East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Growing up with Yoko Tsuno

Today my heart broke for the second time for something that happened a long time ago – sometimes in the mid ’90s, my collection of Yoko Tsuno comics, the first ten volumes, was lost – my mom, god bless her, decided it was time to clear some space, and gave the books away, as a gift to the son of a friend of hers.
I was serving in the Air Farce at the time, and when I found out, it was too late.
Heart broken.
And today, a friend reminded me of Yoko, and my heart cracked again.

For the uninitiated, Yoko Tsuno was the main character in a series of comics created by Belgian artist Roger Leloup in 1970 – a series of science fiction thrillers featuring a young Japanese woman, an electronic engineer, as the main character. The series had a run of 29 volumes, the last being published in 2010. Leloup also wrote a novel about the character (and that I still have – hooray!)
The first adventure was The Curious Trio – in which we were introduced to the heroine, her team-mates and the blue-skinned aliens that would become a fixture of the series.

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Arthurian Planetary Romance: Sword of Ages

I have received as a gift the first volume of Gabriel Rodriguez’ Sword of Ages, a big, colorful comic book that lasted me back to the years spent reading Heavy Metal or L’Eternauta, and later 2000AD: science fiction, action and adventure in surreal, exotic locales, beautifully drawn and engagingly narrated.

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Beware what you wish for…

As the saying goes… because your wishes might come true.
And no more that six weeks ago I was saying to myself what a damn chore – not to mention the expense – would be trying and putting together a decent collection of The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire. A decent collection, mind you, not a complete one.

And now I found out Rebellion Publishing will issue the first 340 pages volume of the Trigan Empire in 2020. Finding the stuff is no longer a problem – but expenses might become critical. The series, written by Mike Butterworth and drawn by Dan Lawrence, ran between 1965 and 1982, and this means a lot of pages.

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A failed comic

I’m currently taking an online sketching course. It’s quite good, and while I’m going mighty slow, I can see a certain improvement. Nothing to write home about, but small steps away from stick figures.
My lack of graphical skills was always a problem to me – in part, because as a geologist and paleontologist, you are required to be able to sketch, in part because it crippled some of my very earliest projects.

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Comic books turn your brains to pudding

According to the newly-appointed Minister of Education University & Research in my country, reading comics is a stupid way of spending your time, if you are a kid. He’d rather have the kids, during the summer, do their homework and

“…Better be stimulated by good readings and activities that will keep the brain active, vigilant, sharp and engaged.”

907125-U41106990816JeD--258x258@Quotidiano_Scuola-WebBasically, reading comics turns your brain to pudding, at least according to our Minister (that before he was a school administrator, was a Phys.Ed. teacher).
You can probably guess that I do not agree.
Mind you – reading a good book and doing something engaging1 is just great, and homework need to be done2, but this idea that comic books are inferior cultural products is so OLD. Continue reading