Sunday, November 19, 2017

Alan Moore Birthday!

Alan Moore celebrated his 64th birthday on November, 18, 2017. He was born in 1953, in Northampton, United Kingdom.

Recently he completed his novel, Jerusalem. It is a complex narrative, rich with detail, plot, and character development.

"Will you still need me.
Will you still love me when I am sixty-four."

In other celebrations, this year marks the 100th birthday of Jacob Kurtzberg (aka Jack Kirby), and Will Eisner's 100th as well.

art © 1987 Bill Sienkiewicz

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Vibrant colored Thor Movie ala Jack Kirby

The design within the movie screams out Jack Kirby as loud as the Kirby Crackle effect.

The design, lettering, and color scheme for the promotion is similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The last Thor movie was dark and had little humor. Marvel made sure to add humor onto the new movie, ala Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, with Hulk and Thor. They rolled out the plot like a GOTG movie and it appears to work.

The designs of the costumes also allude to the Thor comics drawn by Jack Kirby, and scripted by Stan Lee, who adds a small interactive cameo.

The Valkyrie is not the one from the comics but she is the heroic lead in the movie.

Perhaps part of the obvious Kirby touch is due to the settlement with the Kirby estate. Who knows, still, Kirby received recognition from Comic-con this year, and from the Disney convention. This Thor movie is released on what would have been Kirby's 100th birthday.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Geof Darrow & his new Shaolin Cowboy book: Who Will Stop the Reign

Geof Darrow & his new Shaolin Cowboy book: Who Will Stop the Reign

"If you are not familiar with Geof's work be prepared. It is filled with detail--lots of detail. Detailed does not begin to describe the detail.
It is for mature audiences, graphic imagery and all.

This is probably his best Shaolin compilation to date.
It is ambitious and complex, running several narratives.
In one you find the Shaolin Cowboy with recollections of his past, and sound advice from his mentors, this section is in monochromatic tones.
In another, you find the Shaolin Cowboy tailed by the infamous Crab.

One of the mentors bears a likeness to Robert Mitchum, the actor, if you do not know his work--check out his movies, especially the "Night of the Hunter."

If you are not familiar with Geof's work be prepared. It is filled with detail--really.

On the surface the work appears to be a violent adventure strip, to say the least, but it filled with layers of deconstruction. In part it has quite a bit of visual acknowledgements to the deconstructive westerns from the 60s, and early 70s, the samurai movies from the 60s and 70s, and other genres mixed in as well.

Vintage samurai and western movies were often shown at an old school movie theater (with the awning, light bulbs, and movable letters) on Santa Monica Boulevard and I am almost certain that Mr. Darrow probably saw some of the classics there.

Darrow is the modern day Heironymus Bach, tearing down the facade of society, the establishment, and of the consumer, drone-like, world. He stitches together several cultures, world views, and eastern philosophy onto a world all his own.

There is humor to all the madness as well.

The coloring by Dave Stewart works well. It compliments the narrative with vibrant and, yet, very subtle hues throughout the book. This is challenging as the amount of detail, from the line work, allows for multiple possibilities of what to color and how to color it. Dave manages this complex work with steady choices of hues, monochromatic colors, and expert coloring of many of the consumer packaging items throughout each page, or the subtle hues of a desert scene during the day or night.

Stewart also uses dichotic choices, such as the varying, painterly, application to Zombie heads.
There are many challenges with color and Stewart succeeds on every page.

Shaolin Cowboy is published by Dark Horse, and available wherever books are sold. Check it out!"

Emilio Soltero