lunes, 17 de agosto de 2009
Narrated by Ted Danson and based on the book by Charles Clover, THE END OF THE LINE explores the devastating effect that overfishing is having on fish stocks and the health of our oceans. Scientists predict that if we continue fishing at the current rate, the planet will completely run out of fish by 2048.
Narrada por Ted Danson y basada en el libro de Charles Clover, "The end of the line" explora el efecto devastador que el exceso de pesca esta teniendo sobre las reservas de peces y la salud de nuestros oceanos. Cientificos predicen que de continuar pescando así, el planeta se quedara completamente sin nada de peces para el 2048.
Y Ahora una entrevista / and now, an interview.
Que por que me importa que los peces desaparescan? Vaya, el oceano es parte importantisima de nuestro planeta, y su funcionamineto depende de sus habitantes. Sin peces el oceano deja de funcionar como lo ha hecho hasta ahora.
El agua cubre cerca del 71% de la superficie de la tierra, todos los continentes juntos no alcanzan ni un tercio. Como consecuencia, los océanos son de extraordinaria importancia para nuestro clima.
Las funciones esenciales de los océnos son:
a) Absorben y reflejan la luz del sol.
b) Almacenan calor
c) Transportarn el calor que almacenan
d) Provocan la mayoría de los cambios del sistema climático
e) Son la principal fuente de vapor de agua atmosférico
f) Intercambian gases (como CO2) con la atmósfera
Tendríamos mucho más dióxido de carbono en el aire, si los océanos no absorbieran cerca de un tercio de lo que produce el ser humano. El dióxido de carbono se disuelve fácilmente en el agua, ya que es una molécula polar y puede reaccionar con el carbono formando cabonato de hidrógeno. Además, el fitoplancton, pequeñas plantas que viven en enormes cantidades en los océanos, absorben el dióxido de carbono para su ciclo vital. Parte del CO2 se vuelve a emitir a la atmósfera cuando el fitoplancton muere y es ingerido por bacterias. A este proceso lo llamamos remineralización. Mientras que la fotosíntesis provoca la formación de biomasa, la remineralización provoca su destrucción. En ocasiones, las bacterias se hunden en el mar y es allí donde tiene lugar la remineralización. Aquí, se puede almacenar el carbono como sedimentos carbonados durante cientos de años.
A fines del año pasado el Instituto de los Recursos Mundiales (WRI) y el Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA) presentaron un preocupante informe sobre la salud de los ecosistemas, pues detectaron que su deterioro avanza velozmente.
"Cada una de las mediciones realizadas por los científicos para evaluar la salud de los ecosistemas del mundo nos muestra que estamos extrayendo de ellos más que antes y degradándolos a una ritmo cada vez más acelerado", afirmó Klaus Töpfer, director ejecutivo del PNUMA.
"Dependemos de los ecosistemas para nuestros sostenimiento, y a la vez su buena salud depende de los cuidados que les dispensemos", añadió.
Pese a que estos documentales tienden a ser un alarmantes y a dejar al lado atacado en una posicion donde no puede defenderse, el hecho de que esto esta sucediendo no deja ninguna duda. Los cientificos han estado escribiendo de esto por 25 años, poco a poco se van comprobando los impactos de los cuales hablan, Sin embargo, nadie ha dicho nada hasta ahora. ¿Que puede hacerse? La mayoria de nosotros no tenemos el poder para hacer una diferencia significante, todavia, sin embargo estar enterado siempre ayuda a que las cosas comiencen a cambiar. Les dejo el link de la pagina que ha estado haciendo este movimiento por si les interesa.
martes, 30 de junio de 2009
domingo, 28 de junio de 2009
Artist of Praetorian
Published by: Outlaw Entertainment
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur
Richard: Where were you born and raised and what was it like growing up?
Ramon: I was born in Mexico City, but I was raised in a suburb that lies 20 minutes from the main city. My childhood was not easy for me or those around me; I was a very restless and different child. Drawing and painting where the only things that could control my behavior.
Richard: How did you first start drawing?
