Monthly Archives: October 2011

Art Consequences: Dave Hill Photography

Photoshop can do amazing things. Dave Hill used it to revive some nuances and to illustrate a large amount of details.

Just look at the picture below and tell me what you see.

In my case, I see a well placed subject into a detailed environment. It seems that the longer I look at it, more things pop into my vision. This kind of art makes you explore, pay attention to everything – from colors and nuances to shapes – which makes it great.

For some other fantastic photos just follow this link – Dave Hill Photo. And check his blog too for some behind the scene facts.


A Letter For Red

I played Penumbra: Overture more times than I should have. Why?

Mainly because of the story – with all the puzzle and horror elements. I played it because I loved the characters – their mentality and their purpose. Red – the one trapped in the mine and who becomes the hero’s “guardian” and friend – lives a story of great struggle.

He is alone, he is confused, starved and panicked. Only some philosophy books, some old furniture and the constant fear is what keeps him company. He is the symbol of a great tragedy – and he is depicted in the game as having a major role in all the situations.

Besides – the song dedicated to him is great. I started listening to the Penumbra OST after I finished the first game. Now I can’t let it go and move onto something else. I have a thing for the song “A Letter For Red” by Mikko Tarmia.

“It is only through pain that we know we are alive and this time, my friend, the pain must end”. These are words that accompanied me daily. Well, try to guess what I’m listening to while I write these notes…

Death Of Print Media

It’s obvious that these days, print media lost its values. In Romania [where I live] newspapers began to dissapear like 2 years ago – making room for the online journalism. In Japan it’s been stated – different publications, especially manga ones started to get knocked off like..the same time as here. In the US things got well…since now.

It came to my attention that Shonen Jump will dissapear in the US by the end of April 2012 and a new online project called Shonen Jump Alpha will take its place.

The good thing from this transition is that new chapters and titles will be available almost at the same time they appear in Japan.

Of course that you will not wait months til someone will have the idea of getting the title you seek into your country. A benefit from an online business is that it reduces the work time. You pay, you get, you distribute and make money – easy as making a cup of coffee.

Among the first titles to be offered to the public are One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, Bakuman and Toriko.

The site will launch on January 30th 2012.

Kurofune: The Black Ships

I invite you to a history lesson since you probably don’t know well enough this fact.

The kurofune or the black ships [as they were called] were the names given to Western vessels that arrived on Japanese territory in the 16th and 19th century.

The carrack [picture left] was a battle and exploring vessel created in the 15th century for the use in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This was the kind of ship that Columbus used in his first trip to America in 1492. “Santa Maria” became the most popular carrack in the history of America.

The Spanish and Portuguese sailors used them to explore and map the world. As an effect, in the 1543 was established a trading route with Nagasaki. It was the first direct link with the Japanese culture. But in 1639, after a period of time in which the Christian influence grew larger and larger in Japan, the Tokugawa shogunate decided that the Japanese people should enter into an isolated-status and reject all outside influences.

Contact with Japan was restricted. I mean this wasn’t the best thing to happen. This period of isolation lasted more than two hundred years. The shogunate thought that Western influence could harm the national values of the Japanese culture.

The isolation started because of the spead of Christian elements into this country. Over 300.000 peasants and warlords embraced the new religion. The Western missionaries and traders faced restrictions and they were expelled from Japanese territory.

But because the power and wealth of Japan was considered a benefit if trading could continue, the European leaders acted in order to re-create the link with this country.

Of course that in here were involved other things that only having a relationship with another culture. And I mean there were interests and probably the shogunate noticed that.

The name of black ships was given to the vessels that arrived in 1853 and stopped the isolation period. They are now considered a symbol of the opening of Japan to the outside world.