Honey and Clover

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The author: Chika Umino

Data: April 2000~ July 2006

Publishing company: Shueisha

This is my favorite girls’ comic. The story is about five art college students in their love triangles and especially unrequited love. Not only their love, but the story also includes graduating from college, finding job, and learning more about themselves.

I think in general girls comics, those characters shows their desire to catch their loved one. However this comics does not have such characters so many, and they always try to find themselves through their love. Compared to other girls’ comics, the mood is embarrassing or uncomfortable because the characters are too innocent. However I think this is the one having such mood and funny scenes with cute drawing.

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And related to this week’s lecture, this author, Chika Umino, did doujin activities before her debt as a comic artist.p1-1

 

Otake culture is getting to be accepted, and publishers find many talented persons.

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Left side images are from their doujinshi, right side images are their original comics. Both artists are from doujin activities. It is clear that doujin is widely accepted and it means people can easily get opportunities to show their abilities. And some official artists do doujin activities after their debt.

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It is interesting to know that some official artists are also fan of something through doujin activities, but I think famous artists could influence (good or bad) on people and media. Dojin is like a tacit agreement, I think getting too much attention could cause being blamed.

The Cleaners: Absent Bodies by Mark Wheaton, Joshua Hale Fialkov, and Rahsan Ekedal

The Cleaners was written by Mark Wheaton and Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Rahsan Ekedal, colors by Joh Graef, and Letters by Michael David Thomas, published by Dark Horse Books in January 2010. The Cleaners is about a for hire team who clean up after bloody and traumatic crime scenes. The leader, an ex-surgeon by the name Robert Bellarmine, guides the team to a link of gruesome crime scene around the Los Angeles area. While cleaning, they find clues around that lead them on a major case about kidnapping people, mostly children, that connects them back to centuries old crimes in that area. While investigating, they try to explain anything they find with scientific evidence, but their case may not be able to explained scientifically at all. They are sent on a supernatural chase to try to disprove historical superstition and uncover this gruesome and disturbing mystery.

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This comic would best be described as a modern horror story with elements of fantasy. When it comes to the art, one of the authors said that the look they wanted for the graphic novel was “to reflect the very solitary and isolated emotions that run through the story while also portraying a startling snapshot of what each character is experiencing personally.” You get the sense of the main character’s emotional instability and loneliness solely from the front cover by its use of a white background and the value of the shadows. The art in the graphic novel also brings the gruesome quality to a different level than the rest of the story by it’s detail, showing each drop of blood splattered across a wall. And going back to the value use, this novel is mostly dark values to convey the darkness and mystery behind the investigation in this story. cleaners

Overall, I really liked how this story brought three different genres, horror, detective, and fantasy, into one great story. The several twists throughout the graphic novel kept the reader on the edge of their seat, while the art helped the reader visualize the traumatic nature of the story.

The Last Halloween

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Somehow this comic manages to be cute, disturbing, gruesome, funny, relatable and beautiful simultaneously. “The Last Halloween” is a web comic by Abby Howard that is about a group of children, specifically Mona, who go on a quest and try to survive through the supposed last Halloween. A cursed doll, a vampire, a werepossum, a ghoul and a bodiless figure in wraps take Mona under their wing to help her with her current predicament. All of the monsters who used to hide in the shadows are now roaming the world, killing everything in their way because the king, Phagocyte, has been murdered. These monsters live in a parallel universe that use the shadows as portals. Each monster has a human counter part. If their human dies they perish as well, but if they are the one who killed their human then they are granted immortality. The purpose of the Phagocyte is to maintain the balance between the two worlds. Mona’s new friends are not considered monsters, but rather Anomalies. They are on a quest to find the Phagocyte’s son who can take his place to keep the worlds in balance again.

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The art is very Burtonesque in a sense, I feel that it would adapt beautifully into a Tim Burton film. The comic itself is in black and white and is focused heavily on lines. The detail in the panels are mostly found in the creatures and the background, adding a sense of eeriness. The characters themselves look very cartoonish and simple, but are entirely unique in their own ways. Despite being a supernatural and serious comic the dialogue tends to have deadpan humor. What I love about the comic is that it isn’t restricted to actual pages. The panels seep into the black background of the site and creates a much larger scene. Every page and panel is set out differently but share the black backdrop of the site.  Even the fonts in the dialogue of each character is different. It adds to their character and helps set a voice in your head for each one.

