A little sad to realize ACT-I-VATE Comix is busted. The website – http://activatecomix.com/ – is still there but all of the images are broken. It’s too bad – the webcomics collective, started by Dean Haspiel, brought together an amazing collection of work from comics artists who were generally new to the web.
I can’t find out anything about the state of it – whether or not it’s benign neglect it is sad that so much comics work is no longer readily available. It’s also another sign of the web’s permanent instability – this is a bit of history that is falling to pieces before our eyes. If it wasn’t for the Internet Archive, this stuff would really be lost but even there too many comic images are broken.
Worth re-watching the ACT-I-VATE Experience, a video on the webcomics collective from about 2010:
This unlicensed, not authorized short film from Joe Sill is really, really good. Sill is a professional director so it’s not entirely surprising that the film looks so good but he also gets pretty naturalistic performances from all three main characters (Kara, her Dad and the X-Wing Pilot).
Stumbled on to this new comic (through Piperka.net) which is really well drawn. It’s a bit of a predictable coming-of-age superhero-ish plot but it does have lots of odd touches, including the protagonist barfing up a very big hammer (hence the title) to use in fighting the bad guys. It barely has an archive so it’s a quick read right now and it’s entirely possible that it will start taking crazier and crazier left turns in the plot. I would check it out.
The novel The Man in the High Castle is my favorite novel by Philip K. Dick. (Granted I haven’t read all of them yet so that could change.) I was interested when Amazon did a pilot for a teevee show based on the novel. Mostly I thought it was an interesting adaption. It did a lot of work to recreate the alternate universe. I was a little less excited about the change from a book to a film for the central plot device. (A macguffin or a metaguffin perhaps but important to the story).
I haven’t had a chance to watch the whole series (10 episodes) yet — I thought I would keep a running blog post to record my impressions as I do. (TO BE CONTINUED!)
UPDATE: Finished watching the first season of The Man in The High Castle. So overall I enjoyed the show even if it showed how in many respects the novel is a difficult thing to translate to the screen. The main thing the show does is faithfully translate the world-building of the novel. That part is amazing. Perhaps that is enough — there is a lot of the novel that rests on the alternate history it constructs. What the show doesn’t quite capture well – although there is a late twist that suggests it might try to grapple with it in Season 2 (yes – there will be a season 2!) – is the ambiguity in the novel between whether the alternate world that exists is true or our actual world (which is an alternate history in the world of the novel) is true. The show is much more plot-driven than I recall the novel being — but this also highlights the unanswered questions of why everyone in this world cares so much about the underground films that show the U.S winning the war. (Also the show never addresses the fact that these films show so much — seriously, they are either from a parallel universe or the Man in the High Castle has special effects technology generations ahead of his time).