Partially inspired by my good friends urging, I started reading the Invisibles. Which, at the moment seems to be the telling of a young man’s quest to become a powerful magical force. I am only as far as the first half of the collected Trade Paperback “Say You Want a Revolution.”
For those of you who don’t know, the Invisibles was this Vertigo comic from the 90′s. It’s pretty darn good, and my personal interest lies in the fact that Grant Morrison wrote it. So far, everything I’ve read of his has this ability to refer to a number of concepts at one time, essentially by saying very little.
It’s all in the conversation and situation. But, unlike other intellectual comics, these books are not filled with dialogue. An overwhelming amount of conversation tends to bore me, for as much as I like a good story, comics are what they are because they are meant to have pictures. Good Pictures. Not just shots of people talking at each other like the Dailies or the Sunday Comics (with the exception of Bill Waterson)
You need good narrative imagery with thoughtful pacing and realistic conversational dialogue. That explanation may be a little too simplistic for the complexity that can be achieved with comics, but boiled down, that’s it.
Another reason I wanted to read the Invisibles was in part due to a little controversy some time ago about the relationship between themes in this book and themes in the Matrix films. So far the only similarities are the concept of another “true” existence or reality that parallels our own, and the infamous “jump” scene. Neither of those things seem particularly tied to one intellectual property. After all, didn’t Superman or someone else psyche themselves out with jumping (or falling or what ever) a great distance. And the whole “what’s really real” thing has been done in countless books and movies.
(That’s right, question reality bitches!)
But that’s not what I want to talk about. Let me get to the point of my blogging: What’s up with the chosen one in British Literature?
Not that I read a lot of Brit books and comics, but I do read a lot of American comics written by British writers (and the occasional Brit novel), and frankly, I’m beginning to notice a trend in the writing of English gents: Magic …
Maybe it has something to do with the Arthurian myth being so much apart of the British Fantasy mentality. Or that could just be my American impression of British born Fantasy.
So if I’m not being accurate, then I apologize (and feel free to comment). But let me say, from “Tim Hunter” of “The Books of Magic,” to the totality of the Harry Potter franchise, it seems like young British boys on the quest to becoming the next greatest magician of our time is a story I keep reading about.
Which brings me back to my original topic, The Invisibles. It features (of course) a young teenage boy in England on his way to becoming a powerful force. Be it magic or something else entirely I don’ know yet (as I’m only a few books in at this point), but it certainly seems like magic.
But, at this point, half way through, I felt inspired to say something. Mainly, what I’m getting at is: with all these young men in Great Britain clamoring up to become the next Merlin, who will win? Does it Matter? Are we all on some impossible quest?
Do we long to escape this reality so tenaciously?
Though I call him the Loyalist, which implies an American Revolutionary War era character, but this guy is meant to be more of an American Civil War era guy. Somewhat of a cowboy and somewhat of a tracker/hunter, The Loyalist stands tall and ready to scare the daylights outtaya Pilgrim.
The skull I painted on his face glows an erie green in the dark.
I love Glow-in-the-Dark anything. It’s the kid in me I guess. If you where born in the flashy 80′s, there’s something deep and imbedded about the fascination with Glow in the Dark plastic and the technology of Holograms. Can’t you just remember the wonder and magic of starring at this stuff for hours? No? Well I sure can …
SSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOO, my wife, Angel, had this awesome idea. She thought about all the stuff I’ve been making and she says to me over Instant Message “why don’t you make 80′s villains into WWII characters!”
So of course BOOM! I get this flood of idea’s and one is this: I imagined a team of villains who would in a sense be a type of squadron, similar to Blackhawk and his gang. But they would be an Axis team, with a befitting title. Something Arian like “The White Knights.” Only these guys have the presence of the Nazgûl.
Coming back from last week, there’s “The Hooded Spectre” (Luftwaffe Cobra Commander). Accompanied by his new vile accomplice “The Spectre of Death” (Luftwaffe Skeletor). Please enjoy!
I don’t know if you are into Puss ‘n’ Boots, but we are.
Presented here for the first time ever in a public scenario our proto type hard plastic version of Puss: Pierre DeGrano (or Pierre ver2). The point for this toy is to be able to swap around parts with other figures in this scale. So the arms legs and head will be made to come off easy with a simple slot/peg system. He stands tall in human boots at about 10 inches … I hear those boots are magic, but maybe it’s just the cat. I love Pierre.
And I’ve always loved this story. One of the best versions that I’ve ever seen was from a series called Grimm’s Fairytale Classics. I believe it was an anime from 1986 and was later imported to Canada or Europe somewhere. Eventually it found it’s way onto Nickelodeon, as the people in control of that network in the 80′s where willing to air just about anything with a good story.
(Side note, some “Nick” shows from the 80′s with good stories: “David the Gnome,” “Spartikus and the City Beneath the Sea,” “The Mysterious Cities of Gold,” and my other favorite “Belle & Sebastian.”)
A friend and I have been kicking around the idea for a stop motion Puss ‘n’ Boots film. I guarantee you that it’ll be short, but maybe we can do a few shorts. Like a series of 7 minutes jobs. So this Proto-toy, serves as a moquette for that idea.
but that’s in the future…………
So, this is the prototype Pierre (or Pierre ver.1). I had some left over fabric from the Bushman project and came up with two proto-pieces. One was pierre. A kind hearted Gato who wants nothing but to help you and be taken care of (food / clothing / shelter) for compensation. He believes in you, so if you believe in Pierre he will always assist you.
A the moment he is hanging by one hand in our studio, looking as though he’ll leap into a protective stance to ward off evil magic ogres who may be terrorizing a village near you.
