For those of you not in the know, Hadron Colliderscope is a new Web Comics Collective dedicated to bringing you short science fiction comics on a weekly basis. Every week the writers and artists will have their say in the main blog. We are kicking off with a collaboration between the creator of the project and the series editor.
BRAND NEW COMIC!
Welcome to Hadron Colliderscope.
Oh this comic may not seem like much. It's only two pages and that first Kirby Crackle just isn't doing it for me in retrospect. How young and idealistic I was when I first penciled this page all those many... weeks ago.
Still. It's held up by Jason's comedic scripting and my ability to draw someone looking like a complete and utter douchebag (get used to it, it's all I've got), so I am proud of Final Battle. Also, it's free, so why the hell are you complaining anyway, you damned ingrate? I've been busting my arse since January to make this comic website a reality and...
Look, none of that matters. What matters is that if you are reading these words, then I bloody well love you. We didn't make this for money, we didn't make this for fame, we made the side and all the comics for one thing and that's for you, the reader. We did this because we wanted to make something for the sake of making something and give it to you so that you can read it.
It's yours now. Please click on that banner up there, laugh, cry, and go bananas.
- Bramley (artist/publisher/series art director)
So begins either the high soaring flight of the internet's most awesome-est webcomic ever (certainly the best one I've ever been involved in) or the spectacular crash and burn, leaving burning piles of rubble and bodies in our wake. If it's the latter, I hope it's just ugly and unpleasant people.
The subway was still a somewhat novel experience for me when I wrote this. People go so far out of their way to avoid any sort of human contact but we're all there, stuck, together. How much could you ignore if it really came down to it? I wonder...
- LeBeau (writer/series editor)
Some of you already know about Hadron Colliderscope. They are the lucky ones.
But don't worry, there's a singularity in my pants and we're happy to see you at
Hadron Colliderscope. It's coming.
What's that coming over the hill?
IT'S A SHEEP WITH A HUMAN HEAD!!
Personally I think that the writer of that article deserves a fucking medal for not freaking the fuck out like I am right now. If I'd been asked to write it, the headline would have been more along the lines of:
Now some of you may remember a rambling few posts I made last year about the dog-baby picture that was floating around the internet, and the fact that some scientists seem hell bent on bringing about the end of times by resurrecting the motherfucking dinosaurs by retro-engineering chickens. That's right, we're turning a thing we've been chowing down for since the dawn of the species into tanks with teeth. Way to secure our place in the food chain, dickheads.
As if that weren't bad enough, something crawled onto a beach in Panama late late year before getting stoned to death by a bunch of puffed up teens who thought they were in a horror movie:
Poor bastard. Check out those claws. T'aint natural.
Now I KNOW there's an explanation for each one. The Panama monster? Hairless Sloth freak. His mate in Montauk? Creepy decomposed raccoon. Heady the sheep? A mutant coincidence.
But what if, in my best Mulder voice, these are all but symptoms of something far greater and more disgusting.
What if our future... the future of the world boils down to a great battle between two forces... what if Dog Mutants riding Dinosaurs will battle human-headed sheep mounted on Panama Monsters.
And with the human Y chromosome crumbling as it is... the human race will be but a meagre resistance trying to get by in a Dog Mutant/Man-Sheep world!
Allow me to share with you the awesome Ninja talents of my good friend Dan Avidan. Watch it, friend them on Facebook - thank me later.
I have twenty two pages from early this year that I was determined to finish, but I'm not confident that my inking style is appropriate for the book.
I'd like to get this issue finished once and for all though, so I need an inker. If you think you can handle this, or you know anybody you think could help - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you read what follows and you enjoy it - and if you're an artist who is you're looking to work with a writer - then this could be the start of a beautiful collaborative relationship. This is just inking, but it could be a way for us to get a sense of what it's like working together.
And if we do work well together, I have a lot of ideas both big and small that I could sorely use an artist on.