Ramon: As I mentioned, I was what is called a hyperactive child, nobody could watch after me, I was like Bart Simpson, a nightmare. My mother tried different activities, from Karate, Football and gymnastics, but nothing seemed to work. However, one day she gave me a notebook, colors, and found her holy remedy, this is when she discovered that drawing would keep me occupied, silent and calm for the entire day. When I was five she enrolled me in drawing and painting classes and since then I haven�t stopped for a single day. I started making my own comics when I was 12, and haven�t stopped since.
Richard: Did you have to do any research for the scenes at the crucifixion?
Ramon: Of course. It is a period in time that I find personally fascinating, I have a Project about Jesus that is several years old, so I had already done my research. The most difficult thing was deciding what kind of cross to use on the comic, the iconic one or the real one, the real one is not the cross that we all know, it�s more of a �T�, and people were crucified relatively close to the ground and with their feet nailed to the sides of the plank, however, the traditional cross is more ingrained in the subconscious, which is why I decided to draw that one. As for the Romans and the city of Jerusalem, I obtained some documentaries, diagrams and books where they are explained. In the case of the soldiers, what each element means and the uniform that each rank wore.
Richard: How would you describe your art style?
Ramon: I don�t know, stylized? With a touch of animation, caricature, and a little of traditional drawing. Perhaps a bit obsessive with the backgrounds. I would like to think that whenever people remember one of my Works, they will have the sensation of having seen a movie
Richard: How did you join Outlaw Entertainment?
Ramon: I had the fortune of knowing Jason Burns because of a work we had previously realized together, it was The Sleepy Truth, with art by my great friend Erik Valdez, and in which he invited me to do the coloring. After that I did the art for the first part of a graphic novel of Jason�s which was stopped because of external reasons. One day, out of the blue, he invited me to do Praetorians for Outlaw, and after reading the script there was no way I could say no.
Richard: Do you ever imagine yourself as the characters you draw?
Ramon: Always. Everybody knows that making comics is like being the Director and Actor in your own movie. And as an actor you have to study your character, and when I say study I mean things that are beyond the script, such as: Does the character collect things? If so, what does he collect? What is his favourite color? Does he have strong family ties or are they nonexistent? All of this contributes to making better work, since you can decide what to put in his house, the type of clothes or mobile phone he has, or what color his car should be..
Richard: Would you like to do more comics along the lines of "Praetorian"?
Ramon: Praetorians was an excellent script, and a very good story. If there is a sequel to Praetorians, I would love to work on it, and I would like to work on more stories in general, as long as the script is good, I don�t care what genre it is.
Richard: What will we find at your website
Ramon: www.ramonespinoza.com ? Publicity Works I have done here in Mexico as well as a client list and a very friendly ftp from which I send whatever Works I am asked for. The really interesting thing would be my blog, I post every two weeks, more or less, and well, I talk of my personal interests, comic book and drawing processes as well as news of future projects. Right now it is only in Spanish, though I think I will have to start translating it, hehe, the blog link is: http://espinozacomics.blogspot.com/
Richard: Do you still do coloring?
Ramon: I�ve thought about that a lot, you know? I�ve discussed with Erik and my wife Carol, that most people like my coloring better than my drawing, and I sincerely enjoy drawing more than I do coloring. The other day I reached a conclusion on this subject.
I don�t consider myself a colorist, I consider myself a Comic Artist, in the full meaning of the word. I write, draw and color comics. I love the entire process. Will I color in the future? Yes, I have the second volume of The Sleepy Truth which my friend Erik Valdez has finished drawing, but I also have many other projects as well.
Richard: Did you enjoy drawing "How To Be A Serial Killer"?
Ramon: You know? It was very exciting and scary , since the deadline was too tight, I had to finish 4 pages a day, and I�m talking about pencils and inks, and it wasn�t easy at all. However, I was very satisfied with the final product, and Jessie Garza is a great editor, so yes, I enjoyed it very much.
Richard: Do you prefer working on graphic novels or would you prefer a regular series?
Ramon: For now, to be honest, I think Graphic Novels. Eventually I�d love to work on a regular series.
Richard: Would you like to work for either of the Big Two comic publishers?
Ramon: Who wouldn�t? That is anybody�s dream, to draw some of your favourite characters, at least once. For most people, that was the reason for wanting to do comics. My reason is to eventually be able to tell my own stories.
Richard: How can someone contact you?
Ramon: Through my webpage in �contacts�
Richard: Any final words of wisdom?
