Archive for June, 2008

Macross Frontier: Ranka Lee Debut Single
Macross Frontier: Ranka Lee Debut Single

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For the MFrontier nerds (65% of the users of this blog).

This single includes the new renditions of “Do You Remember Love” (Ai Oboete Imasuka) and  “My Boyfriend is a Pilot” (Watashi no Kare wa Pilot).  Click on the image to download the album.

Girls and Gai(jin)s

So, if you’ve seen Newsarama as of yesterday, you’ve seen that I am now a member of Gaijin. Obviously, this was my intention all along, ever since meeting Adam Hughes; it just took 12 years to come to fruition. Adam left Gaijin about three years ago, but Cully Hamner, Karl Story, and Brian Stelfreeze are all still there, plus newcomers Tony Shasteen (illustrator) and Doug Wagner (writer). Once they moved into their new studio space, they had room for me, and invited me to join. I don’t think they actually expected me to agree, though, but I took ‘em by surprise. Ha!

I’m currently still in Charlotte, NC at HeroesCon; this was the first time I sat behind the counter as a proper Gaijin member. It was great fun; I sold a few prints and did a lot of color sketches (where I colored over another artist’s sketch). And I laughed a whole lot, which is standard for just about any time that the guys are in one area together. Can’t complain, really.

(Although it was a little weird when DC’s senior VP, Dan DiDio, was thumbing through my binder of prints. I didn’t have any signs up saying “Prints for Sale,” though, so I could have made the argument that this was just my portfolio of work… *shrug* what’s he gonna do?  I didn’t have any DC work in there.)

Anyway, that’s the big news on my end. How’s your end?

– Laura

Ong Bak 2

Tony Jaa is the Thai badass who brought back hard hitting, practical fights back to cinema with Ong Bak and Tom Yum Gum. His stunts are exciting, electrifying and downright bonecrunching. He’s been quiet of late, and now it can be revealed why. He’s been directing Ong Bak 2. I’m already impressed with the opening, with the different swordmasters from various countries (and their subsequent martial arts) coming to his rescue as a youth. The concept that he will be effortlessly utilizing multiple disciplines in mid-combat, both open-handed and armed has me very very intrigued. Promo reel from Cannes after the break.

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Thank You

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It’s a sad day indeed. I think all of us in The Cadre have literally grown up watching his creations on the big and small screens. It is sad to think that those contributions have ended today. Though he has a studio full of talented guys, it was his leadership and vision that made movie magic for so many of our favorite directors. I remember seeing Stan walking around Comic Con by himself, just cruising the booths. I wanted to say “hello,” but couldn’t think of a way to approach him. “Mr. Winston, I’m a big fan of your work” seemed so trite. I let him go. That was my brush with his greatness. Now I wish I had been “trite.” Thanks, Stan, for making movies come to life.

Ben: Earthquake??

I just read about the 6.9 magnitude earthquake hitting northern Japan. Everything all right where you are??

– Laura

Anime

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NHK has been running Cowboy Bebop over the past month. The last episode aired last night and viewing the series again, now 10 years old, reminds me just how revolutionary and trend setting the series was. Others have tried to copy the attitude, but none have matched the quality of the writing and of course, the production value including the music by Kanno Yoko. I was sure that anime would not be able to match the level of Cowboy Bebop (for me)…that is until

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Yes, Macross. It’s been a while. There have been many series and OAV’s set in the universe, but only now have the producers tapped into something good. Some might think the series is just an overview or a connective thread between the original movie/series as it relies heavily on established archetypes and this would be true; but I think it is a bit of an oversimplification of what is really going on. What the series has been doing is referencing it’s own history as part of the narrative to develop the story and characters in ways that may surprise those who don’t look beyond what’s happening on the surface. Yes there’s a love triangle, but it’s not the same. Yes, the singing of the main character (or characters for that matter) plays an important role. Yes, it IS about protoculture (not as a fuel source). All these things will seem familiar, but I think what the producers have gotten right is how these things are viewed at a different angle, relative to the point of view of the world the characters inhabit. There are plenty of new questions and the series is paced very well; there doesn’t seem to be a big rush to get to big reveals and battle sequences. Slowly but surely (and confidently), the character relations are moving forward, new problems and mysteries arise as minor answers reveal more about who these people are and what is going on around them. Take for example, last Friday’s episode (slight SPOILER here for those watching)….

The episode was “a movie within a movie” in which our characters are involved in a film about the events in Macross Zero. They go to the island, set up the costumes and such and even break out a mock-up of a VF-0 for the characters (in the film) to use. The two leads have to play two people falling in love which only adds to the tension of their actual budding romance. At the film’s premier, the animators flesh out the pivotal last scene which then cuts to a credit roll which uses the actual Macross Zero staff! The screen goes black and the “lights in the theater” go up as the episode’s end scene builds to a close. It was wonderfully immersive and it does what I think Iron Man has done well: give fans that little extra bit of something, but doesn’t ostracize those with no previous knowledge of Macross. It works very well.

I am really enjoying this new series. So much so that I stay up Friday nights to watch the airing at 2AM! But it has been worth it. And yeah, Kanno Yokko is back to form, too. If you’re not watching it yet, I highly recommend it.

The Majik is back

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Don’t know if you heard or not, but it seems Marvel is bringing back Majik. Anyway, since I came into comics long after her “disappearance”, I was wondering if you folks in the know can fill me in what was her deal. I know she’s Colossus’ sister, right? But why did they write her out of the universe? Was she too powerful? With all this Civil War and other stuff happening in the Marvel Universe, I was just curious why they would bring her back now. Perhaps to do some cleansing of the roll call.

Also, Laura, heard Warren Ellis is taking over Astonishing X-men. If you will still be handling coloring duties, this will be, what, the umpteenth collabo between you guys, yeah? I really enjoyed newuniversal and want to read Ocean, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does with Astonishing.

Last but not least, I am flatting pages again. In preparation for coloring that book I do, hitherto to be known as L3. It’s been over a year since I dived into the funnies and I am being reminded through back and neck pain why I am glad I don’t do it for a living any more. Flatting, especially Kevin’s stuff, is just 18th century Tower of London type of torture. At least coloring itself will be fun.

[Addendum]

Reviews are coming in on the Incredible Hulk and it seems Iron Man wasn’t a fluke. It actually seems like Marvel Studios has their shit together. This is a good thing. However, have any of you visited the Incredible Hulk movie site?

http://incrediblehulk.marvel.com/ 

Go to the Characters section. There you will find a brief bio and a link to a detailed bio. This link takes you to Marvel’s comic book character profile. Now that’s fucking brilliant. And it seems to be consistent with what they are doing on film. Talk about effective cross promotion. Kudos to them!

When Evil Aaron comes to town…

This is where I’m going!

http://luchavavoom.com/upcoming_shows.html

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Geek Hierarchy

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I found it to be quite true.

The fall

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This looks kinda cool. I’m interested.

 http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/thefall/trailer/