Comics, Musings

My Comic Project

No, I’m not writing my own comic (although I have had ideas about one… I just don’t think my art is strong enough for that yet…).  I am however doing some art stuff for my home.

I bought two big things to do some art on to hang somewhere in my home eventually and the first one I wanted was to recreate some of my favorite comic cover art.  The first one is probably way too ambitious and I am probably going to tear my hair out over it but I’m at the very least going to try.

I might update you guys as I continue on it but for this first post I figured I would tell you how I am going about turning a comic book cover into a painting big enough to go on my wall.

The cover in question is from the third issue of Low:

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My first step, as I did not want to deface my comic, was to print out a picture of the cover that I could write on.  I then divided up the cover into a grid that I would use to assist me in transfering the image’s size.  (Trust me it super difficult to change the size of something without the grid because it helps keep everything relative to everything else.

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I labelled the grid and measured the size of the board I was tranferring to so that I could use a ruler and mark out a grid exactly like the one on my print out, but a little over three times larger.

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This of course was followed by me sketching out the image, which I am still technically in the profess of doing.  Once that is done I will use clear gesso to seal the board before I begin painting so that it doesn’t deteriorate.  Then come the fun part!  Paint.

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It might look a little like a mess right now, but soon friends I promise it will be something great for me to hang up in my home.

If anyone is interested in the continuation of this process as I work on it, just let me know and I will be glad to show some more pictures.

Just a reminder that this is not my original art, it is someone else’s.  I am not going to be selling this or making prints of it because it is not my art to do so with.  I simply wanted something beautiful to hang in my home.  It will not be a perfect replica because I am not half the artist that Greg Tocchini is but I will do my best.

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Adult, Books, Comics

Tokyo Ghost: Vol. 1. Atomic Garden by Rick Remender Review

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge Update: 13/40
A Graphic Novel

You do not understand how nice it is to write a post.  With Gretchen on her way back I don’t have to make a million videos any more.  I AM FREE!  It isn’t that I don’t put the same amount of effort into both, its simply that making videos takes so much more time.

It is wednesday and I have a trade review for you guys.  Next week I’m going to talk about the comic shop that I chose because I have been shopping around for one that I trust and maybe I’ll do a weekly pull… who knows?  For now, let’s talk technologypocalypse.

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Comic Title: Tokyo Ghost
Volume Title: Vol. 1: The Atomic Garden
Collected Issues: #1-5
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Sean Murphy
Publisher: Image
Page #: 136
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: M for Mature

If you have been following my comic reviews you probably saw this one coming.  I am a huge fan of Remender, I think with each comic of his that I have read I have seen him develop and really build on himself.  This is no exception, but I do want to talk about the few little issues I had with it.

If you don’t know, this series takes place in a particular future where technology has advanced so far that it has become and actual addiction for people.  They don’t have to think about the real world, they can escape into so many shows that are hovering right before their eyes.  Too weak, get enhanced, take shots or pills with particular tech in them to improve yourself.  Masturbating too hard?  There’s some tech for that.

Our protagonists are lovers who are on opposite sides of this technological spectrum.  A spunky little lady who has never taken part in any of this tech stuff and her best friend and lover who was so embarrassed by his weak nature that he enlisted into a sort of back alley police force in order to gain the tech necessary to make him large and strong and powerful.

At first I had a little bit of trouble with this comic because it seemed like such a cliche plot.  A story telling of the woes of technology (a theme that I honestly am bothered by most of the time) however it quickly turned into something else.  This is a story about guilt, addiction, and sacrifice.  This isn’t a story about love conquering all, at least so far it isn’t.  It did end on a bit of a cliff hanger, and I picked it up in the trade so I have no idea what happens next.  I appreciate it for that.  Remender is moving it somewhere unique and I think he is exploring interesting themes.  He is able to create so many interesting and unique worlds with issues stemming from so many places and I honestly applaud that ability.

How about the art?  I always like talking about the art when it is relevant.  I honestly found the way this comic was illustrated incredibly beautiful.  There are large spaces of black filled with pops of really vibrant color and fast moving actions.  There were panels that actually hit me really hard either in how incredibly poignant they were, or in how disturbing they were underneath all of that color.  It was an interesting experience.

My only problem was that I felt the female lead was a little bit too scantily clad.  Now, I have nothing against ladies wearing what they want and what they are comfortable with, I do however have a problem with designs being meant for the male audience to lust after or ogle those females.  Did it bother me enough to put down the book, no.  She isn’t often in risque poses or anything so I will forgive it that.  She looks cool, and that’s importan, I just wish she could be cool, with a little bit more clothes.  Personal taste probably.

All in all I really enjoyed this comic.  I still think Low is a better story, but I have been invested in it longer.  I will be picking up the next trade of this one when it comes out because I am still interested which is not something I could say about Black Science.  We shall see where the story goes.

I hope you guys are having a good week and I will talk to you again Friday!  I will be doing a bit of a weird one then because I haven’t been able to do a chatty Monday Musing wherein I talk about what it is like to work in a library after my first week.  I hope you guys are excited!

