13 Jun 2015

The gender tantrum..

Let me acknowledge first that I dont have any MISOGYNISTIC propaganda. Heck, I dont even know how exactly to pronounce the word properly. And I absolutely luv'yall ladies.. But.. As an artist - albeit a mediocre one - it pisses me off to see that there’s been a new casualty in the ongoing incessant barrage of gender-equality tantrums. Yet another ban on the artistic freedom of expression. This time the victim is Rafael Albuquerque, an artist from DC comics and co-creator of the American Vampire(Which won the prestigious Eisner award in 2011).

An online preview of a variant cover for the comic book, Batgirl #41, set off an online charade of angry protests, eventually generating a hashtag, #ChangeTheCover. The cover, as you can see, shows Joker doing to Batgirl, what he always does – weird, scary stuff. Hence why he refers to himself, “PRINCE OF ANARCHY”.

The ‘controversial’ cover was intended to be a homage to the classic standalone issue, The Killing Joke, by the legendary Alan Moore. DC comics had commissioned a month full of variant covers featuring the joker, to celebrate the 75th anniversary  of the characters creation. And as for the angry mob who are yet to figure out what the hell is a variant cover(or what exactly are they protesting against)... Variant is an alternate cover for die-hard comic fans, who are into collecting the entire set, a marketing strategy of comic publishers around the world. It would not have been forced upon any unwilling fans, only those who would have wanted it would have had it.

Any half-wit comic fan could identify that the scene depicted in this cover is not nearly as gruesome or violent as some other weird stuff Joker has partaken in. But some perpetually offended retards were quick to associate the cover with woman-abuse, misogyny etc. and thats how the whole shitshorm started. Seemingly getting a kick out of protesting against anything and everything, these idiots fail to understand one tiny little fact – IT IS FICTIONAL, No human dressed in black spandex was harmed during the production of this art-work.. So get a life, and try dealing with issues that matter. How about standing upto the wife-abusing thug next door? (Yes, at the risk of getting your ass handed over to you) Nah, you’d rather indulge in a Freudian analysis of a comic cover.

And this is the worst part. Prior to all this, DC actually did acknowledge its sexualisation of female characters in early years, and deliberate attention was given to the Bat Girl series to make sure it is moving in a direction which is more inspiring to the female audience. What these protestors, most of whom would never have bought or read this book anyway, does’nt know is that the crippled Batgirl eventually returns as Oracle - a major upgrade from being Batman’s sidekick into a powerful, respectable figure in the DC universe.

From an artists point of view, the freedom of expression is at stake here. A while back, similar kind of nonsense were instigated against the movie “Gone Girl”, with accusations made against the author (of the book of the same name)of being... that's right.. misogynistic. Now, are we living in a happy hunky-dory world without the Jokers and Gone Girls? Are'nt all these characters, although fictional, an artists rendering of the kind of evil out there in the real world?

#An artist has a right for expression. When he/she is telling the story of a fictional character, who is basically evil personified, then that character needs to be portrayed doing evil. It’s not promotion of evil, it is a depiction of world as it is.
 #A patron or a fan has a right for opinion. To exercise the right to decide what they want to enjoy or not. A bunch of sensitive whimps do not have any right to take it away.
 # Shame on DC to succumb to such pressure, and withdrawing those covers.

16 May 2015

O Captain! Our Captain..

I have lived better part of my life following the Reds, through thick and thin. A long list of world class players donned the prestigious red jersey since the days I've followed this club - Fowler, Owen, Hyppia, Alonso, Torres, Suarez.. From a time before that, there were legends like Dalglish, Rush, Hansen, Souness - whose heroic exploits I'm only familiar through grainy youtube footages. And then there is one footballer who IS Liverpool through and through, who breathes and bleeds Red - Steven George Gerrard.

Quite often, when I reflect upon my own life, all I could see is gloom and doom, when reasons to move forward look extremely slim pickings. And then I turn on the tv, and watch this guy giving his heart out for a lost cause.. never complaining, never giving up, single-handedly dragging forward his team by the scruff of the neck over and over again. If Liverpool still register on radars of the football community, it is mostly down to the heroics of this loyal soldier. Many came to the club, rose up through the echelons of stardom, and eventually left for greener pastures. All the while, this guy never abandoned ship, never waved the white flag, continued the charge, leading upfront.

You have been the single most inspiration for me to fight through every crappy situation life has thrown at me. You will be missed Stevie G.. and I'm sure I speak for every Liverpool fan out there, You'll Never Walk Alone Cap'..

Champions League 2005 - The header that started the unforgettable comeback
FA Cup 2006 - A piledriver at injury time which levelled the score

Goal against Olympiakos which made Martin Grey go " Ooow Yea beautiee.. What a hit son.. What a hit.. Take a bow"