Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quickies #22

Justiniano pledges innocence

A few pics of Renato Guedes' artbook. Autograph sessions have been made in Colombia and Brazil. Argentina and France are next.

Bigorna, in my opinion, the best Brazilian comic news website, has shut down. And there's Baraldi's goodbye post. Though some people agree partially with what he says, most think it's bullshit. I find it disgusting. It's too big, have it Google translated.

Daytripper won the Favourite New Comicbook and Favourite Single Story Eagle Awards

Doomer in a website about skulls

Sources: Bigorna, Blog dos Quadrinhos and Universo HQ.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Captain Ninja - Aliens 3

Those of you who read Holy Avenger might recognize that guy. He's Marcelo Cassaro's alter ego Captain Ninja. Written and drawn by himself, of course.

Opentrain scanlated this short story related to the Aliens 3 game. It's funny, ok. Have fun.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quickies #21

A pic of Jayme Cortez with Stan Lee

Thanks to the Way Back Machine, you can still see the old Holy Avenger website.

Walmir Amaral de Oliveira enters the Comiclopedia

Diógenes Neves draws Green Arrow

Mauricio de Sousa will be honored at this year's FIQ (International Comics Festival). As usual, that'll make him the event's major theme.

Sources: Blog dos Quadrinhos, Neorama dos Quadrinhos and Universo HQ.

Monday, May 23, 2011

How I met the Master

My first scalation ever was Le Troisième Testament, from SilentMoon's The Third Testament to O Terceiro Testamento. Moon is somewhat famous in the scanlation world, probably the first to make French ones. I made the Portuguese version in 2007, I think, and the first two tomes were officially released in Brazil in 2008. Sadly, my translation of a translation was still better than the official translation.

Anyway, at that time, I tried to get in touch with Moon, to ask some info or only to show him what I was doing. I never got an answer. But he was one of my main influences anyway, showing me different things.

In January 27, 2010, I made an account at The Longbox, mostly looking for a proofreader. There's an "introduce yourself" area, where everyone would make a new thread for introduction. I had made mine, and I went back there to check for answers, and I realized that one of those threads had had many more replies than usual. I got curious.

Guy #1 was introducing himself, ok. Admin welcomes him, ok. Guy #2 introduces himself, saying he didn't need to make a new thread for that, ok. Admin asks Guy #2: "hey, are you THE SilentMoon?" Only then I realized the Master was before me. He and I had joined that forum in the very same day! Also, the Admin had uploaded some of his stuff just the day before!

As you can imagine, I went OMG OMG fangirl. And he was like, oh, ok, so nice, thank you. Oh, so humble!

And we never talked again.

But tell me if it isn't MAGICAL!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Quickies #20

Marcelo Ferreira will be one of the artists of the new Richie Rich

Justiniano was arrested in the US for possession of child pornography. Apparently, he had a pendrive with slides to be shown at a funeral, and another with child porn, and he mistook one for the other. He had done a lot of artwork for Marvel and DC.

Alain Voss died on May 13th, in Portugal. Brazilians say he was French, the French say he was Brazilian, but he grew up in Brazil, that's for sure. He left the country to escape the dictatorship, and became part of the first Métal Hurlant team. His main work was Heilman, a polemic comic that mixed nazism, punk and esoterism. Click here for the original news and lots of pics of his work.

First pics of MSP Novos 50. MSP 50 is a three-album series with short stories made by many writers and artists with their personal interpretation of Monica's Gang universe.

Jimmy Five asks Monica to be his girlfriend in Turma da Mônica Jovem (a teen Monica's Gang series, not available abroad). Will she accept it? We'll find out when issue 34 is released.

Source: Universo HQ.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The lady from the movie (and some Samsara)

Last wednesday I went to the local film society to see the 1987 movie A Dama do Cine Shanghai. It's a long, yet seizing thriller that won more than thirty awards worldwide.

This movie has a lot of elements in common with Samsara: noir narration, a mysterious woman that gets a guy in trouble, witty dialogues, old appartments. Some people noticed refrences to The Godfather and Hitchcock too.

After the movie, we had a chat with the author and director, Guilherme de Almeida Prado. Apparently, some critics had found references to movies Guilherme didn't even know existed at the time! We talked a lot about cinema, but that's not our focus here.

Then I brought up the comics. Hector Gomez Alisio was doing the storyboard for the movie, and he said, hey, we should make a comic out of this! But it was a B movie script, with lots of dialogues and most of the action not happening on screen, it wouldn't work, and it wouldn't be worth it to make an adaptation. What the hell, Guilherme had another script, that'd be too expensive to be made into a movie anyway.

And so Samsara was born. For some reason, they didn't know the publisher demanded a specific number of pages, so they had to add about eight pages in the middle after it had been done. Yeah, the explosion in page 26 was a big filler! My guess is that that probably added to the intricate script!

Other funny facts. Guilherme and Hector communicated by mail. Sometimes Hector would change a charcter's hair from one scene to another. Also, sometimes he would make too tiny bubbles:
— How am I gonna put all that text in there?
— I don't know. I drew it like that and it looks nice, so we're keeping it.

Samsara should have been published also in English and Italian, but the original publisher had made a mess with the masters for printing (I'm no press expert, but you know) and it didn't wanna make new ones. Notice that the blue is always a bit off in the scans.

