Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Take on The Dark Knight Rises - Explained.

Since I posted on Facebook that I didn't really like The Dark Knight Rises that much I have gotten numerous messages from friends and followers calling me out or agreeing with me so I wanted to take a second and maybe open this up to conversation or at least try and explain my take of these movies. Also, there will be SPOILERS.

I understand what Nolan was trying to do with these movies and I think he is a fantastic director so my dislike of the movie is not a condemnation of his abilities as a director.

I also understand that these characters more so than any company really belong to everybody now and I respect other story tellers wanting to take a stab at them and maybe shine a new light on the character and the stories.

I have two main issues with the movie. The first being its length and its montage type storytelling. This movie spans what a year of time and it's focus was all over the place. Instead of focusing on certain key characters or trying to build a sensible concept which I thought Batman Begins and The Dark Knight did wonderfully it seemed to try and rush to end so Nolan could officially show us he was done with these movies…which brings us to my second issue with the movie which is part of a larger reason why I didn't like this movie. The ending.

The ending, I thought undermined the concept of Batman and one of the main reasons I find superheroes so enduring. He quit. He baled out. He stopped one more crazy and peaced out to Italy with Catwomen to "live a normal life" or whatever Alfred alluded to in his speech earlier. Not only that he did it with a character who we barely felt anything for other than the iconic nature of her character.

I think in the context of the movies this was a logical conclusion but I don't think it is Batman or the nature of what it means to be a hero. I thought from the first one that it was a bad idea to kill the man who killed his parents because then the focus shifted from a faceless killer in the night that represented all crime to putting the blame on Gotham and suddenly Batman was trying to save Gotham instead of fight crime no matter what the cost. It immediately put a limit to what Batman was willing to do and laid out a timeline of when he could finally quit being Batman and move on with his life. To me, that isn't Batman, that isn't any superhero.

Most of my lack of interest in this recent Batman movie has nothing to do with the movies at all, at least not any technical aspect or storytelling aspect it is more how these movies are presented. I really think the Nolan Batman movies took a lot of the super out of being a super hero and grounded it to firmly in reality. Now that may be your cup of tea but it isn't mine. I like some of the comic elements present in these movies, which is why I thought Avengers was a better movie that The Dark Knight because it was represented as a comic book movie, keeping all the over the top elements present in medium of superhero comics in the movie without trying to base it in a real context, and they pulled it off amazingly.

I like Batman flying around in a jet that looks like a bat with the yellow bat symbol. I understand that the nature of Batman is a little darker than most superheroes but for me these movies jumped way to far into the dark without taking with it the comic elements of it and I really dislike it when I hear people say they aren't really superhero movies in some sort of way to legitimize the story telling aspects of comics. These comics and characters have endured for over 70 years now so in the grand scheme of things, these movies are but a footnote in the characters existence. I don't feel comics need to be legitimized at this point as some sort of creditable media and certainly not by movies. I would take the comics any day over the movies because to me, that is where Batman truly lives and breaths and those stories are what have made these movies able to be made. There are countless wonderful Batman stories other that are in my opinion infinitely better than the movies.

That is my take on it. I thought I should clarify a bit.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Comics are a Coming...

This year will see the release of two new Creephouse Comics books. The first is the second collection of my webcomic Teenage Love Zombies. The second is Never Send a Monster. It is the first part of a three part anthology but we wanted to show it off so we printed up some copies I will be selling exclusively at conventions. Well the proofs came in this week and they look awesome. Creephouse Comics is well underway with five books under its belt now! All of these will be available digital after the con season so if you miss out you can still get your hands on some Creephouse Comics. I will post more info when that happens.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Going Forward With Comics

Today Mark Waid made live his new venture, a platform to present digital comics and help comics to thrive in the digital era. Thrillbent, Mark Waid and all the creators involved have been exciting me for the past couple months with talks about the future of comics, digital comics and the general state of the industry and I was trying to figure out why.

I have never been the biggest Mark Waid fan, sure I have read a lot of his seminal work and I think he has contributed a great deal to the medium but his name alone was never enough to get me to buy one of his books. What I think sparked my interest in Thrillbent and Mark Waid was his utter devotion to help to bring about a change in the way we think about comics. He isn't promising a reinvention of comics but the stepping stones to a platform where comics can survive and even thrive. He and his team have thought about the digital delivery method and what features are available for comics because of that platform (landscape views, inset panels etc.) and have started to experiment with the hopes of blazing the path for other creators to jump on.

The information provided by him and other Thrillbet creators on the blogs and forums has really excited me and inspired me to try and utilize this method with comic creation. I felt this way a couple years ago when I was inspired by webcomics to tell my comic story Teenage Love Zombies in the webcomic format. Of course I see some things I would already approach differently but that is neither here nor there.

Mark Waid is trying something new and hoping that it will lead to some change in the industry. He is not trying to replace printed comics he is just trying to think of them in a different way and that is what inspires me. He is creating new content in a new way.

Another creator that has been peaking my interest lately is Steve Niles. I have been a fan of his for years but recently he has partnered with Epitaph Records owner Brett Gurewitz and Halo-8's Matt Pizzolo to form Black Mask Studios with the intent to get more exposure to comics through distribution in new venues as well as digitally. For those who don't know in order to get your comic distributed to stores you have to pretty much go through Diamond which has a stranglehold on distribution. You have to bend to their whims and hope you get picked up. Black Mask Studios would be an alternative to that. I love the punk rock DIY attitude these three are presenting here and I really hope this gains some traction. Again, thinking outside the box to help our industry thrive.

I love comics and I hate to see the industry languish. There is plenty to complain about with the comic industry and believe me I have my gripes and my friends have heard the rants but instead of complaining I would rather look to some possible solutions. I think these two examples are going in the right direction and they are truly inspirational.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Denver ComicFest This Weekend!

It is time again for the annual Denver ComicFest!  I will be sitting in artist alley all weekend loaded to the brim with Creephouse Comics and Teenage Love Zombies goodies including books, prints, buttons and original art!  I will also be doing $10 pencil and ink commissions all weekend!  This event is always a good time and we get our comic on like nobodies business.

As well as being in artist alley I will be part of the Webcomic Pioneers panel.  The panel will consist of members of the Webcomic Pioners talking about making webcomics from our station a mile high.  We will probably open it up to flow like a discussion letting the audience ask us what they really want to know about webcomics.  It promises to be an informative and awesome time.  The panel gets going at 11:00 am this Saturday in the Avengers Assembly Hall.  How cool is that?

On top of that  I will be doing a live drawing demonstration at 3:00 pm in the Bristlecone room.  Come by and check it out I may have a give away…

For all the info on ComicFest follow the link here.  See you this weekend!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Captain America Sketch Card Artist Proofs

I am trying to raise a little cash to help with con season and printing. I have for sale on Ebay some of my left over Captain America Sketch Card Artist Proofs all at $25. Once these are gone I will put up my remaining Thor Proofs. If you are interested please check out the auctions here.