Sunny Jhanna

Bienvenidos a Sunny Jhanna, el sitio oficial de Las crónicas de Dae y Ruled by Spiders. ¡Gracias por visitarnos y regresad pronto!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Reading List: April

April has been a disappointing month when it comes to books. The manga and comics I loved, but the novels weren't nearly as good as I was hoping. Let's see what we have:

University, by Benley Little
I had been wanting to read University for the longest time. A horror story taking place on a college campus struck me as the perfect idea for a thrilling ride. But Little's formulaic development of the tale left me deeply unsatisfied. I've read other books by him, and I think I liked them all better. How sad.

Remote, vol. 1
As I said here, a terrific read.

Liberty Meadows, vol. 1: Eden
I already have volumes 2, 3, and 4, and I can only hope they'll be as much fun as this one. Again, I've already talked about this book by the great Frank Cho here.

Remote, vol. 2
Kurumi's adventures continue in the second volume of this fun manga. This time, the case takes the cute detective to a high school where somebody has planted a score of bombs. The perfect marriage of cool story and cool artwork.

The Resort, by Bentley Little
Another book by Little, the reason I read this one was because I got it as part of a three-book deal I won on eBay. The Resort is entertaining, creepy, and fun to read; but if you've already read a few books by the author, you know all his tricks, and that very much detracts from the story. Still, if you want to read about the perfect vacation spot that all of a sudden is not so perfect anymore, then read this book.

Remote, vol. 3
Agent Kurumi Ayaki and Detective Himuro are back with the conclusion of the High School bombs case, and a shorter one in which Kurumi must become a spoiled brat's bodyguard. Fun, fun, fun!

Arrowsmith
This very entertaining graphic novel by Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco was reviewed by yours truly right here.

Cartomancy, by Michael Stackpole
The second book in the Age of Discovery trilogy is quite disappointing. I had had this book for over a year (I bought it when it first came out but didn't read it), and now that the third one is about to come out, I reread A Secret Atlas and then plunged into Cartomancy. If ASA was entertaining but not as good as many other books by Stackpole, Cartomancy is even weaker. There were long chunks of it that just bored me to death. Stackpole is usually big on political intrigue, but this book's is so "smart" and ambitious that just loses the reader. Also, the fact that the main political players are not the main characters the story follows renders the whole political scenario into something not completely irrelevant, but almost. A really cool character, Moraven Tolo (who was also in the first book), emerges in this sequel and quickly becomes the reader's favorite, and even though it's obvious he'll have a much bigger part in the third book, his badassness is not enough to compensate for a mostly dull novel. Let's hope The New World is better, because I know Stackpole is more than capable.

A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
I read A Walk in the Woods five years ago and loved it. It was my first Bryson book, and now, after having read four other books by the author, I decided I would reread it. And yes, AWITW is still laugh-out-loud funny, but I think I've read too many books by the author to keep laughing as hard as I used to. If you've never read anything by him, you'll love this book. If you've read most of what he's done (which would mean you've probably read this one already), then don't bother.

Liberty Meadows, vol. 2: Creature Comforts
Another exhilarating read. Frank Cho and the animals at the sanctuary rock!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

GMeP: My13 - ¿Digamelón?



Tras haber estado viendo los DVDs recopilatorios que Martes y 13 sacaron al mercado hace ya varios meses, no podía resistirme a que el siguiente Gran Momento en Pantalla (patente pendiente) que apareciera en Sunny Jhanna fuera de este pedazo de pareja de cómicos que tantas nocheviejas hicieron aún más agradables para los hogares españoles.
Quizás uno de sus mejores y más conocidos sketchs sea el que posteo hoy, pero es que son responsables de tantos, y tan variados... ¿Quién no recuerda a Encarna de Noche, para todos los amigos de España? ¿O a Toni Sevilla y su gran éxito “Soy Maricón”? Los gags hilarantes se suceden: el videoclip de Gabinete Cagalera, las muñecas de Famosa (que se dirigen a Antena 3), la bicicleta sin sillín, el café Tacilla, la copla, el fandango, seguidillas, bulerías, chiquilladas...
A disfrutar. Y recordad: España no acaba donde empieza el mar. ¡Qué va! Hay barcas pa’ seguir.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Future is Now

How can Jessica Biel be so damn hot? That's what I kept thinking when I was watching Next, the movie starring Nicolas Cage, the aforementioned mega hottie, and redheaded cutie Julianne Moore. I mean, it doesn't matter if she's wearing a skirt, jeans (incredible), a towel when she's coming out of the shower, or that fantastic pink spaghetti-strap top (all of them actual clothes from the movie). She is so beautiful that nothing else matters. Really. The good thing is that the movie is also good, so even if you're a weirdo who doesn't think Jessica Biel is the hottest woman on the planet (okay, along with Scarlett Johansson), you might still get a kick out of the movie.

Next tells the story of Cris Johnson (Cage), a guy that can see his future. Not "the future", but the future that directly affects him and those around him. And he can only see two minutes ahead, no more. Enter zealous federal agents, a government ready to sacrifice individual freedoms, hidden threats, growing paranoia, and the difficulty to tell what's real from what it isn't, and you end up with something that very much sounds like a story Philip K. Dick would actually write. And hey, he did write it, since Next is based on Dick's The Golden Man.

