Monday, March 26, 2012

Pedro Almodovar

I believe that Pedro Almodovar is one of if not the best living filmmakers on the planet. His movies have complex narratives that challenge way beyond the norms of Hollywood movies. They often have a very sexual theme that is steeped in some type of dysfunction or extreme fetish, so immediately he is operating on a different level than the milquetoast American counterparts. Not only do his movies make you think, Almodovar is usually two steps ahead. I can't fully explain how satisfying that is. The last film I saw, "The Skin I live In" has a moment where everything comes into focus and I literally said "Oh shit!". This ndirector gets my highest recommendation.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jonathon Hickman

If I didn't know better, I'd think Jonathon Hickman was British, but he's not. He was born in the States, but he writes comics like a Brit. That doesn't mean his characters are all running around speaking with Cockney accents and chasing down fish and chips. You see, comic writers, really good comic writers from the last 25 or so years have had a high propensity for British citizenship. Don't ask me why those guys seem to dominate the literary scene in comics, they just do. That's all besides the point though. Hickman has quietly become a force of nature in comics and is a ray of shining light that promises that the medium is not yet dead.

To be honest, his best work appears in the form of the monthly Fantastic Four and FF (Future Foundation). It is incredibly complex in scope and the depth of detail is staggering. It's nice to see a top talent on a flagship title, but these are not the books that peak my interest. What does whet my appetite is his Image Comics creator owned work. They usually seem less developed than his Marvel work, but they have soul and touch on much more sophisticated topics than super heroes (nothing at all wrong with that topic though). Most impressive to me, is the fact that Hickman came up under the Image banner and parlayed that into much more lucrative work for Marvel, but he didn't abandon Image like some other creators have when success came knocking (cough-Bendis! cough-Fraction!) He has a bunch of projects in the pipeline and they have found a home at the creator friendly Image. Image has been knocking it out of the park lately with new projects from Brian K Vaughn, Scott Snyder, Ed Brubaker and host of others. I applaud the man for doing what is right for the comic community. Independent comics are good for the market. Diversity of publishers is good for the market. Following your creative instincts in lieu of chasing a buck is good for the market.

If you wanted to pick a creator to mold your comic career after, I would chose this guy. He belongs to a small group of writers that excite me when I merely see they are doing a new project. I know I can count on him to deliver at certain level. If it doesn't register with me it certainly was not because his heart wasn't in a project. Do yourself a favor and check this cat out. I recommend Nightly News, Red Mass For Mars and Pax Romana.You might even swear the guy was British after you read him.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sneak Peek

I probably shouldn't unveil something that is far from finished, but a bit of progress has been made on, what for me anyway is sort of an old project. I came up with the initial idea for this story probably ten or so years ago and it has been incubating. I have about half of it finished as far as a script, but that hasn't been recent progress. I need to polish up the second chapter and attempt to finish it off. I know where the story goes, but connecting the dots is sometimes a chore. Here's to a productive year. The artist is Randy Valiente, whom I have collaborated with on a previous, but as yet unreleased book. The title for this one is a work in progress, but that will all get settled in due time.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jean Giraud, aka Moebius: 1938-2012

When I was a teen I discovered the evocative and cerebral work of Jean Giraud, whom I initially only knew as Moebius. For a pretentious kid who aspired to the arts, he had me at Moebius. Sometime later I stumbled onto work where he used his real name. His work in the seventies and eighties that appeared in Heavy Metal was staggering. You didn't need an art degree to see that his art stood out from that of his peers. There was genius in his lines and his subject matter was mainlined into the collective unconscious. For a time, his work was readily available in the States, but at some point it dried up. It became hard to find until recent times, which is good because anyone who wants to really and truly know the medium of comics should be familiar with his work. I would speculate few modern comic artists worth their salt would be unfamiliar with his work. He is one of the few visionaries that completely transcends the medium. If this sounds of hyperbole, know that I simply can't find enough superlatives for staggering genius.

Don't believe me? Here is a quote from film auteur Federico Fellini:
"I consider him more important than Dore," said Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini:
He’s a unique talent endowed with an extraordinary visionary imagination that’s constantly renewed and never vulgar. Moebius disturbs and consoles. He has the ability to transport us into unknown worlds where we encounter unsettling characters. My admiration for him is total. I consider him a great artist, as great as Picasso and Matisse."

R.I.P., Jean Giraud

Friday, March 2, 2012

Home Stretch

There hasn't been much progress on the book lately, but it is almost there. Once Anthony Max finishes another project, which is looking super cool, he'll be back to finish the last remaining pages of our project. Then it will be down to the lettering contributed by the talented Megan Kettner. I am more than ready for it to be completed, but supposedly good things come to those who wait.