Irony in Culture
I saw this article on Salon a long time ago. I was reluctant to show it before as Salon often posts a lot of socio-political stories, and I try to avoid spreading the polemics around. I only now decided to go ahead and share it.
Basically, the article linked below argues that irony in art has become little more than intellectual posturing, empty fashion, and thinly-veiled nihilism. What comment do I have? You might have already read about how I wish to build up my skills in drawing and writing so that I can eventually show and spread beauty, truth, and love on behalf of God. Perhaps you can pray that I may cultivate a genuine piety, a genuine honesty, a genuine compassion, and a genuine desire to build.
Impression of Fables
I’ve been spending between an hour-and-a-half and two hours at the gym almost every week. Sometimes I’ve taken along my tablet for some reading in between some series of exercises. During this week’s visits I’ve read the first volume of Fables.
Characters from fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and romances live in New York City, most of them disguised as normal humans. Long ago they had been driven from their mythic homeland by the armies of an entity called the Adversary. In this first story arc, one of their own has been murdered, rocking their community, and the Big Bad Wolf, a private investigator, takes on the case.
The necessary exposition is mostly handled well, but it’s not always smoothly integrated into the narrative. The dialog is sometimes awkward as a result. Usually, though, it does well in establishing the characters. Many of the characters are memorable. The plot here does devolve into a generic murder-mystery in spite of the efforts to liven it up through “lampshading”. The artwork is of good quality and it does its job done. I hear that the series becomes more engrossing as it goes on—can anyone reading this confirm one way or the other?
Say Hello to Jessica
I have cultivated many close friendships in a virtual world. There are quite a few who have called me brother and several more who have called me their best friend. I decided that I’d introduce you to one such friend who has been building an elaborate personal website on Wix (and she still makes fairly frequent changes). If you look through her gallery and her “closest friends” and her “special” slideshow, you might even find me! I thought that I’d give her more views by directing my followers and viewers towards her. You can even contact her and leave a greeting if you want. *hug* Jessica, may God continue to guide you and care for you always through all your trials and sorrows and joys in life.
Impression of Mouse Guard
First of all I want to thank all of you who have suddenly started following me over the past couple of days, especially those whom I couldn’t thank individually without the “ask” feature enabled. I really want to thank those of you who have committed to following me (instead of removing me right afterwards). This was such a nice surprise! I’ve tried to plug my blog on TumblrFind before, but for some reason I’m drawing in lots more followers. Were those fake-movie posters a hit or something? If you really liked them, I’ll make efforts to create more full-color drawings in the future (though you should also expect all sorts of things, including a grayscale comic that I plan on making after the last poster is posted here). I hope that you will enjoy the White Rose Weblog and the things that I create. Again you’re all welcome to see my secondary blog on Tumblr under brianshares as well. Furthermore, please feel free to write to me if you want a short talk.
Now then, imagine this high concept. Imagine anthropomorphic mice living in medieval Europe. These aren’t mice like in Looney Tunes cartoons or in the furry subculture. These are otherwise normal mice who happen to have opposable thumbs and the ability to speak. That’s the high concept behind Mouse Guard.
More specifically I read through the first collection, which is subtitled Fall 1152. The story is a fairly typical and somewhat predicable swashbuckling medieval adventure. There’s a bit too much exposition and not quite enough show-instead-of-tell and fairly thin character development to boot. The very premise, though, gives this comic personality. You see mice wielding swords and axes (with fairly realistic resulting wounds, in fact, preventing this from being cutesy, not to mention the wounds inflicted by predators), storming forts, and training bees. The naturalistic drawings also give a richer sense of presence to the mice, the snakes, the bees, and the crabs. The mice that this comic centers on, however, look similar enough that keeping track of who is who can be tricky unless they have really distinctive outfits.
Overall I’d say that this comic is average. I’ve seen worse though. If you happen to be a fan of Game of Thrones and have adolescent children whom you don’t want seeing the show, you might consider sharing the comic series Mouse Guard, which may pick up in later volumes.