The movie is big on action, and even though I've never thought Cage, Biel or Moore are the greatest actors on Earth, they certainly are competent and do a good job in the film. The story, as I've already pointed out, is quite interesting, and is nicely paced and developed by director Lee Tamahori. Also, clocking in at one and a half hour, the movie doesn't overstay its welcome, and the whole thing is easily enjoyed and digested. So, if you're a fan of Dick's paranoia-ridden tales, and want to let your jaw drop every time you see gorgeous Jessica Biel on screen, don't hesitate and rush to a theater near you!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fire in the [insert place of choice here]

It seems we're getting to see a lot of my pictures recently. I guess that means I'm either being very productive, or that I don't know what else to write about. Anyway… This is the first picture of three I drew in a row while listening to some Monkey Island- inspired music. The fire monster is just drawn with pencil, and it took me 12 minutes to do. Hope you like it!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Y a todo color!

El otro día os enseñé la versión a lápiz de este dibujo, que jamás entinté. Como ya dije entonces, el dibujo me costó una hora y media o así. Colorearlo, por supuesto, fue un proceso considerablemente más largo. Seis horas, para ser exactos. Bueno, más o menos exactos, porque tardé algo así, pero no sé exactamente cuánto. En fin, que espero que os guste.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Danger! Danger! High Voltage!

Okay, here it is. It took me an hour to color it, cause it was a pretty simple picture. And there's really nothing else to say, unless I want to quote Electric Six, which I don't… Oh, what the heck: Fire in the disco... Fire in the Taco Bell...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

That Time of the Month

Ah, it's time to talk about this week's comic books. And since it had been a few weeks since I had actually swung by B&M, "this week" actually means these past few weeks. Since I've been dropping pretty much everything I was buying, there's only four books this time, so the reviews should be good, right? Well, lessee..

Danger Girl: Body Shots #1
I pretty much told you everything about it here, so no need to repeat myself.

Wetworks #7
Okay, I need to complain here. Almost a year ago, Whilce Portacio was saying that Wetworks was going to ship on time because he had already finished six issues, and therefore they had enough material to keep the series going once they started to publish it. Since I'm always thinking the worst, I thought that the seventh issue would be late. As it turns out, I was wrong: issue 7 did ship on time, but guess what: Portacio does NOT draw it. I understand he's been having a hard time dealing with his diabetes, and I also understand he's been drawing both Wetworks and Batman Confidential at the same time. But I also understand that, the more time the artists have to finish their books, the longer it actually takes them. Why? Probably because they think "Oh, I'm okay. I've got six issues finished, so there's no need to hurry".
Whatever the explanation, the truth of the matter is that it is not Portacio, but hack Darick Robertson who draws this issue. And he is horrible. I was disgusted with the horrendous artwork, and even though the story is better than last month, the pictures are ugly as hell. Can I be more explicit about this? The pictures SUCK ass, and I can draw better than that. The artwork is pathetic, and Wildstorm should be ashamed of putting out such crap. Now that feels better. I'm giving this series one more issue before I drop it. And you know what? According to what Portacio said on his blog, I wouldn't be the first one, since the book is not exactly selling hundreds of thousands of copies.

Witchblade #104
Once again, a very satisfying read. This issue is very well written and illustrated, and even though there's not a whole lot going on, the story does move forward a little bit, and it gives us a couple of surprises. Also, Stjepan Sejic illustrates a few pages along with regular artist Adriana Melo, but even though he's supposed to be sensational, I don't really like him. Still, a good read.

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #3
Surprising as it may be, The Gunslinger is again the top book of the month. Part of the story I remembered from Wizard & Glass, the fourth book of the series in which this comic book series is based on, and it was just great to see the "saloon showdown" on paper. Jae Lee does a superb job illustrating the story, and the artwork is out of this world. And at the end, after the short story that always complements the drawn pages, there is the first part of the Dark Tower panel from last February's New York Comic Con, in which Stephen King and everybody else involved in the comic book answer questions from the audience. Each issue of TGB is expensive, but it comes jam packed with goodness: incredible artwork, fantastic story, sketches and behind the scenes material, a short story, and, this time, the first part of the Comic Con panel. As I always say, y'all should be reading this book. May ya have long days and pleasant nights.

Monday, April 23, 2007

El medio número de la bestia

Dada la agudeza de ingenio que me caracteriza, se me ha ocurrido que podía celebrar el post número 333 aquí en Sunny Jhanna con un dibujo de un monstruo. No sabía muy bien qué quería dibujar, excepto por el hecho de que quería que hubiera fuego o llamas (todo quedará más claro cuando lo pinte, aunque creo que es bastante obvio). El resultado podéis verlo a la izquierda. El boceto me ha costado cinco minutos, y acabar los lápices me ha llevado otros cinco. Entintarlo me ha costado quince minutos, con lo que el total es 25 fantásticos minutos. La cosa se alargará cuando lo coloree, por supuesto, pero hasta entonces, ahí quedan los veinticinco minutos. Y hablando de colorear, ya he pintado mi segundo dibujo con Photoshop. Si sois buenos, lo veréis esta semana. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rooting for the Bad Guy?

