nenena: (Devi - Flaming Tara)
My copies of the last two volumes of Fate/Complete Material (AKA that gigantic multi-volume Fate/Everything encyclopedia-cum-artbook) arrived today. In the back of the fourth volume there is a section filled with character designs, artwork, and notes for the canceled Fate/Apocrypha online game.

And you know what?

You know what?!

Karna was going to be a playable character. You could play him as either an Archer, Lancer, or Rider.


Goddamit! The Mahabharata and Fate streams were finally going to cross and then the whole project got canceled. Siiiiigh.

For those of you unfamiliar with the whole Fate franchise, the basic premise is this: Every sixty years (or thereabouts - this rule gets broken right away in Fate/Stay Night) seven magicians summon seven Heroic Spirits (who can be either real historical figures or fictional/legendary heroes) and compete in a battle royale to determine who will have a wish granted by the Holy Grail. The last magician/hero pair standing wins the Grail.

The fact that this entire franchise is a thinly-veiled attempt to have fun with questions like "so if King Arthur and Gilgamesh and Alexander the Great got into a three-way brawl, who would win?" is probably what led to the natural progression from visual novels and anime to a genuine multilevel RPG. (And by the way, the aforementioned question forms much of the meat of the story in Fate/Zero. I kid you not.) Unfortunately said online RPG was officially cancelled last year. But if it HAD happened, here's what the roster of playable characters would have looked like:

Saber class: Siegfried and Joan of Arc.

Archer class: Atalanta, Karna, and David (as in the Biblical David).

Lancer class: Karna, Vlad the Impaler, and Benkei.

Rider class: Astolfo (who in this version is a young woman), Saint George, Karna, and Siegfried.

Caster class: William Shakespeare (I shit you not - he actually has an attack that lets him rewrite the outcome of any other character's attack HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!)

Beserker class: Frankenstein's monster (who is female in this game, for fanservice-related reasons), Kintarou, and Spartacus.

Assassin class: Queen Semiramis and Jack the Ripper (who is also a young woman, you know, for fanservice).


Even better: Karna actually has a skill called "無冠の武芸" which roughly translates to "Uncrowned Arms Mastership." It would have meant that his stats would appear lower than they actually are to any opponent who challenges him in a duel.

And yes, Karna starts the game with his golden armor and earrings, which provide him with extra protection against attacks. If you level him up enough, however, you could exchange the golden armor and earrings for the Vasavi shakti. Just like Karna did in the Mahabharata.

So, in case you can't tell, I am forever sobbing that this game was cancelled and goddamit I would have played the shit out of this game if it really existed.

To be perfectly honest, thought, I probably would have played as David or Shakespeare instead of as Karna. Because their attacks and special skills are way more hilariously awesome.

ETA: Okay you know what these characters designs and attack names and skill lists were just TOO AWESOME (for certain definitions of "awesome") not to share. Because, you know, Frankenstein's monster as translated into a lolified JRPG character is pretty fucking hilarious. So here you go, scanspam behind the cut: Artbook scans!! )
nenena: (Tink - Cheers!)
In case you need cheering up:

18 Days is being reprinted by Dynamite Entertainment. Still a hardcover, though, and still only $25. In case you missed it the first time, here's your second chance. This book is gorgeous.

This Sheltie has very particular taste in music. As Shelties tend to have very particular tastes in everything.

Feferi hugs all the trolls. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of Homestuck fanart. Ever.
nenena: (Haruhi - To the Haruhimobile!)
If you want to see the first official photos from the upcoming X-Men: First Class film, here they are.

Really, though, there are only three things that you need to know about this film:

1. It is going to be 60'S FABULOUS.

2. The main villain will be Sebastian Shaw, who is played by The Goddamn Kevin Bacon.

3. Alex Summers is supposed to be one of the main characters.

There's already some headdesk-worthy crap coming out of the film - namely the producers repeatedly stating that they based Magneto's character arc on the beliefs of Malcom X (really? really?!) and January Jones kvetching to the LA Times that the initial costume designs for Emma Frost were ridiculously, stupidly sexist - but other than that, it looks like it's shaping up to be an awesome movie.

