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First Sword
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  1. In Topic: Antifa and the Alt movements

    15 July 2019 - 12:26 AM

    Politics is about organizing power, and power is about violence--violence is power at its most base form. As the neoliberal post-cold war consensus collapses, the legitimacy of a system of governing, which was never really 'legitimate' in any real sense, it just could project the most power and violence across the world, ends, political violence becomes inevitable. Don't be naive about it. A system that inherently supported by violence will never peacefully give away its power. And as the old saying goes, fascism is just capitalism in decay.

    You can either use violence as a way to protect your neighbours, your friends, your family, the marginalized, the vulnerable, the oppressed, from the coming of the fascists (which are on the rise the world over), or you can be some bloodless coward and be the man screaming 'first they came from the socialists' as jackboot thugs smash in you door when they decide it time to drag you away. My ancestors fought, and I plan to do as well if it comes down to it, and being a radical first nation man I'm going to be very high up the list of the undesirables these people want to exterminate. You want to debate the peoples who's politics are very much the continued extermination of my people, you go ahead, but it won't do you no good, and it never was going to, and it certainly won't do me any good.
  2. In Topic: The USA politics thread -

    23 April 2019 - 04:19 AM

    Nico is clearly on the libertarian-to-fascist pipeline which has had, lets say, oversized effect on American politics in the last four or so years. Before most Republicans were fine playing the game of 'civility' with establishment Dems, even if it was only ever the veneer of civility, but now most of them are completely mask-offs. Extreme anti-immigration measures that will lead to ethnic cleansing supported. Craven tax cuts for the super rich just because. Overt, and violent, xenophobic zeal. Even a crooked and corrupted distrust of 'elites' that completely misses the point of the problem of a political elite in favouring of coding them as black or gay.

    Nico, or at least the type of person Nico represents, is extremely important to politics in America (unless, of course, you think politics is just two teams playing a game, which is an incredibly stupid way to think about politics, politics is about organizing power). The personal, of course, is political, for most people in which the personal is medium in which the political engages them on (I'm personally poor, and im native, so that means living in a system that punishes poor people for their poverty, and living in a settler-colonial state that at best wants to forget the genocide that empowered them, and at worst want to celebrate them). Understanding Nico is extremely important to understand the politics at play right in the right, and he has slowly descended into basically excepting fascist policies, and the exact opposite of his old (as of three years ago) libertarian framework, but that is by-and-large, the meaty center of Trump's political base, the people who'll never say no to Trumps actions.
  3. In Topic: The Comics Thread!

    14 April 2019 - 01:49 AM

    Definitely. Its only 8 issues so it isn't really an epic, but its a very good story, and the art is amazing.
  4. In Topic: The Comics Thread!

    12 April 2019 - 11:47 AM

    Months later (lol):

    The Wild Storm: by the incomparable Warren Ellis who is in the pantheon of comic book writers, and Jon Davis-Hunt who is amazing. A bunch of great stuff has already been said on this one here, so I'll focus on a singular point. The Wild Storm conveys action in a way that most American comics don't, that is to say good. Its control of space, and pacing of panels create a incredibly mind-blowing sense of kinetic movement in which the reader never gets lost. Actually two points--Jon Davis-Hunt's character work, which could be akin to acting, is top notch and really sells these characters the kicks the story to another realm of good.

    Sword of Ages: written and drawn by Gabriel Rodriguez and coloured by Lovern Kindzierski. This is a Gabriel Rodriguez joint so no surprise its one of the best looking books that came out in 2018, buts not why I love it. I love it because its a well-down retelling of Arthurian myths in a science-fantasy setting, and I really can't get enough of retellings of Arthurian myths. One of the stand outs here, however, is the designed work, something I've been thinking about lately. Rodriguez clearly put a lot of time into designing this world and the look of the characters, and its shows, they distinct and honestly a bit iconic.

    Coda: written by Simon Spurrier, and drawn by Matias Bergara. So Simon Spurrier is who I consider to be the premier fantasist in comics that often writes small self-contained fantasy series that are often both very good, and really utilizes the visual medium to its fullest extent. Matias Bergara is no exception in terms of doing this. The story is set after a apocalypse in a more standard fantasy world in which nearly all magic disappeared, and follows the story of a former, and grouchy bard named Hum. As you can tell by my pervious comments I get really excited for the art, and while the story is very good (his best next to the Spire), the art is like a techno-coloured fevered dream that just gets the appeal of the fantastic.

    Domino: written by Gail Simone and the primary artist being David Baldeon. Domino is one of my favourite X-characters, and I'm a huge fan of X-Men so its a crowded list, and the voice Gail Simone brings to her is one of my favourite interpretations of the character yet. In a way its very Gail Simone: snarky, snappy dialogue, and the like, but instead of sounding out of place it just works. I never liked the interpretation of her as a female fatale, or as a 'hard operator', her power is luck, which is extremely fun, and built of death-defying stunts, which David Baldeon really delivers on. Its not just best work (see the Spirits of Vengeance miniseries, which I am sure is forgotten which makes me sad), but its still very good.

