Whisper of the Heart – An Artist’s Tale – Review

Whisper of the Heart is not typical of Studio Ghibli. It starts with a John Denver song, “Country Roads.” John Denver’s sincere folk provides an anthem for the film. In a way, it’s the perfect soundtrack. Whisper of the Heart is the John Denver song of Ghibli movies, personal, open-hearted, obvious, and engaging. The characters resurrect the song throughout the film. Revising it, replaying it and reinterpreting it. Though the original lyrics ultimately mean nothing to the characters or the audience, the mood and tone of heart-on-your-sleeve longing provide the essential ingredient. Continue reading

How to Read a Comic Book: The Carnival of Unknowing

Imagine you are thrust into a carnival. There are clowns and carnies, barkers and bakers, animals and amusements. You look around. You have no idea what is going on and it’s fantastic. It is the feeling of newness, of not knowing, that drives you onward. Your senses are reborn. Suddenly throwing a dart at a deflated balloon to win a KISS poster isn’t depressing, it’s an adventure. The mystery, the wonder, creates the experience. When you go home you don’t even hang up the cardboard frame, but you’ll remember the carnival.

So it is with comic books. Continue reading

Bionic Six Rewatch, Episode 1: Valley of Shadows – No One Asked For This

There are things that don’t exist in the world, because no one wants them, such as an in-depth analysis of a forgotten eighties cartoon. This column sets out to answer questions that no one asked. Enjoy.

Bionic Six

Episode 1: Valley of Shadows

Written by: Gordon Bressack


Somewhere in Africa a man with a long, white beard stumbles out of the jungle. Around his neck he wears a medallion stolen from RunDMC. This won’t be the last instance of cultural theft in this episode. This is Brent Holworth, but we don’t care yet. Continue reading

Diversity Universe – Friendly Invaders from Another Totality Show Us What We’ve Missed

You have to admire the diligence of some dimensional travelers. It seems that activists from another, fairer, universe have invaded London and brought with them some pop culture proof of other worlds. The movie and television posters which appeared throughout Brixton, London posit that things don’t always have to be what they have been and maybe they never were that at all. Continue reading

A. Conan Doyle’s Famous Detective Sherrinford Hope – Alternate Totalities

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Sherrinford Hope

At the turn of the last century a character emerged, as if summoned by the collective unconscious of the world, a detective, clear-eyed and clinical with an indefatigable drive to catch his prey. Premiering in the novel A Tangled Skein, written by young doctor Arthur Conan Doyle, this legendary figure went by the unlikely moniker of Sherrinford Hope. In his adventures, narrated primarily by his constant companion, Dr. Ormond Sacker, Hope conquered the mysterious machinations of the London underworld through the use of uncompromising logic. Hope became the archetypal twentieth century man, rising above the darkness of superstition in a manner both heroic and stern. Science led him out of the age when men could menace each other and into a newer brighter future. Of course his adventures didn’t stop there. Countless adaptations in every media have been made of his exploits. Who could forget these cases. Continue reading