Ramon: Wisdom? Mmmm, I really think that Brooke McEldowney, the cartoonist, said exactly how I feel on any project I am. I quote:
�I suppose no matter what I'm drawing, there will always be some sort of question in my mind about it. A work of art (even cartoon art)is never really finished; it is abandoned.�
When you are on a deadline, that�s exactly the truth, you are never totally happy with it, but you have to let it go. And after you left a project. You feel sort of empty and sad, like what now? Because you put all your heart and time in it. But then you see your baby in print, You touch it, read it and you feel happy, and realize that you can do other projects. And is like that every single time. At least for me. I don�t know if that could be consider words of wisdom, but well, there you have it.
Praetorian TPB – ReviewWow! This was a fantastic attention grabbing story from start to finish! I was kinda on the fence when the religious tones started flowing but I was so glad on how the story turned out. A very nice Serial Killer style story left wide open for more volumes to come!
Artwork: 4.5 out of 5
I loved the style used in this book. It was kinda cartoonish but in a more stylized way. I felt it fit nicely with the overall feel and flow of the story. The coloring was spot on with perfect tones and shades. It’s so close to perfection. Hands down an amazing effort.
Story: 4.2 out of 5
If I fault it on anything it would be the religious aspect, but it plays just a small roll in the whole of the story that I wasn’t bothered. A nice job on the overall concept that plays out so well. I really felt there were no holes in the story. It was all so well thought out and presented. The communication between characters is believable and it really grabbed my attention from the start.
First of all if you pass on a 112 page trade for under $8 your smoking something. Marvel and DC will charge you $15 for the same thing. But cost aside this book delivers. A nice serial killer plot that runs throughout. It leaves it self wide open at the end inviting you to come back for the next chapter. The artwork is great. An amazing first run that I can only hope builds a nice following so we can all read more. Pick this one up! I know I will be following what this company has to offer from now on.
jueves, 25 de junio de 2009
(PODRAN ENCONTRAR LA ENTREVISTA ORIGINAL EN: http://comicrelated.com/news/1943/talking-to-ramon-espinoza-praetorian )
Welcome to a very special edition of the Why I Love Comics column! This is a first for the column as I interview an artist for the first time. Well, if you want to be technical I interview Phil Hester all the time, but that's as a writer. Anyways, with the release of Praetorian by Outlaw, Jay asked me if I'd like to talk to Ramon Espinoza, the talented artist of the book. Here is that interview for your reading pleasure.
Eric: How did you get into comics?
Ramon: My first contact with comics was at the age of five with "Zor y los invensibles" (Zor and the invincibles) a great comic published here in Mexico which was created by Oscar Gonzales Guerrero and Angel Morales about two kids and a giant robot. From that moment I was hooked on the comic's world, and so I started to invent my own comics. Years passed, drawing and painting classes went by, but like many people, I didn't know one could make a living from it.
My painting teacher gave me a tip about animation in Disney, and how much one could earn working in that. So I was very excited when I learned I could live well doing what I loved: drawing. For 3 years I had the belief that my destiny was in animation, and I focused all my energy into it. But there was a problem: I was still writing stories and creating characters; and animation is about moving characters already created in a story already written. So secretly, comics were still there. It wasn't until I met a group of comic Artists called Ka-boom, that I found out how much you can expect to get paid for a pencil page, and I realize that I could also live by doing comics, but, I had to be pretty damn good to earn a good living from it. So I began to study.
This group used to teach comics techniques for free in their comic store, my surprise was that the old guy giving those techniques was Oscar Gonzales, co-creator of Zor and the invincibles. For months I went there to listen to him giving tips to others, and in occasions I showed him my own things, and I learned a lot from him. Then I heard about Humberto Ramos, and the success he was having in DC doing Impulse. Humberto, as you know, is Mexican, and that was enough for me to try and make it as well. But it was going to take more time that I planned. This was 9 years ago. In that time I studied art in college, worked in an animation studio doing advertising, went through my parents deaths, worked on several comic strips of my own creation, met my wife... It was in college where I meet my good friend Erik Valdez who, with Jason Burns, would eventually make the graphic novel "The Sleepy Truth", for which I did the colors. And you can take it from there.
Eric: This is actually your second time working with Jason right? Only this time instead of just colors your on full art duties?
Ramon: That's right. Yeah. First time doing full art.
