Archive for the Photo of the Week Category

Photo(s) of the Week: Two Queens

Posted in Photo of the Week with tags , , , , on September 5, 2009 by speedxgrapher

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Hello there everyone. Wow, it’s been a very long time since I last posted something about this feature… The day before yesterday, almost three months to the day, I had the pleasure of seeing Milk and Louisa again, together with Kyoshiro, Ed Elric and Chiroto. After exchanging news and vacation stories, we started to reminisce and  – predictably – the discussion went the way of Japanese music parties. I was then I remembered yet again of two folders of photos from Le Ciel’s  (back then still “Ordre de Ciel”, which I can finally publicly say was written wrong, since in French “ciel” is male and therefore, it should have been “Ordre du Ciel” – what can I say, I am a language geek) parties last November, just before all Hell broke loose.

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After all this time, I have finally come to realize that given our history with [room302], I cannot find it in me, even infinitesimally, to devote time and energy in writing about those parties from the viewpoint of back then – there has just been too much bad blood, black and sticky, separating that time from the present. However, I have never forgotten one thing, which remains true: had it not been for Milk and Louiza (as well as their friends, who pitched in when things got way too crowded), who busted their asses for around 4 hours each time, there would have never been the two “Let’s Get Visual” parties, let alone been so hugely successful.

Therefore, I dug up these two photos – previously unpublished – from “Let’s Get Visual II”, where the two queens of Visual Kei transformation are hard at work on Vegetasmate. Ladies, you can let anyone say that you were not great, because, in fact, you were fantastic!

Love you both,

Speedgrapher

Photo of the Week: Louiza, Ordinary Day

Posted in Photo of the Week with tags , , , on April 6, 2009 by speedxgrapher

2008-04-04-louiza-ordinary-dayI know, I know: what the Hell am I thinking? Louiza was also featured in the previous Photo of the Week. However, this particular picture is one I have long sought among the thousands on my PC, ever since Photo of the Week was conceived of, by Ergo Proxy. It was taken a year ago, almost to the day, on the 10th of April 2008 (4 days after I got back from Japan). It really struck me because I realized it was probably the first time I was seeing Louiza in her casual wear and wearing next to no make-up (at least, none that I can perceive of). Remember, I used to meet all of you strictly at night, at KABATZA or Japanese-related parties at BIOS, which translated in a certain apparel for most. This image of her, casually strolling around Exarheia, with huge headphones around her neck and the green-turned-blonde tufts of hair, made me think how weird it was I had almost never seen her in the light of day and once more brought to mind her actual age.

It is really odd, but at the time, apart from a tight circle of friends, I would rarely meet and talk with people in the middle of the street, in broad daylight: there was no particular reason behind that; it was just so. I am not entirely sure what else this encounter and picture made me think of, since I had been at the other side of the Earth just 4 days prior and my mind was wired differently at least for a month. At any rate, one thing is certain: it brought to mind the beginning and end of Vanessa Carlton’s “Ordinary Day”, with the single change of the word “boy” into “girl”:

Just a day, just an ordinary day
Just tryin’ to get by
Just a girl, just an ordinary girl
But she was looking to the sky

Indeed, what are we all, except ordinary people who simply dare raise their eyes to the sky and dream?

Speedgrapher

Photo of the Week: Louiza, Roxie Hart

Posted in Photo of the Week with tags , , , on March 2, 2009 by speedxgrapher

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The name on everybody’s lips is gonna be: Roxie
The lady raking in the chips is gonna be: Roxie
I’m gonna be a celebrity,
That means somebody everyone knows,
They’re gonna recognize my eyes, my hair, my teeth, my boobs, my nose.

From just some dumb mechanic’s wife, I’m gonna be: Roxie
Who says that murder’s not an art?
And who in case she doesn’t hang,
Can say she started with a bang?
Roxie Hart!