    Giant Days: written by John Allison and art by Max Sarin. What I'd call this book, which is a slice-of-life comedy about three girls in university and their friends, is 'wholesome' and 'very funny'. The voices, while a smidgen exaggerated feel genuine, and John Allison has excellent comedic timing. Underneath it all, as well, it can hit those emotional beats that help all slice-of-life stories feel heart-warming. The art is more cartoony than realistic, but it help sells the characters and the comedy, while never being so cartoony as to break the reality of comic (not Bugs Bunny type hi-jinks)

    And that's all for now, I mean to get back to it sooner this time but I'm sure we'll you in a couple months.

  5. In Topic: The Comics Thread!

    17 December 2018 - 12:50 PM

    The best comics I've read this year, which I list here, but also go through them below. My tastes tend to pulp more so than literary, so many great comics I read this year which were more literary is probably not going to make this list (something like Brazen, for example, or the Strange or Why Art?). Anyways the list is Head Lopper, Prism Stalker, Immortal Hulk, Black Hammer, Sleepless, The Wild Storm, Sword of Ages, Coda, Domino, Giant Days, Daredevil, Eternal Empire, the New World, Redlands, and, Mighty Thor/Thor.

    Here's why:

    Head Lopper is a classical sword and sorcery series on its third 'book' by Andrew Maclean (writer and artist), and Jordie Bellaire (colors), and its probably, for my money, the best sword and sorcery story of the last decade in any medium. A large part of that is the art, Maclean is somewhere between Mignola and Herge in terms of style--it's clean and expressive, but can often dip into a Mignola-style moodiness if the scene demands it (he also works with shadow very well). The story itself is pretty standard but overall well executed. Rampaging barbarian hero called Head Lopper, and his sidekick who is a caustic blue witch head, go from story to story, from people to people, have adventures, often violently. Its fun and funny and tickles that vibe a lot of fantasy, outside of say video games and table top rpgs, don't really got for anymore.

    Prism Stalker is a magical girl biopunk story that is heavily focused on issues of colonialism, identity, and how those things interact, and is written, drawn, and coloured by Sloane Leong. This is probably the best looking book I've read all year, the use of colour, character and world design, and trippy visuals combine seamlessly with the story it's trying to tell to create a complete experience that is often missing from comics (or at least, American comics). The story and world is sparse in terms of worldbuilding in the way Malazan is, the world is drip fed to us, and while by the fifth issue its still not all the clear it doesn't really matter because we know what we need to know in terms of the main characters relationship to other characters, both individually and in terms of identity. Over all probably my favourite book this year.

    Immortal Hulk is by Al Ewing, Marvel's best writer, and mainly drawn by Joe Bennett, with a number of other artists filling in. This book is probably Marvel's best book in a pretty strong year overall in terms of interesting ideas and interesting executions. It is mainly talked about, in the media, as a horror book, and while it definitely is that, mainly body horror, it is also deeply tied to Hulk comics of the past, pulling in stuff that no one has thought about in like 50 years, which is awesome because one of the reasons superhero comics are so interesting is that they have these deep wells of stories to draw from that entirely new interpretations can still be connected back to those who came before. It's how I imagine oral culture would be like. Anyways the book is great overall, has a strong thematic throughline (duh, its Ewing), and amazing art that demonstrates the horror and terror of the hulk extremely well.

    The Black Hammer books are written by Jeff Lemire with the main series primarily being drawn by Dean Ormston, and the various spin-offs being drawn by a number of great artists and the best I could describe it is if you combined a Jeff Lemire book with golden age superheroes. It was a weight to the stories it tells, not only because it is Jeff Lemire, but also because it utilizes the various golden age super powers as potent stand-ins for emotional or physical problems. I don't have much to say outside of if you're interested in golden age superheroes I highly recommend these books.

    Sleepless is a fantasy court romance from Sarah Vaughn and Leila Del Duca. This is probably one the most well done romance books I've read in a long time, maybe ever. The fantasy trappings around the book are small, more mysterious than flashy, but are utilized in such a way as to heighten the romantic drama between the various players at any given time--Sarah Vaughn has a very good control of pace in terms of writing. The art is, as this is a trend here, great, and I'm somewhat taken back by Leila Del Duca's ability to go from something like Shutter, which is wild and crazy, to this is much more muted, both in terms of the what is being depicted, and in scope. She handle's both scales extremely well. If you're looking for a court romance with light fantasy elements highly recommend.

    I'll continue this later I have to go to work, but overall 2018 has been a great year for comics, both starting and returning.


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