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Avenging the revenge (with a vengeance)
An edition about fan-fiction, imaginary verbs and samurai swordfight
Hi everyone and welcome to a new edition of my newsletter!
INKTOBER, FAN-ART AND THE LIKES
The inktober (#Violentober this year) finishes today, thank you to the people who purchased (or tried) for the original art.
If you want to see all my scanned drawings of this edition and the editions of previous years you can find them in my blog/site:
I must confess something, and it’s everyday I feel more uncomfortable about drawing characters I don’t own. Doing the Inktober is funny, it allows you to work with characters you usually don’t draw. Or making commissions. But sometimes I see Twitter or Instagram and feel the artists we are transforming into creators of fan-art. You know, The Sandman is released on Netflix or a new Batman movie is announced (there is always an oncoming Batman movie) and everyone of us search in our digital files for the commissions we did for the character, and post them. Or it’s the Batman day, or Superman day, and we make the de rigeur sketch and paste the hashtag and wait for a significant increase of our followers. Playing into the hands of the big companies, working for them in the promotion of their new adaptation for free (or for mirages called visibility or engagement). And now even the companies expect this! “Do the best fan-art of our show and we will share it”. I don’t say it is wrong if you love Star Wars and want to make your drawing or your animatica… But there are days I feel we could use these efforts and hours to make our own stuff. I would prefer to see drawings and live-action shorts with new ideas and stories, but I am who I am. The problem is maybe people don’t want to see those new things and the “likes” go to the MCU new parody or the fan-made 3D animation.
My advice about it? FUCK THE LIKES. And do what you want to do.
(I write this after a month of drawings of actors and actresses and movies I have no right to, yes, well, nobody is completely coherent in this crazy world. Sue me.)
MORE ILLUSTRATION FOR PRESS
I have worked again with the journalist Óscar Beltran in one of his articles for El Correo newspaper. Oscar is a journalist specialized in the fight against terrorism, mainly ETA, but he recently wrote a serial about the French group OAS, one of the most violent and blood-thirsty organizations ever made (and pretty unknow, you will recognize the name if you have watched the classic of 1973 Day of the Jackal, they are the guys who hired the legendary hitman to kill French president Charles de Gaulle). Oscar is also a compulsive reader of noir novels and comic-books, and this is how our friendship was born.
I made these three illustrations for the online serialization:
You can find a lot of my work for press in this link to my blog:
This month, a loyal reader of the Ginger Revenges comic, sent me a message: “Do you know Ginger Revenges is not correct, isn't it? Revenge is not a verb”. He wasn’t sure if this mistake was something deliberate and he was trying to be polite. And I always thank them when somebody checks my work and finds these kinds of mistakes, because this helps me to improve. This newsletter is titled “Broken English '' and was born to help me to practice with written English so… The question was appropriate because it sounds weird. It’s “Ginger’s Revenges” and I forgot the saxon genitive?
So, yes, it was deliberate and it shows how arrogant I can be because I don’t speak and write English quite well enough and I afford to twist and play with the language. My initial idea was to call the series “Ginger avenges” or “Ginger takes revenges” because of the sonority of the words, the alliteration. But these titles sounded simple and boring. And at the same time I am fascinated by recent movie titles like the British Avengement or the Korean Revenger. Especially Avengement because it’s a crazy title. It reminded me of these old English subtitles of 90s Hong-Kong movies full of weird quotes and inappropriate words.
So allow me this eccentricity, in my world “Revenge is a verb” and like Jeff and the gang said in Community: Don’t Britta me.
I recently watched Crazy Samurai Musashi (AKA Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1), a chambara film starring my beloved Tak Sakaguchi (Versus, Prisoners in Ghostland) and directed by Yûji Shimomura. It tells the story of the mythical swordsman Miyamoto Musashi and his no less mythical fight against 400 enemies (where it is told he developed his two-swords fight style).
The story has a prologue of 8 minutes and a similar epilogue, but the central and main part of the movie is a 77 minutes sword fight shot in a one single take. One single real take, without the understandable tricks to cut the action in more assumable sections (or at least, I didn’t detect any of these cuts).
The movie has terrible reviews and I understand it. It’s basically a low-budget movie with a guy fighting with a crew of stuntmen for an hour. You can see cleary the limitations of the movie. It’s repetitive and it can be exhausting. The choreography is simple, practical with some flashes of genius but basically is hit-duck-slash (and a pinch of digital effects of blood added in post-production). But sometimes things are more interesting not in the final result, but in thinking how the thing was planned. Watching it I was trying to figure out how they prepared the take, how they designed the path the character is walking (the duel takes place in a forest and an abandoned village and the characters are moving all the time), how they share out the “big level bosses". The movie transmits the feeling of an old beat-em-up arcade game. You can see clearly that there are not 400 enemies. Basically you can count 20-25 stuntmen, and some of them, the most skilled, make the most difficult scenes. So you can see how the same guys are killed more than 30 times. But this only strengthens this feeling of arcade, when you play Streets of Rage or Final Fight and you defeat the same character designs repeated over and over again.
At the same time, you can see the real pain of Tak Sakaguchi fighting and fighting during more than an hour, how the planification finds tricks to let him rest just a little, and how he tries to correct the little mistakes he makes during the fight due to his fatigue. There is something real, genuine, in this challenge. Maybe is not perfectly executed, maybe he kills the same moustache guy thirty times… But it feels more real than the super-edited with zenithal-take-to-hide-the-stuntman current fights in mainstream movies.
You can read an interesting article about this movie here:
And that’s all! Thank you for your attention and see you in a couple of weeks with a new episode of Ginger Revenges (or Ginger’s Avengement)
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