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Showing posts tagged: transmetropolitan click to see more stuff tagged with transmetropolitan
Wed
Jul 16 2014 11:30am

Fun with Outbreaks!

Epidemics can take many forms. Sometimes, they can be quite serious, like when all of your friends suddenly start posting their 2048 scores on Facebook, or transforming themselves into Bitstrips. You have to step back and wait for the symptoms to die down before you can expect the usual updates about food and the antics of children.

There are, of course, real outbreaks that have changed the course of history. The Black Death backpacked across Europe for about 200 years, killing 30–60% of Europe’s population, and reducing the world population from an estimated 450 million down to 350–375 million. Smallpox ravaged America after Europeans ran amok across the continents, killing entire tribes in New England and decimating the Aztec civilization. Cholera, Influenza, Typhus, polio, AIDs, swine flu, bird flu, SARS, Ebola, dengue fever—the list goes ever on.

As with all terrifying things, humans have taken these experiences and turned them into stories, trying to make sense of illness, and figure out what our reactions to plague say about us as a species. The real diseases have informed plenty of fiction throughout the centuries, inspiring classic works like The Decameron and, well, less classic works like Outbreak. While it’s hard to talk about favorite diseases, I’ve tried to pick out some of the greatest fictional outbreaks, fake diseases that provide a unique way to comment on society and human nature.

[Click through for contagious social commentary!]

Fri
Mar 28 2014 11:00am

Tattoos Speak Louder Than Words: SFF Characters with Ink

Popeye

Tattoos are pretty socially acceptable nowadays, but there was a time when just having interesting ink marked you as an outsider, a rebel, or even a criminal. Writers have used them for years to literally mark their characters, either to push them toward the edge of society, or to mark them as special, mystical, in touch with a magical word invisible to others.

We asked on Twitter for the best tattooed SFF characters, and we’ve collected some of the responses below. See if your favorite is here, and let us know who we missed in the comments!

[Read More]

Thu
Sep 20 2012 1:00pm

10 Great Alternative (Fictional) Political Leaders

With the Republican and Democratic National Conventions now behind us, we are officially thrust into the tumultuous midsts of the Presidential election season. For the next few weeks, it will consume our timelines, newsfeeds, hearts, and minds.

Or, maybe not. But either way, I think we can all agree that what we really need right now more than anything right is a man—or woman—who will stand up for us. Someone who represents our vision of America as it’s truly meant to be. Someone who can plant the seeds that will blossom into the luscious political fields of our dreams. Someone who will stomp out all remaining opposition and rule the galaxy with an iron fist. Someone we can believe in.

And so, without any further ado, I present you with my top 10 alternative choices for the 2012 U.S. Presidential election. What’s that? Oh, who cares that they’re all fictional. So is the rest of politics.

[Read more]

Fri
Dec 30 2011 11:00am

Papercrafts! A Cute, Fun Geeky Gift (or, for Yourself)

If you’re still looking for a cool gift to give this season (or next) that’s also cheap, look no further: Cubeecraft is a free paper-craft website with an awesomely large selection of pop culture crafts. There are more than 300 doll-crafts to choose from on the site’s “Pop-Culture” section alone, and yet more in the original crafts and tie-in sections.

The paper dolls in Cubeecraft’s Pop Culture selection range from Spider Jerusalem of Transmetropolitan to Oscar from Sesame Street, from Moss of The I.T. Crowd to Fox Mulder & Dana Scully of The X-Files, and that doesn’t even begin to cover all of the options.

There’s something for every flavor of geek on your list — or, for yourself, if you want to decorate your house in papercrafts!

[My experience building one of these little guys]

Tue
May 11 2010 12:07pm

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 10, “One More Time”

“Is that why we’re in Dante Street today? Bit of resonance there? It’s all going to stick to you now. Everyone’s heard everything.”

Here we are: the end of Transmetropolitan. “One More Time” is the culmination of the work Spider has been doing for the entire series, where all the threads come together into a web that can pull down the President. It also deals with the aftermath and how Channon, Yelena and Spider are living after the big job is done. I love “One More Time.” It’s not one of the funniest volumes—I’d say its probably the most serious, actually—but it’s definitely making a lot of historical references and political points. Not to mention the intensity of the climax as Callahan and Spider come head to head.

Ahead: final showdowns, police state violence, outlaw journalism and people standing up for their freedom.

[Read on.]

