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NERD ART: RAMON VILLALOBOS

June 12, 2014

We pick a theme and present a collection of awesome art.  Today’s theme is:

THE ART OF RAMON VILLALOBOS

Including art related to comics, TV, movies, and (of course) pro wrestling, Ramon’s work is pretty great, and it’s no surprise he’s been catching some mainstream work from Marvel.  Make sure to check out Ramon’s site newcoolmeat.com for more examples of his work.  In the mean time enjoy some of our favorites below.

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YOU SHOULD BE READING ‘TREES’ BY WARREN ELLIS & JASON HOWARD

June 11, 2014

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A lot of people claim that Warren Ellis is their favorite writer, including myself.  One of the things I love about Ellis is his obvious interest in the landscape of our future.  I was watching a video of a talk he did called “The Edge of Reality.”  In the lecture he included a quote from Marshall McLuhan, “We look at the present through a rear view mirror.  We march backwards into the future.”  He continued with another McLuhan thought:

Because of the invisibility of any environment during the period of its innovation, man is only consciously aware of the environment that has preceded it; in other words, an environment becomes fully visible only when it has been superseded by a new environment; thus we are always one step behind in our view of the world. The present is always invisible because it’s environmental and saturates the whole field of attention so overwhelmingly; thus everyone is alive in an earlier day.

McLuhan’s words can easily be looked at through the lens of science fiction.  What do we see in common alien invasion stories?  Tales of conquerors on flying chariots, utilizing an advance form of projectile weapon, all in search of taking some sort of resource they themselves depleted or are in need of but rendered somehow without.  These are stories of invasion, and in a general sense, that of the dangers of imperialism.  If in creating science fiction, we march backwards into the future, it would make sense that the motivations and actions of our antagonists reflect that which we have seen conducted throughout history.  What interests me most after reading the first issue of Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Trees is how much it appears that its creators, though perhaps not looking forward with a telescope, seem to be ignoring the rear view mirror in favor of a window, and offering an oppositional force that is not easy to peg.  Read more…

INDIE SPOTLIGHT: JOE ST. PIERRE’S ‘LIBERAIDER: THE HARD DRIVE EDITION’ (WITH EXCLUSIVE ART)

May 15, 2014

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We were lucky enough to score a one on one interview with the creator of Liberaider: The Hard Drive Edition, Joe St. Pierre, as he mounts his Kickstarter campaign to put out a full color hardcover collection of his awesome web comic.  Including endorsements from legends like David Michelinie (Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Iron Man), Jim Shooter (Avengers, Legion of Superheroes, Secret Wars), Larry Hama (Wolverine, GIJoe) and Fabian Nicieza (X-Men, Gambit), this is clearly a project worth your attention.

St. Pierre was awesome enough to also offer exclusive art from the project.  Said art from Joe includes collaborations with Sandu Florea (inker on Batman, Detective, Suicide Squad), Steve Firchow (colorist for Top Cow, and on Grant Morrison’s X-Men) and Jay Leisten (inker on Death of Wolverine).

On to our interview.

The Killray:  Tell the readers what they should know about “LIBERAIDER: THE HARD DRIVE EDITION.”

Joe St. Pierre:  The LIBERAIDER HARD DRIVE EDITION is a hardcover, full color graphic novel telling the origin tale of the Robin Hood of Cyberspace.  The LIBERAIDER is a teenage hacktivist who infiltrates the databanks of the oppressive Dinosaur Corporation.  He steals some key data, and becomes the most hunted man in the world.  The Kickstarter offers some pretty good deals on the book, a print set, and you can get commissioned art and original art pieces from me there as well.

 

What inspired the creation of Liberaider? How did you come up with the concept and story?

I have always been a superhero fan.  I’ve noticed there are a lot of characters out there who represent certain archetypes, like the Superman “god-on-earth” or Batman “human perfection” models, and there are TONS of characters who are clearly influenced by these archetypes.  THE LIBERAIDER is my attempt to put a different spin on, maybe even create, a new superhero archetype, if all goes well.