-excerpt from Chicago, the Musical, from the song “Roxie”

It’s been quite a long time since I last posted a Photo of the Week and the last one has remained at the top of the charts ever since, as the most viewed photo of the blog. Going through some of my, as yet unarchived photographic material, I came across this folder named “2008-12-20 – Post FF”. Glory be that I still have my head attached to my shoulders, and I recognized this as a set of photos taken after the Final Fantasy Cosplay Party. I had been thinking since forever that some of our fun, non-Japanese, outings with people you are probably familiar with, should find their place in Easy Subjugation but, at the risk of becoming tedious, I haven’t had the time until now.

Returning our focus to the picture, on the very same day I took it, not only did I instantly think, but also said that this had a place in the Photo of the Week Gallery. It brought to mind images from the days of the Prohibition in the U.S.A., when daring smugglers, ruthless gangsters and upstanding detectives with republicas, would duke it out or chase after each other, all the while gorgeous ladies on their arms, whether as airhead, dazzled-by-the-money companions, femmes fatales, cabaret girls and even proverbial black widows. Whatever the case and the details, those wild, violent years, had a charm and kind of desperate thirst for life, most often expressed by the female populace. Having watched Chicago, I think only fit that Louiza reminds me of the ruthless, sensual and in a way, tragic villain, Roxie Hart, in this particular photo.

Hence, the above lyrics from the song that bears her name: you murder us girl, but “who said murder’s not an art?”

Speedgrapher

P.S. Incidentally, this photo is not posed: Louiza, WAS actually dancing at that moment. The rest of the photos from that night will be up on Easy Subjugation tomorrow, so go and have a look. You won’t be disappointed.

Photo of the Week: Raven, Sweet Death

Posted in Photo of the Week with tags , , , on December 16, 2008 by speedxgrapher

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“Have you thought about getting help? I mean, seeing a doctor, or a priest, or someone? I think you really should see someone.”

“Oh, that’s no problem Sexton. Sooner or Later, I see everyone.”

“Oh…”

“Sure. At the end, anyway.”

“The end of what?

“Life.”

“Give me a break. And I suppose you know what happens when you die.”

“Of course I know what happens when you die Sexton. I do. I’m Death.”

-excerpt from Death: The High Cost of Living

Death and all it entails, has been man’s greatest fear since the beginning – since we first looked up to the stars in the ancient night and uttered the name of our race. Neil Gaiman’s astounding talent managed to take the concept of Death, give it a very specific image and make her someone we would actually hope to meet at the end. In his Sandman series, Death is the second eldest of the Endless, after Destiny, and the older sister of Dream. In this short excerpt from the mini-series Death: The High Cost of Living, it’s the one time every hundred years when Death can be human for a single day. On that day, she meets a young man, Sexton and this is the first time she owns up to who and what she is, to his great disbelief.

Personally, I believe that the idea of Death as a witty, gentle and good-natured goth chick, is nothing short of ingenious and for some reason, this picture of Raven brings to mind that specific character. It may sound morbid, I know, but in fact, it is a misjudgment on the part of anyone who has not read the comic book (so go read it!). Despite everything, wouldn’t you rather the Keeper of the Gate were someone like Raven (the name itself fraught with relative mythology)? I know I wouldn’t mind…

Besides, as the Sandman, Dream himself puts it: “I am far more terrible than you, my sister”.

Speedgrapher

Photo of the Week: Marita, Living Doll

Posted in Photo of the Week with tags , , , on November 6, 2008 by speedxgrapher

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Once upon a time, in the northern land of York, there lived an eldritch craftsman, honored among the Fair Folk and respected by the Kings of the Mounds, under far Cornwall and Scania. For all his art and inventiveness, Hispano was childless and no woman, Wyrd or mortal, would bear his touch or bear him children – for his touch was like the fire of the forge and his flesh, hard as iron. The Lon Dubh Fae had offered to steal away a human child for him, but he was gentle of heart as he was skilled of hands. Thus, he let ancient Pygmalion‘s blood, that ran through the veins of his family for untold generations, speak to him. Aye, if a child would not be produced from his loins, then he would give birth to it by his hands. Many moons did he toil to build his daughter of wood and stone and as every last hair had been placed on her beautiful head and every joint secured, Hispano pleaded with the Powers of the Wyrd that she not merely awaken, but be given free will, a mind of her own to think with and a spirit to laugh, cry, hurt and rejoice with. There was no flash of thunder, nor melodies of light, as the sweetest sound he could ever hope for , was that of a wooden body moving of its own accord and a child-like voice uttering the most tender blessing, with hands outstretched: “Father?”

