As part of our mission to connect with and support amateur and part-pro creators, we at BLP present to you the first of our Creator Interviews! Our wonderful first interviewee is Kibble, a creator of comics from Western Massachusetts. The interview was done by Nagi on January 5th, 2018.
Sometimes, it’s nice to gaze up into the stars and get some perspective. You might contemplate the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, or try to hold in your mind the fact that even the emptiest bit of space you can see is filled with stars too far away for us to see from our planet. You might wonder if there’s intelligent life looking back at us, and what their memes are like. Maybe you’re tracing one of the constellations, ancient storytelling tools drawn through light-years of space, shapes that will last the course of human history several times over before the ever-shifting universe pulls them apart. Maybe you’re just thinking about Carrie Fisher or Carl Sagan. This week, our panel of contributors share with you some of our favorite stories that take place in the final frontier.
Big news! Kamen Rider Calliope has an official publishing date. Drop by the site around 9:00 am on January 14th to read the first part of Myth 1!
Something I’ve struggled with in explaining Kamen Rider to the uninitiated is how “it’s a show that’s merchandized to little kids, but the storyline and character development are written for an older audience”. I feel like that idea can’t expect a warm reception from people who are used to Western (or maybe just American/Canadian?) TV shows. In the culture I grew up in, if a show is made to sell toys to four-year-olds, you can safely assume the plotlines you’ll see are generally mind-numbing to anyone outside of preschool. YES, DORA, IT’S THE BLOODY MAP, WE GET IT, HURRY UP AND GET EXPLORING.
Turns out I had a little more to say about each of these albums than I though. It also turns out that rapid-fire publishing nine posts over eight days isn’t a great idea, so I’m clumping most of my favorite albums of 2017 into this post on this final day of the year. Here are my takes on weirdo-pop icon Fever Ray, prog theatrics from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, a slab of supermassive riffs from Ground, a lightning-fast thrash assault from Lich King, and Igorrr, dear god, Igorrr, what have you wrought?
So, here’s a confession that probably compromises a significant part of my identity:
I don’t like reading.
More specifically, I don’t like reading books.
When I was a young kid I blossomed as one of those “early readers”. As a child under the burden of extreme social anxiety and multiple phobias, reducing my world to the space between two pages was a great relief of stimuli. And then, around high junior high-school or so, I just… stopped reading. There were a bunch of factors; I had just gotten access to cable TV for the first time in my life, as well as a computer connected to the internet. It was also right around the time when adolescents were realizing that reading was only “cool” because the adults were incessantly telling them so… Which, by ironic contrast, made it definitely “not cool”. I fell into that line of thought and never really rebounded even after my ego was no longer endangered by the cruel machinations of socialization though public schooling.
Distinguished readers, here is the 2017 album that took BloodLetterPress by storm, the one that we’ve had playing at most of our in-person meetings this year, the latest offering from the man we’ve come to view as the voice of a generation. Neil Cicierega, perhaps best known as the creator of Lemon Demon, Potter Puppet Pals, and countless other internet follies, has graced us with a third mashup album.
If you’ve ever been under a weighted blanket, or dozed off in the trunk of a car during a hot summer, you know the sensation I’m trying to invoke when I say that Ex People’s debut Bird is a comfy doom album. Comfy doom is the kind of music that Windhand plays, the kind that Cloudkicker invoked on Subsume, the feeling of getting overwhelmed by something heavy and soft that pins you down and gets you cozy. It doesn’t need to be scary or capital-e Evil; its power comes from its ability to flatten, to neutralize, to disarm. “You’ll be eating out my hand,” vocalist Laura Kirsop promises on the track “You Creep”. It’s a cool subversion of the macho posturing that some elements of metal fall back on, and given Ex People’s roots in punk and riot grrrl, it’s certainly intentional.
The London quartet bring the low end like nobody’s business on Bird; at its grooviest, this album’s kinetic energy is the kind of meaty lumbering you might expect from an entire slumber of megatherium. But the blunt instruments of the rhythm section don’t just twist and crush aimlessly though the earth; this is not just a collection of nice riffs that become stale after twenty minutes. Ex People craft a heady soundscape, nestling you in layers upon layers of textured guitar, beautiful loud-soft dynamics, and a perfectly matched vocal performance even as you’re driven forth by the low end. Guitarist Calem Gunn said it best in an interview with Metal Hammer: “There’s a unique, addictive feeling to be wrought from playing low and slow. Weight and the absence of weight.” Bird is a colossal creature borne aloft.