Tag Archives: Laughing

Attack on Titan: Analogy to World War II

Okay, I just had to get this off my chest…

The Japanese manga and anime series Attack on Titan made absolutely zero sense to me until I realized it is an unmistakable analogy to World War II.

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All over the internet, I kept seeing disturbing images of a giant human with no skin. I’m not particularly squeamish about violence in the media — most horror movies drive me into a fit of hysterical laughter. Plus, I’m generally fascinated by the macabre.  But certain things just get to me. Like the part in the brilliant Pan’s Labyrinth when Captain Vidal’s face is mutilated and he sews it back together (though I adore the Pale Man). Or in Boardwalk Empire (one of my favorite shows) when Richard Harrow (one of my favorite characters) scalps another character without hesitation.  And this giant skinless human is no different — sending shivers down my spine!

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Image from Attack on Titan
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

I soon discovered that this giant skinless human is from a series called Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人, Shingeki no Kyoujin). When I first became interested in Japan around middle school, I used to watch a lot of anime. But I tend towards live-action series or movies nowadays (a wonderful tool for practicing my language skills). I do find the occasional anime series like the amazing Gankutsuou (巌窟王): The Count of Monte Cristo (which is actually the most faithful adaptation of Dumas’s masterwork) and the gripping Monster (モンスター) (scheduled to be adapted into live-action for HBO by Guillermo del Toro). In other words, I’m usually extremely picky about my anime. But, after being utterly confused by the Attack on Titan Wikipedia summary, I decided to give the series a try out of pure morbid curiosity.

So, I’ve been working my way through the episodes on Hulu. It might be a bit melodramatic at times and the so-called “Vertical Maneuvering Equipment” that allows the characters to leap around is pretty implausible. But it has a relatively well-constructed plot line and decent character development. The main characters Eren and Mikasa have particularly tragic yet compelling backstories. But I couldn’t help a strange feeling of déjà vu

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A page from Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

And then it hit me! I realized that certain elements of Attack on Titan bear a striking resemblance to the renowned manga Barefoot Gen (はだしのゲン, Hadashi no Gen), about the bombing of Hiroshima and its survivors.

For instance: In Attack on Titan, Eren and Mikasa attempt to free Eren’s mother from underneath their collapsed house. But Eren’s mother begs them to save themselves. Eren and Mikasa, with the help of a city guard names Hannes, flee from danger as Eren’s mother is killed and eaten by a titan. This directly parallels Barefoot Gen. After the atom bomb drops on Hiroshima, Gen and his mother Kimie discover Gen’s father Daikichi and Gen’s siblings trapped underneath their collapsed house. Gen and Kimie attempt to free the rest of the family before they are consumed by the fire that has broken out all across the city. But Daikichi begs them to save themselves. Gen and Kimie are forced to flee from danger.

This parallel leads me to believe that the humanoid titans may have been inspired by the victims of the atom bombs. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many victim’s skin melted off or hung from their bodies in tatters. These victims must have been in excruciating pain and are depicted moving very slowly and blindly, almost like zombies. Although the titans are not meant to be sympathized with (at least not yet) as one would sympathize with the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, their movements are very similar. In this context, the one skinless titan makes so much more sense to me. I really won’t be surprised if the series reveals that the titans are resulted from a human scientific experiment gone wrong and that we are indeed meant to sympathize with them.

Attack on Titan‘s analogy to World War II does not stop with the atom bombs. The series often explores themes related to militarism, group mentality, and self-sacrfice — topics often associated with Japan during World War II as well as World War II across the board.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps I’ll post more correlations between Attack on Titan and Barefoot Gen as I continue watching!

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Brief Update

★ Don’t forget to check out my graphic novel, The Poet and the Flea!

A new page every Wednesday!

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Here is a brief update on my current creative projects and endeavors…!

Monday, January 28th

  1. Received package from Elena!
  2. Went to travel agent to finalize plans for Cannes and London!
  3. Went to Britex to buy supplies for The Flea plush toy!

