Artists during WWI

You can’t underestimate the power of comics.   After WWI an artist was actually dubbed “The man who won the war” by a general.  Comics have the ability to boost morale and get people to look at issues from different angles.  The article Brushes and Bayonets at BBC talks mostly about the UK during WWI, but I think its relavent to now.  Americans need a boost in morale.  If a cartoonist can be credited as “The man who won the war”  cartoonists can do a lot now.  We’ve got a lot of soldiers overseas now that are probably worried about what’s going on at home and wondering why their even over there.  We’ve got people over here worried about the state of things.

Now if you’ve read Watchmen, Alan Moore suggests that more things are sexualized during times of high tension so that people will not worry about the cause or what will happen. Over the years I think more things (and age groups) have become sexualized by I’m not sure with its connected to this.  I don’t think that this is the right way to go.  Its not best to make people over look things, but instead to get them to feel good about something.  What do you think about this?

Kagehime

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Ringing Bell

Chirin no Suzu which is “Ringing Bell in English” is an 47 minute Anime from 1978 produced by the one and only Sanrio.  It’s a dark tale about revenge for children that begins with the super cuteness that sanrio brings with its name.  Think Unico and Hello Kitty.  Chirin is a lamb whose mother is killed by a wolf.  He then seeks out the wolf in order to become strong and seek revenge.  Along the way he must learn about the unfairness of life and how hard it can be.

For one, Chirin was so set on becoming a wolf that he showed his detication by following the wolf.  One example in Claymore, Clare follows Theresa  and  in turn Raki follows Clare with gratitude.  In both cases neither Clare or Thersa wanted the child tagging along, the same as with the wolf.  Eventually they develop a sort of respect for the strength, stamina, and spirit it shows to follow them around.  They then accept the follower.

Another commonality is attacking with the head.  Granted, Chirin is a sheep and has either hooves or his head to attack with, he was charging through trees.  How hard can a head be? It’s like Goku in Dragonball who defeated enemies with his hard head.  Also, like in Dragonball Z, the wolf is a strict master very much like Piccolo.

I wonder if Sanrio came out with anything nearly as dark or sad as this again.  This was truly a tragedy.  Revenge is a dangerous thing that hurts the avenger, possibly more than they were hurt at first.  Another tone in this short movie is the danger of non-conformity.  Chirin is not and never has been like the other sheep and look what happens to him.   He seeks strength (as they seem to do in every anime) and gets it but at what cost?

Kagehime

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Cartoon Skeletons

All museums have interesting things, but some are more interesting than others.  In the natural history museum of Basel, Switzerland there was an exhibit called Animatus of skeletons of cartoon characters (It ran until August 31 so I guess its somewhere else now).   So if you walked in you would see Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry among other favorites except for they would be all bone.  This exhibit was created by the Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee.  I think its kind of cool if not just a little creepy. What do you think?

Kagehime

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Digital Disease

It’s possible to get sick in a video game and for outbreaks to happen too. I may be a little late writing about this considering it happened a few years ago, but I didn’t know about it until not too long ago. I don’t play either The Sims or World of Warcraft so the diseases that popped up in both games didn’t affect me. It’s really amazing that a disease can become a plague as it did in World of Warcraft and escape the boundaries it was supposed to be in. The same happened in The Sims when a guinea pig infected the people when it wasn’t supposed to be able to.

Now scientists are using the outbreak in World of Warcraft as a disease model. People reacted to the disease very much like they would have in real life according to scientists. They were fleeing from infected areas, saving people, and trying to spread it. Of course since it is a video game all of this was exaggerated. So if you’re thinking about being a scientists with an interest in disease and human reaction to it continue playing video games. And if anyone was affected by the corrupted blood disease please say how you responded to it. I’m rather curious.

Kagehime

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Cuz’ we need another Spiderman

Toby Maguire has decided to do Spiderman 4 and 5. I must say that Spiderman 1 and 2 were excellent. Something happened to 3 though. It became soap operay at the same time that it feature 3 (too many) villains. 3 also happened to be the funniest of the bunch but comedy isn’t exactly what we’re looking for in Spiderman right? And having a 4 and 5 is beyond a trilogy. Movie series are going to far now. How many other movies in the past years have done a #4 or 5 or beyond? (Rocky, Indiana Jones, Die Hard, and Rambo to name a few) There are more more on there way as Spiderman shows. What do you think of this phenomenon of going beyond a trilogy? Is it that we want to keep seeing these characters in action again and again or is it something else?

Kagehime

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The book of bunny suicides

Are you a little disturbed that there is a comic called The Book of Bunny Suicides? I am, although I have to say that I did see this book before and it is kind of funny in a dark way. The bunny is trying to commit suicide and gets rather inventive with it although I don’t think he ever succeeds.  This comic  is being taken off the shelves in China in response to a high youth suicide rate but I doubt it is causing the suicide rate to go up.  I guess its just the doubt of popularizing and making suicide seem less serious along with the amount of ways that the rabbit tries killing itself that makes it seem dangerous.

Kagehime

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UN gets Spidey’s help

So now the UN has paired up with Marvel, yes Marvel the comic book company Marvel, on comic to show Spiderman fighting alongside UN peace keepers and aid workers. So what is this supposed to accomplish? That the UN peace keepers and aid workers are heroes too.  A lot of people seem negative about this calling it desperate in the case of John Bolton, former US envoy to UN, and maybe it is but it sounds like good propaganda to me.  Show the kids that the UN is cool and heroic and that they could possibly one day do these jobs is the goal.  The kids that were asked in the article seemed upbeat about it except for the one little boy who claimed he didn’t believe in any superheroes and so didn’t like them.  The artists seem upbeat too because a lot of them are willing to work on this without pay.

So how much influence does Spidey have? We’ll have to wait for 2009 for the comic to come out.

Kagehime

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