And you have my guarantee that whatever we collaborate on - I will pitch the hell out of it to everyone I know or meet within the industry.
( Words & PencilsCollapse )
You know - I hate Torchwood. Or - that's what I would have said to you the day before yesterday. Now I’m eagerly anticipating the next season.
It's not that I didn't appreciate what they tried to do, I did. Torchwood took a couple of characters from the recent Doctor Who revival, teamed them up with some new characters designed to fit into the same world to form a ragtag team of paranormal investigators based in Cardiff of all places. Furthermore - it was intended to be a show for Adults - and I fancied the
I'm a die-hard Who fan, which means that I cling onto the franchise in the face of frequent lazily written crappy episodes because occasionally it hits - and it hits hard. I see Doctor Who more for what it could be - or the potential it has than what it generally delivers - but I couldn't feel the same about Torchwood because they never seemed to deliver anything.
Among the qualms I had with the show are the generally aimless plots and the fact that everybody in Torchwood seemed to be bisexual with the over-active libido of a thirteen year-old boy. I have nothing against showing any kind of relationships or sexual acts when pertinent or even incidental to the plot; but the writers never built up to it - it all just seemed to happen very suddenly - like a Sci-Fi series has no room for romance.
That and it always seemed unlikely to me that out of the five main characters - not one of them was insecure enough with his or her sexuality that they'd shy away from same-sex relationships. I also felt like the flow of episodes in Torchwood were persistently interrupted to show two characters (often only distantly related to the show's plot) getting hot and heavy. Where were the reluctantly tolerant homophobes? This is
From an early point I became aware that the show was somewhat ethically bewildered. In fact – in the very first episode, the character Owen is shown using an alien perfume to make an uninterested woman want to have sex with him, in spite of being in a relationship. That – to me – looks like a high-tech date-rape. I thought when I saw that – so we’re not meant to like this sleazy little guy then? But in the very next episode (aired on the same night) we see Owen track down an old man who had once committed a date rape – and treating him with utter contempt. That might have been his chance to grow as a character – but there was no introspection there – no difficult and overwhelming self-discovery. Nothing. Just a hollow non-plot with no real meaning.
The producers of the show seemed to confuse the idea of creating mature fiction with creating immature fiction that happens to include sex and bad language. This wasn’t mature Doctor Who – it was just loud Doctor Who.
Anyway - bottom line - I didn't get it. The Sci-Fi was bad, as if to say; 'well it's really about character interaction' and the character interaction was bad as if to say; 'well what do you want from us? It's a Sci-Fi, not a Romanic Drama!'
None of that is a bad thing – because it stands out as an original work of science-fiction, haunting, daunting and far more intelligent than anything I’d ever expected to see in Torchwood.
As for the character development – well that was superb too. Both the heroes and the new villains tend to be portrayed as interesting and well-rounded human beings. In fact – I felt like the new supporting-characters introduced were every bit as interesting and important to the plot as the main characters. I also learned more in five episodes about the old cast than I ever did in previous episodes of Torchwood.
Image by alun.vega via Flickr
Perhaps, again – as with Watchmen – the smallest characters tend to be the most interesting. Ianto’s family who attempt to defend a council estate from threats far larger than they are... a dim-witted policeman who just tries hard to keep up with the trouble… families, civil servants, doctors, politicians, they all bring refreshingly human undertones to this twisted story – showing that everybody from the top to the bottom of British society is rocked by the incredible circumstance they find themselves confronted by.
Furthermore, it’s accessible.
New viewers don’t need to have seen anything to appreciate this – and disappointed old viewers (like me) can forget everything they ever learned about the show and start anew.
And it feels good to leave the past behind, because this is one of the best shows I’ve watched in a long time – and I’m truly looking forward to a new season.
Because, you know – I love Torchwood!
Today is a momentous day for comics.
A couple of months ago I was at a Neil Gaiman signing (about the third or fourth time I've met the legend) and I was that annoying fan to ask the worn out Miracleman/Marvelman question.
