February 4, 2018 · 12:55 pm
It has been quite a while since the last publication in this series, which is acknowledged by the writer and artist.
It’s been a very long break. Maybe too long, but I hope you’ll agree that we used the time wisely to bring you another arc filled with Sana’s extraordinary art, and a story that brings you deeper into Maika’s increasingly perilous quest.
Yes, it was worth the wait. The artwork is stunning and intricately beautiful, while the writing and storytelling are as impeccable as ever. I personally feel that women are doing the most creative work in this genre right now, and Marjorie and Sana exemplify the beauty and complexity that creative women are bringing to the world of graphic storytelling.
There are a couple short but powerful political quotes in this installment that I want to share.
In politics one must be supremely…flexible.
In seven words, this sums up the problem with our current political situation. There is no longer flexibility, and both sides of the political divide have become so polarized and hostile that nothing meaningful gets accomplished anymore. It has turned into an all or nothing game, where staunch opposition is considered a sign of strength. But Taoist thought tells us otherwise. Flexibility and the ability to move with the current instead of against it is a sign of true strength in a leader.
The people just want to feel safe…and believe their government is behind them.
If I had to try to identify the dominant paradigms in today’s society, I would have to say they are fear and a sense of insecurity. And while I believe that much of this fear and uncertainty is manufactured by the media with the intent of keeping people glued to the screen, the feeling is real and affects almost everyone to some extent. This is why people are turning to governments for safety and security, and why they are willing to sacrifice freedoms and humanitarian values in the vain attempt to allay their fear. Sadly, though, I suspect that they will find neither, and in the end will look back with regret on the choices they made.
Anyway, I’m glad that Monstress is back on the shelves. I look forward to the next issue.
Filed under Literature
Tagged as art, artwork, book reviews, books, comics, creativity, fear, freedom, geek, government, graphic novel, illustration, Marjorie Liu, monstress, nerd, politics, pop culture, reading, review, Sana Takeda, social media, society, tao, taoism, women, women's issues, writing
March 13, 2017 · 2:58 pm
I really love the artwork in this graphic series. Sana Takeda is an amazing artist. These illustrations vibrate with beauty and intensity.
In this issue, Maika and her companions visit the Isle of Bones, a place of mystery which may hold secrets to her past. But the remnants of the divine being that dwells within her points out that it is not actually an island, but the remains of a fallen god.
… That is no island… it is a god… fallen where it stood… in holy battle… these waters… are thick… with the putrescence… of its demise…
The symbolism here fascinated me. I see the water as a symbol for our collective consciousness. I could not help but wonder how much the mythology of fallen gods has permeated our global consciousness. We are, after all, the sum of our collective experiences, passed down through story and myth. This begs the question: What new god will be born out of the putrescence of our dead and decomposed gods?
Filed under Literature
Tagged as art, artwork, book reviews, books, collective unconscious, comics, consciousness, creativity, geek, goddess, gods, graphic novel, illustration, island, Marjorie Liu, metaphor, monstress, myth, mythology, nerd, ocean, pop culture, reading, review, Sana Takeda, sea, subconscious, symbol, symbolism, writing
December 15, 2016 · 1:06 pm
It’s been a little while since my last post on this arc. I’ve been reading it consistently and really enjoying the artwork and storyline, but there has not been anything that I felt warranted writing a post until now. There are a couple of passages in this issue that I found interesting.
“The sea teaches there are consequences to everything. Everything, you hear? Ripples become waves that can ravage even the safest harbor.”
I love this quote! On one level, it draws on the butterfly effect using the metaphor of the ocean. But the sea is also a symbol of the subconscious, and this is what is most intriguing. The smallest thought, the wisp of an idea, can swell and grow in the mind and become something massive and powerful. This can go either way. A small spark of inspiration can gather into a life-changing decision or a masterpiece in creative expression. But then again, a single thought or offhand comment can fester and grow into something monstrous and destructive.