Tue
May 4 2010 6:42pm

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 9, “The Cure”

“Listen to the chair leg of truth! It does not lie! What does it say? It says ‘shut up, Fred!’ Can you hear it?”

“The Cure” is the second to last volume of Transmetropolitan, and its title has a few readings: first, there is the prostitute Spider finds who can testify (as can her clothes) that she slept with the president—as a Transient, and she appears human now because she took the genetic cure to hide. Secondly, Spider is compiling his “cure” for the Callahan administration. Another possible angle is the way Spider is handling his disease, in the sense that he has taken the cure for the temporary symptoms but the rest are still going.

The end of Spider’s case against Callahan as well as Callahan’s final game both kick off at the end of “The Cure.” One volume left after this and it’s all over. So, let’s get to it.

Below: Mitchell Royce—two fisted editor, more assassinations, journalists at work, and kicking the ass of Fred Christ.

[Read more.]

Tue
Apr 27 2010 11:53am

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 8, “Dirge”

“Okay. Brain sick. Crack on head. Pass out. Stuck in my own head without cigarettes. You’d think being a journalist would train you for this sort of situation.”

While Spider has spent the past several volumes preparing his case against the Smiler, Callahan has spent it setting up a way to destroy him utterly, step by step, starting with the evidence Spider has gathered. The wealth of power behind the President’s position is revealed in “Dirge,” from organizing a near-superstorm to declaring a “blue flue” and killing as many people as he needs to kill.

“Dirge” is less about humor and more about the struggle Spider and co. are facing. Yelena’s father comes on scene and proves himself to be an interesting man—which also makes a point about Spider’s age, because they were both involved in the same previous political campaign.

This time around: brain sickness, running from the president, Callahan on the move and more about Yelena.

[Read more...]

Wed
Apr 21 2010 2:35pm

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 7, “Spider’s Thrash”

“This isn’t a job anymore. It’s a mission. We’re going to bring down the presidency.”

The seventh volume of Transmetropolitan, “Spider’s Thrash,” is part of the final run to the end. There’s only one unconnected short within it, a story about child prostitutes that definitely gets under my skin (and, judging from early comments on this read-along, other people’s too). The rest is setting up a place to work, doing research, and effectively loading that journalistic gun for one more big shot at the kneecap the Callahan administration still has left.

The energy and danger in this volume is palpable. The clues that something is going wrong with Spider’s health are starting to fall faster and harder; blackouts, nosebleeds, time-losses. It’s not good. As Spider himself comments, this race to take down the president may be a race against time, and he might not be around for the ending.

Ahead: running, researching, a couple of assassination attempts, and a view into the City’s other news organizations.

[Read more.]

Tue
Apr 13 2010 10:35am

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 6, “Gouge Away”

“You’ve caught it too. Why d’you think I quit the nunnery? It wasn’t just Fred Christ’s wandering hands and all the brain damage cases that surrounded me all damn day. There’s nothing like working with that horrible little bastard Jerusalem that I know of.” – Channon

The cover for “Gouge Away” captures the essence of the book well: Spider, sitting on top of his half-demolished car, blocking traffic and writing a column with a knife in his mouth while everyone shouts at him. The city is in turmoil, the President is stomping on civil liberties and revving up for another try on Spider’s life, and Spider himself is having problems with the media making him into a cute cartoon that people don’t respect. He decides to damn well do something about it in the titular three-issue arc that closes out the volume. Spider’s losing it, but only because that’s how he does his best work. The tension is winding tighter and tighter through this volume as we approach the end. Callahan has had just about enough of Spider, but Spider hasn't had nearly enough time to do what he wants to Callahan.

“Gouge Away” also has some interesting methods for investigative journalism running through it. Methods I would perhaps not recommend, but they’re definitely effective, at least in Spider’s case.

Ahead: violence, violence, more violence—plus journalism, fear & loathing, and a ferocious game of cat-and-mouse between the President and a writer.

[Read more]

Tue
Apr 6 2010 12:26pm

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 5, “Lonely City”

“What next?” - Channon

“Some actual journalism, I think.” - Spider

“Actual journalism? Is that when you don’t commit crimes?” - Yelena

“Hell, no. It’s when we commit really good crimes.” - Spider

The fifth volume of Transmetropolitan, “Lonely City,” is a collection of columns and short stories much like “Lust for Life.” The difference is that the overarching story—what happened to Vita, Callahan’s presidency, and who’s pocket the police are in—informs everything Spider is doing and writing. Some of it is funny, of course. The monstering outing is pretty great. But it’s all leading up to and pulling in pieces that are integral to Spider’s case against Callahan. The volume ends with a three-chapter story by the same name as the collection: “Lonely City.” It’s where things start to get ugly.

