the trailer here: x
Page two of my upcoming Monster Crime comic, “Cold Crew”. I’ve seen a few Alex Toth comics where he pulled off the letter-shaped panels layout effortlessly. Not sure this works, but I’ll see once it’s inked all the way.
Patrick Dean is working on a new comic. I’m excited as I enjoyed his comic the Grizzly. I look forward to this new book.
I wrote about The Fuse #1 over at Notebooks on Comics, my review site. I was not impressed. I have high criteria when it comes to science fiction in comics.
The Fuse #1
Words by Antony Johnston
Pictures by Justin Greenwood and Shari Chankhamma
Published by Image Comics
By Dan Morris
Science fiction is a genre that comics can do better than any pretty much other artistic medium. The art form’s fusion of words and pictures to communicate a narrative is best suited to the genre’s tendency towards world building and social commentary. Unlike film which has budget or novels where images can vary between how people interpret worlds built with words, comics has no budget to restrain imagination while visuals clearly express the world a creator imagines. So when science fiction is done poorly or even worse, boringly, the comic becomes a chore to read and look at. This is the problem with the new Image comic The Fuse. It’s a comic that has a high science fiction concept at its core, cops on board a space station, executed in possibly the most uninteresting way possible.
The basic premise of The Fuse is as follows; Ralph Dietrich transfers up to a space station nicknamed the Fuse. His first day on the job he’s paired up with Klem Ristovych, whose previous partner retired, and gives Dietrich a hard time. On the first day, someone murders two homeless people, who are called “cablers” and the two of them are the only detectives for the entire space station. So much of this first issue reads like the pitch for a television series or like the episode of a tv show and less like a comic. The pacing reads like Johnston wrote scenes in the comic with commercial breaks in mind which doesn’t really work in comics. Part of this seems intentional; Johnson writes an essay that appears in the back of the issue about his love for the procedural genre. Still if I pay $3.50 for a comic then I want to read a comic and not read a TV show episode. I’ll go to iTunes or Amazon if I want to pay a similar price to watch a cop show or watch Law and Order reruns for free on cable.
Everything in this first issue is communicated to you via Klem who talks less like a person and more like your standard “seasoned vet” tv cop. Klem is full of cop clichés; she’s old, she’s not keen on a new partner, and of course, has seen it all. There is the “twist” that Klem instead of being the grizzled old man is the grizzled old woman but in this issue she’s given so little to do that it’s not particularly interesting. The fact she hasn’t said “I’m getting too old for this shit” is maybe the only genuinely surprising thing in this book writing wise. Ralph Dietrich, on the other hand, is such a non entity in this issue it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to stick around to hear his story. If you’re trying to sell this as a cop story in a science fiction world to a comics reading audience, it would probably help by making protagonists that don’t seem like the kind you could find in every other police procedural possible.
There are some things to like that Johnston does well though, mostly with the dialogue in that no two characters talk alike. It’s easy to tell Klem apart from Dietrich simply by the way they talk. Right now too many writers write dialogue for every one of their characters in the same rhythms and mannerisms which reveals more about the writer than the character. Dialogue should be used as a tool to explore the character and subtly reveal things about either the character or the plot. Johnston does this but unfortunately does it in such an obvious way and everything these characters say telegraphs exactly who each character is supposed to be. It get’s boring after awhile.
A reader might be able to ignore these problems if the art was able to really transport you to living on a space station but sadly artist Justin Greenwood doesn’t seem capable of that. The bar for art in science fiction comics has been set pretty high lately with the variety of excellent artists on fellow Image book Prophet, such as Simon Roy, Farel Dalrymple, and Giannis Milonogiannis, to Nelson Daniel’s cartoon grunge look and Ulises Farinas’s hyper detailed art on IDW’s Judge Dredd books. Compared to those artists, Greenwood’s pages lack personality. These pages are executed in a fashion that is readable and the figures have some body language but there’s so little imagination in them. Greenwood renders the exterior of the space station well but his rendition of the interior leave much to be desired. There’s no sense of the culture and neither does the art captures any of the little details that really give you sense of life there like signs, street vendors, and garbage. For an environment that supposedly crowded, the streets and buildings seem remarkably clear and empty. The only personality in this comic comes from Shari Chankhamma’s colors. Every now and then, Chankhamma adds a little grunge and inserts little background details into the art to give it detail. She does a nice use of non-traditional colors like oranges and purples as background colors to give the effect of their being a sun in an entirely interior environment. Unfortunately, this is not enough to make up for the lack of imagination in the other visuals. Also a big detail that is bothersome; this is cylindrical space station and there is no hint of it being one on the interior. No signs that there’s life surrounding these people from various angles. It’s an odd choice to but seems in league with the relative lack of imaginative present throughout the rest of the issue.
The Fuse #1 is an unremarkable introduction to a new series. Here is a mediocre science fiction comic in a market where science fiction comics with imagination and personality abound. It’s hard to imagine anyone who is interested in either visually engaging or well written science fiction comics wanting to pick up this book. This book would be better served carving it’s own niche instead of copying the ones created by it’s inspirations.
Worpsweder Kaseglocke, Worpswede, Germany - Bruno Taut