Ermelinda

Ermelinda

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Twitter: @Moxiemuchness
Ermelinda Cortes is a New York Filmmaker/ Artist/Photographer who has had exhibitions in the United States, France, Canada and Puerto Rico. She is currently exhibiting her paintings and photographs, while filming a documentary on the Taino people of the Caribbean.

Home page: http://ermelindacortes.com/

Posts by Ermelinda
24471

Hellboy The First 20 Years

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Editor Scott Allie and his crew have created a grand tribute volume that will delight fans. Within this 137 page handiwork we encounter the superb art of the man that has been inventively drawing Hellboy for 20 years, Mike Mignola. This opus invites the fan to view the interiors of Hellboy evolution.

Among the exceptional pages are covers like Hellboy: Wake the Devil #2, The Goon #7 and Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever #4.  Mignola’s genius is displayed as we view sketches for an unfinished Hellboy painting and then the unfinished watercolor painting.  We are given an equal appreciation for the coloring of Dave Stewart, as we view his work, especially with the inclusion of the Trickster Print, and Hellboy in Hell front covers.

This is a welcome addition to the Hellboy body of work, but it is not a sequel to Art of Hellboy (released back in 2003). It is a tender tribute to the integral, unique work Mike Mignola has created over these 20 years.  Lighting struck the pencil, when Mignola created a downward shoulder, trench coat wearing colossus that we adore as he roughs his way through his world of monsters with humor and one massive fist.

This collection reminds us how fresh originality, can evolve and continue to inspire while entertaining the reader. Can’t wait to see what Mike Mignola has in store for the next 20 years. Hellboy The First Twenty Years is a must have for every shelf.  Happy 20th  Hellboy!

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Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus 3 Dark Horse Manga Story by Kazuo Koike, Art by Goseki Kojima

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Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima’s graphic novel is an impressive, violent journey through Edo period Japan. Dark Horse Manga’s Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus 3, is filled with the cyclonic intensity of Koike’s stories matched by Kojima’s generous panels where the black ink leaps off the page.

In Omnibus 3 we continue to view the travels of Ogami, the assassin known as Lone Wolf and Cub through the desolate Japanese countryside, sword fighting his way through his tumultuous path.  Accompanied by his young son Daigoro the lone swordsman battles to survive and protect.  The challenging characters that they meet in their travels range from gifted artisans to would be assassins working with blind desperation as insane edicts are passed and dispatched.

The original English translation  of Lone Wolf and Cub, released by First Comics back in 1987, featured an introduction by Frank Miller and captured its audience with broad detailed panels and clear concise story.

Dialogue plays a secondary role in most of the series, Koike allows Kojima’s art to cultivate and develop the stories. This third Ominibus released by Dark Horse Manga, delivers the art, angst and riveting trials that each story holds within this massive tome to one of my favorite Manga.  With rich stories like The Guns of Sakai, The Soldier in the Castle and Cloud Dragon, Wind Tiger this Ominbus keeps you turning the page, grateful you have the next story following instead of waiting for your pull list to be sent.

Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus 3 is violent and at times quite sad, but it is a solid collections of some of the best stories in this series.  A true fury of emotion and action driven Manga, worthy of your collector’s shelf.

 

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Robert Kirkman’s Thief of Thieves Review

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Review by Ermelinda

The Walking Dead creator, Robert Kirkman has caught the television writing bug and his series Thief of Thieves proves it. Enjoying the efforts and fruits of collaboration with fellow writers, Kirkman decided to apply this method in creating his series Thief of Thieves, for Skybound an imprint of Image Comics. Kirkman assembled the writing talents of Nick Spencer (DC‘s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents), and James Asmus (Marvel’s X-Men). These two talents are great on their own, but with Kirkman leading the story, arcs and dialogue are gritty, realistic, and at times very funny.

The cohesive fluid that keeps this plethora of talent flowing is the art of Shawn Martinbrough. Full disclosure, as a Native New Yorker, I always have a soft cheering spot for a fellow native. Yet, even if Martinbrough hadn’t been born in the Bronx, I would still go crazy praising this man’s artwork. Shawn Martinbrough has illustrated books for DC, Marvel, Vertigo, and now Image. He works a noir comic with his unique style, using the process of working with light and shadow, to visually enhance and evolve the story as it unfolds.

Without giving too much away, Thief of Thieves is the coarse, rough and tumble, unapologetic story of Conrad Paulson, also known as the master thief, Redmond. As Redmond, he is at the top of his game, executing well planned heists while attempting to stay retired. He dives with wisdom through the web of his past, where the an unfinished heist, the greatest of his career, haunts him. Redmond invites temptation by keeping close company with his sleek and sassy apprentice, Celia, who assists and entices him with every job. They feed off each other and the dialogue is electric.

As Conrad Paulson, Redmond is man whose world has gravitated away from his estranged wife and son that he still loves. Conrad’s son Augustus is a young man attempting quite unsuccessfully, to follow in the footsteps of a father he simultaneously admires and resents.

This is where Robert Kirkman’s voice shines. His ability to release a story with engaging, emotionally pivoting relationships shines through. You feel for Conrad and Augustus, rooting that they find common ground and reach some state of equilibrium.
The tension and strain of the drug cartel Augustus has involved himself in, pulls the suspense and gears their relationship to drop like an elevator descending into hell. A father and son journey, unleashing unyielding tough love, anger, caring, and distrust. Thief of thieves achieves the goal of humanizing Redmond, all while creating curiosity for the mental ability and physical agility it takes to achieve a grand heist while fighting off the law and the drug cartel.

