Sunday, April 28, 2013
Alain Voss 1946- 2011
My dad gave it to me. He had spotted it in a bargain bin at the shopping mall close to his work. His kid liked comic books.
KAR WAR - one of the best comic books I've ever read! such crisp lines, such masterfully balanced black and whites... and the story! - intergalactic rebellion! curvacious women! spaceships! motorcycles!
but who was this guy? - "VOSS"...
Alain Voss, a Frenchman born 1946 in Brazil, who moved back to France just in time to partake in the "Metal Hurlant revolution", creating pure Rock N' Roll for the eyes with comic books like
a both complex and completely tripped-out story about at rock star at the hight of megalomania who has to face inner and outer demons, making the trials of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust seem almost trivial (even if the Ziggy character obviously was an inspiration)
This was followed by other shorter stories usually related to classic "counter culture" subject matter:
Rock N' Roll, oppressive state and corporate authorities, evil villains, sexy women, drugs, science-fiction, more rock n' roll, more sexy women!
Voss stories always had a great sense of humour, and the characters had an authenticity to them making you believe that if futuristic Rock bands toured the galaxies in a far future, they would probably act out the same stupid behavior inside the "tour rocket ship" as they did in the twentieth century inside the tour bus. Voss characters were always very human and funny, as opposed to the villains who were classic underground baddies: Sadistic and stupid militarists, greedy capitalists, etc.
Like many other great comic book artists of the 70s and 80s Voss apparently toned down this type of work later on, probably due to both his age and the changing markets of the 90' and the new millennium.
In his later years he did mainly illustrations, a few of which can be seen at his DeviantArt page, which is still up.
After suffering a series of strokes, Alain Voss died May 2011 in Portugal.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
We were the children of the revolution...
Remember the seventies?... Denmark was pretty left-wing back then, and that particular world view influenced not only politics, the educational system, the unions and public opinion, but of course also - the arts!
Prominent amongst Danish political artists of the seventies was the artists collective RØDE MOR (meaning "Red Mother ") which worked in many different popular medias, in order to speak directly to The People™
Music and political theatre is what they are mostly remembered for today, their politically charged rock songs were played regularly on Danish Radio throughout the seventies and eighties. But another mass media also explored was: the comic book!
A comic book could communicate cheaply and directly to the masses, in dire need of emancipation and education about how they were being exploited and oppressed by the KKKapitalists (this was before the masses learned that capitalism doesn't do that sort of thing, capitalism is there to help you and be nice to you)
In court, the honest worker meets his enemies:
The unions, the judge, and the association of
Thus, Røde Mor published several comic books through their publishing house DEMOS, and in the volume pictured above we have two stories , the first one dealing with a group of crusty construction workers having to defend their right to strike, and the second telling a tale about a group of happy Copenhagen tenants getting evicted from their lovely (if shabby) houses and relocated to shiny new (but partly dysfunctional) high-rise buildings, erected in some dismal and barren suburbs.
As is the case with much of the political/ underground art of the seventies and later, the craftsmanship of both the stories and art is hardly impressive...but comic books like these were not meant to please the bourgeois aesthetes, but created to work as a weapon for the enlightenment of the people and help bring forth the revolution. Perhaps this also explains why there are no credits anywhere telling us just a little about who did the drawings and who wrote the story. RØDE MOR was seen as a collective effort with no room for petty bourgeois-repressive ideas about individuality and authorship.
A document of its time for sure, but today's citizens face similar challenges related to control of the workforce and housing... and the band RØDE MOR actually went on a come-back tour a few years back, to much acclaim.
So who knows, perhaps young Danish comic book talents will soon start turning out anti-capitalist comic books?
Well, until then:
FIGHT THE OPPRESSOR!
to be continued...
Sunday, April 14, 2013
HEY-HO-LET'S-GO! they shouted, and the world was never the same again...
Speaking of course of The RAMONES, legendary rockers who's reputation seems to have grown only bigger and stronger since they blasted out their last three chords back in 1996.
And what band could possibly be a better subject for a comic book than the Ramones? some cynics would even claim that they were a comic book!
Well, whatever your view on the subject, the DVD compilation Weird Tales of The Ramones released in 2005 not only included 85 songs, music videos and interviews but also a specially made comic book featuring contributions by such luminaries as Bill Griffith, Xaime Hernandez and of course John Holmstrom, co-creator of PUNK magazine, who drew the legendary April 1976 cover with Joey Ramone on it.
So, be a true punk! - download this illegally shared PDF, print it at your school or job, and bring it to the nearest taco stand so it can get covered in greasy sauce while you crumble and dog-ear the pages and your iPod destroys what's left of your eardrums, perhaps with the help of this song
to be continued...
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Moldy and bitter old men are we here at Plopish?..
YES! but that doesn't mean we aren't HIP to the latest! and if you want a piece of that (the HIPness ...) why don't you dasheth over to DeviantArt and get a preview of the latest craze: Motion Books, from Madefire
Yes, they've been babbling about "web comics" for years now, but do you really want to read a comic book on your computer or smartphone?..OF COURSE NOT, what you want is Motion Book Apps, because with these you'll also have sound, music, and movement!..."hey, I can get that watching cartoons on my TV, you lame-o!" I hear the sceptic couch potato whine from the comfort of his unmade, pizza tray filled bed, but who ever listens to those losers! oblivious to the fact that for creating this revolution of the comic book, Madefire have recruited the talents of super stars like Brian Bolland and Dave Gibbons!
Yes, the task is simple: be a man! be a hero! - download Madefire Motion Books TODAY from an App store near you
to be continued...