Archive | November, 2012

Destroy all the gods!

21 Nov

By Ayo

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Mini Kuš, no. 6
Killman
By Box Brown
September 2012, Komikss (Kuš)

Side remark which has nothing to do with the story or the author: the design idea that Kuš uses for these Mini Kuš books is absolutely wonderful. Kuš in general has some of the most pleasing and user-friendly book design in all of comics. Their aesthetic is at once clean and information-rich. I’m a big fan. This particular book credits Markus Häfliger for “layout” so please take your bow.

[applause]

Now onto the serious business of our protagonist Robert Cordozar Brodus Killman.

[applause respectfully dies down]

“I’ll never be free… until they’re all dead.”

Killman goes by Robert now and is in the process of punching, kicking, torpedoing and laser-blasting the gods of the universe to death, one by one. The gods are widely known to be tyrants of the planets and oppressive rulers of the slimy blobs that represent the remaining mortal people in the universe. It all gets a bit tricky midway through and I lost the plot a few times but the fluidity of the storytelling kept me engaged.

The terms are a bit unusual here because while the creatures that Killman battles are called “gods,” there is a being in the story that represents an approximation of the Western idea of “a god” that features heavily and supplies the backbone of the story. I don’t know, this is making my head throb.

Superhero comics’ best job is externalizing and outsizing regular problems or philosophical ideas. It isn’t hard to grasp author Box Brown’s themes: anti-authoritarian, anti-Western religion. The protagonist literally becomes one with everything and finds that Eastern religion does not suit him any better. We leave the story with Killman essentially victorious but ever vigilant against gods and other spirits. Superhero comic books are about wearing your essence on your sleeve and Brown takes up the task admirably.

Apropos of nothing, the protagonist is partially named after rapper Snoop Dogg. “Cordozar Bro[a]dus,” Robert Killman’s middle names, comprise the given name of the popular performer of hit singles such as “Gin & Juice” and “What’s My Name.”

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Camila collected moments and memories.

21 Nov

By Ayo

¿How Do I Know Who I Am If I Forget?
By Luis Echavarría Uribe
2012
udveloquequierever.blogspot.com

Memory involves the retention of experiences and episodes. Camilla of “How Do I Know Who I Am If I Forget” realizes that memory is also central to personal identity. People often painfully hang onto the past in destructive ways because the alternative is the danger of erasing oneself entirely. Who am I to be if not myself? Who am I if not what I have been?

The reader earns more insight from this story if they are allowed to experience its events and plot on their own. The moments in this short story derive their resonance from being experienced in their proper context. Telling you about the plot would “spoil” its effect. It’s a relatively small scale story, though one of great significance for its protagonist.

“How Do I Know Who I Am If I Forget” is a story about loss, but also about holding on, and retaining an identity. It’s about owning experiences in a way that allows the protagonist to incorporate them into her core identity and also allows her to carry on in life.

Embrace the process, not the product.

2 Nov
By Darryl Ayo

Joseph Lambert impresses me as a cartoonist because more than most people, we can see him working. We can see him in the gym doing the pushups. Nobody can question where his abilities come from, he has no fear of drawing, of repetition, of working the same image over and over and over until he’s internalized it and digested it. His tireless exploration of his themes are an inspiration.

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