Meanwhile . . . as a lifelong fan of comics, it was only a matter of time before I generated a Top 5 with that particular medium at the forefront. I thought it best to begin by ranking the top storylines, as I have always felt that comics offer one of the most unique forms of storytelling available. The abundance of formats that make the most of these compelling tales depicted with pictures and text gives the artists behind the curtain so many different avenues to explore. I love the way a story can be contained within a single issue or trade paperback or spread out over the course of several issues, sometimes stretching on for as long as a year or more. That opens up so many possibilities so far as scope and composition are concerned, and the comics medium is always populated by an abundance of daring visionaries who are looking to tweak the formula. The pool of characters with rich histories and intriguing connections to both one another and the various universes they inhabit are another potent aspect of this utterly unique artform with a wealth of riches.
For this article, I focused on stories composed of more than one issue, so stories contained within a single issue or stories published in trade formats weren’t considered. Additionally, I found it easier to rank landmark publishing events on a grand scale than smaller, intimate stories, so many of my choices were major crossovers that saw numerous heroes and villains joining together for epic confrontations. As always, it was a tough debate, and many of my personal favorites didn’t find their way onto this list. Regardless, here is a look at my Top 5 Comic Storylines.
1) Watchmen (DC) 1986/1987
No surprise here. Watchmen is perhaps the medium’s most treasured accomplishment, a singular tale comprised of 12 issues that has been garnering rave reviews and convincing literary snobs of the merits of this format for decades. Alan Moore was at his brilliant and unconventional best when he conceived this riveting look at an alternative version of America where costumed heroes are real. Moore is equally interested in examining how “real” heroes might behave and probing the effects that the very presence of such beings would have on a modern society. This is accomplished within a complex and mature mystery packed with action, twists, and enough cynicism to give the piece a noir feel. The main story is intertwined with a gruesome tale about pirates that stands as a metaphor for the motivations and actions of some of the characters Watchmen focuses on. There are also numerous interviews and excerpts related to the universe and the characters that are interspersed within the body of the story, fleshing out the landscape that is such an important aspect of Moore’s definitive work.
Dave Gibbons provided the artwork, confining much of the tale to 9 panel pages that put Moore’s writing prowess on center stage, though that’s not to say that Gibbons doesn’t have just as much impact in the telling of the tale. Gibbons designed each of the characters and was given free range to tell the story by Moore, though he chose to stick to the writer’s vision as much as possible. The dense nature of Watchmen required Gibbons to incorporate lots of detail into minimal space, and this gave the piece more weight and solidity. The rather straightforward presentation also gives Watchmen more realism and texture, grounding the piece in reality when a typical approach might have led to a more fantastic vision. There is honesty and impact to spare in this dazzling epic that begins as an investigation into the death of a costumed hero and concludes as a tragic study of what it means to be a hero or a villain. At the end, we are left to ponder how man’s desire to protect himself and those he holds dear can yield such devastating consequences, and we are asked to weight the merits of integrity against the privilege of safety.
Watchmen is a true masterpiece, the finest example of what the industry is capable of, and it deserves a spot of honor in any comic lover’s collection.
I've seen many modern takes on fairly tales, children's rhymes, and the like, but none that remind me so fondly of the late Keith Haring. Clemesha's posterous account is rife with these beauties; entire tales illustrated as a single work, words intact and beautifully scripted. I find it particularly fun to go back through his account and watch as his technique, method, and materials advance as time goes by; his first work (in this style, at least) is formatted similarly to a single-frame cartoon (a la The Far Side) and bear scant resemblance to his most recent works, save the stylistic congruences apparent through the entire series. His more recent works have text integrated into the works and fantastic use of few color elements that really pop.
You don’t have to be a wealthy wine connoisseur or professional sommelier that brings their personal collection of glasses to a restaurant to appreciate or understand good wine. There are plenty of tasty wines that you can enjoy without draining your bank account and don’t come from a place called Boone’s Farm. When you become a more experienced wine drinker, you can worry about the differences between glass shape, bottle color, types of grapes, vineyards, vintage and things like that. The best wine is the one you will enjoy the most. Beginners should focus on the basics – color, smell, taste. Of course, you have to choose a wine first.
My favorite giant has passed on. Standing 7' 7" Manute Bol was a shot blocking machine.
To get you hype for RVALUTION 11:11 with Philly's Sonkin, check out these photos from last week's sold out RVALUTION X :: FREAKSHOW' by Bree El' Davis. Expect more of the same craziness plus more dubstep!
Remember to use promo code "RVA" to get in for $3 and get there early as last week sold out by 10:30. See you tonight!
Natural Science Productions is casting a new short film for Summer 2010 production, directed by Todd Raviotta.
Sunday June 27, 2010
11am - 2pm
200 W. Marshall St.
Richmond, VA, 23220
EVERY GUY EVER
Looking for the faces of a young 21st Century Richmond, casting for a male and female (leads). Considering 18-25 for both genders. Short film set in the fan district about dating and blogging out pain. A dark ironic-antiromantic comedy.
EVERY GUY EVER RVA (18-25) Scruffy unkempt appearance, rude and cold attitude, handsome and desired. Male role will have majority of lines ability to deliver monologues necessary.
SOME GIRL RVA (18-25) A college student who spends time reflecting, posting blogs about current events in her life. Expressive face to portray emotions will be major part of performance in film.