Speaking of comics stufff, here is a comics-themed Zodiac. I'm a Bulbasaur.

And finally, the world's first Sanskrit Book Fair was held in Bangalore last week. Well, that only took four millennium to get off the ground.
nenena: (Tink - Cheers!)
Thing the first: [ profile] kamdensl's doujin came in the mail today! Yaaaaay! And it included a freakin' awesome print of the Thompson sisters.

The book itself is completely awesome - especially in the way that the story switches in tone and setting from OH GOD NIGHTMARE FUEL to zomg angst to lol funny to d'awwwwww shippy moment without ever once being jarring about it. The story is refreshingly non-cheesy and the artwork is lovely and expressive (I particularly like the way that Kamden draws facial expressions). The ending is pitch-perfect, too. You can order your own copy here.

Thing the second: As promised, pics of Mukesh Singh's 18 Days.

Behind the cut. )
Aaaaaaand finally...

First batch of SE spoilers @ Hatomune

To absolutely nobody's surprise, Tezca is back. I don't think that this even deserves a spoiler cut because, you know, seriously. Seriously.

Non-important plot points: 1. Kid finally gets his new jacket. 2. Shioko has no idea whether Tezca's new head is supposed to be a mouse or a squirrel and looking at her drawing of it *I* have no idea either.

Important plot points: I've read over this five times and honestly I think I'm either misinterpreting the Japanese or Ohkubo has just dethroned Kubo as one of the most infuriating/hilarious manga author trolls of all time, so I'm going to hold back on posting anything until I can see the raw for myself. Or I see another Japanese source that confirms any of this.

Oh Index, you octopus-punning pantless-barbecue-loving evil mastermind, you!

ETA: More spoilers now in the comments.

ETA 2: Three new color illustrations are up at the GanGan website. There's also new wallpaper and SE stationary uploaded, too.

ETA 3: A large, textless version of this month's cover illustration is now available on GanGan Online.

ETA 4: [ profile] iijyanaika just posted pics of the pages from chapter 82 and Not! in the comments here. They're not readable but at least you can see what the action looks like. Gracias!
nenena: (Devi - Monochrome)

More coherent post coming later. But some initial reactions:


2. The cover says "Grant Morrison's 18 Days." Mukesh Singh's name is nowhere on the cover. Yeah, uh, I'm just going to come out and say this: Among the small target audience actually interested in this book, I don't think that any of us are buying it because of Grant Morrison's involvement. Mukesh Singh's artwork is the real selling point on this book and I wish that Liquid had capitalized more on that.

3. Oh my god, the actual screenplay part of the book is kind of deliciously terrible.

4. In the very back of the book there is some written commentary by Mukesh Singh about some of the paintings. It's very telling Singh's few short paragraphs of writing are much more insightful, interesting, and true to the Mahabharata than all of Grant Morrison's 100 pages of brain droppings combined. For example, Singh describing a painting of Krishna: "Krishna is not Rama. He wears his godliness on his sleeve yet is more of an idea man than an idealistic one."

5. Now that I have the entire book and can tell who all of the characters are, I'm completely in love with Singh's character designs. He has awesome designs for all of the Pandava brothers, and when he draws Karna with his armor off it is so tragically apparent that Karna is related to the Pandavas that it's heartbreaking. I will say, however, that I am not terribly fond of Singh's decision to give Krishna pointy ears and long white hair, because now he just looks like an elf.

Probably a longer post coming later.
nenena: (lord krsna)
18 Days is available on Amazon for a sweet discounted price of only $17 for a hardcover edition with 120 pages of Mukesh Singh artgasm. A 47-page preview is available for free on Scribd.