It is an excellent addition to any Noir comic collector’s shelf, and a must read for Kirkman fans. As a side note, AMC and Robert Kirkman have been working on scripts to develop Thief of Thieves into a new series for the network. We shall see what Kirkmania at AMC brings forth.

 

 

 

East of West Issue 1

East of West, a Brand New Bold Book from Image Comics

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East of West Issue 1

Image Comics has pulled the big guns in the new electrifying East of West, a captivating, enthralling offering from the award-winning team of Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta!

East of West is an exciting and engaging Sci-Fi Western, set in an awry, dystopian world, where the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are askew themselves, as one of them has parted ways and rides solo.

As he did with Nightly News, Jonathan Hickman uses his gift of weaving mesmerizing, witty dialogue while sprouting a compelling, engaging book. Not to give anything away, but the exchanges between the solo Horseman and the world leaders he encounters in issues one and two, are witty, riveting and deliver an entertaining story that hooks you from first page to last.

As if the engrossing words weren’t enough, Nick Dragotta’s panels are explosive, detailed, immersive works of art. The characters’ features are magnetic expressions of the sumptuous tale that is evolving from one gorgeous panel to the next.

In East of West, Hickman and Dragotta have set out to create a dynamic, unique, engaging and exciting series with depth and unforgettable characters. They have succeeded thoroughly, and I can easily say it is one of the best new books out there. So saddle up and pick up East of West.  You’ll love it!

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Spending time with Villains

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Do you like comics? Want to feel like you are move involved in them? Then 4villains is for you! 4Villains.org is offering to help you become the best villain or hero you can be. 4Villians meets the challenge of keeping of web series interesting by involving the viewers to join in on the fun. By building your own character and interacting in their companion social hub, viewers can play and earn points, unlock achievements and if they really make a name for themselves be part of the background in the web series. The web series is a humorous, fun blend of comic book homage, humor and an invite to become part of the fun online. On top of the web series 4 villains releases side stories through their entertaining web comic featuring the main villains and some of the viewer’s characters. The network also features specialty groups that offer monthly prizes of character artwork as a reward for the most active users.

As a hero or a villain, at the 4Villains social network you can even create your own lair. Leveling up by infiltrating your nemesis defense systems, role playing, attaining points helps your character to become part of the community. 4Villains viewers earn infamy point by playing various games and by betting on prospective winners who enter the arena where viewers face off with a fellow hero or villains and role the dice for a chance at victory.

Overall the interactive web series, comic and social network are engaging, filled with humor and fun. This passionately created series and site is the child of writer, director, actor and former D&D Dungeon master Jeff Saamanen. He uses his love of role playing games, comic books and writing to create a world where the viewers truly have a voice as to where the series goes next. The interactive viewer is welcomed into his world and in the process makes it a world where she or he can truly become the next walk on villain or hero.  Check out the fun at http://4villains.org/

Salt Dough Magnets and Key Rings

Salt Dough Magnets and Key Rings

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Our first DIY project is something easy and fun to do. You can make Salt Dough magnets and key ring for friends or as an activity with children as young as ten, as long as an adult  handles the oven duties.

Decorative magnets and key rings are handy and multipurpose.  In the past for dinner parties for friends, I have made salt dough key rings to double as napkin holders which turned into great party favors. The key is to sculpt something you know your friend enjoys. You have fun making it and hopefully they get a kick out of taking something home that was made just for them.

Materials needed:

½  cup / 400ml water
1 tablespoon  vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup / 300g all purpose flour
1 ¼ cup / 300g  salt
Large mixing bowl
Mixing spoon
Flat surface to sculpt on
Rolling pin
Knife
Cookie cutters
Baking  Sheet
Cooling rack
Glass of  water
Small Paintbrushes
Poster Paints
Clear Vanish
Ribbons
Key rings
Glue
Small circle magnets

Directions:
First Set the oven to 350 degrees F/ Gas Mark 4.

Mix the water, oil, flour, and salt into a soft dough in the bowl with your mixing spoon.  If you prefer to mix it with your hands go ahead it won’t ruin it.

Sprinkle some flour on the flat surface. Turn the dough out onto the table.  Knead it until it’s smooth and pliable. Then roll out your dough with your rolling pin until it is at least ½ inch thick.

You can use a knife to cut and shape out any figure you like or use a cookie cutter . As an example, with the knife I shaped a  dinosaur , a foot and a  Tar-  (copyright laws being what they are, we will just call it police call box) and with the cookie cutter  I cut out a star.  For the pieces you wish to turn into key rings  remember to make a small hole.

After you have sculpted  your pieces place them on the baking sheet and bake them  for 20 minutes at 350 degrees / Gas Mark 4.

Once baked, let  your sculptures cool on the cooling rack for about another  20 minutes.

Once they have cooled,  paint them with your poster paints.  For easy cleanup layer some newspaper on your work surface.  Use good single strokes to apply the paint   Once the paint dries, brush on a single coat of varnish.

Once the varnish is dry,  run the ribbons through the hole in the sculptures and then tie the ribbon to your key ring. For magnet models, glue the magnets on the back and allow them to bond.   Once dry you can use them or give them to a friend.  Voila! In just a few hours you have made something unique and hopefully had a fun time doing it.

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