Jodorowsky's Screaming Planet (Alexandro Jodorowsky's Screaming Planet) Hardcover – 1 Jul 2013
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"Audiences familiar with 2000AD will immediately find solace in this text; yet the book also succeeds as a solid introduction for those not familiar with either the anthologized narrative format or even Jodorowsky's writing." - GraphicNovelReporter.com "Just calling this a regular anthology would be unfair. Screaming Planet puts together one of Europe s visionary writers with a regular who s who of artistic talent. Jodorowsky seamlessly steps out of his long term serial comfort zone and delivers some distinctive short stories playing to the strengths of his artists who all get their moment in the sun. Just watch your head for chunks of screaming rocks!" - BrokenFrontier.com"
"Jodorowsky has been a complete genius with his work. When someone wants to put so much effort into their work, it is hard not to admire the end result. The Screaming Planet will most definitely leave you admiring." - http: //comicattack.net "Audiences familiar with 2000AD will immediately find solace in this text; yet the book also succeeds as a solid introduction for those not familiar with either the anthologized narrative format or even Jodorowsky's writing." - GraphicNovelReporter.com "Just calling this a regular anthology would be unfair. Screaming Planet puts together one of Europe s visionary writers with a regular who s who of artistic talent. Jodorowsky seamlessly steps out of his long term serial comfort zone and delivers some distinctive short stories playing to the strengths of his artists who all get their moment in the sun. Just watch your head for chunks of screaming rocks!" - BrokenFrontier.com" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Alejandro Jodorowsky (also known as Alexandro Jodorowsky) is a Chilean film and theatre director, screenwriter, playwright, actor, comic book writer, author, poet, mime, musician, and spiritual guru. He is best known for his avant-garde, cult films, such as "El Topo," a midnight movie favorite. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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A sentient planet, ravaged by its inhabitants, fights back and causes itself to explode. A chunk of the planet hurtles though space, its screams of sorrow affecting certain individuals on various worlds. Their stories comprise ALEXANDRO JODOROWSKY'S SCREAMING PLANET. An alien prince, a vampirologist, a race of robots, religious warriors, a pair of space pirates, a beggar`s son, and a child who only wants to be loved... all of them, and more, cross paths with the otherworldly object. It's not giving too much away to say that things usually don't end well for these characters.
I've never been much of a fan of Jodorowsky's movies, but I like his comics. I also have fond memories of the glory days of the magazine Heavy Metal, though I haven't read it in over 20 years. These two factors led to my purchase of this hardcover collection of linked stories that originally appeared in HM from 2002 to 2004. The titular Planet is the most original anthology "host" I've come across in a long time: a nice change from the standard wisecracking zombie or bikini-clad space vampire. In a way, it reminds me of the Loc-Nar from the animated Heavy Metal movie, so there's another factor that adds to my enjoyment of this book.
Jodorowsky's informative introduction explains what led him to create this series, as well as his challenges with writing short pieces. While it's an interesting bit of insight, he needn't worry too much about those so-called challenges, as these tales are very entertaining. The expository dialog may get a bit clumsy at times, and there are a few bits I still don't completely understand after a couple of reads (and let's be honest, it wouldn't be Heavy Metal without that), but overall, it's a good read. The international roster of artists includes Marc Riou, Mark Vigouroux, Igor Baranko, Christian Højgaard, J.H. Williams III, Jerome Opena, Axel Medellin, Adi Granov, Pascal Alixe, Ciruelo, Carlos Meglia, and José Ladrönn. All are at their best in this book, and the cover by Travis Charest is certainly an attention-grabber.
While I would normally hesitate at paying this price for a 124-page book, especially with no discount on Amazon, I was happy with this purchase. I'd certainly check out more of Jodorowsky's graphic novels in this format.
Some of the most striking features of this collection are Jodorowsky's introductions, not only to the graphic novel itself but also for each individual vignette. Not known for shorter, serialized fiction, Jodorowsky reveals how he accepted the challenge of Humanoids' publisher to craft monthly tales for the magazine. Following a three-page prologue strip establishing the thematic foundation, "The Last Word" reflects Jodorowsky's passion for mysticism and religious iconography in language, visualizations, and story conceptualization, features he continually revisits throughout the book. Detailing generations of an environmental assault on the Humhgar planet, Jodorowsky gives agency to the planet itself as it enacts revenge upon its inhabitants for their misdeeds, but in turn sets in course a spiraling trail of emotional baggage and turmoil across the universe in the planet's own self-annihilation.