I just came back from the movies (what an original way to start one of my posts). As I said yesterday, I went to see Fracture, starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. The movie is yet another thriller in what seems to be my quest to only go to the movie theater to see thrillers this month. At any rate, the film is very entertaining, and I certainly liked it.
Without spoiling anything (even the trailer gives more away), I'll tell you that Fracture presents us with Ted Crawford (Hopkins), a rich guy who, in the first few minutes of the movie, kills his adulterous wife and not only confesses to the crime, but chooses to represent himself in court. Just by reading this you can obviously guess that there's something else going on. And even if you can't, the trailer makes that something very explicit. But I won't reveal anything else about the plot. If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, avoid the trailer (actually cover you eyes and ears if you come across it) and go see the movie. I think the solid interpretations of both Hopkins and Gosling are well worth your money, plus the story is twisty and interesting. And the main actress, Rosamund Pike, is truly gorgeous despite her strange name. And talking about hotties, Mona the secretary kept me wondering for the whole movie if Erica Campbell (one of the most beautiful women on the planet, in case you don't know whom I'm talking about) had made the jump to mainstream movies. It turns out that, despite the striking resemblance, it wasn't her, but Zoe Kazan. But it doesn't matter. Just go see the movie and be entertained for an hour and a half.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Habitaciones libres

La tercera película de abril (cuarta si contamos Grindhouse como dos películas indepen-
dientes) es otro thriller, igual que Disturbia y la ante-
riormente mencionada Grindhouse. Y si tenemos en cuenta que planeo ir a ver Fracture mañana, parece que la racha va a proseguir.
Vacancy, protagonizada por Luke Wilson y la guapísima Kate Beckinsale, cuenta la historia de una pareja con problemas que se ve obligada a pasar la noche en la habitación de un motel en la que -no tardan en descubrir- se han grabado decenas de películas snuff, uno de los conceptos que a mí personalmente me resultan más aterradores. ¿Sobrevivirán? ¿No llegarán a ver el alba? Por supuesto, no os lo voy a decir.
La película es intensa, emocionante, y te mantiene en vilo hasta el final. Kate Beckinsale, además de hermosísima, es una muy buena actriz; y el gran trabajo de Luke Wilson me ha hecho recordar los elogiosos comentarios de Halagan de cuando mi querido co-blogueador reseñó My Super ExGirlfriend.
Creo que Disturbia me gustó más (probablemente porque hay bastante más humor), pero Vacancy no me ha decepcionado -pese a contener más de un tópico que hemos visto ya mil veces-, y la hora y media que dura me ha mantenido de lo más entretenido. Así que, si queréis ver un -otro- thriller fácilmente digerible, pasaos por el Pinewood Motel, y a ver si vivís para contarlo.

Friday, April 20, 2007

La vida de Humberto Ramos

He sido fan de Humberto Ramos desde que lo descubrí en Impulse, el primer trabajo de relevancia que el dibujante mexicano publicó, hace ya diez años. Desde entonces, he seguido su carrera, aunque no muy concienzudamente. Tengo varios de sus números de DV8, verdaderamente interesantes. Me gustó su Crimson, pero nunca terminé la serie. Me encantó Out There (especialmente los primeros seis números), hasta que empezó a ponerse demasiado religiosa/trascendental y decidí dejarla. Devoré su Spiderman con ojos como platos de tan excelente que me pareció. Compré Revelations (hablando de religión), que me parece una grandísima serie limitada. Me hice con su Wolverine, que no acabó de convencerme; compré también sus números de X-Men, que están mejor pero sin pasarse; y estoy siguiendo su serie de ciencia-ficción que publica con la editorial francesa Soleil, K. Por todo esto, descargué con alegría el podcast (con imagen!) que el propio autor mencionó en su blog el otro día, y me tragué los diez minutos de vídeo sin pestañear. En el minidocumental, Ramos cuenta cómo empezó en el mundo del comic, cómo fue pasando de proyecto a proyecto, y qué necesita un dibujante para triunfar (muy razonablemente, el bueno de Humberto dice que lo que se necesita es, oh sorpresa, disciplina). Vamos, que aparte de dibujar estupendamente, Ramos es un tío cabal y con los pies en la tierra. Así que, si tenéis curiosidad, pasaos por aquí, y buscad "Ramos". Enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Abbey & Sydney

Danger Girl is back with Body Shots, the new limited series by Andy Hartnell and Nick Bradshaw. I just got the first issue, which came out a couple of weeks ago, and I loved it. The opening of the story is spectacular, and it seems the spy tale that is just beginning is going to be much more exciting than last year's Back in Black. Even Her Majesty's most famous agent has a cameo! (And I'm talking Craig here) Needless to say, Bradshaw's artwork is fun and dynamic and you can see he's having a great time working with these characters. Of course, I wish Scott Campbell drew this book (it is, after all, his creation), but Bradshaw is just terrific, and at least he actually draws on a monthly basis. So go ahead and check out Danger Girl: Body Shots #1. If nothing else, you'll be supremely entertained, and isn't that what comic books are supposed to be all about?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Redemption

What might be the first serious project of Sarah Michelle Gellar in the movies industry opens next 29th of April in the Tribeca Film Festival. And it was about time.

