I didn’t read this book, cuz… well shit… I’m the fucking president.
I didn’t read this book, cuz… well shit… I’m the fucking president.
Back to front… that’s how manga is read in Japan. Not realizing I had Dadakai’s English translation of Phoenix in my hand I began reading backwards. Reading backwards is a lot like reading in between the lines… it can really make you question the fundamental truths of human existence.
The story began “Osamu Teszuka’s Phoenix was his life’s work. Considered by many to be one of the finest works of Japanese comics art ever produced, Phoenix: Resurrection takes place in the year 3344.”
While reading in English but thinking in Japanese the words became a bit jumbled in my mind and I thought, “Hmmmm… mind bottling…” It was mind bottling. All those crazy ideas bubbling in the container of shaken soda pop that is my brain. Robots. People. People-Robots.
While this review might read like mixed up mumbo jumbo, Osamu Tezuka intertwines and time-warps story lines seamlessly. Reincarnation, robot rebellions, mass suicide, inter-species love affairs, murder, lies, betrayal, threats to international security, the artificial intelligence / natural emotion crossover conundrum… “Resurrection” spans a breathtaking evolution of 860 years.
This is one of my favorite chapters in the Phoenix series. It reflects back to earlier volumes Phoenix, a bit of a treat for those who read them in sequential order. Speaking of volumes 1 through 12 being read in order… Here’s what the author has to say, “Each story would stand on its own and seem to have nothing to do with the other stories, but the final story would tie everything together – and for the first time, the reader would realize that the structure of the series is such that each story would be just one part of a much longer story. After all, man’s history does not have clear divisions or breaks.” – Osamu Tezuka 1969
This book is awesome, go read Phoenix Vol. 1-6 now! I’m in the middle of #9 right now… just keeping one step ahead of you knuckleheads…
MW is another masterpiece by comics-god Osamu Tezuka. The Japanese Walt Disney brings us the touching story of Michio Yuki… a careering banker by day, a kidnapping transvestite, poison gas damaged priest-fucker by night. Doesn’t sound much like the lovable robot Astro Boy comics Tezuka is known for in America, does it?
Starting his career in 1946, super genius Osamu Tezuka turned Japanese comics into a serious art form, earning him the title “the godfather of manga”. For no reason at all, I recently decided that I needed to read one of these fat little graphic novels. Having no prior knowledge of manga comics I had the good fortune of somewhat randomly picking the first volume of Tezuka’s critically acclaimed “Buddha” to read on the subway. By the end of the end my train ride I was ready to go back to the bookstore to buy the next seven volumes. Over 5000 pages of Tezuka comics later, I’m still hooked. Beautiful drawings and masterful writing, there’s not much praise I can give him that he hasn’t already received.
While I’m currently speed reading my way through his playful Astro Boy paperbacks, the last single volume book I read of Tezuka’s was the mind blowing MW. If Osamu were not a god of the comic book medium, it might be hard to believe that MW was written by the same guy who created Astro Boy… although Astro Boy does have two machine guns implanted in his ass which is pretty demented given his Disney-esque appeal.
MW (which I figured out can only stand for Massacre Weapons, although it is never specified) is a dark and haunting thriller. Written over thirty years ago it follows a sociopath and his quest to find the secret chemical weapon that traumatized him as a youth. A man of many faces (literally) he is a very likable personification of pure evil. He’s the kind of rapist that you can’t help liking… similar to the character Alex in Anthony Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange”. I don’t want too say too much more about this page-turner. Pick it up and you won’t put it down. If pure evil isn’t your cup of tea start reading Buddha. Just be prepared to buy all 8 volumes if you do.
MW by Osamu Tezuka Translated by Camellia Nieh
Graphic Novel / Manga Hardcover
978-1-932234-83-1 / 1-932234-83-7
584 Pages 6 x 8 inches
There’s nothing better than scribbling on a wall. Mark makers making their mark wherever they may roam. For some, it’s proclamations of love, for others it’s a way of tracing their steps through a world of urban dystopia. And sometimes it’s just a way to burst the bubble of boredom that is waiting for the train. These days it’s also a felony. Maybe that’s why writing on the wall has turned into an extreme sport rather than a public forum. Now that scribbling, “I love my Mom” or “Cornbread was here” on the side of a bus depot can get you cuffed & caged it takes a certain amount of guts to leave your mark. Just putting the pen to the wall marks you as a criminal.
Not that writing wasn’t always illegal, but back then the worst punishment was community service. They made you buff walls along with other writers… a good time to plan the next story. Today it’s a high stakes game for public space… one fueled by corporate vandals who pay police protection so they can advertise on everything in sight. Today it’s an ass beating followed by a prison sentence. If “Monique” wants to advertise her love for “Tony” with a ballpoint pen she can do from inside a jail cell, not on a wall reserved for a five-foot tall hamburger from McDonald’s or seventy-five feet of Kool Nike Menthol cigarette swooshes. This book takes you back to the days when walls were big blank canvases with plenty of room to spray paint heartfelt sentiments like “Damn right Fuck Rizzo!” and “Peace & Love, North Philly Soul – Jimi Astro in ‘75”. Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Looking at Public Wall Writing in Philadelphia is like looking at footprints in the snow. There are no introductions, no text, and no explanations. Each photograph is a chapter in the Philly story told by the people who live there … mysteries, love stories, and a thousand biographies all on the same page.
