Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Poetic Duet

So in the last few days I've been posting some of my poems on Instagram, and had a lovely person respond ever so kindly to them, and ask if they could write a collaborative poem with me. I jumped at the chance to try something different, and after hours of writing together yesterday, we came up with the poem below. We called it Becoming Whole. Make sure to check out her Wordpress and show some love to a beautiful soul. Also, if you are a Wordpresser, you can check out her copy of the poem, and reblog to your heart's content- http://hastywords.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/becoming-whole/

Becoming Whole

Written by Christian Mansell and Hastywords

Even as the sky covers
our sleepy eyes,
Dreams can’t escape
our finger’s grasp.

The world we’ve created
spills forth, joining,
blanketing negativity
in our combined hope.

We step through images,
eyes aglow
Tracing our past, our present,
moulding futures untold.

Holding our breath
We fall hearts first,
Into ancient stories
recollecting former fragments
to make us, one.

We are again whole
The beginning; our rebirth.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Superior (Graphic Novel) Review

by Mark Millar & Leinil Yu

I've read quite a lot of comics since I picked up my first one properly, The Amazing Spider-Man #657 if you really wanted to know, and for the most part I read them and that's it, next! Not that they weren't fun to read, or that I won't ever read them again, they just go into their bag and into their correct place on my shelf, to be read again one day when the feeling strikes. Sometimes, however,  I absolutely adore reading a certain issue/run and want to re-read them over and over again, be it five minutes later, a few days later, or even a few weeks later. I think you'll understand that feeling. Hell, when I was fifteen I watched The Matrix almost every day for a year, such was my enjoyment of the story and every single detail of the film. I even watched every special feature available on the discs, multiple times.

I wanted to BE Neo.

Some stories just draw you in, without warning, from the very first word, panel, or page, and a surge of electricity tingles along your whole body as you forget everything around you; your focus entirely on that architect of inspiration, that story that changes you fundamentally. I've felt this way several times in my life, but for the sake of of this review, I'm going to delve into the most recent occurrence of this phenomena.

By now, if you've not been cast away on an island for five years, been left in a coma and only just come out, or some other comic downfall that my mind can't quite pick out of the air tonight, then you'll have heard of Mark Millar, and know that he is one of the biggest names in comics right now. I'll admit that I first heard of him because of the Kick-Ass film, and I'll also admit that I started with the film, followed by Kick-Ass 2 before even getting near the comic version of the original, which is currently sat on my bedside table, ready to be consumed in the forthcoming days; right now an Arrow marathon is more pressing. That's right, folks: I have no allegiance to Marvel or DC, just a damn good story.

Having found out about Millar's extensive creator-owned range of comics, I decided to read through as many of his stories as I can, and the one that I instantly fell in love with was the seven issue, limited series 'Superior'. Written by Millar, one knows to expect: a fair amount of swearing, gratuitous violence and uncomfortable situations. This is exactly what we get, and the story is all the more entertaining and thought-provoking for it.

My one thought coming into this review was how much to tell the reader without ruining the power that is found in the story, so I decided to tell the essentials, and hope it sounds as appealing to you as it did to me.

Superior follows Simon Pooni, a twelve year old boy who has developed Multiple Sclerosis, and become unable to do the things that he once loved. He can no longer play basketball, play with his friends or even do something as simple to us as unwrapping the cellophane off a new DVD. It's safe to say he is miserable. Enter Ormon, an alien monkey, who grants him his ultimate wish: to become the comic/film character Superior.

From this encounter Simon experiences a world of magical wish-fulfilment, the kind that generates goosebumps; seriously, I don't think my arms recovered until a few hours AFTER I'd finished the entire story. Without giving too much away. He is Superior, and sets about being every inch the hero. Thanks to Lienil Yu's art style perfectly complimenting the story as it's being told, his kinetic style really makes the world feel alive and the characters look highly expressive and dynamic; every set piece really grips the reader.

This comic really does have it all: laughs, lightness, darkness, and everything in-between. The true nature of the 'gift' from Orman is especially chilling, and ultimately very clever. It just makes sense, in this media. The final two issues pull at your heart in a way that has you rushing to get to the end to find out just what will happen, but never sacrificing your enjoyment of the story. Suffice it to say I was extremely pleased with the ending. It's perfect.

A final thought on Superior that is interesting for me, personally, is that Superior is clearly Mark Millar's ode to Superman. In the opening pages of issue one, Simon's friend Chris comments on the character of Superior, saying 'I'm not saying his powers aren't cool. He's just too much of a boy scout for people these days' to which Simon responds 'Seriously? I always liked the fact that Superior doesn't kill people. Being a nice guy is what makes him different...' This, for anyone who is a fan of, or even dislikes Superman, will be a known point of debate among fans. The character of Superior, and his powers all share a likeness to Superman except seen through the eyes of a child who has suffered in his life. It was this that stuck with me through the whole story, and nearly had me in tears several times.