Tuesday, January 29th

  1. E-mails, e-mails, e-mails…!
  2. Worked on Elias & the City of Cats.
  3. Prepared for tomorrow — the first day of my new internship!!!

Wednesday, January 30th

  • Zest Books Internship, Day #1: Wonderful first day! Having an easy time getting into the flow of everything.  Staff is extremely friendly and excited to get to know them better. Get awesome sneak peaks of upcoming titles. Friday, will be working on Tumblr and possibly doing some image research — can’t wait!

Thursday, January 31st

  1. Not ready to announce anything yet, but amazing news (from January 20th) continuing to develop!
  2. Received e-mail from follower Hannah Meiklejohn (bellusmundus.wordpress.com) asking if she could write an article for a magazine about The Poet and the Flea, yay! Excited to learn more details about the article and magazine. (^-^)
  3. Worked on The First Reich.

Friday, February 1st

  • Zest Books Internship, Day #2: Worked on historical-themed image research for most of the day, which was mostly a lot of fun! Started working on Zest’s Tumblr (zestbooks.tumblr.com). Ate lunch in nearby park, which is very pleasant and relaxing and will definitely be repeated.

Saturday, February 2nd

  1. Happy Groundhog Day!!
  2. Filled out the rest of Cannes paperwork and made a checklist for what to bring (I’m Going To Cannes!!!).
  3. Went to see Warm Bodies with Wes! Not the most brilliant movie, but adorable and a lot of fun. (︶ω︶)

Sunday, February 3rd

  1. Worked on The First Reich.
  2. E-mailed Gabe a number of photos to show him my progress on Elias & the City of Cats.

Monday, February 4th

  1. Worked on The First Reich.
  2. For those of you watching the new Netflix series House of Cards, I highly recommend watching the original BBC version starring the brilliant Ian Richardson also available on Netflix.

Tuesday, February 5th

  1. E-mails, e-mails, e-mails…!
  2. Worked on The First Reich.
  3. Worked on first zine.
  4. Worked on Elias & the City of Cats.

Wednesday, February 6th

  1. Ran into a neighbor on the bus to work today, and she’d like to hire me to help her with her WordPress. We’ll see what happens… (^-^)
  2. Zest Books Internship, Day #3: Worked on creating prom tips for Zest’s Tumblr as well as a mailing project. Getting to know everyone in the office better — everyone’s super easy to talk to. Took home a copy of Zoo Station to read.
  3. Wow, I adore this new FX show The Americans! Amazing character development and really scary/exciting. Can’t wait for the next episode.

Thursday, February 7th

  1. Meeting with Shannon! She is so sweet and was so incredibly excited to see what I had drawn so far. For more details, check out “The First Reich”: Behind the Scenes (Part 1).
  2. Doing some research on webcomics.

Friday, February 8th

  • Zest Books Internship, Day #4: Continuing work on Tumblr! Sat at Ann’s desk today — she happens to have a David Bowie paper doll (with multiple outfits) taped  to her computer, which brings me endless joy.  Got to know fellow intern Olivia a bit better. Extremely excited to proofread/edit the back cover blurb for an upcoming book. Also got to share my opinion on some cover art!
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Today’s constant companion: David Bowie!

Saturday, February 9th

  • Went to see Lewis Black with Wes and the folks! Stomach hurts from laughing so much!

Sunday, February 10th

  1. Finally got to talk with my good friend from high school Tina! Talked on the phone for over 2 hours! (^-^;;)
  2. Worked on TOP SECRET project.

Monday, February 11th

  1. Went downtown today to pick up some more supplies from Britex for The Flea plush toy.
  2. As I mentioned before, one of my followers Hannah Meiklejohn (hannahmeiklejohn.wordpress.com) asked to do an article about me and The Poet and the Flea for an online magazine called Lemonade: Freshly Squeezed Art & Culture Magazine – so exciting!!! Today, I’m working on answering some interview questions from her. Can’t wait to read the finished article. ヽ(°◇° )ノ

Tuesday, February 12th

  1. Did a little shopping in preparation for Cannes. A lot more shopping to do in the next few months.
  2. Finished writing responses to Hannah’s questions. Just have to edit a bit and then send them to her.
  3. Worked on TOP SECRET project.