Eric: So Ramon was this your first full length project where you were the artist for the book?
Ramon: No, my first project was "How to be a serial killer" a kind of prequel to an independent movie, the comic is being published by Viper comics, in it, I only did the pencils, after that I did a book called "Jungle Scout: A Vietnam War Story" for stone arch books. It was a kind of a mix between illustrated book and a comic.
Eric: Was there any major research you had to put in at all? With the flashbacks?
Ramon: Of course. It is a time that I find personally fascinating, I have a Project about Jesus that is several years old, so I had already done my research. The most difficult thing was deciding what kind of cross to use on the comic, the iconic one or the real one, the real one is not the cross that we all know, it's more of a "T", and people were crucified relatively close to the ground and with their feet nailed to the sides of the plank, however, the traditional cross is more ingrained in the subconscious, which is why I decided to draw that one. As for the Romans and the city of Jerusalem, I obtained some documentaries, diagrams and books where they are explained. In the case of the soldiers, what each element means and the uniform that each rank wore.
Eric: Did you have more fun drawing the action scenes or the scenes where the characters would attempt to figure out big pieces of the case?
Ramon: The actions scenes are always a headache, but also, the most enjoyable things to draw. Personally, I'm very obsessive, and hate those comics were the action makes no sense at all, were objects appear from nowhere and where the actual geography of the place is violated every panel. So I have to do a big drawing from a top angle and do a map of the place. Then draw the spots where the character is, and then, the movements. Like an animations seeing from one point of view. After that I chose the angles and then do the page.
And for the other scenes, the passive dramatic scenes... well, is a little difficult make a scene interesting, where all that is happening is people talking, you have to think how to do those scenes flow like water in a way that the reader never say, "what? More talking?" You don't want to do only talking heads. Besides, I had a terrific script, with amazing dialogues, I didn't want to screw those up.
Eric: Did you base any of the characters after existing people?
Ramon: I always had a problem with those comics where everyone looks alike, with superheroes comics you don't have that problem as long as they have their costume on, but with other kind of comics, it really affect the storytelling. So I always turn to see common people on the internet to do my characters, sometimes I chose an actor, but I do a combination of both, I don't want that the reader to get distracted saying: "Hey, that is Robert de Niro!" In the most part, the character written just pop in the drawing, the final product is never what I intended to be at the beginning, but just what the story needs, and that's what interest me. Every element in the book has to serve the story.
Eric: So what pulled you into the project?
Ramon: The characters, Jason always make good characters and good relationships; the time period, the fact that they are former roman soldiers, and the story, is fun, to the point, not presumptuous at all.
Eric: Did you have a say in what you got to pick?
Ramon: Well, Jason ask me if I was interested in doing a book, and despite I know he always write well, I did ask for the script first. One thing I know for sure, if the script doesn't make a click in my mind, in my heart, I chose not to do It. It have to have that something, I think I mean heart, It has to have a heart. Till now I haven't reject any project, I guess I've been lucky. And on the projects, Jason is so easy to work with, he give me the freedom to do whatever I think is good to the story. If I suggested to add a page or do a splash, he let me do it. Of course I give him always a good reason to do that.
Eric: How does it feel being the artist on the companies launch book which has gotten some strong reviews so far?
Ramon: Man, I'm happy, I put all my heart in that book, and it's amazing to see it kicking ass out there. But also it's a great responsibility, I cannot allow myself to do something inferior now, I'm talking about story and Art alike. And this is a problem right now, because, we, Jason and I, started a project just before Praetorians, and I finished the entire first part, but due to some difficulties, that book had to wait. Now, it is the next project I'm doing with Outlaw, and I had to talk to them, and ask them to let me do some adjustments, because, the art is from before praetorians and for that reason is inferior. So right now, Im working on it. After that I will finished the book, and I have to say, Is a going to be a great book.
Eric: So are you an exclusive artist with Outlaw right now?
Ramon: For the moment yes, I already have a contract with them to do another 3 books. And frankly, I'm very happy with them, they really want to do good stories and produce good quality books.
Eric: So Ramon your actually the first artist I've interview for the site, I was wondering artistically speaking: Who inspires you?
Ramon: Like someone? Like an influence? Or like things?
