A Note To Alanis Morissette: “Here Is One Example”

The New York Times recently published a story about a newly developed Chinese anti-censorship meme designed to thwart government censors. Basically, the “Grass-Mud Horse” is a new alpaca-like hero whose name in written form, is completely benign, but in spoken form, sounds very close to “Fuck your mother”. Sort of like the classic Simpsons prank-call from “Ivanna Amanda Hugginkiss”. The meme further references the habitat encroaching behavior of the “river crab” – a reference to “harmonization” (the euphemistic word the Chinese government uses to describe its censorship activities).

While the story is great and interesting in itself, what I really find amusing is the irony of the NYT censoring the translation of “Grass-Mud Horse” in a story about censorship. You may not want to hear/read “fuck your mother”, but the purpose and strength of the message is somewhat diminished if you don’t know its actual meaning.

So for today, a cheerful grin to the ingenuity of the Chinese population, and a dismayed-avoidance-of-eye-contact with our news outlets.

my original source

Links of the Day: Recontextualization Edition

Well, I’ve arrived back to the States safely and happily. I had an great time an had a great many excellent experiences, both comic related and not. One of my goals while I was in Europe was to pick up at least one native (and preferably indie) comic in each country I visited. Except for a slight hiccup in Italy I managed that wonderfully. Expect to see more on these in the near future.

In the process playing catch-up, I’ve picked up a few more examples of recontextualization in comics.

The first is a reappropriation of every one’s favorite cartoon mouse in order to make a point about current copyright law. This idea has, of course, been executed before. [via]

The rest of the batch focuses on, once again, Garfield:

Garkov is the application of a Markov Chain (don’t ask) to Garfield comic strips. The result is a weird sort of jumbling of dialogue. [via]

I don’t remember if I’ve posted anything by Katie Beaton before, but in a nutshell, she’s been making hilarious comics about historical figures. More recently, she offered up her own interpretation of Garfield. [via]

Finally, Garfield Minus Garfield has gotten recognition in the mainstream media. The New York Times has an article up on the website which includes reactions from Jim Davis. [via]

News of the Day: Watchmen Edition

Yet again belated, but still good if you haven’t been keeping up:

Tales of the Black Freighter will be filmed as a DVD extra for the upcoming Watchmen film. For those who haven’t picked up Watchmen in a while, Tales is the comic within the graphic novel about a man stranded while at sea and his journey home. It’s a pretty frightening and gruesome (read: awesome) tale somewhere between Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and Edgar Allan Poe. Yet one more awesome thing to look forward to in the Watchman movie. [via]

If that’s not enough Watchmen goodness for you, check out the film’s video journal. [via]

Finally, we have a totally rad piece of art done by Evan Shaner back in March called “Watch Peanuts”:

Watch Peanuts You can read more about the drawing at Evan’s blog.

News of the Day: Video Game Edition (Or: Yes, I Read Kotaku – A Lot)

By now, it’s no secret that I’m as much a video game fan as I am a comic fan. The great thing about this of course, is that the two mediums often coincide (as evidenced by today’s post). Anyway, here’s what’s new in the Video Game/Comic amalgamated space of the Venn diagram that is life (now in bite-sized headlines, complements of Kotaku!)

More videogame-based comics are on their way, this time courtesy of Capcom and Devil’s Due. Expect to see Bionic Commando and Lost Planet on your spinner racks sometime this summer.

The new Penny Arcade game, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is now out and available on XBOX 360 and PC (Windows XP, Mac*, and even Linux). You can buy a copy of the game ($20) and/or download the demo at online indie game distribution site Greenhouse. I haven’t gotten a chance to play beyond the character-creation tool yet, but the game looks promising.

Superman has officially been confirmed for Mortal Kombat Vs. DC!

What with the late Indiana Jones (Lego) madness, it’s easy to forget about the upcoming Lego Batman game. With that in mind, Mr. Freeze has been confirmed. Also visible in the screenshots are Harley Quinn, The Riddler, and Scarecrow. Yeah, I totally forgot about this game. Now I’m all excited again!

I’m just going to quote Kotaku on this one on the upcoming Incredible Hulk game: “Xbox 360 Gets A Red Hulksclusive In Ill-Conceived Marketing Ploy” Also: check out the Behind the Scenes video clip.

The upcoming Hellboy game seems to be coming along well. I remember reading that this one is supposed to be particularly faithful to BPRD.

I know this one doesn’t fit the theme, but promotional photos of the Dragonball movie seem so sparse, I thought it might be prudent to point out these newly released cast photos.

I saved this one for last because it looks awesome. While Capcom’s Clover Studios may now be defunct, some of the members are working on a new project called Madworld. And damn, does it look pretty. And even though it’s been said over and over, I’m going to go ahead and say again that it looks a lot (both in attitude and stylization) like Sin City. What’s better, it’s coming to Wii (My only next-gen console, ATM). It’s about time we get some mature games on our little white brick.

*Because let’s face it – hardware-wise, Macs are pretty much PCs these days.

News of The Day: Dragonball Movie & Mortal Kombat Vs DC

It’s all follow-ups this time around:

Some of the first official promotional images for the upcoming Dragonball movie will be debuting in the latest issue of Shonen Jump (#24). Catch the scans and translations over at dbthemovie.com. [via]

Meanwhile, over at GameTap, we have an interview with Ed Boon about the upcoming Mortal Kombat Vs DC game. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re anticipating the game at all, as he hints (more explicitly than in the past) about various aspects of the game that have been whispered about. Take fatalities, for example:

“It’s an assumption that, because the DC characters will be in there, those features will have to be dropped. My response is that, no, we’re modifying fatalities. But I have every intention to keep finishers.”

“I certainly can’t speak with authority as to what DC will permit. There will certainly be some limitations. But my intention is that we want to push the envelope of a T-rated game as far as we can without being an M-rated game.”

That sounds like encouraging news for the MK followers out there.

He also mentions that he’s a fan of his competitors games, and makes some observations about the genre as well as the Mortal Kombat series in general.

“Had we done something with a little tweak to the story and minor adjustments to the mechanics, I think people would get it and just move on really quickly.”

“And on a separate note, we have had a few conversations with our marketing people, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a Mortal Kombat versus Tekken or Mortal Kombat versus Street Fighter?’”

Yes. Yes it would.

Also don’t miss the end parts of the interview where he stops just short of confirming Aquaman as another character in the game. You can check out the interview here. [via]