Friday, January 23, 2015
Tales From the Rhythmic-Zone: A Book Review
Tales From the Rhythmic-Zone
Story, Pencils, & Ink by: Turtel Onli
Color by: Ashley Woods
Cover Art by: Christian St. Pierre
Tales From the Rhythmic-Zone is a graphic novel combining four stories created through Onli Studios: "NOG NU", "NOG is Back", "The Legend of the Azaniac", and "Wolfshead". The majority of the book is based on the character of NOG, a staple character in the Black Age of Comics Movement started and created by Turtel Onli in Chicago back in 1980s (1981 to be exact).
The main character is known as NOG: The Protector of the Pyramids, protecting the inhabitants of Planet Nubia; a spiritually and technologically advanced race of people from deep in the reaches of outer space. NOG is the result of the union between a Virgin Nubian woman, and "a comet set forth by the sun on the perfect day of peace", he has the power to change form at the speed of thought. To quote Tales From the Rhythmic-Zone:
"Becoming NOG is a process where the most gifted of all Nuba gives over his or her life to protect the Nubian Pyramides, and the planet Nuba."
NOG fights against the Technocratic Complex, and in this graphic novel specifically, against the character of Mag-Non. The Nubian spaceway has been attacked recently by the Technocratic Complex, plundering their outposts, having been destroyed and defaced. Upon this time of reckoning, they have found a new NOG; one that is adaptable for combat on sky, sea, and sand...and especially on dry land.
Mag-Non has arrived on Planet Nubia, using stealth and deceit, attacking the Nubian forces. Nog finally appears, traveling at the speed of thought, and engages Mag-Non in vicious combat.
I truly enjoyed this book, and the creativity behind it. I liked Mr. Onli's use of Kemetic/African spirituality, and cultural history, blending the two in a science fiction narrative form. The colors used were engaging, as well as the attempts at social commentary, without being heavy handed, and on the preachy side. Though preachiness can be very debatable, at least in my humble opinion, the messages in the story weren't over the top. They were quite creative, using some of the character's spiritual decisions and morphing them into a contemporary context.
We are not taught much about our history, or our cultural heritage; Mr. Onli's use of the graphic novel format helped to teach a bit of our history to those of us that are unaware. Graphic novels (and comic books overall, for that matter) are an under utilized tool as a way of reaching our community as an educational tool. They could and should be used as a way to open our children's minds to their history and culture that they might not be receiving at home, and are definitely not being taught in the mainstream school system.
I truly enjoyed this product, and would recommend it for anyone; child or adult. If you are interested in buying this product, and any other Black Age products (There are actually many), you can actually reach Bro. Turtel Onli at www.onlistudios.com. They have other Black Age materials that you would be interested in; not just for our young boys, but also for our young sisters as well.
Please spread the word!!! THE BLACK AGE FOREVER!!!!!