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This comic is still being updated, and I can’t wait for the next chapter. I’m falling in love with every character. There is even a bit of social commentary in the comic. Mona’s parent is nonbinary and is called “parent” and uses “they/them” pronouns throughout the comic. Shirley always calls out Dr. Fugue on his misogynistic comments. It’s a fun read and the art is beautiful, I would recommend it to everyone. It’s pretty short too. After reading this its easy to say Mona and Ringley are definitely my favorites.

 

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Author/Artist: Abby Howard

Where you can see her work:

The Last Halloween

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Abby Howard Etsy

Response to Priya’s Shakti

Among the comics we had to read for class this week I must say that I really enjoyed Priya’s Shakti. I really liked it because it was very different from a lot of comics and stories that are out there.

The story combined magic and fantasy with the horrors of real life events that happen in this world every day. I found it to be very empowering and encouraging as being a woman myself it made me realize how much power, intellect and talent us women have to offer the world.

I also realized how much I can take for granted such as being educated let alone college educated. Here where I am from most people go to school, get their degrees and go on with their life. But the part in the story where Priya wanted so desperately to be educated to become a teacher made me think how many people feel that way in many parts of the world and here I am stressing over an exam. I know I am fortunate and blessed. With that being said not only do many people not have that opportunity of getting an education but women have it especially hard. In a lot of cultures women are to keep to their traditional role as homemaker, wife and mother. Yes, women can certainly do that but there is so much more to us. This character Priya had the courage to speak up without shame of what she wants to become though there were many obstacles in her way.

Even though Priya is a comic story chartacter she proves to be so much more than that to so many people. She is powerful and helps give women strength when they need it the most.

Another issue she confronts does not discriminate between different classes but a problem women from all walks of life can relate to, rape.

Priya comes from a part of the world where the victim is shamed, damned and dirty in sexual assault. Though she is the victim who was innocent and helpless, she will be humiliated and frowned upon. But in the western world women can still easily feel that way too. Women can feel it was all their fault and they hold no value. If only in the real world we can call help from a great goddess who gives us power of the divine to help us turn our problems around. But in the end the message that Priya is sending to all women is to search for our own inner power and goddess, get the courage to speak up with no shame and standing for what we believe in because if nobody starts that than it will never take place.

Priya mentions in the story that equality, respect and value of each other make for a stronger society that will have less problems. Humans have so many great qualities and we as a race have so many wonderful things we can do in this world but we are also capable of the most disturbing nightmares. Why these terrible things happen is beyond my comprehension but little by little people can stand up for their rights with respect, dignity and no shame and the world will start going in a more positive direction. Nothing will ever be perfect since perfection does not exist but improvement is just the beginning to a new positive road of life and hopefully it will only get better.

Goodnight Punpun

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I think it is hard to find such main character. This like-bird character is the main character of this comic. The story set is present. It is not fantasy. I have recommended this comic to some friends. Their reacts were same.“Such joking character is the main? And they finished reading this, they said,“it’s too real! It’s gross!” The story is about Punpun’s life; from a primary school, a middle and high school, and he becomes a part-time jobber. He does not have any speciality. A person like him is seen everywhere, and he spends his life in normal town. He gradually changes from a child into an adult. It’s mentally and physically. The feature of this comic is Punpun, his parents and relative are depicted like chick. And Punpun is only character who never uses bubble. His thoughts and dialogues appear in caption. Compare with them, other characters and any landscapes are realistically depicted. Because of that, we see Punpun and his family are very isolated character. And the author often uses collage and surrealism that some characters strange act; it’s non-related to the story. I think these experimental tries and unbalance expressions make some people feel bad.