If we are talking of an influence, I say Katsugiro Otomo, Travis Charest, Kyle Baker, Scott McCloud. That from the comics world. I get inspired from movies also, and books. Form movies the director Jean-Pierre Jeunet always inspired me in question of colors, images, angles and storytelling. And in everyday life I get inspired with everything around me, I live near the country, so I have constant contact with nature, I use to walk and see the trees and the sky, all the colours and forms, and that inspire me. But also the city, the buildings, the people, and the stories that happen with them, or the stories I like to invent to myself that happen with them. In short, I get inspiration from everything I can.
Eric: My final question for you Ramon is how would you describe your style as an artist? It seems that in Praetorian it was a little more realistic for most of the book.
Ramon: Its a little difficult for me to describe my own style, because I don't force it to be nothing in particular. I believe it's a mistake trying to get a style, for me is like trying to be yourself. You cannot try that, you simply are, and you will not be yourself unless you stop trying to be. Otherwise you'll end up to be a phony. In comics many people are worried to be a "jim lee" a "Travis Charest" a "Humberto Ramos" But they already exists, they are there and those others are only bad copies, who may never find their true voice. So to answer your question, I can quote some reviewers, because what they say about my style makes sense. " Is a mix of Animation, caricature and realistic drawing."
I would Like to thank Ramon for his time and you can actually order Praetorian from you LCS or Outlaw's own website!
lunes, 15 de junio de 2009
Ahora las criticas. ADVERTENCIA: "SPOILERS" ó como dirian en mi pueblo, cuentan cosas que podrian arruinarle a usted el libro. Si no le importa esas cosas, continue.
Outlaw Titles Get Reviewed At ComicRelated
Welcome to a very special Why I Love Comics dedicated to the first outing of Outlaw Entertainment's first three comics. The three books in question are all written by the company's editor in chief, Jason M Burns. Jason is no stranger to ComicRelated.com so let's jump right into things with Praetorian.
Praetorian follows the story of a mysterious murder and its links to religion. Things start to get deep by the 8th page of the story as we follow Kasandra Rodriguez who works for the FBI. As every Jason Burns story before it, not everything is as it appears as Kas soon finds herself following an eccentric teacher who is hiding a very big secret connected to the mysterious killings.
I like the face that the story changes it's focus about 20 pages in and use a nice twist on a classic part of the bible. I honestly thought the praetorians would turn out to be the four named apostles but I like the idea of who they actually turn out to be. Adding religion into things added a unique element to the book, but it never went heavy handed on you and was really just treated as a plot point.
Ramon Espinoza's art is shining through in the story, especially the pages that show off the immortality of certain characters. The coloring really excels at selling the penciled work. Juliana's quest to stop the judgment killer really brings a lot of interesting pieces into the overall story. In this story, the character's morality, death and life are explored in some really great ways. Not to mention the character design of the main villain really shines through.
The story is involving, the art is powerful and the character's are all believable in a story with themes ranging from religion, to life and death and even morality. I'd say this is probably the strongest work of Jay's career (so far) and obviously I don't think we've seen anything yet. Definitely a buy.
Original Review at: http://comicrelated.com/display.php?item=1503&story=Outlaw%20Entertainment%20Spotlight
Comic Book Review: Praetorian by Steven Surman
A series of gruesome murders reveals a world of supernatural intrigue and religious conspiracy to FBI agents Rodriguez and Petrillo, setting the trajectory for Praetorian, an original comic book from the newcomer publisher Outlaw Entertainment. Written by Jason M. Burns and illustrated by Ramon Espinoza, Praetorian establishes a clandestine mood of "whodunit" while sustaining an overall enjoyable pace, smooth dialogue, and fun art.
Praetorian's plot opens in Portland, OR upon the discovery of a decapitated body, one that fits into a mysterious thread of similar murders. On the case are FBI agents Kasandra Rodriguez and Petrillo. The duo shares a quick-witted partnership, typically making jokes at the other's expense. But their relationship doesn't interfere with the grotesquely complex case on their hands, which eventually leads Rodriguez to enlist the help of Professor Julian, a local academic with an uncanny knowledge of ancient history. Through a series of events, the plot twists and turns, revealing that most of the characters are not who they initially seem.
