Monday, July 22, 2013

Drops of God

I have been obsessed with a manga comic series called Drops of God. It is a story of two young men competing on finding the greatest wines called the Twelve Apostles; a list created by one of the characters estranged father. It is a weird balance between educating you about the world of wine and the personal journeys of the young characters.

What I find bizarre that the series has drawn me in as I don't drink wine, spirits, or alcohol of any kind. Yet, I am entranced by the series' world of vintage, colours, texture, grapes, soil etc. The poetry of writing might be what has won me over, built around the idea that a memory, emotion or image can be captured in a bottle, to be poured into a glass and be recalled with training and passion. The artwork helps as it is in the minimalist line work anime, but with realistic proportion.

I recommend it the series. I would be interested for someone who actually drinks thinks of it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Before the Storm

With baby preparations pretty much done, I find we are mentally in a holding pattern. As though we are reluctant to start anything as a newborn will soon disrupt any projects or plans we might have. I should be clear that this is not a bad thing, but rather a simple declaration of how life is. The first couple of months is a state of simple goals, although several people are impressed that we do all the things we do with one child and believe us crazy to plan to do things with two. I would argue that child learn by example, and seeing their parents experiencing life and wanting them to engage with it is a good thing in my book.

I feel this big paragraph is a bit of an excuse, as I have been rather passively consuming culture then actually making stuff. It is a common topic in this blog, I really need more material. (smile). The current sidetrack is indie video games. I have recently discovered steam (an online video game distributer) and a good review site called Giant Bomb, which has made it easy to find a collection of indie games to my liking. There is something about a game made by a small group or an individual. The "art" seems to come out more, the voice of the creator is stronger, the artist's vision, their struggles and aesthetic are more at the forefront than in a Triple A game from a major studio.


What am I playing? The current game with the most time is Lone Survivor. A horror survival game with a pixel/stitched aesthetic and dark eerie tale of a single survivor trying to survive in a monster filled city. I am not one for horror movies but seem to quite enjoy playing horror video games. It might be the control issue, that I don't mind the scares if I have some control over the character's action. Still, it is very dark as you basically live in squaller and not die. There is an undercurrent of psychological trauma and back story that I am interested in discovering (when I am not trying to die).


The other frightful game I am playing is Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which physically scares me. You control a man who has woken up with no memory in a ruined mansion. You then wander poorly lit rooms trying to figure out how you got there and not meet a shadow that seems to pursue you. It is a very creepy game, I have never had such an emotional response to a game. Good stuff.


Finally, the last game is Thomas was Alone. A wonderful puzzle game where you move different colour squares and rectangles through mazes. What makes the game is the wonderful characterization of these squares/rectangles by the narrator. I have found myself more attached to these silly shapes than characters I have experienced in movies/books/tv shows in the past year. I highly recommend this game.


This is enough of my work avoidance. Time for sleep and will attempt to motivate myself tomorrow. :)