Adventures in Dismaland

{Forewarning: cross post from my other site Superficially Iconic which I am also reviving}

Some may wonder why people gravitate towards certain corners of art.

Growing up in a small suburb of Illinois, I stuck out so much. Weird colored hair and crazy pattern clothing combinations do that. But so does the rest going on in the core of my being. I just happened to match a bit on the outside.

My dad was the conventional son of a visionary. She, however, rode the line. It created the juxtaposition I live in with my modern outlooks and lifestyle. Therein lies the deep rooted nature of understanding within.

Dad may never understand art to the level my grandmother and I do, but, in his own ways, he gets it. Dad just gets a different side of the glass. He has moments where he will draw outside of the lines but he really does like and value the lines. This is probably evident by his love of comic books but only choosing to read superhero books. Dad’s mantra has been, “If I wanted to think about real life, I would.”

Dad is a disconnector. He dabbles in art to escape reality. It’s a natural thing and beautiful in its own right.

I’m a polar opposite to my father in so many ways with my love of art. I have an adoration and respect for his world of function and practicality but… like to jump off cliffs at times.

For me, the line between art and reality should be a blur. It should speak to you. It should make you think.

That said, the link below is not for everyone. I know several members of society that would look away or talk poorly of this pocket of art. Despite this, I’m still associated with several. I love their words- art or reality or spaces that blur the lines.

Controversy shouldn’t have to be a controversy. Revolutions shouldn’t have to be revolutions. Even if they are both or neither at the same time. But I must say.. it does take the bold to do either one. Blurring the lines and keeping things black and white is an art in itself. And that ain’t bad.

That said, here’s an introduction to the Bemusement of Banksy with his latest pop up installation: Dismaland. Take a peek if ye dare into the superficially iconic beauty of dystopian art and reality compounded into one.

For more info, see the other press pieces:

The Guardian’s coverage

Channel 4’s coverage

Uk Reuter’s coverage

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Bam! Yet ANOTHER project

As some of you may know, I attended Comic Con a few weeks ago.  What many of you do not know is that my background in video games is only proceeded by comic books.

Growing up, my family, in particular my father, has had a love for books.  Dad would hand me books since before I could read.  He told me tales of fantasy and these larger than life characters.  My mother never understood this aspect.  I truly believe dad may have been doing it partially to piss her off.

They are now divorced and happier.  She lives in Illinois still with her new husband.  Dad lives in suburbia Los Angeles in the dreaded 909.

The comic books that I collected growing up are currently stored in a trunk in a garage at my mother’s home.  I am actually quite amazed that they are still there, regardless of whichever condition that they may be in.  You see, my mother burned the baseball cards I collected at the time.

Dad’s house is like another world entirely.  Everywhere you look is traces of his fixation with comic books.  He has a full bedroom for my son that is nothing but Spiderman.  Dad is a big kid at heart.  He frequents comic shops weekly.  He raised me on books like Tales from the Crypt, Batman, and Spiderman.

Uncle Jay & I in my sons Spiderman Room

Uncle Jay & I in my son's Spiderman Room

Despite my recent cosplay endeavor, I wasn’t always a Supergirl fan.  Dad wasn’t interested in Superman.  It seems that you are either a Batman fan or a Superman fan.  We were the former.  The new Detective Comics featuring Batwoman are currently in my monthly “must pick up list.”  Superman still has of yet to make a regular home for me.

However even back then I really didn’t partake as much from the mainstream comic book lines.  There has always been a draw for me to the artistically popping, underdogs of indie comic books.  Maybe that’s why I was rebellious growing up.  Maybe that’s why, to a degree, I still am.  It feels awesome to be a cliche.

After the convention I began to re-evaluate where my passions were.  While I do love video games, I have found that the community within the comic book industry has some very important things to offer me that, well video games really don’t for me- timelessness and a foundation in encouraging literacy and imagination in its execution.

I found myself looking back.  At my own childhood.  Of sitting on shoulders with loose teeth as my dad pointed to superheroes on comic books.

In present day, I have passed these things to my children as well.  I encourage my son to read comic books.  And, while he may go with his grandfather and read those mainstream books, he also reads indies with his mother.

my son reading The Edge a story within Volume 3 of the comic Flight

my son reading "The Edge" a story within Volume 3 of the comic "Flight"

I realized that I had not been completely true to myself.  Perhaps part of the reason why I never felt at ease or why it didn’t just all fall into place was that.  I was denying myself the potential to reach further.

When I went to Comic Con, I was representing Girls Entertainment Network.  And while I am thankful for the opportunity I had to work with them, I have come to realize that I have a different vision for how I would like to proceed with my venture into comic book journalism.

Approximately 2 years ago I purchased a series of domains for various projects that I was considering.  I had been mulling over the thought about a comic book site for some time but never made the jump into it.

I went to a movie showing of the 1943 rare Batman serial and an exhibit this weekend on the Golden Age of comic books over at the Skirball Cultural Center.  It reminded me so much about what we, as a culture, have lost, what we have gained, and what remains the same though it may have a different face.

It was profound and moving with its subtleties and brash overtones.

The time has come.  The past doesn’t always have to be so scary.  Neither does the future.  It’s time they shook hands.

I will continue to write freelance for comic book realted sites, but am also gathering steam for what I need to make a website that I believe will be something I am proud of.  Please stay tuned for further information about my site: Superficially Iconic: “a site for comic book intellectuals.. and everyone else too.”

The skys the limit oh dear Superfriend of mine.

The sky's the limit oh dear Superfriend of mine.

See you at Long Beach Comic Con.  And now I have to get ready for a superhero birthday party… Marvel turned the big seven-oh today don’t you know?