An audibly irritated Gaiman attempted to (politely as possible) let me know that I wasn't getting my exclusive from him - he said that the further the legal battle progressed, the less likely it seemed that he would have any control over the character. I asked him if Miracleman might pass into the public domain and he implied that this was less than likely... I asked him what would happen next if he continued his run and he implied that I should move along because there were seventy or so people standing behind me.
Fair enough, every writer has a question like that - that they can't stand hearing.
For those of you not in the know - Marvelman was a Golden-Age British knock off of Fawcett's Captain Marvel (now owned by DC comics). Captain Marvel used to be reprinted in England, but scared by the legal battle between DC and Fawcett, thanks to the ingenuity of a writer by the name of Mick Anglo - they decided to rip-off the Captain Marvel concept, creating their own atomic powered stand-in by the name of Marvelman who would say 'Kimota!' to change between the forms of a small boy and a super-human adult (Captain Marvel does a similar trick by reciting the name of the wizard 'Shazam').
Miraculously (or some might say 'marvelously') this was all nice and legal in the day - and Marvelman was published for a long time after. Our own little British Superman.
Eventually there came a lull in the superhero market and people seemed to forget all about Marvelman - until the bearded mad-genius wizard of comics Alan Moore began using him again in the eighties. First (I believe) for a cameo in his run on Marvel's Captain Britain - and later in his own ongoing series 'Miracleman' under Eclipse comics.
The disclaimer in the back of issue one let's us know that the name Miracleman was purely affected because Marvel comics were uncomfortable with anyone else using the word 'Marvel' in either a title or a character's name
So, Moore ultimately finished his amazing run - and Neil Gaiman took over. Both of these runs on the book were titanic. These old issues are everything that Swamp Thing and Sandman would later become - and unfortunately they're no longer widely available.
Out of print.
Long story short. Eclipse died before Neil ever finished his run. Todd Macfarlane bought the rights. Gaiman claimed he held the rights to Miracleman. Todd Macfarlane tried to ignore that. Big legal battle. All Miracle-Man stuff ended up up out of print.
Marvel sided with Gaiman - created 1602 as a 'war-chest' of sorts to raise money and so on and so forth...
It's been such a long time but the battle is over.
Finally the courts decided that EVERYTHING since Moore's Eclipse run started was all some kind of accident. The rights never truly left series creator Mick Anglo. Anglo still owns the Miracleman/Marvelman property and everyone involved was under the misapprehension that the rights had passed on.
Now that's resolved, Anglo - the fucking awesome guy that he is - has sided with Marvel Comics.
You know what that means, kids?
Moore's run will be reprinted (Anglo will get a 50% cut, because Moore says so)...
Marvel are in talks with Neil Gaiman about finally completing that epic run... I also foresee reprints in his future too...
Because Marvel owns him...
Miracleman, or Marvelman or whatever you want to call him - will finally live again:
Don't fall in love with anything on American TV - chances are - you'll find the show of your dreams, grow invested in the characters and the plots and sooner or later some dick will pull the plug on it.
In this case, I'm talking about a little ABC show called the Unusuals. It was a funny little police drama with brilliantly quirky characters and inspired dialogue. With it's episodic formula, it was a show that didn't promise too much and yet, it tended to deliver more than one might expect, with some powerful emotional scenes scattered throughout and strong character development and little moments that had you slowly falling for every member of the larger-than-life cast.
This was a refreshing change to the slew of recent viewing - which has pretty much been all promises and limited to no pay-out.
How a well scripted show delivering episode after episode of quality viewing can be cancelled by a network that'll keep Lost running for a hundred fucking seasons after it stopped being interesting is beyond me.
It seems to me as though the only way a show can stay alive is if it learns to be the ultimate cock-tease. Like Lost, X-Files or Heroes, if the creators can concoct a formula whereby the audience is given NOTHING aside from constant questions, mindless plot-twists and annoying new shark-jumping characters - a show can last indefinitely. Yeah - it's fine, you can keep making telly so long as you make it up as you go along and trick your viewers into never leaving you - simply because they all expect some magical answer you never really had planned.
