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In 2001 during the year of the first released issue of W.I.T.C.H., I was a 12 year old girl still in the sixth grade and drawing anime style characters, such as Sailor Moon, terribly (I am self-taught in free-hand drawing and I have never took a drawing class). I didn't know of its existence until I saw a commercial about a new animated series called W.I.T.C.H. on the Jetix channel. At the time I didn't pay much attention to it because I was into "Digimon" ( and still am!). A few months later when it was mid-way through the airing of the first season, I got bored enough to watch an episode. At first, I thought that it was interesting and okay, but I wasn't entire hooked yet. A few weeks later after watching my first W.I.T.C.H. episode on television, my family took me and my younger brother to the nearby bookstore. There, I saw the American (slightly censored) version of the original comic series. At first, I thought that it was one of those silly comic adaptation from the animated series and didn't realized that it was actually the other way around until I did some research. I sat there in the bookstore reading the very first 6 issues compacted into 3 books and immediately saw how much of big difference it is from the animated series. I started to watch more episodes of the series, including the ones that I missed and I started to do some more research on its history. By then, I was officially hooked. I fell in love with its unique ways of story-telling and artistic style and I felt that there was a certain charm to it that I have never felt before.
After waiting months on end for the American released, I got impatient and went online instead. To my luck, I was able to find a gold mine of comic scans online and began to read those instead. After years of reading WITCH, I also began to notice the difference as it transitioned itself from one saga to the next. I noticed the changes in the art styles, then the story-telling, then the entire thing which, I admittedly think, is now crap (the changes, not the entire WITCH universe). What was once a magical experience, I find WITCH now somewhat tasteless and a shell of its former glory. There were some issues that I still think was good, while others were so terrible and childish that it makes me preferred its rival, Winx Club, more than itself (Yes, it's that bad). I am now very disappointed that WITCH isn't as great as it used to be, and I find myself criticizing some of its new issues even more. Some people might ask me, "If you don't like it, then why bother continuing to read it?" My only answer is because I can't find myself to hate it entirely. W.I.T.C.H. has been around for a while and I fell in love with it as a teenager. Although I do find that it lost most of its magical touch, there are still some moments which I thought was wonderful enough for me to continue reading.
After ten years, W.I.T.C.H. has changed greatly, but personally, I still find that it still has that certain amount of charm that I just couldn't discard easily. W.I.T.C.H. comics has been a great inspiration to me in more ways than one, and to this day I am grateful to it. After drawing countless works, I finally made a small switch to WITCH art style. Although not best at first (as I'm still learning) I suddenly find myself drawing my own W.I.T.C.H. fanart calendar series, started my very first fan-comic side story of C.H.Y.K.N. (WITCH's predecessors), and now I'm slowly developing my new idea for a full blown WITCH fan-saga (called WITCH: Dreams of Lusteria)!
Name: Galistar07water (or just galistar) Role: Guardian of Arts Age: 25 Race: Human Gender: Female Ethnicity: Vietnamese Religion: Buddhist Location: Southern California Occupation: Assistant tutor/Tutor in English and history Hobbies: Read, Write, Draw, and Study films Favorite Films: The Godfather, Inception, Titanic, The Lord of the Ring films, Beauty and the Beast, and many more... Favorite Books: A lot, too much to list What I hate: the Twilight series and M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender Favorite Comic series: Disney's W.i.t.c.h. duh!
Current Residence: Southern California, United States of America Favorite music artists Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, Adele, etc Favorite genre of music: A lot of types, okay? Favorite style of art: Too many to list MP3 player of choice: Walkman (I don't like iPods) Favorite cartoon character: I have too many to list Personal Quote: If an artist's inspiration lacks uniqueness, then his work shall lack rareness.