Ahead: Callahan, a few riots, the Filthy Assistants kicking ass, and a general feeling of unease.

[Read on, for a little monstering.]

Fri
Apr 2 2010 11:49am

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 4, “The New Scum”

“Dictation. (Recording). Notes on the murder of Dr. Vita Severn by the office of Senator Gary Callahan.”

First, an announcement—the official day for the comics-read-along posts is switching from Friday to Tuesday! It’ll lighten up your reading load a little bit. So, volume four today and volume five on Tues., April 6; then it’s smooth sailing from there on out.

“The New Scum” collects six chapters of the same name and a short story about winter. Spider and Callahan are circling each other, looking for a way to rain down doom, while the election runs to its end—and the Beast, the sitting president, has gone into seclusion. He isn’t even running, aside from a single interview with Spider where he makes the point that at least he believes in something, even if it’s something Spider hates. Callahan doesn’t believe in anything. (Though, the Beast is wrong. Callahan believes in screwing with people.) The revelation of the Smiler’s real agenda and real personality in this volume are my favorite part. It’s enough to give you chills.

Ahead: crazy politicians, murder, mayhem, drinking, and a country that can’t crawl out of its self-absorbed lunacy to save its own life.

[Read on.]

Fri
Mar 26 2010 10:36am

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 3 “Year of the Bastard”

“What now? There’s a bag of anti-cancer trait in the bathroom. Take some. Cigarettes on the table. Start smoking.”

The third volume of Transmetropolitan, “Year of the Bastard,” contains the chapters of the same name parts 1 through 6 as well as a short story about Christmas. It throws the reader directly into the main arc of the comic: Spider finally begins covering the election as it ramps up in the City. This is a comic about politics and journalism, after all, and so far we’ve mostly just had the journalism. The effect covering politics has on Spider is one of the more important points of “Year of the Bastard,” which otherwise serves to flesh out and set up the other players for the rest of the series. Things get serious from here on out.

Ahead: drugs, politics, drugs, filthy assistants, and a whole lot of anger. Also, if you’re trying to quit smoking right now, reading this will not help.

[Continue.]

Fri
Mar 19 2010 10:18am

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 2, “Lust for Life”

“Let me tell you about my ex-wife. Before you froze her, she told me that she’d left specific instructions about her revival. To wit: she is not to be revived until there is incontrovertible evidence that I am definitely and irrevocably dead. To fuckery with my wife.”

Transmetropolitan: Lust for Life contains several stories that revolve around Spider’s columns as well as larger plot arcs about Channon Yarrow and Spider’s past. The columns make it one of my favorite volumes (though, there is a volume zero floating around out there that collects other “I Hate it Here” columns not in the comics that I also adore). Lust for Life plunges us into Spider’s life as a writer and what he chooses to write about, but it also shows the ugly side of his methods that a reader should always remember when falling in love with Mr. Jerusalem—it’s not all good; some of it is actually pretty horrifying.

Ahead: world-building, journalism, and some actual realistic violence with realistic consequences! Also, one of the best quotes in the universe, if only there was ever a situation to say it in.

[Carry on.]

Fri
Mar 12 2010 10:43am

The Great Comics Read-Along: Transmetropolitan v. 1

“Up a goddamn mountain: So that ignorant, thick-lipped evil whorehopping editor phones me up and says, ‘Does the word contract mean anything to you, Jerusalem?’”

The first page gives you a pretty clear indication of what sort of story is about to follow. It’s going to be about writing. It’s going to be about a man who went up a mountain to get away from writing. It’s going to be a little, or a lot, crazy. And that’s only the text: check out the art, provided by master Darick Robertson. Just that first page. Spider’s wild hair, wilder tattoos, the disarray of his living space (there is a stack of cans, presumably beer, ascending to somewhere off-panel in the right corner), and of course the nudity. Judging by the bottle clutched in the hand not holding the phone, Spider isn’t just naked in a filthy mountain cabin, he’s also been drinking.

Yeah. The first page. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, friends.

[Read on...]