I am looking forward to enjoying the Mukesh Singh artwork almost as much as I am looking forward to laughing really, really hard at the "Grant Morrison writes about the Mahabharata" sections of the book. Actual quotes from the preview pages:

Snark behind cut. )

Meh, enough snark for now. The artwork by Mukesh Singh is OH MY GOD ABSFUCKINGLUTELY MINDBLOWINGLY GORGEOUS and makes the entire book worthwhile, especially if you ignore the pages full of Grant Morrison's braindroppings.

Wait, that book was listed on Amazon all the way back in July?! How did I miss that until now?! Oh yeah, the semester from hell. That's why.

Meanwhile! The Liquid Comics website is showing new artwork for Ramayan 3392 AD in several places (check out the front page and the Ramayan gallery under "Titles"), yet no new issues are available on either the Liquid website or on Scribd. Hmmm. Yet Liquid is apparently finishing some of Virgin's unfinished projects, as Buddha was finally completed last summer and is now available in graphic novel format.

Liquid is releasing all of the old Virgin titles on more digital devices now. For the iPad, you can now get the entire Ramayan 3392 series for $9.99, some parts of Reloaded for free, and all five issues of The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma for $4.99. Of course you can still download good old-fashioned PDFs of all of the previous titles plus the entire rest of Liquid's line from their Scribd website and import the comics to your e-reader that way, too. ;) Which is how I got Devi on my iPad right now.

UNIVERSAL FORMATS: DOIN' IT RIGHT. Thank you, Virgin/Liquid! Manga publishers, are you paying attention?!

Speaking of Virgin Comics alums, Abhishek Singh is up to awesomeness, with art shows in New Delhi and Los Angeles.
nenena: (Soul Eater - FUCK YEAH)
Moyashimon* and Durarara! are licensed. *ETA: Never mind, it was apparently only the upcoming live action Moyashimon broadcast that got licensed. The anime is still MIA. Oh well. Moving on...

Utena has finally gotten re-licensed.

The Mahabharata: A Child's View is getting reprinted after being out of print for fourteen years.

Sita's Ramayana, the first ever graphic novel to use Patua art, is going to be released soon.

See icon.

ETA: Oh yeah AND all the remaining Shakugan no Shana anime just got licensed, including the OAVs and the movie. FUCK YEAH.
nenena: (lord krsna)
First, via Saurav Mohapatra's blog!

The complete India Authentic comic book series is now available on scribd, including the never-before-published Krishna issue. The series on scribd has been retitled "Myths of India" for some reason, but whatever. The Ganesha issue is free, and other issues are one dollar per download. Unfortunately, I don't think that scribd downloads are available to customers outside the US, but maybe you can use an anonymizer to get around that?

So it looks like Liquid Comics is putting ALL of Virgin's old series on scribd, including Ramayan 3392 AD, that Kshatriya comic that never got published, The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma, Mumbai MacGuffin, and of course Devi. And a bunch of other titles too, but really those are the good ones. In my humble opinion. The big question, though, is are any of these titles going to be continued in digital format?! I seriously doubt it, but I'm going to keep dreaming of a Devi continuation anyway. Because that's my dream and I'm sticking to it.

Oh, and in case you're new here and you missed all of the artgasms and asskickery and post-apocalyptic questing and metafictional minderfuckery that Virgin Comics brought us three years ago, well, here's your chance to make up for it!

And now for something completely unrelated: Your Soul Eater Moment of Zen.

From YumeIchigo

Thank you, anonymous puppy. I needed that to wash the bad taste of Chapter 75 out of my mouth.
nenena: (Devi - Monochrome)
At Newsarama.

Oh thank God for that interview. At least Grant Morrison sounds like he knows what he's talking about this time.

Also, yaaaay cover reveal! Arjuna and Karna are front and center on the cover of the book.