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The story is thought boy’s growth story in the present society. However, Punpun never grow up till last. I guess he grows up, but it does not mean good. His self-consciousness and self-hated grow. He is unknowingly struggled by those ties. Young Punpun is so innocent. However, his situation is very severe, as he has to have a twisted personality. His parents are divorced from father’s domestic violence. His mother says, “I shouldn’t have had you.” And Punpun is taken care by his uncle. He is kind, but he has strange personality. Nobody warmly welcome Punpun. Through such situation and severe events, Punpun becomes not-ordinary person. He becomes different person from others. He has insanity. And it is interesting to note that, Punpun changes his figure depending on his emotion.

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The story seems very dark tone. However, it also has funny and emotional scenes!

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The reason why I recommend this comic to people is I like those unique expressions and characters settings but I love the author openly depicts secrets or confidential experiences (peculiar to young) like everyone has. When I read this comic at first, I thought the author’s purpose was that he wanted readers to see their selves in Punpun. However, while continuing to read that, I noticed that we cannot experience Punpun’s life at all. His experiences belong to only him. We readers just look in his life. It is also hard to find such comic that we can see extraordinary events in ordinary situation with reality and surreal expressions.

The author: Inio Asano

Data: March 15 2007~November 2 2013

Publishing company: Shogakukan

Hellboy Seed of Destruction

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Hellboy is a comic about a “Demon” that sprang from a portal during a Nazi experiment to bring old gods to the earth.  The plot revolves around Hellboy finding out who killed his “father”. I choose this comic because I like the use of shadows and simplistic details that I want to use for my comic.  The action scenes especially the ones where he is jumping and being thrown show that the panels should be open to the movement that is being made.  For instance Hellboy throws a frog creature down and jumps after him. The panel that is used stretchs from the top of the page to the bottom limiting the view to his movement and where he will eventually land. The use of shadows in the comic made me realize that there is a 3d world that must go on in the artists head the sun is at one angle and must remain at that angle to look like the light is natural.  When Hellboy and his companions stand at the door the sun highlights their backs and covers the right side of their face when the camera is pointing at them and when the camera points to someone at the door the light is on the left side of her face giving the illusion that the sun is coming from that direction.  The fighting scenes in Hellboy don’t always show the maximum amount of action or impact, most of them show a struggle.  For instance in one fight scene with the monster the panels show the after affect of the punch and a wrestling match of position.  When Hellboy is winning he stands higher than the monster and the same goes for when the monster stands over Hellboy. The final thing that I took away from Hellboy and the one that I am most impressed with is that Hellboy’s eyes are only drawn in one or two panels in the rest they are covered in shadow.  What this does for the character is make him sinister, even when he is doing good,  it hints that there is something in him that is dark.

Written by Mike Mignola and John Byrne Miniseries colors: Mark Chiarello Cover Colors: Dave Stewart Short story colors: Matthew Hollingsworth Publisher:Dark Horse Books

Source: Hellboy Seed of Destruction: Third Edition

 

Comic Review and Creator Profile: BATMAN The Killing Joke, Alan Moore, and Brian Bolland

this is the entirety of my review. haha

from sequart.org

from sequart.org

jk there’s more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Killing Joke is one of Batman’s seminal stories. Written in 1988 by Alan Moore and drawn by Brian Bolland, this story, which remains relevant and could be perceived as having been written today, completely skews the way in which we view the Dark Knight and how he got to become who he is when he is pit against his primary adversary, quite possibly the seminal adversary in all of comics, the Joker. The book is packed with innuendo and puns, which starts with the title “The Killing Joke”

