28 May 2016
Being members of a small rural community such as ours we like to support our neighbours and help keep business alive whenever we can. So it was only natural that the boys and I attend the inaugural Free Comic Book Day event held at our little local library earlier this month.
Although the event has been going on for quite a number of years across the globe, it was the first time its' being held in our community. Being a long time fan of the superhero genre (hello Lynda Carter) with two boys also heavily into it, one of whom loves to draw and write stories of his own, we were eager to go along and find out more.
I am so glad we did.
While for some of us it was not quite what we expected it to be, I was pleased with what we did see all the same and came away with a number of new discoveries that we would not have otherwise. Although aimed towards the younger generation of our community, I was fortunate to pick up a couple that particularly caught my attention in the mix.
Joe Benitez’s Lady Mechanika
Inspired by the Steampunk genre and set at the turn of the last century, Lady Mechanika tells the adventures of a young woman’s search for her identity whilst solving other mysteries involving science and the supernatural.
"...the sole survivor of a mad scientist’s horrific experiments which left her with mechanical limbs, Lady Mechanika has no memory of her former life or captivity. Eventually building a new one for herself as a private detective, Mechanika uses her unique abilities to solve cases the police can’t or won’t handle. But she never stopped searching for the answers to her own past."
Rather Sherlock Holmes meets Wolverine...
Being the type of visual event that Free Comic Book Day was, I was initially drawn by the aesthetic of the illustrations which in many is highly detailed and intricate. What also really appealed was the costume design of the Lady herself; such as her arctic explorer’s ensemble with its overtones and influence reminiscent of other references. A little bit Dragonriders of Pern meets Lara Croft kind of thing...
The Stuff of Legend, Th3rd World Studios
My other find was the special event reprint of collaborative Th3rd World Studios comic, The Stuff of Legend.
Told in atmospheric monotone shades of brown and grey and set in mid-century Brooklyn, "...a band of toys begin a daring rescue when their owner is snatched from them in a nightmarish visit from the Boogeyman. On their perilous mission into what is called the Dark Realm they are changed, becoming life sized with functional weapons and teeth.
"As they venture into the Dark they confront the Boogeyman’s forces, composed mostly of bitter and forgotten toys under the power of their master, as well as betrayal among their own ranks. Though haunting in its telling it is an ultimately redemptive tale of loyalty, camaraderie and perseverance."
Like Lady Mechanika I was drawn in by the aesthetic of the illustrations, but also too the play on words of the title itself which hints at not only the story itself, but also a lightness of humour being used in the telling of dark matters. So although this is ‘just a comic book’ an interesting literary tool is being touched on also. Certainly it has wetted my appetite and I would be curious in following the story further in subsequent instalments to see how it plays out.
Which is rather the aim of the whole Free Comic Book Day event: to attract new and old readers alike back to the world of comic books and reinvigorate the independent comic book store trade which had once collapsed.
For our part the pleasure of comic books is in the stories they tell and the unique way that they tell them. For myself, I admire the amazing artistry that goes into their creation and will most likely continue to collect them as I discover new artists and stories that inspire me.
Now where did I put that Wonder Woman outfit...?
:: BEKA ::
// further information //
Lady Mechanika, by Joe Benitez
The Stuff of Legend, from Th3rd World Studios
The official Free Comic Book Day resource site
24 May 2016
bee // Jacky Parker
joy in the work
accomplish the impossible
// further reading //
Animal Spirit Guides, by Steven Farmer
Animal Speak, by Ted Andrews
21 May 2016
you can listen to me narrate this here:
Simply put: because I must.
I could wax lyrical about how blogging is good for your online presence, how it can help grow your business, how it can help other people, or even how blogging is good for your own personal growth and evolution.
Blogging can be and is all these things and more to many folks. There are plenty of articles already written about these perfectly good and valid motivations. But for me they are all potential fringe benefits that are, for the most part, beyond my control to manifest. Sure I can influence things in the direction of these, but there are no guarantees. No absolutes.
These then are not why I choose to blog.
I choose to blog because I must. I choose to blog because I am a creator. My platform of 'choice' is a digital one: be that through word, image or aesthetic. I am smitten with this digital global playground.
"Images or words that appear on the internet can have a magical potency.
It is our collective inner world..."
-- Rae Beth, HedgeWitch
I choose to blog because my spirit tells me I must. Is it then my ‘purpose’? Possibly, if by purpose you mean some esoteric calling that says: this is how you need to be in the world if you are to be whole and true to yourself. Divine madness, maybe...
For a long time I listened to the other voices, the ones of doubt and fear that questioned who was I to chime in. It must be worthy. They said. It must be valuable. It must have meaning. To whom? I now come back, the irony not lost on me. In the end, if I am to live authentically, the only one that truly matters is me.
The art of blogging then holds meaning and value to me. It is therefore by definition, a worthy endeavour. Who says that I can only do what others approve and give sanction to? That is playing into the idea that their fears should be mine also. This is false. It really is.
So why start a blog, of all things, in 2016? When the internet is already 'flooded' with ideas and ‘enough’ voices? Because I can. And because it is human to create. By whatever means I am driven to do so. Because my voice matters and because the art calls to be created through me.
Does the universe stop expanding because it is already big enough, because it already has explored that idea a thousand times already? I think not. It carries on reiterating because the ideas carry truth.
Divine madness? Quite likely. But one I am absolutely committed to upholding.
Why start a blog? Because it is a grand adventure into creative living.
"I choose to blog because my spirit tells me I must.
I choose to blog because I am a creator."
And on that note: tell me, do you blog? What are your reasons? If you do not and are curious, what are your hesitations to begin? Though I may very likely encourage you, I am not here to convince you otherwise just simply curious.
Thank you: may the wild rumpus begin!
:: BEKA ::