Uh, wow. Arjuna has a lot of hair.
nenena: (Default)
1. 14 new full-color preview paintings from 18 Days. What a shame that this is never going to be made into a proper comic book. There's no way that the animated series is ever going to look this good. (I'm growing less and less enamored of the Liefeld-esque character design for Karna the more that I see it. But that's my only complaint about the artwork so far.)

Speaking of the Mahabharata...

2. Polyamory for writers. Great thinky-thoughts post, and the comments are great too.

Speaking of fannish things...

3. This person is offering pretty artwork commissions for dirt cheap! Just passing along the plug for a friend of a friend, since I know that some of y'all reading this might be interested.

Speaking of artwork...

4. A Lovecraft-inspired artwork exhibition! I love love love that painting on the promotional flier.

Speaking of the Great Old Ones...

5. Bad thoughts bad thoughts bad thoughts bad thoughts. Soul Eater facehugging snark courtesy of Shioko.

Speaking of things that are probably only funny to Soul Eater fans...

6. This is the current front page of the Shocker Toys website. Scroll down, find the SDCC limited edition Mallow figure for Big Daddy, and then check out whom he is listed right next to. (Capped for posterity.)
nenena: (Default)
Via Saurav Mohapatra's twitter:

An advertisement for 18 Days printed in The Boys #42.

So the book is going to be just Grant Morrison's script, not a proper comic?

Both the advertisement and the 18 Days website claim that an animated version will be available in "Spring 2010":

18 Days will be available in Full Hi-Def and in a variety of formats: 2 x 90 minute TV movies, 6 x 30 episodes, extended 200 minute DVD release and as 18 x 10 minute web episodes. It will be supported by on-line and console gaming products, mobile content and other L&M licenses.

18 Days will be available in Spring 2010.

Yeah, sure. I'll believe it when I see it.

(Still nervous about Grant Morrison's involvement. Hey, you know what's really, really awesome? Grant Morrison writing the current Batman storyline with Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. You know what's really, really NOT awesome? Everything else that Grant Morrison has ever written having to do with mining other cultures for stories, pretty much ever.)
nenena: (lord krsna)
For all y'all who miss Virgin Comics and who want more stories about Lord Vishnu genderbending, wrestling horses, accidentally beheading himself, turning into a merman, and trolling Indra for epic lulz.

Also, Karna.

Because Karna.

Large images behind the cut. )

PS! If Indian mythology isn't your thing... I gotta say, these new Greek mythology graphic novels by George O'Connor look completely awesome. The Athena volume is definitely on my shopping list now.
nenena: (Devi - Isana)


From the PR: 18 Days takes one of the most enduring tales of the East and places it in the capable hands of Grant Morrison, one of the greatest storytellers of the West.

A HA HA HA HA HA HA no. But Mukesh Singh is doing all of the artwork, so no matter what Morrison does to the story it is utterly impossible for this project NOT to rock. Thus is the awesome power of Mukesh Singh.

From the Beat writeup: The original — a classic Indian myth telling of three great warriors and their cataclysmic battles — is the world’s longest epic poem at more than 1.8 millions words, so there was certainly a lot of source material.

...Three? Only three? Is it going to be Krishna, Arjuna, and Karna? But what about Bhima?! What about Drona and Bhisma?!?! What about the Original Woobie, Ashwatthama?!?! What about Abhimanyu?!?! Inquiring minds want to know!

Pretty pictures are preeeeeeeeetty.
nenena: (Devi - Monochrome)
This call for submissions for The Speculative Ramayana Anthology showed up a couple times on my flist last week.

Here is an interview with the editors of the anthology at the always fabulous Sanskrit Literature Blog. It's not your typical buttkissing interview, either. The SLB asks some tough questions about the nature of the anthology, the intersection of religion and literature, and the narrow submission policy (English stories only, written, not oral). The editors do a fine job answering these tough questions in an honest manner.

Meanwhile, Saumin Patel drew Batman. NSFW.
nenena: (Default)
Because I'm sure that y'all are tired of me keysmashing endlessly about how I want to marry James Joyce's prose and have its babies. Here is some other cool stuff to read.

