Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The New 52

DC comics has been kicking up a lot of dust over the forthcoming complete overhaul of their entire comic book universe. Every DC superhero you know is getting a fresh start, complete with 52 first issues (of comics that have been in publication for multiple decades)

Today in comic shops everywhere, anyone can grab a free copy of the promo book "DC Comics The New 52" I got mine and just finished reading, and here's what I think:

The promo book itself is a thoroughly enjoyable read, featuring a six page preview of the new Justice League #1 (which looks fun) and then goes page after page outlining what the new books are all about. Plot summaries, creative team rosters, and tons of visual info, DC Comics, The New 52 does the job selling the biggest multi-series crossover in comic book history.

Yes, I do think it's bullcrap to be renumbering giants like Action Comics and Detective Comics. Completely unnecessary and kind of insulting to long-time readership, although we can't expect to enjoy comics forever, not in the age of video games. So I'll let the vulgarity of renumbering slide for now, seeing it instead as throwing a bone to anyone who ever thought of picking up a comic book, but didn't.

I have mixed feelings about the new roster of title characters. While I have nothing against yet another revamp of Fire Star, I find it odd that fan-fave Power Girl is a no-show. Perhaps that suggests the lengths to which DC has gone in revamping their universe. Reintroducing PG clears the clutter of one of the most complicated origin stories, even as it simultaneously adds yet another origin story to her tale. Classic! Barbara Gordon? The Justive League preview begins "Five years ago" so Batgirl is possible, if they took the entire DCU back in time as well. Scratch that, Damien Wayne is also on hand. Morrison on Supes is great news, I wish they would stop messing around with WW's costume, as the latest version is actually very effective, and why in the hell would you hire Liefeld?

I'm going in on a few of these books, probably more than I should. At least they're all still a reasonable (not actually) $2.99 cover price. I can't believe the way Marvel bleeds it's audience, it's really a disgrace. DC coming back with this insane stunt is really very clever, but also a touch desperate. Keeping in mind that kids today do not read anything except video game manuals, The New 52 looks less like a fanboy inconvenience, and more like an absolute necessity.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Architects of Air, Amacoco

Architects of Air have been producing large scale, immersive art installations since 1992. Essentially giant inflated objects, their fantastic creations have delighted audience throughout the world.

The luminarium known as Amacoco made a recent stop in Pittsburgh. Here are some images accompanied by thoughts.

It's a feast for the sense. The maze-like environment, colored natural lighting, and slight pressurization combine to create a mild disorientation.

Little kids go nuts running around in this place. One can only imagine how youthful enthusiasm and optimism react in such a place of wonderment.

A groovy, barefoot hippy chick divulged that she was actually getting paid to work there for the duration of it's appearance.

Finally, a souvenir map. It's functional, but the whole point of visiting an installation like this is getting lost.