And you know, it's a shame. I enjoyed all of the aforementioned shows once, but honestly - it's plain to see that each one of them gave up on producing quality entertainment in a bid to avoid cancellation. In fact - it seems like TV isn't even really there to entertain us most of the time these days - it's there to keep us sedated - wasting our precious time gawping at some colourful images instead of actually doing anything with our lives.
I'm not satisfied. I seriously wonder - Is anyone really satisfied?
I hear nothing but complaints about Reality programs - and yet the networks keep spoon-feeding them to us because for some reason - some of us - maybe even most of us are still watching it. Has the media been so retarded by the influx of reality programming that we need to simulate it in our supposedly scripted shows - making them pointless plot-less masses of shallow dialogue centring around the question of whether two or more characters will or will not fuck - just to keep them running?
Is it that bad? Are we that fucking stupid?
I am not a man of faith - I need proof to believe something and I've not seen any to support the presence of God, or Gods, or life after death.
I don't discount it, I don't disbelieve it, I just don't believe it. Colour me a neutral grey. That colour is popular at home, but over here many people seem to mistake it for the colour of dirt.
Lately however, I've wondered if there is a larger pattern. It feels like I can almost see the edges of it, but can no more look into its heart than I can the heart of the sun.
I truly wonder if what seems to be random on a small scale isn't the most intricate details of a much larger image far too big for us to see - if the chaos isn't all just the misunderstood finer points of some grander order.
Maybe we're all just little dolls dancing on the surface of an infinite clockwork music box, to a tune we can neither hear, nor comprehend. Maybe we only have the illusion of free will, where in actuality we're destined to dance the same dance over and over again with no variation for eternity. Actors who can't see the audience, puppets who can't see their strings, characters in a novel who can't see their ink and paper prisons.
Maybe that pattern is god -or maybe that pattern just god's vast and abstract imagination - and our existence just figments of it.
Maybe Bill Hicks was right about absolutely everything. Maybe it's all a ride. Maybe we should all just enjoy the ride whilst it lasts.
Maybe not though. I'm not saying I believe it.
I recently posted this as a response to somebody's post about the new Avatar (or Air-Bender) movie - and I think it sums up why nobody should watch it.
I love Avatar the cartoon - it's a clever, thoughtful show that's several notches above the usual crap we peddle to children. I thought that a film was a great idea.
However, this movie is so racist that I'm boycotting the whole damn thing. I truly hope that more people will do the same. Even if you're curious to see what they did, even if they actually made an entertaining film - PLEASE BOYCOTT THIS MOVIE! The only thing Hollywood understands is money - so I hope that as few people as possible put money into validating this greedy racism.
They took hundreds of Asian parts (that's including bit parts and extras all over the Avatar world - a world predominantly or exclusively populated by different Asian races) and filled them with the whitest kids in America - except, get this - when people got upset, the best they could think of doing was making the villains dark skinned. Threw some minorities a bone there, right?
As you will see if you click the above link - it doesn't even end there; I mean - they put out casting calls saying that Koreans should turn up wearing Kimonos. I'm not going to explain how that statement is wrong but it is. This alone created a storm on the internet and they never even apologized.
And that's the tip of the iceberg...
It pisses me off that in this day and age Hollywood can get away with this - but then the movie 21 last year showed us that even true stories about Asian geniuses are prime fodder for rewrites about English people who needed vocal training to play the part American but were somehow allegedly better for the job.
The bottom line is this - the producers decided that they were going to overlook casting Asian actors for the main parts in favour of white-washing it - because they thought that they'd make more money that way. Whether it's spite or greed motivating this racism, it is racism nonetheless and we should not be teaching kids that it's okay.
Also - the less support this piece of shit is given, the more chance there is of it being made correctly one day.