Favorite visual artistUm...the crew who drew W.I.T.C.H. comic series!Favorite moviesInception, Batman: The Dark Knight, and a bunch of others that I won't bother to listFavorite TV showsAvatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, W.I.T.C.H., Winx Club, H2O: Just Add Water, Mako Mermaids, Code LyokoFavorite bands / musical artistsToo many to listFavorite writersJ.K. Rowling, James Moloney, Cornelia Funke, Alyson Noel, Mary Hoffman, Alison Croggon, and more...Favorite gamesAge of Mythology for PCOther InterestsDraw, Read, study films
It's almost Halloween and after that, it's almost Dia de los Muetos, the Mexican's Day of the Dead holiday in early November. We've learned in school that it's not a grim celebration, but one filled with light, happiness, and loving memories of our beloved relatives who have died. The Book of Life takes the Day of the Dead and made it even more beautiful and dazzling than we could ever imagined. In some ways, it does remind you of the ghoulishness and haunting charms that was in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas. However, The Book of Life doesn't rely on gothic theme of death that was so hauntingly beautiful in Burton's works, but it takes the concept of life and death in a more colorful and lively way. It's literally a fiesta of a film!
The film is a practically an imaginative fairy tale told to children who are attending a field trip to a museum by lively tour guide. She uses wooden characters to represent the protagonists in her love-triangle story. When the film actually shows these characters, it retains that wooden puppets feature rather than the usual flesh and blood. The details of the wood grain on these puppet characters are so incredible, it's hard to imagine that this film was produced by DreamWorks, Pixar, or Disney! I'm usually not a big fan of love triangles, let me tell you, but the wooden puppet characters in this film are so lively that it's worth it!
But what's a fairy tale without a little mix of Mexican mythology? When we die, it is believed that we go to the underworld...when we remember our deceased relatives, their spirits go to the Land of the Remembered where everything is bright and colorful and is a fiesta every day! But once we forget those who have died, their spirits go to the Land of the Forgotten, a dark, dreary, and gloomy place. Both lands are ruled by gods: La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) is the goddess ruler of the Land of the Remembered while her husband, Xibalba (Ron Perlman) gets the lame side of the pie. Wanting to trade places, Xibalba offered his wife a bet...why these gods keep on betting each other, I have no idea because all the myths I've read with gods betting don't really end that well. But then again, who doesn't want to be the ruler of a land that parties everyday and have all the churros you can eat?! The gods focused their wager on three childhood friends where the two boys are in love with the same girl. Our main hero is Manolo Sanchez (Diego Luna), a boy who dreams of being a musician rather than a bull-fighter. He has the same talent in the ring like his ancestors, but his pacifism ideals and love for music and Maria puts him at odds with his father. His best friend and rival, Joaquin (Channing Tatum) is a man of action and a macho-man who relies on the mystical badge that gives him super strength. Joaquin is a thick headed jock, but he still harbors enough kindness in his heart like Manolo...a kindness that the beautiful Maria (Zoe Saldana) loves since the three of them were small. La Muerte bets that the sensitive soul Manolo would win Maria's heart and marries her while her husband, Xibalba, bets on the vain Joaquin and would resort to trickery in order to win.
Sure enough, Xibalba cheated by fooling Manolo into the Land of the Remembered to find his true love, only for Manolo to discovered that Maria is still alive. No longer alive, Manolo seeks the help of his deceased relatives and the help of the goddess La Muerte to return to the land of the living, save his village, and be with his beloved. True love knows no distance in this film, and like in Corpse Bride, not even Death can stop it.
For all its recipe, The Book of Life sounds like a really dense film soup, filled with so many ingredients that could actually go wrong. This film could have easily been too morbid for kids when it comes to the subject of death. After all, one of the kids in the tour group cried, "Maria died?! What kinda story is this?! We're just kids!!!" Kids indeed, but director Jorge R. Gutierrez wasn't afraid to approach the subject and the concept of death and Mexican belief in this film. Cleverly, he and his film crew turned The Book of Life into a much lighter film, both in story telling and in animation. With how the Land of the Remembered is design, I think death is actually something to look forward to, especially when the afterlife involves party 24/7 and all the churros you can eat. This film went all the way: the visual effects are stunning to look at. Like the love-triangle, I'm not a fan of watching films in 3D theater either. The Book of Life is actually one of the few films that I really recommend you see in 3D! This film is full of surprises, from picking voice actors (such as Ice Cube as the Candle-Maker god and hiring a famous opera tenor for the music), to how they tell the story.
The Book of Life may encourages you to remember your loved ones who died during the Day of the Dead, but this film is anything but dead! With all the colors, the animation, the music, voice-acting, and engaging fairy tale, this film is gorgeous and truly full of life!