As with any collected edition, some stories will definitely stand out above others either in their visual or narrative presentation. Actually, although Jodorowsky jumps around the genre playgrounds quite a bit, mixing science fiction and alien worlds alongside 19th-century British vampire horror, futurism, fantasy, and sword and sorcery vistas, he maintains a strong authorial presence in each. As a result, he unites the varied environments not only through the shared thematic structure introduced in "The Last Word," but also with his craft in dialogue, narration, and story construction and composition. Fans of Marvel Comics' Adi Granov, known widely for his time with Warren Ellis on Iron Man Extremis and his design of the highly recognizable suit of armor for the character in the two Hollywood blockbuster films, will revel in "Masters of Destiny," which provides a fascinating glimpse into his very earliest work in the sequential format. While it's unclear if Granov was using a completely digital or hybrid workflow with his art during this period, the panels appear to reflect a softer, more nuanced approach with tones and hues for shading and skin tones, giving the pages a more equalized and balanced rendering. Similarly, J.H. Williams III's work on "Eucharist Son" will delight readers because it was created during his time pencilling Alan Moore's Promethea. it was his first attempt at inking his own work, and the story was also his first collaboration with colorist Dave Stewart. The results are quite shocking when compared to the smoother and more polished feel of his recent Batman or Batwoman illustrations, but the organic nature of this Jodorowsky story is a prime example in his evolution and growth as an artist.
Screaming Planet is also an excellent showcase for an assortment of cartoonists and other artists that American audiences may or may not yet be familiar with. Igor Baranko's style on "Invasion" calls to mind the work of Mike Ruiz or Chad Hardin on Boom! Studios' Farscape Scorpius and has inspired me to track down his The Horde. Some readers will surely recognize Christian Hojgaard's pencils from Vertigo's The Dreaming, Jerome Opena in recent Marvel titles such as Punisher, Vengeance of the Moon Knight, or Uncanny X-Force, Alex Medellin from Image's Elephantmen, which shares the strong, painted atmosphere with his "Robochrist" entry in this collection, and Pascual Alixe from Marvel's Electric Ant miniseries. If that was not enough, world-renowned fantasy artist Ciruelo, the late Carlos Meglia, and Eisner Award winner Jose Ladronn also share strips with Jodorowsky.
Along with Granov's work on "Masters of Destiny" and Ciruelo's "The Alchemical Egg," the Jodorowsky-Ladronn contribution "Tears of Gold" is perhaps the most compelling and also disturbing of all the stories. Deeply personal for Jodorowsky, as revealed in his short introduction to the piece, "Tears of Gold" lays bare the horrors of unrestricted greed and exploitation, particularly of the young and seemingly defenseless. Ladronn brilliantly captures the lecherous nature of the family members toward Dominguito, which at times reflects the passionate digital lighting techniques of Jamie Grant on All Star Superman and the demented characterizations that only Frank Quitely's line art can often convey.
Audiences familiar with 2000AD will immediately find solace in this text; yet the book also succeeds as a solid introduction for those not familiar with either the anthologized narrative format or even Jodorowsky's writing. In fact, educators utilizing graphic novels in the classroom would be hard-pressed to find a better source of original science fiction tales than Screaming Planet, which would serve nicely in a comparative, pedagogical format alongside Rebellion's numerous 2000AD collections or the 24Seven volumes distributed by Image Comics.
-- Nathan Wilson
I highly reccomend this book
Jodorowsky faces two challenges in this collection. First, he has to work with fresh talents. Second, he is more of a novelist than a short story writer. For the first challenge, as usual, Jodorowsky lives up to his reputation as a writer whose collaboration with artists goes beyond script and illustration and delves into the psychology of all creative minds involved to produce an insanely beautiful and dangerous offspring. In this collection, Jodorowsky enjoys challenging his young artists. He has never worked with any of them before. Their work before this collection is not as famous as other artists as his other artists, such as Moebius in the The Incal Classic Collection or Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Georges Bess in White Lama, The: Reincarnation - Book #1, Milo Manara in Borgia: Blood for the Pope, Fred Beltran inMegalex: The Anomaly - Book #1 (Megalex Book), Boucq in Bouncer: Cain's Eye, Juan Gimenez in The Metabarons Ultimate Collection or Zoran Zenjitiv in Technopriests TP Vol 1.
Of the previous artists, Jodorowsky writes: "Moebius had a bit of John Difool in him, just as Francois Boucq was the bouncer, Juan Gimenez the Metabaron and Bess the White Lama." For the new artists, he needed to find a way to connect with each artist. He writes how he would write a story with a "flat stone planet" to suit an artist who is "really good when it comes to drawing characters, but not so at ease with landscapes." Another artist,"does not know how to draw humans but specializes in machines" so Jodorowsky "invented a story that took place peopled by robots."
For the second challenge, Jodorowsky embraces the challenge: "the challenge appealed to me: to compress my immense imagination - I say that with a cynical absence of modesty- in order to extract from it short stories." Indeed, he chooses a single motif, a wandering asteroid that passes by several planets, to follow the stories of each planet. The result is 11 little gems that are worth reading. The stories are:
1) "The Last World" art by Marc Riou and Mark Vigouroux
2) "Invasion" art by Igor Baranko
3) "Proven Guilty" art by Christian Hejgaard
4) "Eucharist Sun" art by JH Williams III
5) "Who's Dreaming Now?" art by Jerome Opena
6) "Robochrist" art by Medelin
7) "Masters of Destiny" art by Adi Granov
8) "The Loyal Khondor" art by Pascal Alize
9) "The Alchemical Egg" art by Ciruelo
10) "The Debt" art by Carlos Meglia
11) "Tears of Gold" art by Jose Ladronn
Whether you are a Jodorowsky fan or new to his work, this collection is a treat.