After witnessing her exploits as Scooby Doo's lovely Daphne Blake (and, after all, I kinda liked those movies), and watching her fruitless attempts to give life to such dull and personalityless characters as that girl from The Grudge whose name I can't even start to remember, we will see her in one of the more star-plagued movies of the year. Directed by novice Jieho Lee, The Air I Breathe cast is pretty impressive, to say the least. Brendan Fraser, Kevin Bacon, Andy García, Forest Whitaker and Julie Delpy in the same movie are way worth the ticket price. SMG is back and this time there are no vampires, haunted houses nor even a single CGI dog.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Kids Aren't Alright

I decided to make Disturbia this month's second movie, so instead of going to see Pathfinder, I went for the suburban thriller. And I really liked it.
The movie is like a 2007 Rear Window with cute teenagers and an endless supply of cutting-edge gadgets, and even though Disturbia certainly is nothing new under the sun, it manages to be engaging, entertaining, and quite intense. The film tells the story of Kale, a high school student under house arrest for three months. With his TV and Xbox 360 gone, the only thing left for him to do is watch his neighbors through the window. We have the porn-addicted middle schoolers, the uber-hot new neighbor (on the left), and the creepy guy that might just be a psychopath. Or is he?
As I said before, the thriller is intense and keeps you on the edge of your seat. And the actors all do a very good job. David Morse (along with William H. Macy) has always been one of my favorite character actors, and he is great as the suspicious neighbor; Carrie-Anne Moss is a believable mom (no more leather for her); and the three friends unveiling the mystery (the ubiquitous Shia LaBeouf, the hot Sarah Roemer, and the hilarious Aaron Yoo) are all very well cast and more than competent.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this movie to anybody that wants to experience an hour and a half of solid entertainment. So, go see it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Crazy Comic Con Coming

The fine folks in charge of the famous Dragon Con are preparing another fun event in Atlanta: the Atlanta Comics Expo, which will take place on April 21st and 22nd. At first, I didn't think I'd be able to go on Saturday, and I was planning on attending on Sunday; but it turns out I can do it, so I think I might swing by on Saturday, and spend some quality time with other geeky nerds like me, hehe. After all, it's only an hour and a half away, and it could be fun! I'll let you know how it goes, and how much money I end up spending (hopefully not a lot). And hey, Whilce Portacio and Talent Caldwell are going to be there, so I might even get a couple of sketches! How cool would that be?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

GARRAPATOS


Estas son mis dos ultimas creaciones, los Garrapatos con jintes goblins, para el Ejercito de Orcos y goblin de mi primo, son unas miniaturas bastante graciosas y me lo pasa muy bien pintandolas, el goblin de la izquierda aunqueno se puede apreciar tiene una cara de susto que mola un monton...bueno la que deberias poner si vas montado en un bicho con una boca más grance que tu a toda velocidad y eres tan tonto que te has puesto al reves.
Espero que os guste.

¿Es un pájaro? ¿Es un avión?

Hace cuatro años, el reputadísimo guionista Kurt Busiek y el excelentísimo dibujante Carlos Pacheco (gaditano de pura cepa) se unieron para crear la miniserie Arrowsmith. Y hoy por fin la he leído, los seis números convenientemente recopilados en un fantástico tomo.
"Últimamente" parece que no hago más que leer historia alternativa con algún tipo de magia de por medio (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, la serie del dragón Temeraire, la nunca suficientemente ponderada Age of Unreason), y Arrowsmith se halla en esta categoría. En la serie, Fletcher Arrowsmith, un joven idealista de los USC (United States of Columbia) se alista en el Cuerpo Aéreo y viaja a Gallia para luchar en la Primera Guerra Mundial. Y el cuerpo aéreo, cabe mencionar, toma su nombre del hecho de que sus integrantes pueden volar, canalizando, a través de un hechizo, el poder de sus compañeros dragones. Trolls, zombies, vampiros, hechiceros y salamandras gigantes se mezclan con el escenario "real" de la Primera Guerra Mundial, y el resultado es una entretenidísima aventura muy bien escrita y mejor dibujada. O, en otras palabras, que si no sabéis qué tomo repleto de paneles comprar a continuación, la cosa está clara: haceos con Arrowsmith, y agradecédmelo luego.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Tías buenas con espadas

Como ya dije aquí hace algunas semanas, 2007 marca el increíble décimo aniversario de la creación de Erin y Dae, las dos protagonistas de Las crónicas de Dae, esa fantástica obra de la comedia de aventuras por el abajo firmante escrita. Y como también dije en el citado post, hacía mucho tiempo (un año largo, más o menos) que no dibujaba a mis queridas y macizas bocazas favoritas. Total, que como no tenía otra cosa que hacer, he cogido lápiz y papel y he sacado a pasear a las fieras guerreras, y la imagen de ahí al lado es el resultado. Como podéis observar, el dibujo está hecho a lápiz (y no tengo intención de entintarlo), y me ha costado algo menos de hora y media, boceto incluido. En lo que respecta al color, debo decir que me siento tentado de photoshopearlo, aunque las ocho horas que pasé frente al dibujo de los tentáculos me hace pensármelo dos veces antes de acometer tamaña empresa. Aunque tampoco es que tenga otra cosa que hacer este fin de semana, aparte de ir al cine a ver un par de pelis y pasarme por B&M para comprar comics (todo sea por tener material sobre el que escribir aquí). Así que quién sabe...

