Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dog Eaters Manga

600_DEcover_final6_Dog Eaters is written by Malcolm Wong & Guillermo A. Angel and is six part graphic novel. The story follows the Black dog clan in south United States America after the fall of government and order. Holding together their world are the casino cities and the hope of making a better life for themselves. The comics are packed with action, corruption, greed and perseverance . The character’s struggle with what is a reality we all know; the power to pick ourselves up after a fall and move forward. Wong breaks down society to give a family, the Black dogs, a chance to create a new world.

I had the pleasant opportunity to ask Malcolm Wong him a few questions about the story:


After reading the first issue, I couldn't help picturing elements from the movie Road warrior and Little House on the Prairie. What inspired you to approach your story in a way that allowed you to portray a warriors and family at the same time?

malcolm_jan_2009_sketchYou know, that's exactly how I would pitch DOG EATERS in that classic "Movie A meets Movie B" stereotypical Hollywood way!  I didn't outline or make a "beat sheet," for this story, I just started writing and began with the characters.  I think that if you have real relationships, you can create a story that seems true regardless of the setting.  In this story, Lamont is not only the leader and a great warrior; he is also a wayward husband and a strict, protective father.  These aspects Lamont's personality inform his decisions and because I did not have an outline, they guide the plot.  Where Lamont led, the story followed.  Then the other characters started to demand attention.  Tracy, Lamont's young daughter intrigued me.  She nurses a stranger, Bevan, to health and develops a crush on him.  Now all sorts of dynamics come into play and when you shuffle in the threat of constant attack by the Roaches from the outside, the story sort of writes itself.

So you started from characters, which lead you to the story. It must have been really fun using them to guide the story along and very hard not to get carried away. I couldn't help wanting to know more about the lesser characters.

Well, let's say that the main characters came before the plot.  The impetus for the story, which was first written as a screenplay, was the direction that I saw the US moving in.  Living outside of the States gives you a separation and perspective that you don't get otherwise.  I think that the reality shows (obsession with celebrity), the fact that at about half of Americans voted for Bush for two terms really show what America was like when I started writing DOG EATERS.  Now, we seem to have been brought to our senses with the domino-effect of the financial problems that started sub-prime mortgages.  Actually, the world financial situation is a giant Ponzi scheme and more and more people are seeing it for what it is. 
So, to condense this all into an opening:  Mankind failed to transcend the Petroleum Age.  175 years after the DIe Off, welcome to the world of the Black Dog Clan. 
Then you start to populate this world.  Rebecca, Lamont's wife when the story opens, is past prime childbearing age.  A strong leader will take other women.  It's sort of an Old Testament scenario.  How does Rebecca deal with it?  Tracy sides with her mother.  How does that affect her relationship with her father?  Tommy, the oldest son, is a talented marksman, but does he shirk responsibility?  Then add external pressure, mix well, and see what comes out.

I appreciate the fact that you mention women in your story. You said that  Lamont's wife will be replaced with another female of child bearing age.  Which leads me to ask, in the world of Dog Eaters how do women fair?  What is the power balance between men and women in the story?

There are an equal number of women that impact this story.  Rebecca, even displaced as Lamon't wife, is still a leader -- she's the one that has set the long-term goal of establishing their own casino-city on the Gulf.  Tracy, Lamont and Rebecca's daughter, is a girl on the cusp of adolescence who also affects the story in a major way.  Chunga, a loyal squad leader is like the ballast for the rudder, keeping the clan on track. 
The world is changing -- emerging from the dark ages after the Die Off, and Rebecca has seen the future.  She realizes that the nomadic life that the clan has been leading will no longer be viable and that establishing a home base is essential.  Lamont has been and continues to be the facilitator of this dream even after he takes another wife.

It was mentioned that Dog Eaters was a script. Were there any changes you made to the script for the adaptation to a comic book?

Yes, there were changes made in the adaptation to condense the story.  The original screenplay was 118 pages and this comic mini-series/graphic novel is 169 pages.  Although there are more pages in the comic, there's also a lot of images!  Scenes were cut, characters were merged.  The Dabel Brothers Award was to make an adaptation of the screenplay and Sean J. Jordan, who was one of the main people at Dabel at the time did the heavy lifting on that to restructure and make it fit into 168 pages.  I went back in and did a lot of rewriting, but he gets an adaptation credit.  Overall, the adaptation is very faithful to the original story, though.

When it comes to the topic of sequential story telling, most would agree that there should be synergy between the words of the writer and the imagery of an artist in a comic book. Of all the art styles to choose from, why was the manga style chosen for this story?

There are a lot of different styles.  I think that Guillermo's style is actually a hybrid of manga and American comics, especially the Marvel style if you generalize.  Guillermo is from Chile and so he is equally influenced by both Japan and America.  I think that this is great because there is not the sense of place you might get from a style that you might associate with a country.  And in addition, Guillermo and I quickly established a smooth working relationship, so to be able to be on the same page an aesthetic level, you also have connect and communicate without ego getting in the way.

What impact or ideas do you want your readers to take away after reading Dog Eaters?

