Thursday, August 04, 2005

Later, predictably, she's tied to the floor, naked, on her back, both feet, both hands, tied to makeshift posts that are connected to boards which are weighted down with metal. The hands are shot full of nails and her legs are spread as wide as possible. A pillow props her ass up and cheese, Brie, has been smeared across her open cunt, some of it even pushed up into her vaginal cavity. She's barely gained consciousness and when she sees me, standing over her, naked, I can imagine that my virtual absence of humanity fills her with mind-bending horror.

- from American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

i feel like bitching about so called "outsiders". people who've taken alienation and turned it into fashion ala Suicide Girls and Screamo music. people who have co-opted metal and punk and strip-mined it of any real power and emotion, turning it into little more than an aural date-rape drug being played by shallow selfish stupid people who are more interested in exploiting nieve teenage girls than they are being involved with or creating anything substantial.

yeah, i'm bitter.

yeah i'm ranting.

yeah i'm letting stupid shit get to me. i'm just bored enough to let it get to this point.

this is the only place where i have a shred of confidence, where i don't have to bite my tongue. bring it on assholes.

i know i'll probably just get bored or tired with hating this stuff rather than witnessing its demise. whatever. i've been couped up in the house for too long. too hot out to do anything, been puting together manuscripts moslty.

okay bye.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Character Study: Garth Ennis on Punisher
*PLUS: New Series Announced!
Jonathan Encarnacion

Garth Ennis is, undeniably, an authoritative force in handling The Punisher. He has established on the book a feel that serves the title character well: hard-edged criminal drama served through Marvel’s MAX imprint, allowing no compromise in the telling; the dialogue is heavy with grit, the fights as detailed in the gore as they would be witnessed firsthand.

Ennis grounds The Punisher within a specific frame that asks little from the reader in suspending belief: there’s no mingling with superheroes, and the world is kept far from the fantastical. This gives Frank Castle a stage to perform with impact, lending more resonance to his violent methods, revealing him as somewhat inhuman, at once frightening and fascinating to watch. In this character study, Ennis introduces The Punisher to those who may be curious.

On the surface, The Punisher’s origin seems to have a foundation in vengeance: Castle’s family is gunned down by the mob, flipping the switch for his drive to become a hard vigilante. He's at war, murdering gangs relentlessly; an experienced soldier, he fights with a cold, brutal precision.

It’s fast evident that Frank’s true motivations are well past the murder of his family, however. Although he’s killed thousands of criminals, among them most likely any and all who were even remote participants in his family’s deaths, he still continues to operate in perpetuity. For Castle, the war is fought for bigger reasons than hunting the people involved. “The cruel, violent arrogance that led to the death of his family has to be answered, has to be fought, has to be punished. He gets a definite sense of satisfaction in removing such people from the face of the planet.”

There’s an even darker furthermore to the reasons why Frank continues. “What he gains is not having to blow his own brains out, which I think he’d do if he was somehow rendered incapable of carrying on his war.”

Indeed, there is something very chilling about the way Frank Castle performs his life’s routine. His existence isn’t motivated by determination so much as it is function: very simply, this is what he does and continues to do. His objective is always in focus: no end in sight, none really yearned for. If there is any emotive sway within him, it’s suffocated somewhere very, very deep.

Ennis has a defined portrayal of the Punisher, and has said that his rendition will always stay the same. Character development is an impractical thing to consider in a character like Frank; past a certain point in maturity, people barely change anyway. Again, a fascination for the character is found through how he operates. What does bring change in Ennis’ stories are the characters Castle interacts with, and it’s these interactions that sometimes tap at Frank’s more hidden sides. There have been some that have made small dents, (“Nicky Cavella quite successfully pushed some of his buttons in the most recent storyline,” Ennis notes. “So did O’Brien, in quite a different way,”) but ultimately, “Frank can be reached, but never to any lasting effect; he can be gotten at, if only temporarily.”

As callous as Castle may seem when fighting this war, he isn’t completely devoid of principle. “He has lines he won’t cross. He does his best to avoid endangering innocents; again, that kind of casual violence is what killed his wife and kids. He’s also wary of killing anyone in law enforcement, no matter how foul or corrupt – that’s a matter of self-preservation, really; the last thing he needs is the cops or the feds taking a serious look at him.”

That said, rarely is Frank content with compromise, even when it's in regards to the authorities. “As you’ll see at the end of the next storyline, ‘The Slavers’, he can usually find a way to ensure that justice is done.”

In Punisher: Born, which tells the story of Frank’s service in Vietnam, Ennis reveals the events that trigger Frank Castle’s motivations. Drawing them out of him well before the murder of his family, Born begs the question: would Frank still inevitably have taken up a war against the mob if his family hadn’t been killed? “Without a loss as terrible as that of his family, would his past have resurfaced so violently? I think I’ll say no, it’s unlikely. It took a specific set of extreme circumstances to send him down the path he’s on; he wouldn’t have become The Punisher just because he was concerned about rising crime levels.”

So far, Ennis has given readers means to examine the switch and the trigger. But how far back does the source of Frank’s motivations go? “Interestingly enough, this is exactly the question I’m exploring in the third Punisher special, The Tyger – due in February, and drawn, I’m delighted to say, by the excellent John Severin. Frank was always a dark one. Plenty of people had a rough time in Vietnam, and plenty of people lose loved ones to violence. It would take more than simply combining the two to produce the Punisher.

“It’s a story of Frank Castle’s childhood. On the verge of his very first kill as the Punisher, Frank remembers a pivotal moment in his youth.”

Perhaps not so much a direct hint to the details of the thematic elements, but to the framework: “Blake’s poem, The Tyger, does indeed play a part in the story.”

Monday, August 01, 2005

NP:Bonnie "Prince" Billy-A Minor Place

with the first submission comes the first rejection, and with the first rejection comes the all-nighter, pulling out all the stops to really blow them away. the manuscript for Parts Unknown was said to be short of the required amount of words for even a novella. i really pushed myself to write something bigger, longer, more epic in scope. what i got was something a little less violent and sentimental and something much louder, angrier, and eventually even more personal. some of the entires in this blog served as great material for the new manuscript entitled Bricks are Delicious. i am pretty impressed with myself for putting together a 45 page manuscript in a little under 5 hours. that's probably still to short, but it's all i got. maybe the 2 of them will get combined into one big chuck of death. that's my suggestion anyway. call it This Book Hates You.

it's 5 in the morning. my arms feel snake-bitten, heavy with venom. i feel like i have been picking myself apart for the last 5 and a half hours.

at least i have the perfect soundtrack for such a night/morning;

NP:Bonnie "Prince" Billy-I See a Darkness

Sunday, July 31, 2005

mix CDR of bitterness;

Charles Manson - People Say I Ain't No Good
Saint Vitus - I Bleed Black
Soilent Green - Leaves of Three
Circle of Dead Children - No Tears Fall Through Hollow Eye Sockets
War - Why Can't We Be Friends?
Thorr's Hammer - Norge
Harvey Milk - I Don't Know How to Live My Life
Oxbow - Sawmill
Starkweather - Shards
Deadboy and the Elephantmen - Laugh Like The Dead Would Laugh
Cop Shoot Cop - If Tomorrow Ever Comes
Dresden Dolls - the Perfect Fit
the Red Chord - Blue Line Cretin
Wilson Phillips - Hold On