Guilherme had just learned how to work with comics (and with Hector) and they were going to do a REALLY good one (as if Samsara wasn't awesome already), a five-part graphic novel. But then the graphic novel vogue ended in Brazil and the publisher closed its doors for them. Maybe some badass company should pick this forgotten project up!

I showed him my scanlation and he loved it! Man, THAT'S WHEN SCANLATION PAYS OFF!!

And I got an autograph:

His writing is as ugly as mine!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ethical reflections on scanlation

Much has been said about why people read scans. It's not my intention to lengthen that topic, but to reflect on why people should or shouldn't read/make scanlations.

With the internet, now more than ever, people have freedom. The law doesn't matter anymore, people will get what they want. Maybe, after a long time under the yoke of the law, people may have kept individual ethical reflection superficial.

I wanna show you some ideas, and I hope I can be balanced and clear. Some of what I say is specific to scanlations, some regarding file sharing in general.

Scans may be against the law, but the law has been wrong many times. The concept of authorship is very recent in human history and can be disputed. To believe that knowledge and art cannot be private property is a genuine way of thinking.

On the other hand, everything we have, roads, social security and even the sales and distribuition of artistic goods, depends on systems.

The power of systems doesn't come from above, but it belongs to each person that's a part of it. With illegal distribuition, people take their support away from the system, weakening and partially destroying it. Those people can't justify themselves saying that the system doesn't cover their expectations because, being out of the system, they can't demand anything from it. You can't demand improvements in public transportation if you don't use public transportation.

Another very used excuse is that sharing actually advertises the artist's work, possibly increasing sales. Well, isolated cases don't prove much, and the real effects are unmeasurable. It sounds nice to divulge an artist's work ("oh, they only make real money with concerts, anyway"), but that denies them control over the distribuiton of their own work. An ethical end needs ethical means. Like I said, it's okay to be an anarchist, but don't hide behind false moralism.

It's not necessary to take any of these extreme positions, there are intermediate positions. You could believe that free distribuition is the best way to go. If you like a comic, for example, it becomes a part of YOUR culture, and it's only natural to want to share it. Still, you could believe that authors have some right over their work, and that it's up to them to be or not a part of a freer world. Thinking that way, you probably won't take totally away your support from the system, allowing/forcing it to adapt, to change prices and variety, at the same time valuing free webcomics.

Anyway, the law only seems annoyed when money is involved. Cultural rescue websites like Acervo Origens* are usually well regarded, cause there ain't much economic potencial for that stuff.

(May 18th update: Acervo Origens had received financial support from the Government of the Federal District for six months. Now it decided that Acervo was infringing copyright. So everything uploaded at that time will be removed. What a plot twist.).

In a similar way, scanlations don't bother anyone when those comics aren't commercially available (even though it may allegedly take away support from the system). An example is that many scanlation groups had a healthy relationship with publishers, some scanlators being later hired. If a cultural rescue of things that are out of print, lost in time (vertical rescue), is justifiable, then why not a horizontal rescue, between countries and cultures? It's YOUR culture, and you may have some right to share it!

It's okay to buy music from other countries, people do listen to songs in other languages, no problem. But translation is necessary in comics and movies, working as a horizontal rescue. Not to metion import taxes that vary between countries, but can be quite prohibitive. Online MP3 sales cover that spot, but there doesn't seem to be a parallel sotution in comics.

Another interesting point: if, for working with things that have no official distribuition in certain countries, scanlations can be considered a legally grey area, what if we think of English as a global language, that area would be even GREYER! Could that thinking be extended to official online distribuition?

At last, scanlations/fansubs are possible as a way of protest. For example, Ghost in the Shell has had questionable quality translation in Brazil, disrespecting the customers. A good fansub would be a way to protest.

Anyway, do it or don't do it, but think about the world vision that best pleases you, and how far are you willing to commit to it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


When I first heard of this gay animation festival, I was like, come on! You wanna be treated like normal people, but you keep making those segregationist festivals instead of showing your work at regular festivals (which shouldn't be so hard, since they're mostly alternative)!

But then I realized how I stay away from American and Japanese comics, maybe even the French, looking only for comics from other countries. And how I don't show my scanlation at manga websites because, well, they think manga is the only scanlation possible! Why would I try to blend in with those who don't think I exist?

"If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
But make allowance for their doubting too;"

- If, by Rudyard Kipling

Both cases are just the same. It's understandable to stay in our safe ghettos, but we must get out (or come out). They don't dislike us, they just never thought we were possible.

P.S.: Since we're talking about prejudice, what about this: most American or French comic readers won't read Holy Avenger cause it's too manga, but most manga readers won't read it cause it ain't TRUE manga!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Quickies #19

"Batman", "Robin" and "Catwoman" "teach" "Portuguese" to Brazilian intelligence agents. I want my tax money back.

Daniel Galera and Rafael Coutinho's Cachalote will be published in France by Cambourakis.

The Marvel Art of Mike Deodato Jr. will be available in book and comic stores in the USA on July 6th.

@blogpauloramos said: "A 2010 discovery that also applies to 2011: Brazilian comic production is more heated than Argentina's". If you know anything about Argentine comics, you know that's awesome.

But only a few days later, Baraldi wrote an article about the pitiful situation of Brazilian comics, saying that it's just a bunch of nerds selling comics of 500 copies in small events, so different from the great masters of the past.

Sources: Bigorna, @blogpauloramos and Universo HQ.