While I don't really consider DOG EATERS to be a "message" book, I intended the story to have an emotional reality where motivations and cause and effect would ring true.  There are family issues, relationship issues, and ideas about the purpose of life.

The question is off topic and random. If you could live in anytime period besides your own, when would it be?

Well, if you believe in reincarnation, perhaps we have lived in many other time periods!  But the question sort of implies the possibility of time travel or time travel tourism, which would be very interesting!  I think that you would have to decide on what your social position was as well as the time period.  Assuming that I was what I am now, writer, glassblower, musician -- perhaps any of the civilizations that have had an appreciation for art and treated their artists nicely!  It's sort of an evasive answer, but almost any place can be heaven or hell, depending on your circumstances.

Actually, I would like -- maybe I was -- a ronin in Sengoku Jidai Japan.  This was a time before the Shogun and it was sort of like the Wid Wild West.  I'm sure it was a tough life in reality, let's romanticize it a bit -- make it into a manga!


for more information on Dog Eaters visit :


Saturday, January 24, 2009

I found Zetman!



Zetman © Masakazu Katsura/Young jump





The story starts off with a face-off between two rival heroes, ZET and Alphas, and then traces their origins - Jin Kanzaki, a young man born/created with the ability to transform into a superhuman being known as ZET, and Kouga Amagi, a young man with a strong sense of justice who uses technology to fight as Alphas.

The fates of these two men and those around them intertwine as they fight to protect mankind and destroy monstrous abominations known as Players, who ironically are the creations of the Amagi Corporation, the company founded by Kouga's grandfather, Mitsugai Amagi. -Zetman ~ Wikipedia








The story is dark and the action takes a long time to get going but once it does…it is awesome! The only thing that irks me about this manga is the fact that every female character either gets sexually assaulted, raped or abused.  I wish there were more strong female characters in action manga’s who has a purpose in a story other than eye candy. Oh, well, but other than that this one is awesome.




Read Zetman


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pendragon by D.J. MacHale

Pendragon by D.J. MacHale
Plot Summary

In the first book of the series, The Merchant of Death, Bobby Pendragon is leading a normal life in Stony Brook, a suburb of New York City, where he is the star of Stony Brook Middle School's basketball team. When he is fourteen, his uncle Press Tilton takes him to an abandoned train station where he and Bobby travel through a portal through space and time called a flume. Bobby soon finds himself in a different territory — possibly a different version of history or a different world entirely — called Denduron, where two important tribes are on the brink of a civil war because one tribe is forcing the other to work in mines. There Bobby discovers he was chosen to be a 'Traveler' between territories in order to defeat Saint Dane, an evil figure who wishes to tip all of Halla (the entirety of everything that exists, has existed, or will exist, including persons, time, and space) into chaos so that he can remake it according to his desire.


 I remember when I first picked up this book. I was in Downtown Los Angeles at the Central Library. At the time I was looking a new a different. Different from the usual teen novels for young adults, At the time there were countless of Buffy novels. I’ve made a religion out of avoiding tv shows to novels.  So, I picked of the third book in the series mainly for the cover. “Hmm, hey the title says Pendragon. May be it’s a King Arthur fantasy about a boy flying a bi-plane” I thought to myself. After reading the first to chapters, I was wrong it wasn’t about a King Arthur fantasy.  It was so much better! It had all of my favorite elements, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Morals...everything that a person could wonder about. The storytelling, a good versus evil plot and pop culture references encouraged me to keep reading.
 The story follows a boy named Bobby Pendragon form New England USA who is taken on a journey through time, dimension and space by in Uncle to battle a great evil which threatens the existence of everything. Bobby is transformed over the years from that of a boy into a man and a leader. As he tells his story in the form of journals we are allowed to see into his character and watch him grow. He relates all if his experiences to real life. Unfortunately, He fails countless of times during entanglements with Saint Dane.  When he does win its worth its weight in gold! 
I love reading Bobby’s journals but Machall writes the story in an interesting way which allows him on occasion write in third person. When he is not focusing on Bobby the story focuses on the ripple of his actions and how they affect his friends. Along for the ride is his best friend Mark and Courtney. They too develop as the books progress. They grow from observers to participants in a war that decides the fate of everything that was, is and shall be forever. 

The storytelling, action and the growth of a child into a leader is what makes this series a worthwhile read. The final book will be out this year.  A long, adventures journey is about to come to an end. 


Friday, January 9, 2009

【Part 1/2】The Tower of DRUAGA -the Sword of URUK- Epi.1



Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ender's Game

Ender's Game ©
Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game (1985) is the best-known novel by Orson Scott Card.[1] It is set in Earth's future where mankind has barely survived two conflicts with the Formics (an insectoid alien race also known as the "Buggers") and the International Fleet is preparing for war. In order to find and train the eventual commander for the anticipated third invasion, the world's most talented children, including the extraordinary Ender Wiggin, are taken into a training center known as the Battle School at a very young age and trained in the arts of war through increasingly difficult games. Its sequels, Ender in Exile, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind, follow Ender to different worlds as he travels far into the future. ~ Wikipedia review because its so good.
This is a classic. Seriously doesn't it remind you of Halo's Master Chief. Makes you wonder where they got thier inspiration from.


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