Friday, April 13, 2007

My First Photoshopped Picture

Today is a special day, because I am showing you guys my first Photoshop-colored picture ever! I had tried to do things a couple of times, but I had never really followed through. This one was different, though. My dear friend Jorge asked me for a picture, and I not only decided to go crazy on the topic and elements (I seem to have a weakness for Surrealism), but to color it using Photoshop. Which was kind of tricky because, as I said, I had never really done it before.
I came up with the idea for the picture quickly, and the sketch took about five minutes or so. Then, I grabbed a sheet of good paper, and drew the picture. It only took me around 45 minutes, because I can actually draw pretty fast, and then inking it only took a bit longer, maybe 70 or 75 minutes. It was coloring it that killed me. I ended up spending about 8 hours coloring it (over three days), but I have to say that I'm quite happy with the results. My favorite part is probably the guy's pants, along with the tentacle closer to us. I like the colors and the cold, bluish hue that seems to be everywhere. I'm sure professional colorists would look at this and scoff, but hey, this is my first attempt, and I think it turned out rather nicely. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Banana Hammock

I just got the fourth season of Scrubs, and I'm enjoying it tremend-
ously. I had already mentioned I'm a big fan of the show, and even though Nash doesn't seem to like that particular kind of humor, the show is side-splittingly funny. My favorite character is Dr. Cox hands down, but pretty much everybody is fantastic: the Janitor, Ted the lawyer, Turk, The Todd… And, of course, JD, the main character, who would be perfect to play Guybrush Threepwood in a hypothetical Monkey Island movie.
The fifth season is coming out in May, and I'm sure planning on getting it. And, if you like good comedy, dear readers, you should be getting it too!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

El principe Valiente en los tiempo del Rey Arturo


El Principe Valiente es uno de los mejores comics de la historia, si no el mejor, no solo por su calidad grafica, como podeis apreciar en el dibujo que es increible, Harol Foster, su creador y guionista se fija hasta el más pequeño detalle, si no tambien por el guion, a lo largo de 22 años, que se dice pronto, se puede seguir las aventuras de Valiente desde que tiene que dejar su tierra natal hasta que se casa y tiene hijos. Creo que es de los pocos personajes de comic que envejece y tiene una vida "normal", ya que vive miles de aventuras, al principio más fantasticas pero cada vez más realista, ves a Valiente cometer locuras de juventud, enamorarse, casarse y tener hijos, se reencuentra con viejos amigos cuando vuelve a pasar por los mismos lugares y entierra tambien a muchos compañeros por el camino. Foster cuida a su cración como debieran hacer todos los dibujantes y cuando se vio incapacitado para seguir con su labor delego en alguien que hiciese bien su trabajo y siguiendo sus instrucciones. Han salido muchas ediciones, casi todas ellas lamentables en color, pero realmente donde se puede apreciar toda su grandeza es en las versiones en blanco y negro, hace poco han sacado una nueva edicion en tamaño gigante y blanco y negro, se podria decir que es cara ya que cuesta 27,5€ cada tomo y hay 22, uno por año, pero os aseguro que merece la pena. He leido cientos de veces cada volumen pero ahora es cuando realmente disfruto de este increible comic.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fierce Creatures

I'm always saying Frank Cho is one of my favorite artists, but I had never read Liberty Meadows, the comic strip that made him famous and got him several awards. I had his Shanna for Marvel, his Women book, and his collection of Liberty Meadows covers, but I hadn't read a single LM strip. Of course, that had to change, and that's why I went ahead and bought the first trade paperback collecting the series, Liberty Meadows: Eden. And I enjoyed it immensely.

LM tells the story of a bunch of characters living at Liberty Meadows, an animal sanctuary. The two human characters are Brandy, the hot animal psychologist; and Frank, the goofy veterinarian that loves her but is too scared of asking her out. And the five animals are Ralph, a crazy midget bear that used to work in a circus; Leslie, a hypochondriac bullfrog; Dean, a chain-smoking pig obsessed with hitting on women; Truman, a tiny and naïve duck; and Oscar, a mute wiener dog.

Cho mixes realistic characters (the humans) with the cartoony animals, and the mix works beautifully and looks great. The strips are always humorous and sometimes touching, and I think Cho does an excellent job of making each strip independent while at the same time they all follow the same story and move it forward.

There are four paperbacks out so far (I love the cover of the fourth one), and if they all are like this one, I'm sure it's going to be a terrific series (which everyone says it is). As for the first volume, I absolutely recommend it!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Exponentially Prefixy

