A Recent Read: The Metabarons

A Recent Read: The Metabarons

Inktober is all wrapped up for this year. I managed 31 self portraits in 31 days. I’ll put together a big post showcasing and comparing all of the images later, but if you want to check some of them out now, go to the TOBY’SBRAIN FB page (if you love me, you’re already following it. If you’re not following it, you don’t know you love me yet.).

Anywho, in the meantime, I thought I’d share an epic graphic novel I recently read: The Metabarons.

The-Metabarons-cover

Bonjour! I come from France!

This 536 page, gorgeously illustrated beast tells the family history of The Metabarons, one of which made his first appearance in The Incal, a creation of Alexandro Jodorowsky and the great Moebius. Originally published in France by Humanoids, this English translation recounts the rise of the most powerful being in the galaxy as told by one of the Metabaron’s droids, Tonto, to another, Lothar. It is not for the faint of heart. It is a science fiction space opera chock full of violence, sex, love, tragedy, and epicness.

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It’s also a beautiful hardcover book with a nifty built in book mark.

It’s also somewhat crazy. Like LSD crazy, not unlike Dune.

The-Metabarons-singing-octopus

…I’d like to listen to the super-moronic romantic octopus of the hypertube.

While I was reading it, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the Dune books and some of their metaphysical ramblings. Then I got to the afterword by David S. Goyer (the comic book writer, novelist, screenwriter, producer, and director, who has worked on, among other things, Man of Steel, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and the upcoming Batman vs. Superman). Apparently Jodorowsky-with Moebius doing storyboards, Pink Floyd on tap for music, and H.R. Giger doing designs-was attempting to adapt Herbert’s Dune back in 1975. The script would have translated into a movie over 14 hours long. Apparently, according to Goyer and a documentary, “He wanted his audience to experience the kind of hallucinations one would have while taking LSD”.  That explained everything. Jodorowsky took all his passion and vision for Dune and came up with The Incal and The Metabarons, and while it is unique in it’s story and hallucinatory insanity, you can definitely feel the influence of Dune.

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The art work by Juan Giminez is quite frequently breath-taking (though at times the lack of strength in a few of the underlying drawings distracts from the beautiful colors). The colors, the scale…

The-Metabarons-p134

The-Metabarons-p135

…the creatures and technology…

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…the details…

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…it’s all inspiring. It is a fantastic example of the visual and storytelling potential of the graphic novel medium.

…If you can get past some of the really trippy stuff. And some of the jargon created for the story. Whenever a character speaks of something from our earth, rather than the future, they always attach the prefix “paleo” to it-paleochrist, paleobirds, paleotrees, paleoetc. Many future things start with “techno”, and anything to do with The Metabaron himself or his clan is meta-like metacraft, metalasers, metabombs, metabunker, metatoothbrush, metaunderwear…(okay, I may have made those last two up to make a point). It gets a little silly at times, but I’m uncertain if it’s supposed to be that way, or if it’s a translation issue, or what.

Either way, lots of sex, violence, drama, and tragedy, a good read, and gorgeous visuals.

In other news, with Inktober done, I’m trying to stick to the habit of doing a little ink drawing every day, just not as elaborate as what I was trying to do for the challenge. I’m going to focus on developing a strong cartoon/manga style self portrait that will prepare me for returning to work on Revery, hopefully in the not-too-distant future. Here’s the first non-Inktober one:

Manga-style self-portrait practice

Manga-style self-portrait practice

About the Author:

My brain makes me draw stuff that isn't there, and this is where I put it.

Please let me know what you think, it makes my brain happy.

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