Sunday
Oct072012

Chapter 48: DOOM

Jason Jägel

Many designers have lent their expertise to flesh out DOOM’s visual aesthetic. One of the more notable artists is Jason Jägel, the man behind the artwork for the 2011 Operation: Doomsday reissue and 2004’s Mm..Food.

2. Four Masks

431 BC

In the beginning, the mask feels a bit like a joke. Even in ancient Greece there is something inherently amusing about a man in drag, and the wooden mask is modeled after the maker’s wife, with bright red lips that are shaped to project the actor’s voice into the crowd.

As the play proceeds, the mask’s static expression becomes increasingly familiar until it fades into the background, a blank spot where the actor’s face should be. The action becomes more intense and the audience is drawn further into Euripides’ tragedy, ignoring the mask completely.

Meet Doom!

Very few people get the chance to converse with a real-life super villain. We used our sit down with the elusive supergenius to talk about pressing issues like relocating to London, upcoming releases, Stephen Hawking, why birds are dying, and DOOMbots.

V

I was blessed to be one of the exec producers on Viktor Vaughn’s Vaudeville Villain album. We recorded and produced it almost entirely in-house for Sound-Ink Records in 2002. One of the greatest things about collaborating with DOOM is his ability to incorporate anything and everything from his daily into a rhyme scheme. In the studio we’d talk about something we were into and the next day it would be built into the track we were recording. It never failed to blow my mind.

1. Adventures With The Supervillain

Independent hip-hop reached a plateau in the late 1990s. I had just moved to New York City from Virginia and I attended every show I could, witnessing acts as popular as Company Flow and as obscure as J-Zone, at venues like the Knitting Factory and Tramps. I trolled around Fat Beats drooling over costly Japanese imports I knew I’d never buy (except the Bobby Digital Japanese version I dropped $40 on). I waited in the cold for an hour to shake hands with the aging members of De La Soul. I was a self-confessed backpack-rap fanatic.

The Origin of the Super Villain

The terms “superhero” and “super villain” date back to the early 1900s, with “superhero” coined around 1916. The exact origins of “super villain” are more difficult to pinpoint. However, looking back as far as the mid- to late 1800s, we see characters with archetypical super-villain traits beginning to appear in American and European pulp literature. Foes in crime-fiction novels—such as Sherlock Holmes’ archenemy Dr. Moriarty—were indeed devious, however they may more accurately be described as criminal masterminds. Many scholars credit Dr. Fu Manchu, an antagonist in the novels of Sax Rohmer, as popularizing the archetypal super villain. He can be defined by his sadistic personality, the desire for world domination, themed crimes, and the use of sinister lairs and henchmen (not to mention his distinctive facial hair).

Staff & Contributors

Publisher Stephen Malbon
Guest Curator André Saraiva
Editor In Chief Adam Pasulka
Associate Editor Caitlin Levison Collins
Art Director Nicholas Acemoglu
Photo Editor Craig Wetherby

Contributors Juliana Balestin, Benjamin Boas, Julian Broad, Tim Brodhagen, Matthew Frost, Trevor Kane, Louis David Najar, Olivier Zahm
Brand Erika Jarvis, Erica Luciano, Domingo Neris, Jonathan Neville, Shana Pilewski
Interns Koichi Sato, Shaquille Serieaux-Halls
Legal Affairs Brian J. Marvin, Dan Tochterman
US/Japan Ambassador Daisuke Shiromoto
Far East Operations Directors Lyntaro Wajima, Takayuki Shibaki

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