from manwholaughed.wordpress.com

from manwholaughed.wordpress.com

If you look at the cover in the above image, you can see the very detailed art as well as the abundant use of lines and crosshatching to make the shadows and outlines and the use of inking to make the Joker look so realistic. You can see the detail from his glossy lips to his gloves. Alan Moore, the master storytelling craftsman, deftly weaves a brilliant tale of a down-on-his-luck man who is pulled into petty crime after his wife and children leave him because he is so pathetic and can’t hold a job or help his family in any way. The twists and turns are swiftly dealt in this story so you never know what’s coming on the next page-turn and when you do finally, reluctantly turn that page, you are often shocked by the horrific brutality and violence of what’s on the other side. I don’t want to go into spoilers because I don’t know how many of y’all have read this amazing book but in essence, it’s a riveting glance at the origins of the Joker after the man he once was (“I WAS ONCE A MAN!!!” -Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe) before and after he lost his mind, what happened to Barbara Gordon that eventually led to her becoming Oracle, and the extreme mental/psychological and physical torture endured by Jim Gordon and by Batman to some extent. The ending of the story is very controversial as people have been debating the reasoning and point of it for nearly three decades. Was Batman driven to the brink by the Joker who forced his hand and made the Dark Knight break his vow and kill his foe? Did Batman lose his mind in the torture tunnel and was it all a dream? Was Batman shot in the face? What does the final joke spat out of the Joker’s mouth mean? I know what I believe to be true, and I think and hope that Alan Moore did this on purpose to leave the reader hanging from the noose with their own interpretations and questioning their own beliefs. You must read this EXCELLENT book and find out for yourself. The image at the top of this post is one of Bolland’s most famous pieces, also from The Killing Joke along with the cover from the book. It shows the newly-formed Joker revealing himself from the shadows after he has lost his former humanity and sanity, and the HAHAHA’s repeating themselves, wrapping themselves, being expelled from and ingraining themselves into the Joker show his new mind as well as the character’s eternal expression that we are now so familiar with and the insanity that comes from within and without the existence of the human condition.

Alan Moore, the writer of numerous classic graphic novels and comic books like Watchmen, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Top Ten, From Hell, Miracleman, V For Vendetta, and dozens more, is well known for his hatred for mainstream comics, his reclusive nature at his home in Northern England in which he avoids interviews and press while practicing

from oxonianreview.org

from oxonianreview.org.

witchcraft, yes, actual witchcraft with pentagrams and candles and shit, and so the comic book world was caught by surprise when Moore released this book and another one about Superman’s downfall under the DC banner a year after he wrote Watchmen for DC, as well as a couple books for Marvel, which don’t merit acknowledgement. Moore is known best for writing for smaller publishers on a part-time basis, like for Wildstorm, where he was given his own label called America’s Best Comics that was supposed to feature his stories exclusively, until about a month after Wildstorm’s creation, Jim Lee, another comic book veteran and icon, sold out the Wildstorm label to DC, shattering Moore’s dreams for his own independent label. He continued to publish for ABC (America’s Best Comics) for a while, putting out some great stories like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Top Ten. Then he went back to his hut and spent several years conjuring Lost Girls, the almost extremely pornographic fairy tale about all our favorite damsels in distress meeting up in the early 20th century, describing to one another their sexcapades and performing explicit acts of sexual gratification upon one another. In this image depicting Moore in a slightly ethereal background, notice his perpetual beard and hair which has been like this since he was kicked out of middle school for selling LSD, which is bullshit because more people need LSD, and the magical Lovecraftian and/or Wiccan rings on his fingers, which he also wears in perpetuity honoring his otherwordly lords and dark-arts practices.

Brian Bolland, on the other hand, isn’t on the other hand, at least when it comes to publicity and that kinda shit.. See what I did there? He’s actually quite similar to Moore. He is most well known for doing awesome, epic covers for numerous books but had done little to no interior work before The Killing Joke, which he drew awesomely and epicly. The degree of detail into which Bolland goes while drawing Batman, the Joker before and after the green hair and white face and huge smile, as well as Barbara and Jim Gordon is insane, and is what makes the reader expect that this book was written and drawn sometime in this decade by an Ethan van Sciver or someone like that. After this book, he went back to doing covers and wrap-arounds mostly. It’s a shame, a damn shame, that we probably won’t see any more interior work from him again in the future. The image at the top of this post is one of Bolland’s most famous pieces, also from The Killing Joke along with the cover from the book. It shows the newly-formed Joker revealing himself from the shadows after he has lost his former humanity and sanity, and the HAHA’s repeating themselves, wrapping themselves, ingraining themselves into the Joker show his new mind as well as his eternal expression and the insanity that comes from within and without the existence of the human condition.

