Hillsong Films

Successful Christian band Hillsong United has a new live project being released next week, and it looks, and of course sounds, amazing. of Dirt and Grace was recorded in Israel, and below you can see the trailer for the live DVD, as well as a great rejig of Prince of Peace, one of my fave songs off their last album Empires.

Besides that project, Let Hope Rise, is an exciting new documentary that opens in September, which follows Hillsong and the impact and origins of their church and music ministry.

Overrun

Writer Andi Ewington (the excellent 45 OGN from publisher Com.x a few years ago) has been busy lately, creating new series such as Six, and Sunflower. He’s also added the high concept series Overrun, to his impressive resume (along with writer Matt Woodley),all 4 issues of which are available now on various digital platforms such as iBooks and Kindle.

It’s a gorgeous looking book with a wonderful premise, described below.

The city is at a breaking point. Living space is running out. Those in power are forced to execute a desperate measure – introduce a poison to wipe out a huge part of the population.

This is no ordinary city, however. Overrun takes the reader into the heart of their own computer. Citizens are files. There are .xls business people, sexy spams and hip musician .mp4s. The space which is running out is memory – the poison a computer virus.

Political intrigue and epic action scenes take place inside this lovingly crafted world as we follow a group of friends, forgotten computer game heroes, as they fight their way through the virus infection which is transforming their fellow citizens into memory sucking zombies.

Popular web site Bleeding Cool describes it as, “Tron meets Dawn of the Dead,” which is as tantalising as it sounds. Beyond those striking covers, the interior art is supplied by Paul Green, known for his work on Flash Gordon from Ardden Entertainment. Green, with great effects and lettering by Troy Peteri and Joshua Cozine, makes the pages pop, as you can see from a few random pages below.

issue-1_p4p_page_1

 

final overrun comic_part 3_4_cmxlgy_page_2

final overrun comic_part 4_4_cmxlgy_page_3

For more info, check out the Overrun site.

 

 

The Martian and The Christian

The Martian, based on the Andy Weir novel of the same name, is a different sci-fi film from director Ridley Scott. There’s no obvious enemy with the face of an alien or cyborg, but it’s still a terrifically tense tale.

Sometime in the future, the Alpha III manned mission to Mars goes awry, leaving presumed dead astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) stranded and alone.

the-martian

Upon finding out of their colleague’s survival, the crew must decide whether to carry on their planned, long return journey to Earth, or risk their own lives by turning around to rescue him. This kind of sacrifice made me think of Jesus’ words in John 15:13. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Of course, that’s what Jesus has done for us. We are precious in His sight, and to bring us back to the Father, He did what He had to do to make that happen – He surrendered his life. He didn’t argue, or fight, or run. Earlier, in John 10:18 Jesus told his disciples (who were also his close friends) that no-one takes his life from him, but he lays it down willingly. For me, for you, for us all – he gave up his life. He knew what the price was (his death) but also what the prize was (our redemption).

That really is the gospel message. God created the world, and made humans, not because He’s lonely, but because He’s loving. When those humans disobeyed God, that relationship with Him was severed but His love for us never changed. God’s not an emotional being as we are, in that He isn’t erratic or changes His mind. That’s why He’s able to love us with patience and persistence. He has never given up on humanity, His dearest and most precious creation, and He knew the only way to restore our relationship with Him was to have His Son Jesus suffer the punishment we deserved, on our behalf.

That heart for humanity has never left God. He longs to have a relationship with us all; to reveal His truth and love and power to, and through, us.

Besides the sacrifice of his friends, and the intelligence of NASA, the other aspect that led to Mark’s survival on Mars was his determination. Through determination, Watney had to learn to make food, water and shelter and to do all he could to return home. When we are desperate for something, we are willing to let go of things that hinder us from that goal. Our money and time are precious commodities, so we must learn to use them wisely.

Paul said in Philippians 3:12 that, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” He goes on to say that he forgets what lies behind and uses descriptions such as “straining toward what is ahead,” and challenges, “all of us who are mature” to take such a view.

Paul uses the runner analogy in 1 Corinthians 9 when he encourages believers to go in to strict training because the eternal prize is worth it. We are not called to run aimlessly, but to run with our eyes fixed heavenward. That is our motivation, moreso than any earthly rewards such as riches or acclaim which are only temporary.

We compete, not against others, but against those things that would hinder us from running the race He has called us to run. Following Christ is not a short sprint but a long marathon. It requires endurance, discipline and focus. It requires saying yes to things that draw us closer to our godly goal, and to say no to those things which distract us.

In the film, Watney ponders the fact that he is the loneliest man in the universe. No-one has ever been more distant from other life than he is. Of course, no matter where we go, we are never alone. It is one of the most joyful promises we have as children of God. Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us to not be afraid because He will never leave us or forsake us. Some of Jesus’ last words were to remind us of this truth, as Matthew 28:18 states, “I am with you always.” Psalm 139 also wonderfully captures His everpresence with verses such as,”If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me.”