Stay tuned for the hard plastic toy of Pierre … it’s nearly finished, pic’s real soon!
Ah, “My Friend Pierre,” that’s what we’re calling our version of Puss ‘n’ Boots. Here at POPprolific, we want to bring our vision of Pop Culture characters to life. That being said, Pierre is coming at you this holiday season in the form of a soft plushy pal. Similar to the Bushman which we debuted at the San Diego Comic Con, the plush version of Pierre features a “Goon” shaped body, made famous by Alice the Goon from Thimble Theatre and Popeye the Sailor.
The major difference between Bushman and Pierre is that, Pierre is going to made from a variety of fabric’s. Not each piece mind you, but in effect, we’d like to do small runs of Pierre’s and each run will be mad of a different material. There’ll be a grey fleece version, a rainbow fleece version, and a shiny black vinyl version. Literally any fabric that’s interesting will be considered … and for a slightly more expensive fee, they can be made to order from a small selection of fabrics.
Any-who that’s all in the future.
In the meantime, I’ll have a pic posted by this evening.
This is my Luftwaffe version of the Commander. Right from the beginning I had this in mind. I was thinking of a Bizzaro Blackhawk. I made a new head by breaking up pieces of other ones that I had cast out of plastic. the hood is a little trimmer so it can fit with the high collar around the back and sides.
The Jacket is from the Dragon figure “Eugene” and the pants are from the Dragon figure “Ludwig.” why these garments didn’t come with one figure is absolutely ridiculous, but I guess that’s their way of getting you to buy both. Even on ebay these pieces of clothing are expensive, because they are apparently made of leather. On the box it says Sheepskin. any-who the turtle neck is from a Kreigsmarine seaman.
this is the “classic” Commander with the Tank Commander version. I made about ten cobra commander heads with intention of having a little fun with them. I’m going to get a show together around the end of the year and I wanted it to focus around re-imagined interpretations of 80′s villains. Right now we’re calling the show “The Excess of Evil”
The name is of course inspired by the Axis powers of the 30′s and 40′s (it’s a good thing that Ken Burns WWII Documentary has been playing on PBS for the past three weeks or I don’t know how we would’ve found a name). The show might change to incorporate other 80′s elements, so the name may change too. Unless of course we play it off like the over consumption of toys that was really kick-started in the 80′s is … in effect, kinda evil.
For right now our “Axis of Evil” will focus around Cobra Commander, Skeletor, and The Shredder (who does count, because The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series started in ’87 or ’88, NOT ’90. As apparently some people wish to debate this fact, go Wiki that!).
So, we love Star Trek. Especially, The Next Gen. (or TNG, for those of you who are also down with Trek).
I’m pretty sure I’m not a Trekkie (as I’ve never worn Vulcan ears or sported a Klingon “Forehead” piece), but I have to say with all geekiness aside The Next Generation is perhaps one of the best written shows for television … ever.
The way the writers consistently propose a problem, and then have the characters discuss the various sides of the issue, is unparalleled. Be it science based or ethically based or otherwise, the character dynamic was set up so that the captain almost always had to conference with his commanding officer staff. It may have been an obvious format to discuss social and political ideals, but it was often so thorough with it’s dissection of an issue that I can’t imagine a more perfect way to show these sentiments.
Now I know that the Original series had a similar format, but it was constrained due to the time period from which it came. And I’m not talking about the future, I’m talking about 1966 when it was first aired. For example, the original Trek featured one of the first depictions of interracial intimacy on television. Kirk and Uhura actually kiss – oooohhhhhhh!
That was actually news worthy 40 years. People were shocked. After all, it could only happen in 23rd century, in order for the people of the 20th century to accept it. The turbulent ’60′s were so racially divided, I’m honestly surprised that it even happened. Then again ten years earlier someone somewhere on some show said “water closet” which was apparently against network sensibilities at the time. That too, was news worthy. Wow, people really had nothing to do with their free time.
I can’t imagine a world where the word “Toilet” is unacceptable for so called “decent” people to say in public, let alone an interracial mixing of tongues. I’m so glad we live in the future. By that I mean the present day where technology and self improvement is more important than being socially acceptable.
What I’m saying basically is that an interracial exchange was more note worthy than the idea of say .. I don’t know destroying the planet due to nuclear arms. An idea which they referred to in some form or another throughout the series.
Maybe it was shows like Star trek that helped to ease the drama of racial divide. Fortunately, for geeks like us, we got to see what the world could be like. Though highly stylized, we were allowed to see a new possibility of existence. Strip away the simplified / highly modernized sets and costumes. What’s left is a world from the amazing mind of Gene Rodenberry. A nearly utopic scenario where there was no racial separation, where women worked side by side with men, and had the same social – political responsibilities.
A triumph for equality. That’s partly what Trek means to me.
Any-who back to what I was originally talking about before I launched off into an equality rant, Star Trek: TNG is again being released on DVD. This time in a great big beautiful clear box with green Disc holder’s, wrapped in space fog. I am, to say the least, beyond excitement.
TNG is so thought provoking (as I’ve said before), but also the acting is fantastic. It’s not that typical cheesy sci-fi acting. These people are stage quality, believable, relatable, and at the end of the day: convincing.
You can watch classic Trek and find the acting sort of over the top at times. You can watch a later Trek series (i.e. DS9, Voyager, or Enterprise) and not even feel moved or engaged. But, with TNG, you can watch the 7 seasons and really feel as though your witnessing the life of these characters unfolding in a believable way. The spirit of these actors is so tangible, and their dialogue is delivered in such an effortlessly sincere way. It’s perfect for me. Buy yours Today!