Most of THE LIBERAIDER’s battles will probably take place in cyberspace, so incredible damage can be done; but when the average citizen looks out their window, they wouldn’t see anything different.  Personally I like that aspect of the story.

I have to also give props to William Gibson.  His books Burning Chrome, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive, and particularly Neuromancer were inspirational to me.  I threw some Gibson homages into THE LIBERAIDER, and tried to blow them up in the origin story.  I thought it was a fun device to play with, and that will allow me to make some room to move into uncharted territory with my future LIBERAIDER stories.

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FULL TRAILER FOR THE CW’S ‘THE FLASH’

May 15, 2014

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I’m aware that there are people that don’t necessarily dig The CW’s Arrow, but quite frankly I don’t care – I’m a fan.  Sure it gets campy sometimes, and being on the network it’s on occasionally forces it into goofy romance, but dammit it’s fun.  As I’m sure many of my friends could tell you, when I received word that they would be introducing Barry Allen – the alter-ego of The Flash – I was kind of losing my mind in excitement.

Now comes the first trailer for the new series that will focus on the solo adventures of the Scarlet Speedster, and man – it’s pretty great.  Particularly I really love the beats pertaining to The Flash’s past that offer a brief glimpse of popular Flash rogue Zoom.  Check out the full over five minute trailer after the link.

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MARVEL’S ‘ORIGINAL SIN’ – A GREAT START TO A SUPERHERO WHODUNIT

May 8, 2014

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I tend to go back and forth on my opinion of the current mainstream comic book trend of major crossover event after major crossover event.  Admittedly, it tends to lean a little closer to the “not-a-fan” side.  I just get burned out.  There tends to be little resolution involved in the storyline, and each of these crossovers concludes with the set-up for the next giant event that will begin in a couple months.  The issue I have with crossovers is that  they are all promoted to be the catalyst for major changes that will rock their respective universes to their core, but seldom seem to pay off in the long run.

Recently it was Jonathan Hickman’s Infinity that reminded me how fun these crossovers can be.  Infinity was epic in scope and cosmic in setting.  It gave the Marvel heroes a foe that seemed impenetrable.  Though knowing that the good guys would ultimately win, it forced you to get lost in the story and actually fear for the superheroes involved.  The event seemed like it mattered.

It is with all of this aforementioned personal baggage that I read Marvel’s newest event book Original Sin, and though this is just the first issue, I think we may be in for an interesting ride.

Some spoilers to follow.

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FIRST TRAILER FOR FOX’S ‘GOTHAM’

May 6, 2014

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In theory, a television show about a young Jim Gordon taking on the corrupt cesspool of crime that is Gotham City sounds like a great idea.  With that being said, it’s not hard to imagine ways they could screw it up.  Part of me was getting a little worried when I would read news about how they were going to include a pre-Penguin Oswald Cobblepot, as well as other characters that would one day become super-villains like Riddler and Poison Ivy.  I couldn’t help but fear that the awesome Gordon-focused hard-boiled detective story I want would just get bogged down with constant reminders that this is the Batman universe, with repeated nonsensical appearances by random characters.

After viewing the first trailer for Fox’s Gotham I can’t say that all my fears have diminished, but I can say that I’m pretty excited to check it out.

Official description:

Based upon characters published by DC Entertainment and produced by Warner Bros. Television, GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. Starring Ben McKenzie (“Southland,” “The O.C.”), Donal Logue (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Terriers,” “Vikings,” “Copper”) and Jada Pinkett Smith (“The Matrix” films, “HawthoRNe”), GOTHAM follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time. Executive producer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist”) wrote the pilot, which was directed and executive-produced by Emmy Award nominee Danny Cannon (the “CSI” franchise, “Nikita”). John Stephens will serve as an executive producer on the series.

 

ARTIST IMAGINES COMIC BOOK INSPIRED BEERS

April 29, 2014

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For a lot of us, superheroes and beer are a match made in heaven.  The lovely combination can be seen in a whole new light thanks to graphic designer Marcelo Rizzeto and his project “Super Hero Beers.”

Offering names for the various super brews (which include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Flash), Rizzeto also theorized which variety of beer would work with each character.

Check out the whole roster after the jump.

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