No matter where we are, we are never alone.

Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #1 Review

I didn’t catch this unique series the first time around, but the 6 issue sequel piqued my attention, due to the praise that the initial mini-series received. Here’s BOOM Studios’ official description.

What’s to Love: The first Wild’s End miniseries kept us in constant suspense with its unlikely mash-up of War of the Worlds and The Wind in the Willows. We’re holding our collective breaths once again as author Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) and illustrator I.N.J. Culbard (The King in Yellow) are set to play with the paranoia and “enemy amongst us” conspiracy theories prevalent in stories we love like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The X-Files.

What It Is: As Clive, Susan, Fawkes, and the other survivors of the alien invasion of Lower Crowchurch try to cope with what just happened to their small town, the military arrives in an attempt to cover up the “incident.” Town residents are immediately detained, questioned, and treated with suspicion. Are they alien spies, collaborators, sympathizers? Clive and the rest will need to escape imprisonment if they’re to get the word out and warn the rest of the world in case the aliens return.

The tagline is “Wind of the Willows meets War of the Worlds,” and that’s an apt and charming description, but it’s more than that. Writer Dan Abnett (who revitalised the Guardians of the Galaxy with co-writer Andy Lanning) and artist I.N.J Culbard have crafted an impressive world which is very serious. Don’t let the anthropomorphic approach fool you into thinking it’s a whimsical tale full of cute characters.

It is set two weeks after the the first series, but all you need to know is woven throughout this debut issue. Abnett has the dialogue spot-on, and there’s a lot of it, but it’s so charming and authentic. It’s like something lifted from Hollywood’s Golden Age, especially a sequence early on as two science fiction writers get to know each other on a train as they are drawn into a conspiracy.

Culbard’s art (more to see here) is clean and the variety and expression with which the characters are given is very impressive. They all have personalities, and combined with Abnett’s wonderful dialogue and tense story, it makes for a tautly constructed mystery amongst a backdrop of talking animals and countryside charm.

Wilds End 1

Wilds End p1

Wilds End p2

Wilds End p4

Cheap Batman Digital Comics

It’s Batman Day! For some reason, it’s on September 26. Most comic shops will be participating, as they did last year with giveaways like comics, capes, masks, etc. However, comiXology is having a huge sale on Batman comics – 1000 issues from various series. Yep, huge! There’s so much good stuff to see, such as the Gotham Academy series or the new Batgirl (new direction, new costume, new creative team) that has been getting rave reviews. I prefer my DC from the 90s and early 00s though, so I highly recommend any of the epic issues from Superman/Batman, the superb Nightwing, Robin or Batgirl series. The issues are 99 cents each, and there’s sooo much good stuff, and most of what’s on offer is complete runs, so buy a few issues to see if you like it and then grab the rest if you do. The sale ends on September 28 and on the day itself (the 26th), DC Comics will also be having a sale on collected editions, so check back on comiXology then. Happy cheap Batman reading!

Batman 1000 Sale

I’m Back

I started this blog in 2008. I’m not the same man today that I was then.

I’ve written reviews about comics and films, both mainstream and independent. I’ve interviewed over 120 writers, artists and creative people across a variety of websites, plus the Extra Sequential magazine and podcast. It was fun, and exciting and eventually it became less so.

Then last year, I stopped. I stopped because the joy in doing those things stopped. I was no longer motivated to spend hours at home on my keyboard every week showcasing the artistic and diverse forms of expression that gave me pleasure. A number of quiet yet powerful events occurred to bring this shift in my focus.

Some health hiccups, tremendous travel opportunities, a new job. All these things exploded in my life in and they’ve opened my eyes to see things anew.

That’s given me a renewed sense of purpose, refined by God and some beautiful people I’m blessed to call my friends.

And that’s why I want to start blogging about stuff that matters to me, and I’m sure you’ll find it interesting. I have new priorities now. The last three years have seen a dramatic turn in the way I eat, dress, and generally live. I’m twenty kilos lighter. I read and watch more diverse media. There’s an incredibly exciting opportunity within the theatre world, plus I’m starting to write again. You can catch my stories on Wattpad.

I’ve also just had a short story published in the latest issue of the new digital magazine, Phantasmagoria (such a cool name).

Have a read of my fanciful tales, and let me know what you think. There will be more. Oh yes.

Batman: Arkham Origins Collector’s Edition

October 25 sees the release of the third game in the Arkham series. This time it’s a prequel, with a more unexperienced Batman fighting off 8 assassins during the festive period. It looks grand and cinematic from what we’ve seen in the launch and gameplay trailers, and like most of the big name games these days, there’s a Collector’s Edition available. You’ll probably want to pre-order, as I’m sure they’ll fly off the shelves.

Batman-Arkham-Origins-CE-PS3-630x353

  • Calendar

    • August 2017
      M T W T F S S
      « Apr    
       123456
      78910111213
      14151617181920
      21222324252627
      28293031  
  • Search