Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Metabarons : Jodorowsky - Juan Gimenez



Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky ; born 17 February 1929) is a Chilean-French film and theatre director, screenwriter, playwright, actor, author, poet, producer, composer, musician, comics writer, and spiritual guru.

Best known for his avant-garde films, he has been "venerated by cult cinema enthusiasts" for his work which "is filled with violently surreal images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation".

Moving to Paris in the early 1950s, Jodorowsky studied mime under Etienne Decroux before turning to cinema, directing the short film Les tetes interverties in 1957. From 1960 he divided his time between Paris and Mexico City, in the former becoming a founding member of the anarchistic avant-garde Panic Movement of performance artists. In 1966 he created his first comic strip, Anibal 5, while in 1967 he directed his first feature film, the surrealist Fando y Lis, which caused a huge scandal in Mexico, eventually being banned.

After an aborted attempt at filming Frank Herbert's 1965 science fiction novel Dune, Jodorowsky produced three more films, the family film Tusk (1980), the surrealist horror Santa Sangre (1989), and the failed blockbuster The Rainbow Thief (1990). Meanwhile, he has simultaneously written a series of science fiction comic books, most notably The Incal (1980–1989), which has been described as having a claim to be "the best comic book" ever written, and also The Technopriests and Metabarons.

Accompanying this, he has also written books and regularly lectures on his own spiritual system, which he calls "psychomagic" and "psychoshamanism" and which borrows from his interests in alchemy, the tarot, Zen Buddhism and shamanism. His son Cristobal has followed his teachings on psychoshamanism; this work is captured in the feature documentary Quantum Men, directed by Carlos Serrano Azcona.


Gimenez Lopez was born in Mendoza, Argentina. He finished his high school education as an industrial designer and later attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Barcelona (Spain).

His first stories, for Argentine editors such as Colomba and Record, were largely inspired by Hugo Pratt (during the years he spent in Argentina) and Francisco Solano Lopez.

Back to Spain, he worked for Spanish (Zona 84, Comix International) and Italian (Lanciostory, Skorpio) magazines. His work of this period is mainly related to war and science-fiction genres.

In 1980, he designed the "Harry Canyon" segment of the film Heavy Metal. During the 1980s, he collaborated with several European magazines, including the Spanish 1984, the French Metal Hurlant and the Italian L'Eternauta, experimenting with graphical and narrative innovations.

To this period dates what is ranked among his best series, the short science-fictions stories known under the title of Time Paradox.

Also noteworthy are The City, written by Ricardo Barreiro and Le Quatrieme Pouvoir (The Fourth Power), which he wrote by himself.

Gimenez currently maintains a consistent yet varied workload, lending his talents as illustrator to covers for CD albums and novels, as well as serving as a concept artist on video games, and motion pictures. He also remains in high demand as a graphic novel artist, collaborating with some of Europe's most acclaimed authors such as Carlos Trillo, Emilio Balcarce, and Roberto Dal Prà, when he is not writing his own stories as he successfully continues to do, as with “The Fourth Power" collection.METABARONS  

The Metabarons or The Saga of The Meta-Barons is a science fiction comic series relating the history of a dynasty of perfect warriors known as the Metabarons. The Metabarons series was written by creator Alejandro Jodorowsky and illustrated by Argentinian artist Juan Gimenez.
The series, published by Humanoides Associes, is complete, the last volume having been released at the end of 2003.

The first appearance of a Metabaron (chronologically the last of the Metabarons) was May 1981 in the Incal comic book series. This was followed by a series of prequels that concerned this character's origin, presented as the narration of the android Tonto to the android Lothar, of his masters' achievements.

The series takes place over the course of several generations, and chronicles the life of each of the five Metabarons. The stories depict a space opera reminiscent of Greek tragedy, and heavily influenced by Frank Herbert's Dune novels.

Gimenez's style has become famous for the extreme attention he devotes to technical and historical details; his series Pik As has been defined as "a comic encyclopaedia of World War II."