Adult, Books, Comics

Low Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope Review

I promised I would back track a little and do a full review of the first volume of Low when I went to do a review of the second volume and realized I had never actually talked about the first.  Which is a travesty as this comic was my favorite comic of the year!

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Comic Title: Low
Volume Titile: Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope
Collected Issues: 1-6
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Greg Tocchini
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 144
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Rating: M for Mature

Just looking at that cover you probably know what drew me to this comic in the first place.  I’m such an art snob when it comes to comics, if the art isn’t appealing to me it often means I can’t keep reading it even if the plot and writing is fine.  There needs to be a balance of both and I have heard people complain about the writing here, that it doesn’t match the art, or that the art is so flashy in order to cover up the fact that the story isn’t very good, and I would like to tell you why that isn’t so.

Now, I know that some people have an issue with how the trajectory of this story takes place.  It is a bit confusing at times, as it skips around in perspective and time and place.  This can make it frustrating to read as it isn’t linear.  However, I would recommend if you are confused to try reading it a little slower.  The comic is extremely well constructed.  You are seeing all of the different points in time and perspectives of one family as they struggle to find a way to save the human race.

This is a dystopian comic that takes place in giant under water cities generations after they were originally built.  The structures are breaking down and running out of resources so most of the people have resorted to living each day like it were their last.  They have lost hope.  However, the main characters in this story have not.  They are going to go on an expedition to the surface to find a probe that has returned to earth saying it has found a planet suitable for living, despite the fact that the air and the water near the surface are toxic.

On top of this, I think the thing that makes a good comic great is the ability for there to be subplots and sub-characters having stories in the background of panels where the main plot takes place.  These can either feed into the main plot later, or simply be little details that really add to the world building.  I think this is one of the greatest strengths of Low.  There are so many interweaving stories, it is able to show so many different ways of coping with the loss of hope, or the sudden realization that there may be hope after all.

If you are a fan of dystopian literature and are looking to get into comics or graphic novels, I would definitely think about picking this one up!  Like I said, it was my favorite comic of last year.

If you want to read my review of the second volume then you can find it here!

I will be back on Friday with a book review, and then something new and special on Saturday!  Get read guys, new things coming our way.

Adult, Books, Comics

Low: Volume 2: Before the Dawn Burns Us Review

Comic Review!  Woo! It is like I review things … weird.  Also third post in a week… unheard of.  We are getting things back on track.  Going to make blogging a habit.  Going to make reading a habit again as well.

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Series Title: Low
Volume: #2: Before the Dawn Burns Us
Issues Collected: #7-10
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 104
Genre: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Rating: M for Mature!

If you were wondering, no, I did not review the first volume of Low, and yes, I know this is a great over sight on my part.  If you haven’t heard of this comic before you should definitely start there because this is a sequential comic and there are plot lines and characters that you will need to know from the first volume.  This is not the case for all comics, but definitely for this one.  This is not to say that this should be a problem because both volumes have been outstanding.  I might do a more in depth review of the first volume soon as well, to make up for my over sight.

TL;DR: Read the First Volume First.  It is Fantastic!

Now, on to the second volume.

My initial feelings?

*pained groan* THE ART IS SO GOOD.  IT IS SO GOOD YOU GUYS.  YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.  I have said, again and again, if Tocchini sold prints I would buy them all.  I need them

Now I have a friend who has said that he doesn’t trust comics whose art is outstanding because often the plots can be over shadowed by this.  This may be true for some comics but I have always found that while this art is painfully gorgeous it only adds to the story being told.  There have been few comics that I feel every brush stroke adds to the story.  Figures in the background having their own plot, or doing things that would eventually show up in the main plot.  The tiniest detail can have great importance.  Some might find it distracting, but for me, it is so important.

As far as the plot goes, I don’t want to spoil the first volume if you haven’t read it.  I have to say that watching the story unfold for characters we haven’t seen for a while was interesting.

The first issue in this volume has one of the most heart breaking endings I have read in a while.  It perfectly embodies what I feel Low does so well.  It shows a post apocalyptic world as it could be in many different forms.  Each of the cities have taken a different aspect of the horrible side of human nature and upon realizing the futility of it all and the mortality of their race have fallen into depravity.  This new city has such an  interesting way of going about it.  Not only is it interesting world building but the world building has shaped the characters.  These worlds are not without consequence.  It isn’t just Remender flaunting his imagination, as I feel is the case with Black Science, the world building is pertinent to the characters and how they live their lives, their beliefs, their morals, it all comes down to where they grew up.

Everything leads into something else.

If you aren’t sold on the art, or perhaps are over sold, know that this story is so well crafted.  Pieces of it are woven together in such a way that I can do nothing but applaud it.  This comic has everything I could want and more.  I am sure that it is my favorite comic of the year and I wish more people would read it.  I have all of the issues and both of the volumes so that I can lend them to people.  Please pick it up if you haven’t already.

I hope those of you who celebrate it have a lovely Christmas Eve tomorrow and I will hopefully have a book review for you guys on Friday.  No guarantees, but I will do my best.