Friday, September 30, 2011

Comics: X-23

A friend of mine recently got me into comics again, i'd been off and on for quite some time, bascially only picking up trades that seemed interesting, and of series i loved years ago. Mostly Hellblazer and Green Lantern. Right now though, there are a couple Marvel ones that i want to point out that i've been very impressed with, both with the character X-23. I've been pretty ambivalent with Wolverine as character over the years, he's been pretty much one note with "I'm the best at what i do, and what i do isn't very nice." Although his recent development in Schism has been very well done.

I picked up an issue of her current ongoing series recently and had previously read some of her in New X-Men, and was surprised she wasn't more just a female Wolverine, whom she is a clone of. Sort of. The quality prompted me go look up more of the books i saw mentioned. These stood out to me.


Not pronounced "nix" but N. Y. X., sort of implying an X-Men spin off. The premise is basically mutant teens who developed, but didn't have Xavier or the school to help them, only each other. There are two volumes collecting the whole run out there, the first one is the only one with X-23 in it though, but both are very good. That image is the cover of the trade, and while there has been a lot of controversy over the recent handling of women in the DC universe reboot, i should point out that what you see there is not the same. Without spoiling things, that image is a good portrayal of something that happens in the book, and yet surprises you when you don't know what is coming and is actually happening. Pretty dark book, but also hopeful. I'd recommend both volumes really, but rate the first slightly higher as it feels less conventional and is more surprising to me. One thing i loved about the art is that the kids (most are teens of various ages) really are drawn like them, and expressive, not just like adults but smaller as tends to happen with a lot of artists. One awesome moment, is when someone tells X-23 "You're the best at what you do.", and while at the time of the original issues release, i'm not sure people knew how she was related to Wolverine, it worked as a nice call out, and a hell of twist on it that caught me off guard.

X-23: Innocence Lost

One of trades i've gotten and read so far that focuses on her. This one is a prequel of sorts to NYX i believe, not explicitly said, but it fits. The cover bugs me for the reason that she looks too old there. Most of the book is several years before NYX, she starts out at as a baby when first seen, then the book advances seven years. Then another three years, so by the end she's 12? It's a little confusing, not sure if she ages slightly faster, or the art of Billy Tan (which is quite different than the cover, and i like better) reflects her age properly. Either way, she's not even close to as mature as the cover shows. It's pretty dark, since it is basically about a girl being created to be a weapon, and only thought of and treated as such. It also explains a lot of her actions and behavior in NYX and later books, and while i guess Wolverine has similar origins, the way she's portrayed as going through them and how she reacts later is something i connected to better.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fears and dreams

Lately i've been thinking about my life, aspects of it, where it's going and has been. Part of this has been brought on by an illness, not sure if a bad cold or the flu that's going around from what i've heard, but either way i've been in bed a lot more than usual. When feeling ill i tend to have strange dreams, well, strange and ones that affect me a lot when i wake up. Another that i'm probably a bit ashamed to admit is envy at seeing friends doing and succeeding at things, so while i'm happy for them, i'm also letting myself go to the mental space of "what is wrong with me?". (part of this brought on by finding out how many of my friends have stayed at Neil's house, it's almost kind of funny in how many and few of them know each other. not sure why this triggered it.)

Anyway, the dreams, actual dreams and metaphorical dreams. There was a point in the early to mid 90s i wanted to be an animator. I taught myself, studied it, put together demo reels every year and went to SIGGRAPH where i even got some interviews with great companies (ILM, Boss Film, Square, and others i forget off hand). Obviously i didn't get the jobs, but they are almost constantly seeing people, and the numbers of reels they get were staggering. I know i wasn't the best, and got envious when friends got in the industry, but also very happy for them. (this is really a recurring theme here i think, always a bridesmaid, never a bride) When i started, i had big dreams, high hopes, and as time went on, they were pretty much crushed, and i gave up. One thing that sticks with me though is seeing people do worse than i can do, getting those jobs, in movies. I figure if you got the job over me, you should be better at least. Oh well.

After several years of this, and relationship changes, i was lost again, not sure where to go or what to do. Left the town i was in, as i was in a huge rut there, and while there as been good and bad about moving here, it is where i got on a new idea of what to do. Not sure if it's working out or not, as everyone seems to tell me it's more about how good a businessman or marketer you are, not how good of a photographer you are. Sadly i've seen this be true, not anyone i know personally, but in general. I'm horrible with numbers and such, so who knows. I've also been trying my hand at writing again. I don't really remember doing it a lot, but i've been told when i was younger i was a good writer. (side note, with my memory issues, i have so many things this is the case with, and it's very annoying. "hey, you remember such and such?" . blank stare, try to remember, 'um... no.'. and they usually take it personally, not fun) Anyway, they'll probably never see the light of day, but more for myself.

The dream/dreams are even more affecting. They'll be very realistic, i'll be engrossed in them, sometimes happy, sometimes not, but either way it's closer to what or where i wish i was. The "worst" ones are the ones where i'm with my dead friend. There will be that moment when i am waking where i forgot she's dead, and it will then hit me as i become more and more awake. Those are rough to say the least.

Not really sure what the point of this one is, to complain? Just talk? I don't know. I do know i could have it a lot worse, and i'm grateful for that. I think i just wish one of the dreams would work out, or that i'd stop letting my fears and anxiety rule my life. (since especially lately they have been getting worse, or i've been letting them get worse, not sure.) Oh well, i do tend to babble on here.