Issue #2 of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer’s so-called Season 8 comic series came out last Wednesday, and I’m still digesting it.
I really liked the first issue, but I was so spoiled when I did finally read it, that all the big surprises, all the big plot twists, I knew they were coming from far behind. This second issue, however, I enjoyed it all virginally and stuff. Maybe it’s been because of that that I’ve loved it so much.
Joss Whedon’s writing is, quite frankly, superb. These are his characters, and no one’s better suited than him to make them act, talk and rant. All the dialogs in this issue are completely in character, and they’re delightfully funny. Hilarious some times.
Much unlike in the first issue (if my first spoiled appreciation of it was correct enough), now the plot moves forward at a frenetic rhythm and the plot twists follow one another with incredible fluidity and surprisability. I don’t want to praise Joss Whedon much more, because this our blog is called Sunny Jhanna, and not Sunny Josshanna, as it could seem of lately. Anyway, it’s inevitable doing it one more time again. Mr. Whedon is one of the best storytellers right now over the face of the earth, and this comic proves it. But it well may be that I’m pretty biased because of one surprising plot twist in particular that pleases me to no end. And then there’s that potential Finn5fel’s Decaying #1 homage too.
On regarding the pretty pictures, I must admit that, to my humble-and-not-very-keen taste, not a lot of them are indeed pretty. There are a bunch of really good drawings, or at least a bunch that I really find are excellent ones. But there are also some of them that I can’t stand watching directly to. Anyway, I’m really confidant in the artist, Georges Jeanty, and I’m sure his drawings will get better and better as he gets the feeling of all the characters. I like his style, and he manages to capture perfectly the dynamics of what’s happening in each frame. And I still love Jo Chen’s cover for this issue, Xander looking cooler than ever and all.
If you liked the TV show, this comics are a must for you. And if you’ve never seen it, go buying or renting the DVDs. And only then come back to read the comic. Believe me. Best expended money ever.

Verdict:
Story: 5/5
Drawings: 3/5

Sunday, April 08, 2007

It Was About Time

I haven't shown any teasers from my graphic novel in a long, long time (I guess I've had more interesting things to say), so I thought I'd post one today. Here you can see one of the main characters from the book saying something like "Hey, let's go grab a galenta juice!" Actually, he's saying nothing of the sort, but you didn't think I would tell you what he's actually saying, did you?
Anyway... both pencils and inks are by yours truly, since I inked issues three and four, and this little panel is obviously not from the first two issues. And regarding when you'll get to see part three, that's anyone's guess. My sister sent me page 64 a few days ago (and, let me tell you, it looks fantastic), so she only has eight more to go. I think the colors in this issue are the best so far, and since you guys said you'd rather wait for the colored version, I hope you'll think the results worth the wait. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Cosas de la edad

Ya sé que Halagan no quiere saber nada de la cuarta película de Indiana Jones, pero no creo que este post destripe nada en absoluto. Además, no sé de qué demonios escribir hoy, y esta noticia la leí el otro día y me ha venido a la cabeza.
Todos estamos algo recelosos de lo que la cuarta entrega de las aventuras de nuestro arqueólogo favorito nos deparará, y hemos escuchado todo tipo de rumores. Pero lo último nos viene de boca de un habitual del blog, nuestro no exactamente querido George Lucas. Al parecer, ese Genio del Séptimo Arte ha anunciado que Harrison Ford interpretará a un Indy de su edad, nada de hacerlo parecer más joven. Por consiguiente, según el Velludo Visionario, habrá más meditación que persecución, más suspense sesudo que acción alocada. Todo muy trascendental, ¿verdad? Aun resultará que lo de En busca del geriátrico perdido no iba del todo desencaminado…

Friday, April 06, 2007

Grind'em up!

I just came back from The Rave. Today's event: Grindhouse opened.

For those of you who have no idea what Grindhouse is (doubtful, since we're all movie buffs here), it is the new Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino movie. Or movies, in plural, since the film consists of two movies: Planet Terror, directed by Rodriguez, and Death Proof, directed by Tarantino. Plus a bunch of trailers for fake movies that take us back to the exploitation films from long ago. To emulate this look, the movie has been "aged" to look old, overexposed, grainy, and, in a few instances, blurry and with changing colors. And the funniest thing: there are "missing reels" that make the action jump forward!

Planet Terror is a lot of fun. It's basically a zombie movie, with gallons of blood and wild violence. But it is also funny, fast paced, and supremely entertaining. Rose McGowan looks superhot as the one-legged stripper (even hotter when she still has two), Freddy Rodriguez and Josh Brolin are delicious, Marley Shelton is fantastic, and Bruce Willis is… interesting. As usual, I won't reveal anything about the story, but I'll just say it's a fun ride.

The assorted trailers were so funny I was roaring with laughter. The first one was Machete (directed by Rodriguez), and it was funny, but then Werewolf Women from the SS (directed by Rob Zombie) topped it both in hilarity and ludicrousness. After that one, Don't (directed by Edgar Wright) was freaking hysterical, but the last one, Thanksgiving (directed by Eli Roth), was so brutally funny that might have just been the best one.

Death Proof was so much fun -and funny- I'm still chuckling. Kurt Russell is superb, the dialogue is so real you feel like you're eavesdropping on an interesting conversation at a bar, and the story keeps surprising you with twists and developments that glue you to the screen. By the end of the movie (and the ending will leave you flabbergasted), I was almost on the edge of my seat.

To sum it up, both movies were great, and I don't really know which one I liked best. And let's not forget the trailers. (I wonder what they'll do with them in Europe, since they're releasing the films as two separate movies.) I've never been a big fan of either Rodriguez or Tarantino, but this double feature is definitely a must-see. And hey, it only cost me $6! Two cool movies and a bunch of cool fake trailers for only six bucks? It sounds like a great deal to me!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Who's The Joss?