This is part of a story I wrote a long time ago, influenced by Nordic and Celtic legends, as well as, obviously, the tale of the mythological Cypriot sculptor, Pygmalion. Of course, it goes on and on for pages but that is beside the point. Hispano made a wooden girl, a doll, in effect, and through Fae magic breathed life into it, creating a daughter for himself. Marita’s choice of clothes, along with Boudoir X’s make-up and the posture in this photo, immediately bring this story to mind. It is very dear to me and seeing, perhaps a modern Japanese version of it in front of me, immediately made this photo a favorite.

Speedgrapher

Photo of the Week: Mary, Dark Diva

Posted in Photo of the Week with tags , , on October 27, 2008 by speedxgrapher

This photo, as anyone who has been there can see, is from the time when Ordre de Ciel were still playing in KABATZA and it is dated a week before the legendary JMCM. This one I like for three very specific reasons: Mary is a beautiful girl, who manages to take the weirdest expressions in photographs, resulting in her being misrepresented in them. I managed to take this one while she was despairing over my camera fixation, so she did not have time to distort her features by grimacing. Secondly, it has a very classic feel to it: the black dress, the long, dark hair falling over one eye, along with the pearly smile and the position of the body, immediately bring to mind the words “classy” and “elegant”. Mary looks like a femme fatale straight out of “Black Dahlia” or “The Untouchables”.

Last but not least, what places this picture in the Hall of Weekly Fame, is the simple fact that this whole feel is so becoming of her: anyone can put on a black dress and position the body in a specific way and so on and so forth. The thing is, this photo is NOT posed and that elusive “something”, which comes to her naturally and makes her look like a character out of Brian de Palma movie, is what makes this picture one of my favorites.

Speedgrapher

Photo of the Week: Visual Spine

Posted in Photo of the Week with tags , , , , , on October 18, 2008 by speedxgrapher

It’s been somewhat bumpy with the logistics of the blog and hence, this is only the second time I am posting “Photo of the Week”. Hopefully, I will be able to pick up the slack from now on.

Presenting: Doc Freaking Candy Freak (Left), Sir Ploutonas (Right) and reader-favorite, Chirolita (Center – not kidding, the MOST clicked picture to date, is the last in Part 1 of the Cosplay), three members from the Shiverspine band, in an amazing Visual ensemble. I am an anime / manga / comic book geek, as I have often told you and the music scene of Japan is something I came in contact with through these mediums. In fact, the first time I ever even SAW the words “Visual Kei”, was in 2002, in a comic called “Vertigo Pop! Tokyo”, by DC Comics’s Vertigo imprint. That was when I also saw the first comic book version of Hide, called “Hige” in the story. Imperfect sources? Sure, if you take out the fact that both Jonathan Vankin and Seth Fisher had already lived several years in Japan, when they were teamed-up for the project. It was not long after that I watched an X-Japan concert on DVD and saw the original Hide.

The Vertigo Pop! "Hide", at the far right of the panel.

The Vertigo Pop! version of Hide, at the far right of the panel.

Now, nearly 7 years later and having gone to Japan, I can say with fair certainty that I have a pretty clear idea what Visual Kei is and these three people in the picture, fit the bill perfectly, right down to the drummer being dressed (rather successfully) as a woman (*hint* *wink* *nudge*). In my mind – and of course, if they have a mind to – they can make Shiverspine the first ever Greek Visual Kei band. That was, in fact, my first exclamation when I took the picture…

The cover of Vertigo Pop! Tokyo#1

The cover of Vertigo Pop! Tokyo #1

Speedgrapher

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