Praetorian doesn't skimp on the supernatural, as Julian belongs to a foursome of immortal soldiers existing since the days of Christ. And for anyone with a taste for Christian mysticism, Longinus's legendary Spear of Destiny makes an appearance in the story, a tool that will help Julian and Rodriguez bring an end to the ritualistic murderers that have been troubling the world.
The overall plot of Praetorian is an entertaining mixed bag of graphic storytelling. The writing and panel transitions are smooth, giving the story a strong flow that fits in well with the mystery/thriller genre that is being utilized. Rodriguez and Petrillo are also charming characters; they toss banter back and forth that reveals a witty rapport between the two agents. It's the kind of relationship that made the characters inPulp Fiction and The X-Files so enjoyable, trading rude jokes one moment, while showing genuine concern the next.
The book wasn't without some flaws, however, most of which were caused by the plot devices used. Pop culture (especially Hollywood) has been inundated with Christian conspiratorial stories for years now:The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, End of Days, and The Omen to name only a few. Praetorian fits in well with its predecessors, but it doesn't offer anything shockingly new to set it apart from all that�s come before it. There were also some awkward circumstances that bothered me. For example, there are two specific murders that take place: one on the front lawn of a suburban neighborhood and the other in an empty high school locker room. The murder that happened in the locker room was actually caught (by chance) on a cell camera by a stray student, while the murder that took place out in the open during the day went completely unnoticed. There are also times when the general plot falls back on destiny and bloodlines, which is a literary device more worn out than Jeph Loeb's career.
Overall, Praetorian is both a fun and smooth read with richly colored art, but don't expect the genres it employs to be shaken up much. However, the ending does feature a rather cool (not to mention monstrous) villain, which is always a deserving bonus. And for any of my concerns or gripes, the book was left somewhat as a cliffhanger, so perhaps all that bothered me will be corrected or even approved upon in the future.
Original Review at: http://comicnews.info/?p=6362
Praetorian Review by Richard Vasseur Wed, 6 May 2009
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Comments: Rodriguez and Petrillo seem to be a comedy team as she insults him and he plays the straight man. They are actual police detectives not that you could tell by their lack of professionalism. That is though part of Rodriguez's charms.
Rodriguez is portayed as a tough woman with an attitude. She also has a nose for sniffing out the bad guys. Violent crimes are being committed its her job to solve them. She is all business and goes right to it. Her attitude though makes her a unlikable person even though she is drawn cute. This story quickly takes a turn into something totally different. It is definitely not your average murder mystery. In the time of ancient Rome we see the crucifixion of Christ. The Praetorian Guard survive even to today. They were there at the crucifixion and still survive today as does the Judgement Killer. These men with Rodriguez's help plan to bring him down.
The detective team get to do some police work and they do work well as a team.
The art is almost cartoonie in appearance but with the violence its easy to see this is no cartoon. Professor Julien and Detective Rodriguez have a very intense moment. They are both after the same thing. Julien is an immortal as well as three others he wants to stop this Judgement Killer and he will stop at nothing to do se. The killer once revealed is a surprise. The mystery and fantasy mixed with religion makes for an interesting read. There is lots of action as well. Some good art. The story though rolls along nicely it moves so smoothly from one scene to the next. It is an excellent comic.
Original Review at: http://forums.jazmaonline.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1061
Project Fanboy Reviews Preatorian Sun, 10 May 2009
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP - Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.
Publishers Blurb: Created by Rick Villa and Tony Hobdy
Description: Made immortal in the wake of christ's crucifixion, four Praetorian guards are tasked with protecting mankind in the centuries to come. Now 2009 and spread out around the globe, the Praetorians must reunite to track down a grisly serial killer whose seemingly random murdering sprees have been haunting them since their eternal rebirth.
Reviewer Comments: 112 pages of story for only $7.99. What could be better?
How about 112 pages of really GOOD story and great looking art for only $7.99?
Well, then you're in luck, because fledgling company, OUTLAW ENTERTAINMENT's graphic novel, PRAETORIAN, will be on the shelves in July.
How to describe it? Take the DAVINCI CODE and marry it to HIGHLANDER. Throw in a twist of LAW & ORDER, (I'm thinking Criminal Intent) and that will give you an idea of the kind of story we have here.
