March 27th, 2016
If you don’t know Joel (or to give him his Mindless name, Go Complex!) from his work on the Kraken Podcast/London Graphic Novel Network, that’s okay – this is the first of three guest posts so you’ll have plenty of time to get used to his chatty, digressive style!
What I’d say about him – this is Illogical Volume here, hi! – is that in addition to being a nice guy with a lovely face, he’s also the sort of person who makes things/thoughts possible that might not have occurred without him. Joel arranged the SMASH comics events that The Beast Must Die and I spoke at, and when he’s not bringing Ellis bros and Maid of Nails into conflict over whether the portrayal of Kaizen Gamorra is racist or exposing a hundred plus folks to the wonders of hurricane Ramzee, he frequently manages to make me want to pick a fight with my phone while I’m in the middle of the street just by having opinions about things.
If this sounds like a diss, it isn’t. Even when I find myself arguing with Joel – whether this happens in my head or
in real life on the internet – it’s almost always productive, so regardless of whether I agree with him or not I’m always glad to have encountered his brain.
Anyway, that’s enough of my blether – take it away Joel!
Have you read Prophet? Brandon Graham?
Basically: it’s the perfect metaphor for the current state of our capitalist entertainment complex. Or whatever. Neo-liberal blah blah etc.
Speaking of which: Let’s talk Star Wars.
(Altogether now! “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”)
My two cents: The Empire Strikes Back is Batman. Return of the Jedi is Superman. And The Force Awakens is Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man (Miles Morales not Peter Parker).
Truth be told: I’ve never really been all that into Star Wars. I was always more of a Star Trek kid which makes sense because – come on – science fiction is way better than science fantasy, right? Mostly, the J.J. Abrams Star Trek not included, Star Trek is actually about stuff (even if it’s not exactly what you could call subtle) while Star Wars is simple, clear-delineated between battles of good versus evil. (One of the many many things that would have made The Force Awakens would have been just Finn actually saying “Wait – are we the bad guys?”) Which is nice and everything but doesn’t really give you all that much to sink your brain teeth into – we’ll leave aside for now how thinking of terms of people being good or evil is basically at the root of a lot of our problems as a species because you already know that already right?
Saying that – I do have memories of watching the Ewoks cartoon a lot as a kid, and I’d like to imagine that was my first contact with the Star Wars universe if only because – how cool would that be? You grow up thinking of the Ewoks as their own separate contained universe, and then the first time you actually watch the Star Wars films and you get to Return of the Jedi and Endor you’re all like “wait a second – are those The Ewoks?” And then your mind is blown and nothing is ever the same.
I’m not saying that didn’t happen (and that sure would explain a lot) I just don’t have any real memory of it.
November 2nd, 2015
Far beyond its absence of green ladies and wormholes linking baddads of the past and gooddads yet to come, this is an overwhelmingly functional movie, but that’s not a criticism so much as it’s a sign that I was awake enough to notice the movie’s basic effects.
The transmission of practical genius is one its keys goals, but while this is most obviously signified in Rich Purnell(/Donald Glover)’s wild eyes and inattention to his own living conditions or the triangulations that blink up on Beth Johanssen(/Kate Mara)’s monitor, its most interesting expression comes in the scenes dealing with Mark Watney(/Matt Damon)’s attempts at life on Mars.
These scene aim for a “based on a true story” vibe through a mixture of heavily reduced scientific exposition and direct to fake-real camera addresses that remind me of computer game cut scenes in their overpoweringly “clean” flaws, the carefully composed cracks in their recording.