Discover more from BROKEN ENGLISH Victor Santos’ Newsletter
Here I go again on my own... (2023 version)
And edition about the Masterverse, books that I never made and my problem with Harry Bosch
HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE FIRST NEWSLETTER OF 2023!
January, a month full of promises and paperwork of taxes… Let’s go to the good part.
MASTERS OF THE MASTERVERSE
Dark Horse announced recently the anthology 4-issues series Masters of the Universe: Masterverse. I participated in issue 2, where I illustrated a variant cover and drew a 9-page story written by Tim Sheeley. It has been really exciting because it’s a noir tale introducing an alternate version of Man-at-arms as a hard-boiled/MikeHammeresque hero. MOTU and noir, two of my favorite things together. You are going to see some noirish versions of the MOTU characters designed by me. I have tried to emulate some of my favorite resources of the old crime comic-books, and revised (especially) a lot of Johnny Craig material.
Overall, it has been an honor that the people from Dark Horse and Mattel wanted to do a “noir version” of this universe and came to me. I had a lot of freedom and you’re going to see that in some aspect it doesn’t look like a MOTU story at all! (but stay calm, it’s totally a MOTU story)
The series debuts this February and the issue 2 will be released March 15th. I’ll show you more about the making of this issue soon.
FAHRENHEIT 451 BOOKTRAILER
I have been working on an official graphic novel adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 during 2021-2022 for the Spanish publisher Planeta Comic and it will be released next Feb 8th. Now they have released a booktrailer:
I have the hope that we will get international versions soon! So if you are not from Spain spread the word and ask for this book to your favorite publisher!
BOOKS THAT I NEVER DID: MONEY HEIST
And speaking about doing my own version of others’ properties, I had the idea to make this section about projects that I never did. Not sure if this is going to have a continuation but the point of doing it was to show that if sometimes you lose a job, you are not finished. Some projects come, others go, and others you really weren't destined to do. I had a first and bitter experience during my first steps in the American market. While I was drawing the graphic novel Filthy Rich for Vertigo I was offered to do two issues of Hellblazer. Wow! Isn't? Some days later, the editor wrote to me to tell me that they had decided to change the approach and withdrew the offer (for his comments I deduced the writer didn’t like my art but never I really knew it). It was like the end of the word to me. These things happen continually in this business but it was my first time and I felt really deeply. In the end, this rejection brought other things in the future: This editor moved to IDW and gave me a lot of work, maybe trying to compensate me. Now, after years of projects in developing you learn how to deal with expectations.
About Money heist, you surely know the Netflix show. Planeta Comic (the publisher of my oncoming Fahrenheit 451 adaptation) had the license of some Netflix shows produced in Spain and offered me to pitch a proposal for a graphic novel adaptation. They seemed more interested in doing some version of the story but I found it very few stimulating. I preferred to do something new, expanding the universe. I must say that I wasn't a fan of the show. I had seen it because the main director of the third and fourth seasons, Koldo Serra, is a good friend of mine and a director I absolutely admire. But I wasn’t very into the story. Honestly, I didn’t like the story at all.
But it was a good chance because the show was in its peak of popularity and I liked the character of Tokyo, performed by Úrsula Corberó. She was the kind of bad-ass female character I use in my books. I found her very promising. I prepared a pitch, an action story set during the gap between the second and third season. Tokyo and Rio are enjoying the paradise of Guna Laya after the events of the end of the first heist, and a Narco finds out Tokyo’s true identity. He tries to use her to recover his old position in his Cartel. It was a story with a lot of violence and shoot-outs, but with the idea to leave the things untouched for the beginning of the third season.
Finally the proposal never was accepted by the show producers and I moved on with other projects, and time later I found a comic of Money heist in a store: A version of the first season with a parodic approach. So as I thought, they were more interested on re-telling the story than expanding the universe. But it’s fine, it was their toy and they had all the righ to do what they wanted with it, Planeta supported my vision and even it I didn't get the job, I was faithful to I wanted to do.
The morals of the story could be that I never was destined to do this comic. I never lost this chance because it never was mine. Maybe I would have hated doing the book. And maybe this rejection helped me to get the Fahrenheit 451 assignment, which was a hundred times more appealing to me. I really think that even if you receive a lot of rejections, if you are tenacious, you finally find the correct project for you. But no project belongs to you in advance.
And someday I will find out which writer rejected me in Hellblazer and I will take revenge…
DON’T BREAK THE CODE
I have a problem with Bosch. I love the show, I love the stories, all the cases are perfectly designed, the actors and actresses are great… But I can’t bear the main character. I hate the damned Harry Bosch. I never understood why. I have seen a lot of movies and shows with unpleasant characters. And Bosch is not an evil character, it’s not a bastard like Walter White. It can be unsociable and categorical. But he wants to solve his cases and definitely loves his daughter.
Then I noticed that my problem with him was his behavior about morals. Because he’s a character extremely moralist about the behavior of his partners (the clean procedure, the ethics of the police) but extremely relaxed when he is breaking the rules. I have not a problem with a detective who twists the law to solve a murder (this is a totally valid cliché in fiction) but I make me really mad watching him scolding his partners for commiting exactly the same infractions he has done in the same episode.
In a lot of guides about writing you always find the tip “make your characters likable”. I think the real tip should be “characters need a code”. I think you can like the biggest bastard if he/she has a code. This is what I find interesting in criminal fiction, the existence of moral codes different to the socially accepted, rules which work in this parallel underworld.
So you need a code for likable characters… And they have to kill and die for it.
And that’s all!
See you in a couple of weeks with a new Ginger revenges story!
Copyright © 2023 Victor Santos. All rights reserved.
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