Imagine if you will a world like ours. A world where there is no pollution and no crowds. Sure it’s because most of the population has been killed off but that’s not a problem hey? Oh did I mention the massive mutated animals that roam the landscapes eating folk? Yeah probably not every ones holiday destination but it is the basis of the new graphic novel from Image.
You may well know the artwork of Dave McKean without even realizing it. He has been leaned on heavily by Neil Gaiman in helping create the fantastical world of Sandman. You know those crazy Sandman covers that are part diorama, part painting and all cool? That’s Dave McKean. When you open a Sandman and the characters border on the edge of chaos as they vary between a mass on lines and a multicolored kaleidoscope of mayhem? That’s Dave McKean. He’s the man who made the maniacal Joker of Arkham Asylum, created the whimsical world of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook and again worked with Gaiman to bring Mirror Mask to the big screen. I guess it should come as no surprise that he has a talent for storytelling as well.
Enter Cages, a series that is by no means new but, if it flew under your radar as it had mine, is completely worth the time and effort. The series was originally published by Tundra and Kitchen Sink Press in the early 90’s, had a hardcover edition printed in 1998 and was re-released in a softcover collection by Dark Horse Books in 2010. Cages is a bleak and dark world inside which the characters struggle with inspiration, motivation and their collective grasp on reality. The pages are mostly bereft of color except for a couple of narrative dream-like segments and instead rely on harsh black lines and a grey/blue tinge to color their world. Cages‘ world is populated by a group of characters living in an apartment building each participating in their own struggle, each dealing with their own personal cage as it were. The main protagonist is an artist who is struggling for inspiration to create his next great piece of art.
As the novel progresses he encounters the other oddball members of his building and their lives intertwine as we discover each persons story. Above him is the Jazz musician/poet who crafts musical stones and blows away the local bar regulars with his unearthly performances. Below him is a renowned author who is hiding from the public because of the scandalously blasphemous nature of his last novel. Across from him is an alluring woman whom he sketches as she lounges on her patio and eventually becomes the subject of his artistic ruminations. Elsewhere in the building is an elderly woman who has delusional conversations with her parrot as she waits for her husband to return from his five-year absence. Threading them all together as a silent observer and sometimes participant is a black cat who seems to have an almost human intelligence.
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This is the Hero Express for June 22, 2011:
There are just a lot of things that you put together that make the perfect combo. Peanut Butter and Jelly for instance. Then there is Alien VS Predator, Monsters VS Aliens, or Mega Shark VS Crocosaurus. Even Cowboys and Aliens looks to be something spectacular this summer. Staying with the ‘v.s. aliens’ thing we’ve got going here brings me to the next big thing we have coming our way: Dinosaurs VS Aliens.
Not impressed by that? Then you have no soul or you’re a communist. What if I throw the name Grant Morrison in there, does that help? Because the superstar comic book writer will indeed be taking on the duty of plotting out this latest piece of box office gold. (Or crap depending how you look at it.) And not to mention Barry Sonnenfeld, an alien extraordinaire, will be directing! If you don’t remember Mr. Sonnenfeld he is currently working on his third Men In Black movie.
Grant Morrison has made in his mark on comics in everything from X-Men to Batman, and Superman to Animal Man. He has a penchant for the weird in a lot of cases and I would say that Aliens fighting Dinosaurs is pretty effin’ weird. This little snippet from Deadline will help enlighten you on the direction this movie will be going:
While Sonnenfeld has scored his biggest commercial successes with aliens, he’s also a dinosaur fanatic who sparked to the idea of combining them. “Growing up, my fascination was all things dinosaur, and as an adult, I’ve had some success making films about aliens, so this is a dream come true,” said Sonnenfeld, who first met Liquid Comics founder Sharad Devarajan when he wrote a forward for one of Liquid’s graphic novels. “We’ve been trying to do a project ever since.”
The graphic novel will chronicle a secret prehistoric world war battle. When an alien invasion attacks Earth in the age of the dinosaurs, the planet’s only hope is the giants that roam the planet with, it turns out, a lot more intelligence than previously realized.
Holy God I hope these dinosaurs talk and wear battle armor, that would be priceless! I will most definitely be picking up Morrison’s graphic novel if it comes out before the movie just to see what they might have in store. I think Barry Sonnefield has that creative spark to make something such as this an entertaining movie. Sure Men in Black 2 sucked, but you can’t blame a guy for trying to trump something as enjoyable as the first Men in Black.
You’ll see me checking this movie out in theaters regardless of how bad it looks… it’s frickin’ Aliens V.S. Dinosaurs! Next thing will be Robert Kirkman’s (The Walking Dead) Super Dinosaur!
If you were a fan of the recent Tron: Legacy movie, then there is no doubt that this is the graphic novel for you. Betrayal not only explains what occurred in the first Tron movie, but covers the time span between that movie and the inevitable betrayal of Flynn by his codified likeness utility Clu.