Headless bodies are turning up across the US with strange markings carved into their chests. FBI Agents Rodriguez and Petrillo are assigned to bring the killer in. Along the way, Rodriguez enlists the aid of College Professor, Julian. But the good Professor has an old secret. A verrrry old secret. he is one of four Roman praetorians who stood at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and were granted immortality and forgiveness by the risen Christ.
To further complicate things, it turns out the victims are all the descendants of our four immortals, and Julian fears their deaths are part of someone's scheme to acquire his own immortality.
The story is very well written, and grabs you from the beginning. I'm the biggest baby about reading the usual 22 page reviews online (my sensitive eyes, donchew know), but I just tore through these 112 like there was no tomorrow.
I'm also not the most religious man in the world, but this was very well presented. It isn't overly preachy or intensely philosophical. Everything is presented very factual and matter-of-factly, much like Julian's own personal outlook. At one point he tells Rodriguez, "It's the truth. Whether you find comfort in it or not is up to you." I liked that. The Divine and Miraculous handled in such a pragmatic way just made it easier to get wrapped up in.
There is a lot going on, in this religious, mystery, drama, fantasy.
The art is somewhat stylized, but not overly so. Each of the characters have their own look, which really helps covey their personalities. The art compliments the writing very well, in that it too presents the extraordinary in a very ordinary way. The violence, and oh yeah, a five way battle between immortals gets pretty violent, is not done for shock or splatter value. It get's intense and builds the drama, but it doesn't become one of those "Oh, look what we can do" gore for its own sake, books.
So, final verdict, PRAETORIAN is a well written, well rendered, highly entertaining, book length read that is MORE than worth the cover price.
See the original review at: http://www.projectfanboy.com/vb/showthread.php?t=3312
Praetorian Reviewed At Comics Bulletin Wed, 13 May 2009
Who doesn't love opening a comic to the first page and being presented with a headless corpse? This is how Praetorian starts--at least continuity-wise. Timeline-wise it starts at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Four Praetorian guards, who stood at the feet of Christ as he hanged from the Cross, were made immortal and given the task of protecting humanity from the Judgment Killer--who also seems to live forever. Now in the current year, the Judgment Killer is back and leaving headless bodies with symbols carved in them all around the country. With the help of FBI Agent Kasandra Rodriguez, the four Praetorians will try to stop the Judgment Killer once and for all.
This book wasn't at all what I expected it to be. I honestly thought it was going to be a horror comic (and lord knows how I feel about those), but no.
What this is is a dark Da Vinci Code-type thriller. I'd prefer not to relate Praetorian to The Da Vinci Code because people then just chalk it up as a rip off. This is not a rip off of that story, but it would fall into the same category of fiction as The Da Vinci Code.
There are the similarities between the two works: A mystery involving Jesus, the lineage angle, an artifact-based plot, and someone is related to someone else who may be immortal. However, the Spear of Destiny also plays a huge roll in the comic. The use of the Spear in a story like this isn't anything new, but it's a classic prop--sort of like having a villain wear an eye patch. It never goes out of style.
The character of Agent Rodriguez is fairly standard, too. She's assigned to the case and ends up getting too deeply involved--whether by her own doing or not. She's not a bad character at all, though, and she's nicely paired with Julian, the head of the immortal Praetorians.
The story isn't thin, and it moves at a good pace, but the villain isn't spectacular. It's pretty obvious who it's going to turn out to be, and then when the final showdown happens you're left feeling sort of indifferent: 'Okay, he's dead, big deal. It's not like he really did anything besides look ugly.'
I don't think enough time was spent on the real villain of the story: The Judgment Killer. I was more interested in the guy who was chopping the heads off people, but who was just the lackey as it turns out. Yeah, the villain was the biggest let down. He needed to be built up more, both in character and power. He dies like a bitch, and while not the bitchiest of bitch deaths, it's still predictable.
Jason M. Burns (Curse of the Werewoman) has produced another fun read, but his previous work was better. However, this book kept me turning pages, and that's what counts.
As for the art, it was interesting. It was like this crazy blend of animation-type styling and quasi-realistic Photoshop; it definitely has a unique look to it. There was some pretty good gore, which is always a plus in my book.
Overall, Praetorian is enjoyable but predictable at certain turns, and there are some things that don't fit just right, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.
See the original review at: http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/124222956741509.htm
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martes, 10 de marzo de 2009