The Megawords Magazine crew dug deep into the Urban Archives of Temple University Libraries to find these 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s black and white gems. These photos have something that most “graffiti” books lack… sincerity. Sincerity aka “keeping it real” is essential, so big ups to Megawords & Free News Projects for this book… keep writing… books, walls… whatever.
Escaping from prison is awesome! Read about it here… plus my early drug smuggling career.
Hardcover, 6.25 x 9.25 inches, 200 pages,
20 duotone and four-color photographs
Holy-moly this movie is a mind-blower. It’s made up of entirely found footage… there’s advertisements with smooth seventies disco tunes, old propaganda films and news footage airplane hijackings… lot’s of hijackings! You may not know this but in the 60’s and 70’s people were snatchin’ planes left and right. They we’re like “Gimme this shit, I’m goin’ to Cuba!”. People act like 9/11 was the first terrorist thing that ever happened. Newsflash! Terror happens all the time everywhere! A few decades ago taking a plane for your revolutionary cause was the thing to do. Johan Grimonprez takes a look at this phenomenon and ponders the meaning of terror over a snazzy soundtrack by David Shea. If you like exploding planes, you’ll love this movie. Be prepared to be emotionally drained after watching this… laughter, joy, tears & horror, this documentary’s got it all.
The Circle of Tyrants = Evil rapping cowboys from hell. What do rapping cowboys from hell sound like? Necro, Ill Bill, Goretex and Mr. Hyde? Fucking awesome! Straight up violent hardcore hip-hop, not hip-pop gangsta-wanksta crap. Think N.W.A, Kool G Rap, Geto Boys… cinematic scary shit that makes your parents wanna crap. Okay… maybe you are ten years old and your parents force you listen to Public Enemy for educational purposes and let’s say they have a sweet spot in their heart for old timey gangsta shit because it reminds them of simpler times� The good ol’ days before the terrorists were blowin’ up and Norwegian music was about wood, not killing each other over east coast / west coast black metal beefs. Well they’d better be strapped with pampers if they catch you listening to the satanic Circle of Tyrants. This features guest appearances by Igor Cavalera of Sepultura, Alex Skolnick of Testament, Matt Harvey of Exhumed, and Vinny Appice of Black Sabbath / Dio. It ain’t no limp dick biscuit rap-metal, this is fucking-metal-kill-you-die-die-death-rap… probably one of the most creative super group side projects since the Gravediggaz “6 Feet Deep” album. Horrifying music with beautiful lyrics. Necro plays violin on this record… how many rappers from the projects play violins on their albums?!? The boys got talent! And he fucking kills you! Circle of Tyrants. Buy it! Die!
Hey! Unnnngh! Let’s jam! (With noise in our minds). Back to reality… the cd just ended & next door someone screwing a screw just screeched a screeching screw sound. Total fucking power tools. How can you tell noise from other noise? That is the question. The carpenter next door didn’t have a bass. Eloe Omoe DOES have a bass (played by Sam Rowell). No drums from the sound next door, this has drums played by Tim Leanse. Some time ago, someone gave me an Eloe Omoe record. They told me it was drum & bass… I thought that meant it was techno music. Hmmm. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh. Sludge face bass and space weird drums. Who turned all the punks into jazz musicians? Bleeeeeeaaaauuuuuurrrg. plop. Bongo nut. I have trouble understanding noise on cd. CD’s just aren’t noisey. They’re not heavy, they’re CD’s. It’s a good thing I’m playing this through a funky guitar amp with the bass nob set to eleven. This is pretty heavy, thanks in part to it being recorded by super noise weirdo Jeremy Harris. Noise is subtle. I like this and I don’t know why. Not recommended for iPod listening.
Animal Disguise Recording #075 http://www.animaldisguise.com/
These chicken wings are so good you wanna take and rub them all over your face. This is fast food Japanese not to be confused with fast food American. American fast food is the equivalent of eating turds out of a trashcan. This stuff is what samurais grab to eat right before they slay a thousand ninjas.
Here is the delicious story of Teba, the super duper chicken wings from Nagoya, Japan. These wings are fried twice in soy oil, which removes unwanted fattiness but still keeps plenty of collagen, leaving them crispy on the outside & juicy on the inside. Now here’s part that’ll make you drop to your knees and lick the floor should one of these wings fly from your fingers… the sauce. The owner of Tebaya spends a day preparing a special garlic sauce & then tops the wings with black pepper and roasted sesame seeds
Teba chicken wings will have you licking your fingers to the bone…
They also have a nice selection of sandwiches, beverages and other cheap chicken delights. There are only a few chairs in Tebaya, so plan for take out or get delivery. Personally, I prefer to stay cozy and revel in the magic of frying Teba chicken wings.