A história de Steampunk: Manimatron é passada numa Inglaterra alternativa do séc. XIX, na qual um déspota com tendências melodramáticas usurpou o tron...moreA história de Steampunk: Manimatron é passada numa Inglaterra alternativa do séc. XIX, na qual um déspota com tendências melodramáticas usurpou o trono e lançou o pais numa época forçada de industrialismo frenético. O smog cobre o céu sobre Londres, e os habitantes parecem-se pouco com os humanos que costumavam ser, uma vez que toda a gente tem algum tipo de modificação corporal – asas, braços e pernas mecânicos, corpos de aranha - a imaginação (e o acesso a matérias primas) é o limite. Lord Absinthe, o usurpador, é o típico soberano sedento de poder, com um caso sério de complexo de Deus. Os aristocratas deixam-se levar pelos privilégios da nova sociedade, enquanto que as classes mais baixas, horrivelmente desfiguradas e exploradas, ocupam o seu tempo a tentar sobreviver e a sonhar com uma revolução.
Chris Bachalo tem vindo a habituar os fãs a uma arte visionária, detalhada e energética. Nisso, o livro não falha. Todavia, é triste quando as boas ideias são traídas por uma execução pouco brilhante. No caso específico de Manimatron, temos a construção de um mundo original, visualmente interessante e com potencial, que é minado por personagens cliché, uma história relativamente banal, diálogos densos e sem sentido, design de páginas confuso e lettering quase indecifrável.
As personagens apresentam um design visual excelente, perfeitamente integrado no mundo em que se inserem. Os trajes e modificações miscelâneas reflectem o lado mais prático, tecnológico e cru da sociedade, embora a tecnologia avançada de vapor em si seja considerado um luxo apenas acessível aos membros da alta sociedade. No entanto, todas as personagens são típicas: o vilão típico que só quer ter poder e dominar o mundo, o herói masculino, forte e silencioso, a bela e gentil rapariga que é alvo das afeições do herói, a personagem feminina badass moralmente ambígua (completa com o já esperado impressionante par de atributos femininos), e as personagens secundárias de comic relief.
O design do mundo é igualmente detalhado e planeado até ao pormenor, e teria funcionado melhor se os painéis não estivessem tão completamente preenchidos por informação. Assim, tornam-se difíceis de decifrar, dificultando a imersão na história. Certamente, esta dificuldade é tão óbvia que só pode ter sido deliberada, talvez para tornar a banda desenhada mais complexa e intricada; no entanto, depois de decifrada, a história é demasiado simples para suportar tudo o resto. Muito estilo e pouca substância, poderia dizer-se.
Este é um livro que divide opiniões: de um lado, os fãs, que acusam os restantes leitores de serem preguiçosos e de criticarem tudo aquilo que não seja simples de apreender; do outro, aqueles que acham que a densidade e complexidade são utilizados para “mascarar” uma história banal e cliché. Pessoalmente, acredito que a marca de um bom storyteller em banda desenhada não é a dificuldade de leitura, mas sim a dança delicada entre a parte visual e a parte escrita, o equilíbrio entre a complexidade e subtileza. Apesar de tudo, o mundo é suficientemente bom para manter o interesse, e a história poderá surpreender no segundo volume.
On my quest for steampunk (or steampunk inspired) comics, I came across Lady Mechanika, courtesy of one of our local comic books shop here in Porto. I...moreOn my quest for steampunk (or steampunk inspired) comics, I came across Lady Mechanika, courtesy of one of our local comic books shop here in Porto. I quickly discovered this is a notoriously difficult series to find – sadly, only the #1 and #2 issues were available. I’ve yet to find a #0, or the collected first issues, at an affordable price. This bodes well for the series, but not at all for my wallet.