EXPERIENCE NOT REQUIRED, please send all inquiries, pictures and headshots to our casting director Chris Strider (Subject line CASTING for EGE) at email@example.com for appointments.
Day of walkins allowed.
Director, Editor, and Educator, Raviotta is a graduate of the VCU Photography and Film Department's Master of Fine Arts program 2004. Raviotta teaches as adjunct faculty in the VCUarts Photo/Film program and is the Digital Video instructor at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School since 2001. His film work has screened internationally and is a 2 time winner of the WTF award for the Birthday of the Universe Film Festival in Northern Virginia. His editing work on The Bourne Ultimatum website for Universal Pictures and ProjectC.net received recognition as a Webby Awards Official Honoree for Best Use of Video or Moving Image in 2008. Working in many forms of media and formats, his dramatic fiction and documentary nonfiction work is complemented by a collection of abstract experimental videos. For many years Raviotta has been an active volunteer in the arts non-profits of Richmond, including YellowHouse, Project Resolution, Virginia Production Alliance, Richmond Moving Image Co-Op, Gallery5 and teaching at the VMFA. In 2009 Raviotta returned focus on producing his own creative work that has been in development.
The 80s and the 90s may be gone, and the hi-octane action flicks with sculpted warriors taking on entire armies that Hollywood produced during that span may have fallen out of favor in this age of CGI, plausible thrillers, and fight scenes consisting of so many quick cuts that it’s impossible to tell exactly what’s happening. However, Sly Stallone is still alive and well, and on the 13th of August he’s bringing one of the most appealing casts ever together for a rock ‘em sock ‘em battle royale that promises to be an action spectacle like those explosive assaults so many of us grow up watching. The man who pledged to “break” Stallone’s beloved pugilist in Rocky 4, Dolph Lundgren himself, has promised audiences across the globe “an old-school, kick-ass action movie where people are fighting with knives and shooting at each other.” I, for one, am ready for such a film, and it appears as though The Expendables may prove to be one of the biggest and baddest action films of all time.
OneWayRichmond is a great source for local Richmond music and brutally honest editorials. John Morgan is celebrating his 1 year anniversary of having the site up and was nice enough to let us run his writeup on local hip hop head Just Plain Ant. Thanks John and congrats.
Another music collective has fallen from the sky into my Lord of Rings lap. Dance human, dance to a beast of beats that is turning the James River into a gold root. What the fuck am I talking about? I’m talking about a rush to the head, the second coming of talented talents, Just Plain Ant (Anthony Gillison). This man has spearheaded a revolution one’s see saw puzzle could not even attend. Just Plain Ant has skyrocketed to the number one position in the OWR Just Outside The Top 5 Poll (see the sidebar on OneWayRichmond). My butter toilets, this guy has demanded more Richmond Vee Aye attention, so what does he do? Well this producer, DJ, lyricist, entrepreneur extraordinaire, VCU graduate – don’t forget web savvy dude, forms Just Plain Sounds. Just Plain Sounds is a buzz saw in heat Richmond, VA. based net label specializing in progressive hip-hop music, down-tempo, and more if you can hold onto a shopping cart at Ellwood Thompson’s.
Just Plain Sounds is actually doing more good for the Richmond ear than any audiologist in the area. Perhaps in the 804, oh fuck it, let’s go with in the area. This table spins the timeless future of sounds that are anti drowsy. Drop a slam on a tired wrestler; listen to this line-up that flows Just Plain Sounds...Just Plain Ant, Braintrust, Chocolate (aka DJ Harrison (-_-), Draztiq, Graphic Melee, Jay Slim, Joey Ripps, Junior Wong, Oh.Bliv, Rowan, Sleaze. Yes that’s right, Oh.Bliv was brought over from the Chocolate Milk Collective in order to share cookies and dandelion science on the street thumps. And Sleaze, oh Sleaze...this undertaker is the one who turned me onto this miracle of mountain movers.
Thank you Sleaze, let’s do some bowling sometime inside a canary’s ear muff.
Do yourself a favor besides taking a kid fishing, check out Just Plain Sounds.
Below are some chunks and links to get the fire started...
Websites of some of the aforementioned...
Briantrust - www.myspace.com/braintrustrva
Chocolate aka DJ Harrison (-_-) - www.myspace.com/chockmusic2
Graphic Melee - www.myspace.com/graphicmelee
Jay Slim - www.myspace.com/jayslimthinpockets
Junior Wong - www.myspace.com/juniorwong
Oh.Bliv - www.myspace.com/ohblivmusick (love this guy)
Rowan - www.soundcloud.com/rowanRVA
Sleaze - www.facebook.com/pages/Sleaze/40308483125
Just Plain Ant – MP3 Chunks from the album “The New Black’
Just Plain Ant - A Different Kind of Love.mp3
Just Plain Ant - In My Reeboks.mp3
Just Plain Ant - Look At My Friends.mp3
Just Plain Ant - Take It Slow.mp3
Found via A Photo Editor, it's been a while since we've featured stop motion on RVA. Not that we don't love stop motion and time lapse, we've just had a hard time finding something up to par recently. I'm sure we've passed a ton of great stuff over, but digressing, this caught me eye quickly. It's got tons of rich color and is well shot, although it's not as "fun" as I'd expect a carnival piece to be. Enjoy!