Here’s the other quote that stood out for me:
“Living isn’t supposed to be easy. If it was easy it wouldn’t be called life. So say the poets. Also, the Goddess tells us how we’re reborn reflects how we live in this life…”
This is so true. Life is never easy. We may think others “have it easy,” but we are only seeing the external and not what is truly going on inside that other person. We all struggle and have our difficulties, but in a way, that’s what makes life interesting. The difficulties also make us appreciate the good times more fully. Finally, I believe in metempsychosis, or the transmigration of the soul, and I believe that we were born to experience certain things in our current lives. Those lessons we must learn directly impact the lives we are born into. I know I am here for a reason, and while I don’t know what that reason is, I know everything I have gone through and everything I will go through is part of that spiritual learning process.
Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!
Filed under Literature
Tagged as art, artwork, book reviews, books, comics, creativity, geek, goddess, graphic novel, illustration, Marjorie Liu, metaphor, metempsychosis, monstress, nerd, ocean, poets, pop culture, reading, reincarnation, review, Sana Takeda, sea, subconscious, symbol, symbolism, transmigration of the soul, waves, writing
April 24, 2016 · 8:14 am
So far, I’ve been very impressed with this arc. The writing and artwork are both excellent and the storyline is engaging. In this installment, I was particularly intrigued by a passage near the end that sounded like it could have come from an H.P. Lovecraft tale.
… And then, there are the old gods. We know next to nothing about these mythic beings except that they are creatures of immense and destructive power, who the poets believe once threatened nearly all existence. Now only their shadows haunt the world. Many Arcanics worship them, or attempt to placate them with offerings, but there is nothing divine about the old ones. They are horrors. It is said that the most terrible of the old gods was not banished with its kin — that it yet slumbers in our world. When it wakes, may Ubasti save us all.
Reading this again, it also feels as if the creative team was drawing on Greek mythology as well as tapping into Lovecraft. I see similarities between the old gods and the Titans. I suspect the idea of elder gods is something found in many myths.
Anyway, I just wanted to share an interesting quote. Hope you all found it as thought-provoking as I did. Cheers!
Filed under Literature
Tagged as art, artwork, book reviews, books, comics, creativity, geek, gods, graphic novel, Greek, heroine, illustration, Lovecraft, Marjorie Liu, monstress, myth, mythology, nerd, pop culture, reading, review, Sana Takeda, titans, writing
January 10, 2016 · 12:33 pm
I saw this comic advertised in the back of another comic I read recently, and it seemed like something that was right up my alley. I went to the comic store and picked up a copy from the shelf. The woman working there said it is an amazing graphic tale and that the first printing sold out so fast, they are already on the second printing (yes, I bought the second printing). Anyway, I read this first issue and was totally blown away.
The comic works for me on many levels. Firstly, the writing is excellent. The story immediately draws you in. I felt a strong connection to the characters, even in the primary development phase. This is a sign of impeccable craftsmanship.
Secondly, the artwork is breathtaking. This is some of the most vivid, beautiful, and creative artwork I have seen in a graphic novel. The intricacy and detail are magnificent. I cannot praise this enough.
I also love the blending of adventure and mysticism. I am intrigued by the story so far, very much intrigued. I love stories that incorporate the mystical, and I can see already that this is one of those stories.
Finally, I really love that this is written and illustrated by women. The central character, Maika, is a strong female character, and she is not sexually idealized as is too often the case with heroines in graphic novels. I did a quick search online and found out that the writer, Marjorie Liu, is an American New York Times best-selling writer, and the artist, Sana Takeda, is an acclaimed Japanese artist. Together, these creative women have come up with something unique and impressive. I for one am eager to follow this arc.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on this comic, particularly if you have read it. I’d love to hear what you think.
Filed under Literature
Tagged as art, artwork, book reviews, books, comics, creativity, geek, graphic novel, heroine, illustration, Japanese, Marjorie Liu, mysticism, nerd, pop culture, reading, review, Sana Takeda, women, women's issues, writing
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