Saturday, December 27, 2014

MY FAVORITE COMICS - X-Men by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin


The (Uncanny) X-Men by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin.  THIS IS IT! The still-unsurpassed mold for the modern superhero team. No matter what the opinion makers might tell you, this is THE ONE every single creative team has been trying to mimick, beat down or surpass ever since it was first done. This is the one that jumpstarted the whole X-Men franchise into the moneymaker it became later on. This is the one that gave us the Wolverine we all love and hate and love to hate.

This one has it all: gorgeous artwork, memorable characters, action, grandeur, tragedy, humor, romance, friendship, betrayal, star wars, a secret society, brainswashing, the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it, an apocalyptic future,  time travel, battling superteams, dinnossaurs, giant robots, shapeshifters, cyborgs, aliens, mutants, a demon... everything and the kitchen sink. A perfect recipe for failure, right? Yet, it works. And it works beautifully!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

MY FAVORITE COMICS - Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson

There were two comic book series that pretty much all the comic book reading kids of my age talked about in absolute awe whenever a new issue came along. Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's DAREDEVIL run is one of them (the other I'll talk about next time).

What can I say that hasn't already been said about this, one of the most cheered and revered runs by any creative team on an american mainstream comic book? Looking back, what Miller and Janson managed to do each month was nothing short of amazing. Not only did they manage to inject life and interest into one of marvel comics minor characters, they also crafted a comic book that reverberated with entertainment, some humor and lots of action and suspense every single month. That alone would've been a major achievement working on the grinding system of a corporate comic book back in the early 1980's. But they went beyond that. Month after month, Daredevil was THE book everybody talked about. I clearly remember how one of my kid comic book reading friends had an older brother studying cinema in college who was completely nuts about this comic book!

I remember so many cool and interesting aspects about this run. Frank Miller's storytelling was unlike anything I'd ever seen in comics and his depiction of action sequences was second to none. The villains... Kirigi and Bullseye were the scariest characters I'd ever read in comics. The whole New York sewers underground society was disturbing, to say the least. The tragic love/hate story of Elektra, her shocking death and its aftermath left me breathless. Later on, when Klaus Janson took on the full art chores I loved the look of the book even more. I could spend paragraphs remembering more bits, pieces and memorable issues... Still, what do I remember most fondly? Well, suprisingly (or perhaps not), it's the little human touches: Ben Urich with his bad habit of smoking and his unglamourised wife; Josie's Bar and the recurrent routine of its glass being broken during the fights; the small-time thieves Turk and Leech; Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock... those were the lights that brought the whole thing to a human scale, making it possible for this whole superhero dark fantasy to be relatable and believable - a lesson so often forgotten in superhero comics.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

MY FAVORITE COMICS - "Panther's Rage" from Jungle Action #6-18

The Black Panther by Billy Graham

It all seems so quaint now, but back when I was a kid this storyline had me on the edge of the seat as to what would happen next. It was one of those comics where I felt totally submerged on the story and couldn't separate the art from the writing - it was a total experience and I loved it. The Black Panther seemed like the most noble hero out of all the marvel pantheon - this was someone fighting for his people. And the villain! To a kid, Erik Killmonger looked great and had just enough edge for me to actually wonder if the Panther would manage to defeat him. Plus, this comic had Dinossaurs and Killer Albino Apes!  What else could a young boy ask for? Even after all these years, with all the scepticism and remove from this material that time has brought to me, I still get a chill when I look at these pages and panels...

Saturday, December 06, 2014

TERTÚLIA BD DE LISBOA - Encontro de Dezembro de 2014 - Parte II

Foi assim, na passada terça-feira à noite na Casa do Alentejo:

Recebi um diploma...

... e tive direito a desenhar a primeira vinheta do habitual Comic Jam!

As vinhetas 2 a 4 deste Comic Jam são da autoria de Andreia Rechena, Ana Saúde, Miguel Santos, Fil, Filipe Duarte e Álvaro. 

Podem encontrar a lista de presentes no encontro aqui!