Thursday, November 13

It is finished.

Angel Ace Next is ready to send out to the printers.

It took all night, along with some last-minute submissions, a whole lot of lettering and organizing art, pages and layouts. When I finally burned the images onto a convenient CDR, sunlight was streaming through my window. Had to spare a couple of hours for token sleep before heading out to the office.

There are just a couple of minor hiccups, which can conceivably be fixed within the day. Tonight I give it out and then it's out of my hands.

My comments; some of the art is gorgeous, some a bit rushed, some manga-ish, some indie, all of it entertaining and fresh. 80 pages chock-full of art, story, a couple of ads and articles and a surprise and a jolt or two.

December's the release date. Whether it be in the upcoming C3Con or simply at Comic Quest, we're going to get the issue out to the readers.

At last.

Wednesday, November 12

Cover Girl

Here's the front cover to Angel Ace Next! We're going to print this weekend, and releasing hopefully in time for the C3Con this December. So if there are any violent objections to the cover art, well... tough. Heh. Wait for it!

Tuesday, November 11

Last Man Standing

a few left to do, including lettering the whole darn book, but the ending is finally in sight. All that is really left to put it all together is to have all the guest artist pages in, do the front cover and the inside cover pages.

This weekend, we go to the printer. And hopefully, we WILL finally see the latest Angel Ace issue this December at the C3Con.

Just to say, I was surprised at the last minute developments in the pages, including a pretty left-field development that should widen a few eyes... Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing the final book in several weeks' time.

Just a couple more nights to go, and Angel Ace Next will be DONE.

Then it's on to... Kunoichi Boy!!!

Sunday, November 9

The Matrix Redemption (Spoilers Ahead)

Yesterday, the gang (sans Dean and Nikki) trooped over to The Podium to watch the third and final part of the Matrix Trilogy, Matrix Revolutions. After a quickie snack/dinner at Hotshots, we rushed to the cinema in order to catch the trailers. By the seat of our pants we were able to see The Return of the King trailer. After getting a hundred-peso popcorn package with a cool. black Matrix tumbler, we settled down to watch the swan song for Neo, Trinity and the whole Matrix gang.

Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly, I liked Revolutions. Hell, I'm actually confident enough to say yeah, I really like it.

The finale of The Matrix trilogy sees mankind with their backs to the wall. In Reloaded, Neo learns that their most valuable ally, The Oracle, is not human but a machine herself. More importanly though, he learns that his destiny as The One does not involve stopping the countless killing machines poised above the human city of Zion, much less stopping the whole genocidal war between human and machine. To further complicate things, Neo goes into a coma after displaying powers even in the real world. A seeming accident sabotages the Zion fleet, pretty much annihilating the human's most potent forces before the battle even begins. All this, and 250,000 sentinels are ready to dissect the remaining free humans on the planet.
Perhaps it is the blessing of being the finale, with all the stakes and chips on the board, the characters at their most desperate, the action at the zenith, that makes Revolutions work a lot better than Reloaded. It also helps that we've seen the characters featured onscreen before, and now at the climax you care for them more as a result. In fact, this movie seems to show off more of the supporting characters than the Big Three of Neo, Trinity and Morpheus; Niobe (Morphy's former squeeze/star of the Matrix videogame, played by Jada Pinkett-Smith), The Kid, The crew of The Hammer and The Logos, the Oracle and Seraph and the people of Zion. This broader scop of the events makes the film a lot more epic in scope.
Despite having a slow start in the first half hour or so, Revolutions' psychobabble this time around is more substancial; such as the sentience of machines and the prospect that not all the programs are evil; they are themselves a race that is on the planet to stay. Again, the burdens of choice and sacrifice weigh heavily on Neo, and this time he may have to pay the ultimate price to save humanity.
In terms of action, Revolution revisits the Matrix with Trinity, Morpheus and Seraph revisiting the Merovingian. This is the final real foray into the other world; after this, most of the action is in the real world. The Battle for Zion's Docks is the setpiece of this movie, featuring images of carnage and heavy metal action that simply demands to be seen on a big, frickin' screen. This sequence, over twenty minutes long, is simply breathtaking and is a cool warm up for the large-scale, against-all-odds battle that I hope to see early next year in The Return of the King.

As for the inevitably-controversial ending, Revolutions takes a different road from the usual 'Star Wars' resolution. There are no vulnerable exhaust vents to chuck an all-powerful superweapon or photon torpedo; no easy solution without cost. I have to say that the final farewell between Neo, Morpheus and Trinity- heroes we have followed and grown to care for despite highs and lows- is a moment of quiet poignance that fits strangely well in this testosterone-powered, sci-fi action romp. The ending isn't the easiest to see, but given the wholeness and mood of the entire franchise, it's perfect.

Definitely getting the DVD for this one. Farewell, Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, Smith, Zion. It's been swell.

Matrix Revolutions stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett-Smith. Catch it in theaters now.