Wednesday, April 26, 2006

apocalypse wow!!!

i'm going off topic for a moment to evangelize a toothy adaption of one of the most obtuse works in the christian canon, the book of revelation. i'm an atheist, so religious writings have only an academic interest for me, but even before i finished the first chapter of apocamon: the final judgment, mine heathen eyes were ope'd anew.

it's a big puzzle how revelation ever made it into the bible. i've always thought it more than a little embarrassing for a tome people insist on taking literally. it's like the big-time bum drug trip your high school counselor warned you about. war, disasters, plagues and plenty of george w. bush's forbidden "human-animal hybrids" cavorting and exterminating everything in the air, on the ground and 'neath the sea. that must have been one sick pitch the prophet john tossed the studio heads at Christian Media™ Inc.!

anyway, just a scant 1900 years later, the book has finally found the inspired treatment it deserves. apocamon is a tour du force blending manga comics, a pokemon-cute bestiary, and genuinely brilliant scriptwriting into a sticky candy-colored treat.

it's judgment day in color harmony.

it's the work of the prolific patrick farley, sole propietor of electric sheep comix. farley is also well known for his acclaimed dystopian epic middle-east thriller "the spiders".

god will see you now — try not to freak out.

farley masterfully blends scanned hand-drawn line art with 3d-generated backgrounds and props, so well that one forgets there's a twain being met. his panels look like cells from animated feature films. it's a style easily made ugly by lesser beings.

scientists prove god does not exist
— it's miller time!

farley uses flash to punctuate the story with music and animated effects, though he does not explore these dimensions to their full potential (not that apocamon requires either to enjoy it). however, knowing how effects can exponentially increase both the labor and the size of the finished product, i can understand his restraint.

the lord of the bottomless pit
is well-known for his enthusiasm.

as visually satisfying as apocamon is, the storytelling is equally impressive, considering the challenge of the source material. the characterizations are engaging and the dialog witty and perfectly on key. blunt language gives apocamon an "r" rating, but its profanity is unforced. listen as abbadon, the popeye-armed lord of the bottomless pit, gets his marching orders:

angel:here are the rules: 1. only sting those humans who don't have the seal of god on their forehead. got it?
abbadon:whatever you say, "pal"!
angel:2. don't harm the trees. 3. don't harm the grass. now repeat what i just said back to me.
abbadon:do i look like a fuckin' retard? i heard you the first time!
angel:repeat it.
abbadon:aww, fer fuck's sake ... only sting the unsealed ones and don't hurt the trees.
abbadon:and don't dunk crucifixes into buckets of piss.
angel:you want to go back in the pit, mister?
abbadon:the grass! don't mess with the fucking grass! i got it already!
angel:i hope so. you may go.
abbadon:thanks, "boss". see you at armageddon!

finally — end times prophecy for the rest of us. i can fuckin' dig it.

look out — god just let go a floater!

in keeping with the spirit of the pokemon franchise, farley has also produced the apocadex, a "card" catalog of all the heavenly chimera, complete with each creature's vitals and stats.

the beasts of heav'n and hell. collect 'em all!

thus far the first three chapters of twelve are online, but it appears that this is all that we'll be seeing of this work, since the third chapter was last worked on in 2003 and ends abruptly, suggesting that it is incomplete. three years for a project on the internet is a lifetime and farley has since moved onto other projects. but verily, i'd be willing to wait an eternity to see the end of apocamon, god willing.

sorry girls, virgin guys only!
(aren't you glad you're going to hell?)

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