Every Metabaron is mutilated by his father in his youth so that his endurance to pain is tested, and receives a powerful mechanical body part as a replacement for the destroyed limb. In each generation, the son and heir must eventually face his father in a battle to the death.

These battles have taken many forms, from hand-to-hand combat to space duels, and the succession is only achieved once the son succeeds in killing his father.

The story of the Metabarons begins on an isolated world, Marmola, on which a small tribe, ruled by Berard of Castaka, export huge blocks of marble. In addition, the planet is the native location of a blue, jelly-like substance, called epiphyte, whose properties defy gravity.

The existence of the substance has been a sacred secret of the Castakas for many generations, until its revelation to save the life of Othon von Salza, the son-in-law of Baron Berard.

Soon after the revelation of the epiphyte, the planet's orbit becomes a battlefield, with the treacherous Imperial Black Endoguard as the victors. At the end of the war, Othon and his son Bari are the only survivors of the Castaka tribe.

The Imperial couple, rulers of the known galaxy, are astonished by the achievement of Othon and reward him; and Othon shows them where the epiphyte was hidden in exchange for a percentage of the new market for anti-G Technology, a new planet to which their palace would be transferred, and a gift for his son intended to restore the joy lost with his crippled legs.

The emperor gives him a horse, an extinct species revived by genetic manipulation; but pirates steal the horse. Othon kills them in retaliation, but accidentally kills his son, and is castrated by an attacker.

Othon thereafter invests a large part of his fortune in the development of the first 'metabaronic' weapons and begins the tradition of cybernetic implants; and later becomes a mercenary of extraordinary skill and power. By the destruction of 100,000 pirate vessels, he and his descendants receive the title of Metabaron, and the Imperial couple promise a gift.

Later, a woman named Honorata offers that she can bear Othon a child if he places a drop of his blood in her uterus. With this done, two of Othon's servants try to commit suicide, taking the pregnant Honorata with them; but Othon injects a potion of epiphyte into Honorata.

This deprives his son, Aghnar von Salza, of weight; wherefore Othon lets Honorata train Aghnar by herself.

When Aghnar is seven years old, he defeats a machine set against him by his father; whereupon Othon continues his training. Honorata then confesses she was ordered to give birth to a hermaphrodite instead of a son, by the priestesses of Shabda-Oud.

For her disobedience, the Shabda-Oud attempt her destruction. Othon, to assure his son's ability to avenge her, orders Aghnar to fight him to the death, and Aghnar seizes the title of Metabaron for himself.

The sole human in a hostile world, Aghnar befriends a single primatoid, and becomes its tribe's messiah.

He then seizes a Shabda-Oud cetacyborg battleship with which to carry out his vengeance; but is distracted by the Cetacyborg's crew's original objective: to capture Princess Oda, to use her for the sisterhood's breeding experiments. After a telepathic confrontation with the sisterhood, Oda suffers debilitating injuries;

whereupon Honorata, kept alive by her own mental powers, transfers her own soul to Oda, who thereafter bears Aghnar a son.

Disgusted by his incest, Aghnar attempts to kill his son, whom Oda/Honorata gives a cybernetic head to replace his own, for which he is called Steelhead. Steelhead later kills his parents.

At his claim to the title of Metabaron, the Princess Dona Vicenta argues that his offspring must be unworthy of the title.

Therefore, Steelhead assumes the disembodied head of Zaran Krleza, the last poet in the galaxy. United in body and head (but somehow maintaining individual personas), Steelhead and Zaran become Melmoth, which declares Dona Vicenta as the object of his affections, and resurrects her father, along with a rare, titanic tree (both destroyed by Steelhead himself).

Dona Vicente consents to the match; but the clone of her father attempts to take her by force, whereupon Vicenta gives him her eyes.