Midnight Rises and Kind of Falls Short

A Comic Review

I was recently thumbing through the recent Ipad apps in the app store when I came across Midnight Rises, an interactive graphic novel written by John Scalzi and illustrated by Mike Choi. It was released this January. I read the first two chapters (the others after you have to purchase to read).

An interesting topic in mass communication is the ways that different types of media deal with changes in technology. Sometimes a transition to new things isn’t very smooth. AT and T, the once monopoly owners of phone lines, tried to stop the internet from becoming a household thing because they didn’t have compatible hardware. That clearly worked.

Music has gone from gramophone to LPs to 8 tracks to CDs and now we’re in a world of music without physical copies and companies are trying to adjust (with streaming becoming the new deal).

Comics are also adjusting. Initially it was just another method of distributing the same type of art. XKCD started out simply as scanned drawings. It seems like it has taken comic creators quite a while to grasp the potential of today’s technology. Which takes me to my review.

Part of me was impressed with the idea of the app.

Interactive comic books have sounded like a great idea to me ever since I saw Tom Hanks’ character in Big basically invent the idea, and that was 1988. 1988, people. It’s been a while in the making. (To clarify, the movie came out in 1988, I prolly didn’t see it till 1998).

Midnight Rises kind of fell short for me, though. It says the plot changes depending on your choices but I tried multiple options and nothing changed in the future storyline, it just changed the current dialogue. I would have liked to have actually swayed the story a bit. The transitions were clunky (except for the swipe to explore bits) and just abrupt from one scene to the next. I did like the small portions that allowed you to swipe through and explore the panel- the foreground and background independently moved and made it seem to have a greater depth. I disliked constantly having things pop up (*new character bio* *history unlocked*). It distracted from the flow of the story and having a history timeline pop up in a random point rather than giving back story through the comic itself, seemed like a cop out.

All that being said…

The art is beautiful. The characters seem interesting (so far) and having a hide and seek portion of it (you can click around and find hidden gems- mostly just coins for their related game) is kind of nice. But I think interactive comics still have a long ways to go. Mostly in the interactive part. Right now it’s a beautiful digital comic- like an animated scanning of a comic book.

Let it go, AT and T- the internet is coming.

Midnight Nation Review

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By: Ti Louchart

Midnight Nation is the classic Supernatural tale of man chases leads, man gets his soul ripped out by goblins, man wakes up in hospital to find a crazy woman telling him she’s probably going to kill him. Midnight Nation was written by J Michael Straczynski it is about a police detective, David Grey, who has his soul ripped out.  He is shadowed by a mysterious woman named Laurel and must deal with his new life living in a world between worlds.  The idea for this came form J’s walks through bad city streets and seeing the contrast in worlds between night and day.  When he would walk at night a whole different group of people would come out like an invisible world right underneath people’s eyes.  The story at some points can be hindered by a lot of unnecessary dialogue that could just as easily be shown rather than told.  The villain of the story is the worst offender of this at times spouting his own beliefs at the protagonist.  I found that a lot of the imagery made enough sense that it got the point across at what the characters believed and were going through.  The characters were all deep and thoughtfully crafted I liked all of them except for the villain who looked like he came out of a 80’s film.  The art is gorgeous just the beginning panels have so much to them. The first panels are a crime scene with a police car in the background with each panel containing either a blue or red light background.  There are a lot of details that might go unnoticed in the first read through really unimportant things that add to the atmosphere. There is a scene where he is being chased and in the car of the chaser is a little Virgin Mary statue.  When there is a flashback to David and his wife a broken window next to David and his wife walking away explains the entire relationship in one panel.  Graffiti lines the streets of the city in almost every panel.  The details make it a great visual story.

Midnight Nation is great 10 outta 10. Don’t read it, it gives you a better understanding of the human condition, I didn’t ask for that.

Pencil: Gary Frank Inkers: Jonathan Sibel, Jason Gober, Jay Leisten Colorist:  Matt Milla

Publisher: Joe’s Comics

Publication: OCT. 2000 – JUL. 2002

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Source: Midnight Nation