Mientras ponía mis comentarios a los posts de ayer y anteayer, se me ocurrió hablar hoy de lo que me gustan las ediciones de películas o series de TV en DVD. Me corrijo: las buenas ediciones de películas o series en DVD. Porque como consumidores también nos toca soportar mucha basura, por supuesto.

Siempre preferiré comprarme una buena película en una buena edición (llámese "Especial" o "del Coleccionista") que comprarme diez buenas películas en ediciones cutres por el mismo precio. No es que con mi televisor (listo para la jubilación) pueda apreciar la calidad de una remasterización o con mi cadena de sonido un DTS 6.1. Pero me encantan los extras. Devoro los "Cómo se hizo", y no quepo en mí de gozo cuando escucho unos buenos comentarios del director mientras veo la película. Y si de paso me meto entre pecho y espalda unos trailers o unas escenas eliminadas, pues mejor que mejor.
La verdad es que no conozco a nadie que se vea un DVD con la pista de los comentarios de audio, aunque desde luego está claro que no seré el único que lo hace ("¡Yo también soy Espartaco!" ... ¿nadie?). Lo que supongo que me encanta es descubrir el proceso creativo, las ideas que han originado las historias y los diálogos que hoy todos nos sabemos de memoria. Disfruto como un enano con el macrodocumental "Detrás de las cámaras" de mi DVD de Lo Que El Viento Se Llevó. Y no concibo felicidad creativa mayor que escuchar las anotaciones de Dalton Trumbo a su guión de Espartaco. O, en formato papel, es maravilloso leerse el recomendable libro Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, que contiene los guiones de la trilogía original aderezados por extractos de entrevistas y comentarios de sus creadores.

En parte la razón de que hoy haya acabado escribiendo este post es que, además de ocupar así una tarde exageradamente tranquila en el trabajo, últimamente me estoy viendo los comentarios en audio de mis DVDs de Buffy Cazavampiros, a los que, curiosamente, no había hecho ningún caso hasta ahora. Y, excepto por alguna rara excepción (frase redundante donde las haya), todos ellos son muy interesantes y reveladores. Especialmente cuando el que comenta es el propio Joss Whedon. Disecciona los episodios de tal manera que consigue que los cuarenta y pocos minutos que duran pasen como un rayo. No para de hablar, y, gran paradoja, siempre tiene algo interesante que decir.
En fin, que ahora que estoy de nuevo inmerso en la obra y milagros de este creador, y por llegar a alguna conclusión, no sea que este post siga el camino que lleva de convertirse en otro de esos que en realidad no llegan a decir nada, quiero declarar públicamente que Mr. Whedon es un genio, simple y llanamente. Empezó escribiendo guiones para esa gran serie que fue Roseanne, colaboró en películas como Toy Story, Speed y Alien: Resurrection (espero que en esas dos últimas no llegara a colaborar mucho), y en cuanto alguien le dió una oportunidad seria, creó esa ya mítica serie que es Buffy. Duró siete temporadas, que resultaron ser de lo mejor que ha dado la historia de la televisión. No hay mas que leer alguna entrevista con los responsables de las más famosas series actuales como Lost o Anatomía de Grey para comprobar que la caja tonta hoy en día le debe mucho a Buffy. Y a Angel, no olvidemos ese impresionante spin-off que creció hasta convertirse en otra serie de culto. Cancelada, pero de culto.
Y luego se embarcó en Firefly, una atípica serie que también fue cancelada antes de poder demostrar lo que realmente valía, pero que aún cuenta con uno de los más fieles clubs de fans de la actualidad. No en vano gracias a ellos Whedon pudo acabar dirigiendo esa gran película que es Serenity, y que continúa la historia de Firefly donde la serie la dejó. O unos meses después, más exactamente.

Por supuesto, también tenemos por otra parte su fulgurante carrera en el mundo del comic. Su serie Astonishing X-Men ha cosechado excelentes críticas, y en parte ha revivido el interés de mucha gente por la saga de nuestros mutantes favoritos. Y ya antes de eso escribió la alabadísima miniserie Fray, acerca de una cazavampiros futurista. Ahora acaba de tomar el relevo a Brian K. Vaughan en Runaways, y la cosa parece que promete.

Como conclusión, no pienso hacer la típica comparación Whedon/Lucas, que ahora está tan de moda. No creo que Joss W. sea el nuevo George L. Entre otras cosas porque no tengo ningunas ganas de que dentro de unos años a Whedon le de por revisar Buffy y edite una Edición Especial con cambios que la tecnología del '97 no le permitió llevar a cabo en su momento. Whedon es Whedon, y punto. Se ha convertido en un genio por derecho propio.