1. Princess Mononoke vs. James Cameron's Avatar.

I know that pretty much everyone and their dog has compared Avatar to Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai,, and Ferngully by now. This is the first time that I've seen the film compared to Princess Mononoke, however. Conclusion: Hayao Miyazaki did it better.

Not that that's saying much. Oh no I didn't!

2. Manly Women and Feminine Men (Claymore meta)

In which [ profile] the_sun_is_up argues that Claymore is the most perfectly gender-flipped shounen manga in existence, and she's right. I would also add that, even after 99 chapters of manga and 26 episodes of the anime, it is astounding that Claymore still manages to completely fail the gender-reversed Bechdel Test. When you think about it, that's pretty extraordinary. Most "chick lit" media still passes the gender-reversed Bechdel Test (or even worse, manages to fail the real Bechdel Test). So the fact that a long-running series like Claymore - a series published in a "for boys" magazine, no less - fails the gender-reversed Bechdel Test is pretty darn awesome.

3. Robot6's 30 Most Important Comics of the Decade: Part One | Part Two

Definitely not a list of the best 30 comics of the decade - there are certainly some titles on the list that one could argue are not actually, you know, good - but a list of the decade's most undeniably popular and influential comics*, for better or for worse.

The English version of Sailor Moon is ranked at #2.

* Asterik: "within the English-speaking world and confined solely to output from the US, UK, and Japan" should be added as a disclaimer here. The list completely excludes titles like Italy's W.i.t.c.h. (available in English and one of the best-selling comics of all time in the Philippines and several European countries), any English edition of manwha or manhua, or anything at all from southeast Asia's enormous comics industry, much of which is also available in English. If Watchmen can get a spot on the list just for being reprinted and becoming a bestseller this past decade, then doesn't Amar Chitra Katha (also reprinted a gazillion times, a bestseller, available in English, and hugely influential in Indian comics history) deserve a mention as well? ETA: More about this in the comments.
nenena: (W.I.T.C.H. - Irma rocks)
Stuck in O'Hare for a six-hour layover. Time for linkspam! Whoo-hoo!

First, it wouldn't be Yuletide without Mahabharata fics, and this year's offerings are both about Karna. Suck it, Arjuna. And they are both absolutely amazing works. Go, read! Edited to add: One more heartbreaking and beautiful fic rec, this time about Rama's brothers Bharat and Lakshman.

Next, another succinct response to Avatar that says it all a lot more eloquently then I ever could. Also, a new Internet Law. And finally, this post is several months old, but it's been re-linked around recently and definitely deserves another round of signal boosting. Money quote:

"The conversations about resistance to societal pressures which make me the most uncomfortable and disturbed are often the ones I should note the most because there's a reason they make me feel so uncomfortable. This discomfort and subsequent confrontation of my own privilege is *not* disenfranchisement and I think it's wrong to say that it is. The reproach that troubles me is very rarely, if ever, from the people who are oppressed and suffering and speaking. The reproach comes from within me because I know I should care and in trying to find balance and ease with that reproach and my joy. I like things that are problematic. The problems do not go away if I pretend they are not there; my conscience does not rest easy when I work to silence the voices that trouble me. I am not a bad person for enjoying things that have problems; I am not the good guy who only likes good things and thus, the things that I like must be good. It’s more complicated that that, I am more complicated than that. We are all more complicated than that."

Quoted for Great Truth.
nenena: (Romeo x Juliet - Melt some faces!)
Remember this?

The translation is now complete and available in PDF or Word format. Jabberwock has a fascinating review (and overview of other "unusual perspective" takes on the Mahabharata) here.

Also, the 2009 Lulu Award winners were announced on Friday. So, um, is anybody else really, really, really happy that Gail Simone beat CLAMP for this year's Female Comic Creators Hall of Fame slot? I know I am, and I feel no shame about that.