Anyway, on the story. Since I didn’t get a chance to read issue #0, I may be missing something already, but reading issue #1 definitely peaked my curiosity. The setting is an alternative Victorian Era. Mechanika, the most advanced city in the Commonwealth, lends its name to the heroin, Lady Mechanika, a girl part human, part machine, who was found locked up in a laboratory surrounded by corpses, with no memory of her past life. With her unique mechanical abilities, she spends her time solving mysteries and doing detective work, while searching constantly for clues to her past life and who might be responsible for her transformation.
In this issue, a young girl with mechanical claws is being chased through the woods. She manages to dodge her attackers and lands on a train going to Mechanika. Who are the people chasing her? Is this girl related to Lady Mechanika, and in what way?
The first thing you notice about this series is the quality of the covers. There are many different ones for each issue, each absolutely gorgeous. Inside, the artwork continues to amaze – the colors, the drawing, panels, all come together to produce an atmosphere that blends industrial, vintage, Victorian and sci-fi elements. The wealth of details is amazing, and steampunk fans will not be disappointed.
A story about a CIA-backed brigade of people who are supposed to keep superheroes in check,...morePosted on my book blog.
That was... Interesting, I suppose.
A story about a CIA-backed brigade of people who are supposed to keep superheroes in check, because apparently all superheroes are vicious, murderous rapists, and just all-around horrible human beings. And the only way to fight them is to get an equally vicious group of humans who hate them, give them a compound that effectively turns them into superheroes as well (the irony of the situation!), and unleash them upon the "supes" to remind them who's boss.
I guess I just don't see the appeal of extremely gratuitous revenge stories like this, where most of the characters end up acting like caricatures of themselves, with only a couple of them being believably human. I'll still read the second volume to see if it gets any better, as some of the characters have potential... But I'm not keeping my hopes up.(less)
"American Vampire" follows the appearance of a new breed of vampire, an "evolution" that happens when the vampires from Europe...morePosted on my book blog.
"American Vampire" follows the appearance of a new breed of vampire, an "evolution" that happens when the vampires from Europe travel to America to further their wealth, and one of them accidentally turns a local criminal. This new breed is a little different - they can walk in the sun, are immune to wood, their strength wanes during the new moon... The story follows Skinner Sweet, the first American vampire, from the wild west to 1920s Los Angeles, where we also meet Pearl Jones, an aspiring young actress. It was written by Scott Snyder and Stephen King, and illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque.
It's strange to see all the blurbs and comments saying that this is an original portrayal of vampires. While it's nice to get a break from all the stories where vampires are just bad boys with feelings, I wouldn't consider this an entirely new approach, but instead a return to how things should be. These vampires are vicious, vengeful and violent, but still manage to be strangely charming.
The story is compelling and the artwork, gritty and rough, lends itself well to the book's atmosphere. The dialogues sometimes felt flat to me, specially when it involved the Old World vampires, who seemed rather corny and cliche. Still, this was an enjoyable read and I'll be looking forward to the next volume.(less)
Richard Mayhew is just your average person with an average job, who allows himself to be gently (and not so gently) pushed arou...morePosted on my book blog.
Richard Mayhew is just your average person with an average job, who allows himself to be gently (and not so gently) pushed around by pretty much everyone and everything in his life. When he stops to help an injured young lady named Door, who comes from London Below, a sort of parallel city that exists beneath and connected to London, his life changes.
This is the graphic adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel. I admit, after reading this I wish I had read the original novel first. I loved the story, and the settings were beautifully depicted, but I was left feeling like something was missing, and the story could have benefited from a slower pace.
Still, this is a lovely book and I recommend it, specially if you're read the original novel before.(less)
I hate to say this about any book, but this wasn't good. Actually, it was much worse than I had expected. I saw the movie first...morePosted on my book blog.
I hate to say this about any book, but this wasn't good. Actually, it was much worse than I had expected. I saw the movie first, and while I didn't love it, it was better than the book. What's more, the stories are completely different, the only real connection is that, in both, there are cowboys and - wait for it - aliens.
This wasn't terrible, but the story is way too basic and nothing, not the characters, the setting or the events, gets explored in the slightest, which was a disappointment.(less)