This is a poignant, powerful and pertinent comment on today's society, how society views Superman, and the stigmas of disability.

I can't recommend reading it enough. It is a fantastic read, and if you don't like it...

Monday, 14 November 2011

THE Most Vile Film... Of All Time? Maybe. That I've Ever Seen- YES!

So I was chilling with my friend today and they put the idea across that we should watch The Human Centipede 2. Now I've never seen the first one, but from what i've heard from people that have, is that it's not actually as bad as it's made out to be and isn't really graphic. So I ended up deciding to go along with the watching of THC2 and having tonight come away from my friend's house I can honestly say that it is probably the WORST film i've ever watched in my life. Not worst in the sense of 'oh this direction is so bad, this is a terrible movie', or 'these actors are terrible, such a bad movie', or even 'this plot is so boring, stupid and lame, this is such a bad movie' just the depravity that is throughout, it's just SHOCKINGLY horrible. I've never stared with such disgust for the duration of a film as when I watched THC2. It doesn't help that i'm easily offended at the best of times but EVERYTHING about the film made me feel dirty and disgusted. It even managed to offend my not so easily offended horror buff friend, and that's saying something.

The actor they hired to portray the antagonist is one of the most revolting people we have ever laid eyes on and just having to look at him for the duration of the film is torture enough before all the crazy stuff goes down. He's obese, small and just plain not nice to look at. He looks like a vulgar take on the Penguin from Batman lore. That he has an illness is clear, but still uncomfortable to follow. Every wheeze, cough and splutter makes you gag and want to drown out the noise with anything you can.

The plot is the most interesting part of the film. It's what kept me going to the end, and you can just IMAGINE that there are people like that who take an innocent concept like a film and turn it into something more perverse that any normal person. That the character clearly enjoys everything that happens makes you feel sick and want to know just how someone could be like that no matter what's happened to them in their lives.

All in all i'd NEVER even PAY someone to watch this film, but if you've got a strong stomach, and aren't offended easily (I know a few of you out there) then I know you're more than likely going to watch it. Don't say I didn't warn you that it's vile.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

My First Sketch

So i've been collecting comics properly for about a year now I guess and talking to more and more people, and finding out more things, i've come to learn that getting sketches done by your favourite artists is quite a big thing.

I've not actively started thinking about artists that I want to do sketches for me etc. although an Adi Granov Iron Man would be IMMENSE, and an Umbrella Academy group sketch by Gabriel Ba would be too, but as of saturday the 5th of November 2o11 I now own an original sketch of two of my all-time favourite superheroes!

Thank you Simon Wyatt for giving me something that I'll cherish forever :) I can't wait to frame it and put it on my wall!

Here it is for your viewing pleasure

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Haha, okay so maybe not quite huh? BUT, playing Batman: Arkham City is probably the closest thing i'll get unless I decide to become struck by personal tragedy, travel the world honing both my body and mind to perfection and then wearing a costume followed by kicking criminal asses. Out of all of the games i've gotten/played this year, B:AC is by far my favourite. I had such high expectations going into it after LOVING the first one, and I've never had my expectations blown out of the water in a better way. EVERYTHING is a trillion times better than anything I could have expected it to be.

The flying about the city using an upgraded grapple hook and your cape is one of the most enjoyable experiences going. Not touching the ground for as long as you can becomes a mini-game of sorts for yourself, and i've caught myself just flying around for upwards of ten minutes without even realising- too fun.

The combat is way more fluid and compelling this time round. With multiple counters, extra moves and more finishers you can jump over, dodge, counter and pummel your way through combos of upwards of 70 and still have many inmates left to beat up in the combo. I thought they had it nailed with Akham Asylum, but City's combat leaves AA's feeling dated and hard in comparison.

The storyline, again written by Dini is another cracker, and you have a lot of fun with all the twists, turns and genuinely shocking moments, including an intriguing ending that leaves the series with so many different routes to follow in the inevitable sequel.

Everything that AA did AC betters in the best of ways and I've never enjoyed a superhero game more. Worthy of the game of the year, but no doubt going to lose out after one of the biggest gaming quarters I can ever remember- Uncharted 3, MW3, Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, Skyrim... When will it end :p

On a side note- the collector's edition of the game I got was seriously the coolest version of a game i've ever gotten. A Blu-Ray, a STATUE, and extra DLC? Heaven :P Oh and the art book is so awesome!