PD.- Y por cierto, jejeje, ayer salió el número 2 de la viñetizada temporada 8 de Buffy...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Surprising Survey

Okay, this one's funny. SFX Magazine, a British publication devoted to, well, sci-fi movies and stuff like that, conducted a poll in which readers voted for the best sci-fi movie EVER. And it turns out that, according to British sci-fi buffs, the best science-fiction movie of all time is... Joss Whedon's Serenity!
As the article I got this interesting piece of news from points out, British fans might just be on crack. Granted, Serenity is a very enjoyable movie, and Firefly could have been a great show. But, let's face it, the movie is light years -pun intended- from being the best film of the genre. Which, of course, makes me think of having our own poll here in Sunny Jhanna, dear readers. According to you, and your infinite wisdom, what is the best sci-fi movie ever? The Empire Strikes Back? Blade Runner? Event Horizon? Vote now, so we can all make fun of each other!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Super Surprise

As of lately I haven’t seen a lot of movies. Or, actually, I haven’t done much of anything. Anyway, yesterday I couldn’t sleep, so I resolved to get up, watch a DVD, and check if the sleeping power of my sofa was as strong as always.
I still hadn’t seen My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and that really was a movie I imagined myself dozing out with, so I decided to give it a try. But, oh surprise! Instead of what I had expected, I really liked it.
It is a stupid comedy flick, no doubt about that, but it totally works, and I kinda laughed a lot. Not only did I liked the movie, but it was really difficult for me to go to sleep after it. Even at half past three in the night.
The film has three or four really brilliant comedy moments, and I even liked the shark sequence, that I had despised so much when I saw the trailer. And, in my honest opinion, the whole cast does a superb job with their characters. Especially Luke Wilson who I never even thought could be such a good actor as this movie shows he indeed is. Uma Thurman plays more than acceptably her role of the not-so-slightly demented Jenny Johnson/G-Girl (G for what?). And while Rainn Wilson’s character is hilarious, Anna Faris, who I first saw playing Monica and Chandler’s womb for rent in Friends’ last season, portrays perfectly her "I’m a hottie but also a regular sort of girl" role.
A surprisingly good movie, much in the way of Bruce Almighty. Don’t ask Ivan Reitman for a moving and meaningful film, because that will never be his thing. But what he knows how to do, he still does magnificiently.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Manga Magnífico

Ayer leí, por fin, el número 1 de Remote, un manga en el que llevaba tiempo interesado. Y la verdad es que me pareció excepcional. El manga cuenta la historia de Kurumi, una policía de tráfico que es transferida a la división de crímenes sin resolver. Allí conoce al detective Himuro, el único otro miembro de la unidad. Himuro es un tío raro que se niega a salir de su oficina, y por eso Kurumi tiene que ir a todas partes con el móvil. En este primer volumen (hay diez publicados de momento), la pareja intenta atrapar a un asesino disfrazado de payaso que les deja pistas en cada escena del crimen para vacilarles.
La historia es muy entretenida, y la dinámica entre personajes está muy lograda. Los dibujos, por su parte, están trabajados y son expresivos sin caer nunca en la exageración. Los personajes secundarios, como el novio de Kurumi o el gigante Bob son muy graciosos, y el asesino es misterioso y esquivo.
En resumen, un tomo más que recomendable para todo el mundo. Ya os seguiré contando cuando lea más!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mes de cine

Después de los tres meses de sequía cinematográfica que llevamos este año -contadas excepciones aparte, evidentemente-, parece que la cosa empieza a cambiar en abril. O, al menos, el número de películas en las que estoy interesado es muchísimo mayor en este primaveral mes (será el polen). Así pues, y excepto cambios de última hora de los que no se me ha informado, éstas son las películas que quiero ver este mes. Otra cosa es que las vea todas, claro. Pero bueno.

6 de abril
Grindhouse. La anticipada sesión doble de Robert Rodriguez y Quentin Tarantino. El invento consiste en dos películas de ochenta minutos (Planet Terror, de Rodriguez, y Death Proof de Tarantino) con tráilers falsos de otras películas en medio. Todo ello por el precio de una película. Y sólo para dar envidia a los residentes de La piel de toro os diré que en Europa Grindhouse se va a estrenar como dos películas independientes (para ganar así el doble, claro). Ah, ese marketing feroz...

13 de abril
Disturbia
Claramente inspirada en la clásica Rear Window, con el gran David Morse y el ubicuo Shia LaBeouf, el actor con el nombre más extraño que jamás he visto.

Pathfinder
Llevan retrasándola desde agosto, así que espero que no sea tan atroz como tiene pinta de ser. Básicamente, la peli va de indios y vikingos partiéndose las caras a mandobles.

20 de abril

Hot Fuzz. Comedia policíaca de los creadores de Shaun of the Dead, debo admitir que me he reído a carcajadas con el tráiler. Aunque también me reí con el de Blades of Glory que estrenaron el viernes, y no he ido a verla...

The Nanny Diaries
Ésta ya la mencioné en un post, pues se trata de la adaptación del libro homónimo protagonizada por Scarlett Johansson. Ah, Scarlett...

Vacancy
Thriller sobre una pareja atrapada en un motel, y con la que al parecer quieren hacer una de esas perturbadas películas snuff. Protagoniza la hermosísima Kate Beckinsale.

27 de abril
Fracture
Otro thriller de esos con truco en los que el tráiler revela más de lo que debería. Con Anthony Hopkins haciendo de inquietante, maníaco y encasillado sospechoso de haber asesinado a su esposa.

The Invisible
Hace siglos que no veo anuncios de ésta, así que tal vez la hayan retrasado. Es un thriller sobrenatural que tiene bastante buena pinta. Ya veremos…

Pues lo dicho. Esperad ver críticas de varias de estas películas durante los próximos 30 días.