Mollified, he permits Melmoth and Dona Vicenta to marry; but Melmoth discovers that Tonto, his robotic servant, has replaced her eyes by cybernetic sensors, and shuns her. Eventually, he reverts to the form and character of Steelhead, and takes care of his bride. When unable to preserve both of Vicenta's twin children alive, Steelhead removes the male twin's brain and implant it in the female child, and trains the androgynous Aghora would be trained as a warrior, who eventually faces his/her father in single combat to become Metabaron.

To conceive an heir, he/she extracts the male cells from his/her own brain and implants them in his/her womb, thereby creating a male clone: later the Nameless Metabaron who reigns in Incal.

In the last chapter of the saga (Sans-Nom, le dernier Meta-Baron), Lothar, the faithful android to whom Tonto is relating the Metabaronic lore in the frame narration, is identified as Steelhead himself, kept alive by his conversion to a robotic existence.

Recovering his personality, but not his full memories, after a brief confrontation in which he gives Nameless the iconic scarring in his eyebrow, he allies himself with a vampiric creature to enact his vengeance upon his descendant.

Ultimately, he repents; whereupon Nameless has himself sterilized, and remains in self-pity until the Spirit of the Castaka family, embodied by the mark on his chest, prompts Nameless to become a force for good, protecting life whenever he can.

With this new mission, the Metabaron becomes the unstoppable mercenary featured in the Incal.

Publised in Greece by the comic magazine "9"
1rst " Othon the Propator " 2003
2cond " Onorata " 2003

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Saints : Nothing Is Straight In My House 2005

The Saints are a rock band, originating in Brisbane, Australia founded by Chris Bailey (singer-songwriter, later guitarist), Ivor Hay (drummer), and Ed Kuepper (guitarist-songwriter) in 1974. Alongside mainstay Bailey, the group has had numerous line-ups.  
In 1975, contemporaneously with American punk rock band the Ramones, The Saints were employing the fast tempos, raucous vocals and "buzz saw" guitar that characterised early punk rock. With their debut single, "(I'm) Stranded", in September 1976, they became the first "punk" band outside the US to release a record, ahead of better-known acts including the Sex Pistols and The Clash. They are one of the first and most influential groups of the genre.

In early 1979, the Saints had imploded, leaving Bailey to continue the band, with a variable line-up. All Fools Day peaked in the Top 30 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart in April 1986. Bailey also has a solo career and had relocated to Sweden by 1994. The band was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 2001.

While Nothing Is Straight in My House is a far cry from the punk-flavored assault of (I'm) Stranded, the pounding opening salvo of "Porno Movies" shows Willson-Piper knows how to confidently make with the crunch, while drummer Pete Wilkinson and bassist Caspar Wijnberg set up a menacing throb in the background.

While Bailey does throw in a few mid-tempo numbers along the way, such as the folk-rock-influenced "I Couldn't Help Myself" and "Garden Dark," the good news is "Bang On," "Paint the Town Electric," and "Nylon Pirates" find the Saints rocking out with smarts, swagger, and supreme confidence, and Chris Bailey is once again producing the sort of sneering vocals that made him a contender back in the day.

The Saints continue to record and perform. In 2014 Bruce Springsteen covered their classic "Just Like Fire Would" on his High Hopes album.

Bailey is also writing up to his best standard on this set, and while the overly clean production sometimes holds the band back, the fact is this album rocks, and when it comes to the Saints, that's always good news. Great stuff.


01. "Porno Movies" - 3:08
02. "A Madman Wrecked My Happy Home" - 2:32
03. "Nothing Is Straight In My House" - 4:32
04. "Digging a Hole" - 3:59
05. "I Couldn't Help Myself" - 4:38
06. "Paint The Town Electric" - 4:12
07. "Nylon Pirates" - 3:03
08. "Bang On" - 3:13
09. "Taking Tea With Aphrodite" (Bailey, Wijnberg) - 2:57
10. "Passing Strange" (Bailey, Willson-Piper) - 5:0
11. "Garden Dark" - 7:19
12. "Where Is My Monkey?" (Bailey, Wilkinson) - 3:08
13. "Nothing Is Straight (Slight Return)" - 2:33