Posts tagged politics

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Bedlam #7 Review

bedlam07_cover

Writing: Nick Spencer

Art: Ryan Browne

Cover: Frazer Irving

Review by Melissa Megan

Oh, Bedlam chaos and insanity, how I missed you. In issue #7 Madder Red is back to his old tricks, which in this case is playing puppet master with the heads of two recently murdered religious leaders for an audience of locals gathered to prove they are not afraid of Madder Red. Ok, so it’s only another flashback of one of his many bloody killings, but oh boy does it make his madness crystal clear. This opening scene is the kind of material that drew me to this series and I, for one, am glad to see the pace picking back up.

In present day, Fillmore is still working with Detective Acevedo, helping the police solve murder cases. He makes it look easy and she still doesn’t seem to understand how or why he has such an intimate understanding of all the madmen he paints in such great detail for her. Although Fillmore is maintaining some level of normalcy to Acevedo, he is losing his grip, having hallucinations and flashbacks of his alter ego, Madder Red.

This issue is the first one with a new artist. It was announced a couple months back that Riley Rossmo would be stepping down from Bedlam, due to “creative differences” with the writer. Artist Ryan Browne (Hack/Slash, Hoax Hunters) does an admiral job with the visuals of this world, obviously making a respectful attempt to maintain the appearance of the characters that we have grown comfortable with. His overall style is similar to Rossmo’s in it’s lines and wobbly sketchiness, but doesn’t quite have the same depth. The changes didn’t ruin Bedlam for me, but it does feel different. I suspect as long as the writing holds up, the new art work will melt in just fine, without causing much disruption in the atmosphere.

You should be buying and reading Bedlam. I admit, it has had some ups and downs, but in general is one of the best horror comics being written right now. It’s quite unique and terrifying.

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Channel Zero, The Complete Collection

Back in 1997, an art school student named Brian Wood (Generation X, DMZ, Demo) published a 5 issue series called Channel Zero, intended to be part of his final project for graduation. He was angry about New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani enforcing his freedom restrictive ‘Clean Act’.  As Brian Wood will tell you himself in one of many footnotes included ” I feel a strong sense of pride that Channel Zero still exists in print today. I’ll never be able to recapture that same creative moment I had working on this book.” He admits it’s a relic of the times, but not completely irrelevant in today’s atmosphere of conservative backlash against media, art, film and video games.

In addition to getting a gem of a look at the roots of Brian Wood’s future comic success, Channel Zero The Complete Collection also includes a prequel story illustrated by Becky Cloonan (Demo, East Coast Rising, Wolves) and represents the pair’s first time working together. The artwork all throughout this collection is raw and sharp. It’s minimalist, no fancy scrollwork or elaborate shading, no colors. What it lacks in fancy it makes up for in texture and heavy mood. The setting of Channel Zero relies on the reader feeling restricted, contained, a little on edge watching all the freedoms of America being washed away under power hungry political sewage. 

Channel Zero is about the loss of rights in a future America drowning in mindless consumerism. It’s also the story of Jennie 2.5, an art student who embarks on a commitment to fight the repression through hacking, cutting-edge media manipulation, and eventually befriending international rebels and supporters. This series presents a super unique view of the comic genre through heavy graphic arts techniques and touches on real world fears of politics, police aggression and commercial absorption of self expression.

The Channel Zero Complete Collection  includes the original series, the prequel graphic novel Jennie One, the best of Public Domain design books, years worth of extras, rarities, short stories and unused art. Throw in a great introduction by Warren Ellis and you’ve got a must-own collection. 

“For all its black and white somber mien, Channel Zero is, to me, one of the most uplifting comics of the nineties. Channel Zero is about winning. It’s about learning how to give a shit again, about finding ways to make things better. It’s about anger as a positive force of creation. It’s about your right to not have to live in the world they’ve built for you.” -Warren Ellis

If you’ve enjoyed Channel Zero in the past, this collection is a fantastic way to display it and share it with someone who hasn’t been there yet. If you’re new to Channel Zero , take my word for it and pick this collection up, as it’s best enjoyed in it’s entirety. And collected editions are pretty on the bookshelf.

Available now from Dark Horse Comics.

My Monday Rant

I’m kind of annoyed by the news and politics. Both are once again trying to portay witchcraft as evil. I’m not a political person, nor really a religious person. My beliefs only matter to me, none other, but I do get irritated at people’s ignorance. I’m very tired of bible-thumpers. But I’m also just tired of prejudice and ignorance towards things/people that are different. That’s the ultimate rant here, though witchcraft spawned it.

Below is a snippit of what got me annoyed and then I posted a comment on the article that I’ll post below this snippit:

“O’Donnell’s comments about witchcraft were made during a 1999 taping of comedian Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” show.

“I dabbled into witchcraft. I never joined a coven,” she said on the show, a clip of which hit the Internet as O’Donnell canceled Sunday appearances on two national news shows, citing commitments to attend church and the GOP picnic in Delaware. (she’s a conservative Christian)

“I hung around people who were doing these things. I’m not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do,” O’Donnell told Maher.

“One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it. I mean, there’s little blood there and stuff like that,” she said. “We went to a movie and then had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar.”

My response to the article:

I love how witchcraft is being spun as yet again an “evil” practice. The ignorance of people really gets me steamed. Learn before you speak about that which you do not know. Just as with any religion, there are good and bad sides to it. There is a balance to everything. There is not white or black, light or dark, there is always both. Stop being ignorant. Instead of fearing the unknown, learn about it, and lose the fear. Knowledge is power. Most pagans or those who dabble in witchcraft are peaceful peoples, there is never sacrifice or blood used in rituals. Only herbs, water, and whatever the earth can provide. Keyword here is most, not all. But there are still always 2 sides to every story. Please educate yourselves out there, stop shunning those who are different, just because you are afraid. If you can open your hearts (and minds) up to those out there in the world, you’ll find it’s quite amazing and there are many amazing, beautiful people out there that you are missing out on.

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