Wednesday, February 13th

  • Zest Books Internship, Day #5: More historical-themed image research and Tumblr. Asked to do some brainstorming for book ideas. Ended up walking all the way home today since the bus skipped a lot.

Thursday, February 14th

  1. Worked on The First Reich.
  2. Worked on first zine.
  3. E-mails, e-mails, e-mails…!

Friday, February 15th

  1. A few days ago, e-mailed the Tate Gallery about information on their William Blake collection. Today, received response with good news. Will talk about this more in upcoming post.
  2. Received e-mail from Hannah! She sent a draft of the article, and it looks really wonderful so far. Just have to answer a couple follow-up questions. \(^-^)/
  3. Zest Books Internship, Day #6: More historical-themed image research and Tumblr. Also, talked about a potential book idea I came up with, and some of the staff seems interested! Next week, will be attending the Teen Advisory Board on Wednesday and a staff meeting on Thursday. Very excited!

Saturday, February 16th

  1. Ordered a beautiful dress to wear at Cannes. I needed a maxi dress for pool parties, etc. and couldn’t find the right one in stores. So I browsed Etsy and found the talented Nicole Lebreux! Not only does Nicole have really fun designs, but also she was extremely helpful in answering my questions. So go ahead and check out her shop!
  2. Went to see a simulcast of the new Met production of Verdi’s Rigoletto. The opera is usually set in the 16th century, but this production cleverly reimagines the story in 1960s Las Vegas. Wonderfully creative and engaging production with incredible singers! Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-zXLKd76fk.

Sunday, February 17th

  1. Worked on some upcoming blog posts.
  2. Date night with Wes! :)

Etcetera

  • The Poet and the Flea: 63 pages of written script (1 page of script = 4-6 illustrated pages), and about 36 pages (1-24, 27-30 completed, and 25-26, 31-36 in progress) of illustrated work.
  • The First Reich: about 1-10 pages of illustrated work in progress.
  • First Zine: about 6-8 pages of illustrated work in progress.

To Do:

  • Add more information to my Behance.net profile.
  • Add more information to my Coroflot.com profile.
  • Continue adding blog content to The First Reich.
  • Continue to work on The First Reich.
  • Continue to work on Elias & The City of Cats.
  • Complete script for The Poet and the Flea.

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Comics I Admire: “Pre-Raphernalia”

Who says comics can’t be educational and hilarious?

Today, I’d like to share a very special online comic I admire very much! Please, let me introduce you to…

Pre-Raphernalia: The Pre-Raph Sketchbook Cartoons of Raine Szramski!

Raine Szramski is the awesome (and, not to mention, super nice) artist/illustrator of Pre-Raphernalia as well as another amazing series called Heaven & the Dead City, which can be either read online here or purchased here.

Pre-Raphernalia centers around the Victorian avant-garde artists known as The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, including the likes of John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. These artists were quite eccentric, even by today’s standards, and lived oftentimes rowdy and scandalous lives.

What’s so wonderful about Pre-Raphernalia is that Raine takes the true historical events/relationships/facts and depicts them to the full extent of their eccentricity. When reading, I often find myself laughing out loud! Furthermore, she takes the time to write a full historically-accurate explanation of each comic, thoroughly detailing the backgrounds of each individual involved.

I highly recommend Pre-Raphernalia for anyone who wants to learn a little bit of history while having a fun time doing so. :D

Below are a number of my favorite images/pages from Pre-Raphernalia.

The following images belong to Raine Szramski.

Wombatink

millais2

sir ned1

For more Pre-Raphernalia and Raine Szramski, please check out the following websites…

preraphernalia.blogspot.com

thewatchertree.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/raine.szramski

rainesz.deviantart.com

www.co2comics.com/pages/co2_heaven_and_the_dead_city.html

www.lulu.com/spotlight/co2comics

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


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