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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: May 2004

Friday, May 7, 2004

Kabuki: Metamorphosis
By David Mack
Publisher: Image

Reviewed by Sarah Rasher

Kabuki: Metamorphosis is an absolutely beautiful book, upon first glance. David Mack's illustrations, which incorporate both Western and East Asian artistic styles and reference everything from board games to Impressionism and from manga to Japanese calligraphy, are works of art in their own right, and it's easy to see why Marvel recently offered him such a lucrative deal. I would blame no one for flipping through it casually, finding herself captivated by the pictures, and bringing it home. Neither would blame her for hurling it across the room in frustration within an hour of actually trying to read it.

The story is typical comic book fare: a group of undercover assassins that help the government control organized crime, imprisoned in a mental hospital, seek freedom. The assassins are all beautiful, well-stacked women with tragic pasts and intricate tattoos. There are awfully convenient clues and utility ducts, and awfully improbable outfits and lesbian kisses.

It doesn't seem that Mack intends to lure readers with narrative originality, though. The pictures are the attractive thing, and they often seem determined to interfere with whatever plot and characterization there is. Blocks of text run up and down the page, in circles and through mazes, with little concern for legibility. Some pages of text are essentially unreadable because they are almost the same color as the background; others are scrawled childishly. There are a number of misspelled words. If this were a sketchbook in a gallery of contemporary art, it would seem creative and fresh, but this is being marketed as a graphic novel. It seems that the emphasis here is almost entirely on the "graphic," with the "novel" aspect diminished to the point of irrelevance. [more]

Posted by Sarah Rasher @ 08:39 PM PST [Link]

Monday, May 3, 2004

One of the magnificent political paradoxes ...


Posted by William Wentworth Sheilds @ 01:48 PM PST [Link]

Wasted Minds
Vanessa Satone

Forced pretentious dribble thrown together in mock effort.

The title is appropriate in as much as the characters are just that; wasted minds.
They seem be be only slightly surviving the environment forced upon them.

I’m far too old and educated to voluntarily read through empty words, and self-serving expressions of “woe is me”.

We are greeted with David, an angry-depressed-semi-closeted artist with a crutch. The crutch is obviously the literal as well as expressive representation of the term.

David attacks his father for breaking into the house. Dad doesn't have a key now, since he and mom are getting divorced. David has a friend/girlfriend who then breaks in unannounced. But she succinctly kicks his ass with a chain. How nice.

Daddy questions his sons sexuality, the girlfriend challenges his manhood, and the sister seems pretty much done with the whole scene. She is for all intensive purposes a mere add on character salt and peppering the scene with weak one liners of no apparent value. In the closing scene mom enters accusing the almost divorced husband of allowing assasines into the house while putting him in a headlock and screaming "Bullshit!" as a retorte to his "explanations".

Degrading, debasing, violent, harsh, crass, and classless.

After reading this I should file assault charges against the author.

Posted by Kathy LaFollett @ 12:23 PM PST [Link]

Karl Christian
A Drunken TiKi Production

Review by Kathy LaFollett

There are some things in life, death and long lines that cannot be explained, Schadenfreud! is one of those things.

I am convinced, after reading this three times, that the author and artist(s) had a very hard time finishing this work; simply because I had a hard time finishing reading it. I giggled myself into a state of blurred vision consistently.

This is quirky, and acidic in point. A comic derived straight from the DNA Chain of a Hybrid SmartAss.

Monty Pyton meets Ren and Stimpy but without the control.

And to quote Mr Christian:

"I have to admit that this conversation has been an amusing and informative, if not horrifying, social experiment in cultural breeding activities. I can honestly say that I'm going to remember you, Lord Byron, for quite a long long time. Few have gone to the level in which you exist at. I'm as impressed with you as much as someone completely unimpressed, yet still impressed, can be."

Ah yes such is the aftertaste of Schadenfreude!

Personally, I'm addicted already.

Posted by Kathy LaFollett @ 12:09 PM PST [Link]

Black & White
Blue King Studios

Story One: City of Heroes

Great dialogue, easily interpreted and timely in syntax. Text bubbles are set for left to right read through, and never divert from the pattern which provides easy reading.

A fast paced introduction with sharp dialogue references equating to a quick ramp up to character background knowledge and setup.

War Witch is a self-assured female superhero sporting excellent Karma and strong Chi.
Apex, her roommate, is the stereotypical guy who has a close relationship with his sister and a small town kindness to him. They give a great ying/yang duo for future scripting.

This simple introduction story line shows War Witch and Apex simply going back to their apartment in Paragon City but their travel is impeded by killer-robot-zombies...or some such "thing". At the closing panel our duo is still trying to peal off the seriel number from a robot-zombie's arm picked up after the last brawl before finally heading home.

Great intro piece makes me look forward to issue #1

Story Two: MacBeth

Verbatum. That is the beauty of BKSs version of MacBeth. The art, layout and blocking successfully support Shakespeare’s epoch. I’ve always felt the witches were perfect foder for the comic format, BKS proves me right.

Scene 1: Enter the three Witches......and so it goes to their meeting with MacBeth proclaiming his impending status as King "All Hail MacBeth! That shalt be King hereafter!"

Four more issues, four more scenes.

The very nature of the project, as well as successful expression thereof, demands the series to be collected in full. Excellent comic from a studio that will surely make it’s mark as a “must have” publisher.

Posted by Kathy LaFollett @ 12:01 PM PST [Link]

MAC AFRO Issue #1
Atomic Basement Entertainment, Inc.

Too hip for words.

Some would approach this comic and scream "stereotypical tripe!" Ah, but me thinks they protest too much. Satire depends on stereotyping.

It's the 70s (2070 that is) and Dolemite's cousin, or possibly second cousin twice removed, is released in comic form. All those traits of ethnic assumption and labeling are thrown in the face of the reader with the tender loving care of a skilled satirist. Wallow in it, you dig? The artwork is aggressive and demanding at times, but other blocks offer an almost unfinished quality. The offbeat nature is promoted by the unexpected turn of the art.

With Characters like Sonny, Caesar Brown, and the Nebula Riders you know it's gotta groove, baby.

Let’s not waste time. Get down and get this comic. The art is incredible, the writing tight, hilarious and edgy. Sassy, sexy, outrageous with balls to the wall coolness dripping from each page.

Dig it.

BIG grateful shout-out for the included original sketches, mockups and inking art.

I’m sold.

Posted by Kathy LaFollett @ 11:45 AM PST [Link]

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