Discover more from BROKEN ENGLISH Victor Santos’ Newsletter
Switching off the Beast and other crime stories
An edition about personal blackouts, a sad farewell and my obssession for action
WELCOME TO A NEW EDITION OF MY NEWSLETTER
I advanced this new edition a week due to some of the events I comment were recent. This is also a long edition, but in the following months it’s going to be one of the few ways of communication I’m going to use, so maybe it’s time to strengthen and update it more frequently.
Spanish publisher Planeta Comic recently announced a book I made for them, a graphic novel adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. I’m very excited about this book, this is the first adaptation for a book I have ever made, completely official (we had to send a proposal with samples to Bradbury’s family to get the final approval). I will talk about the process of adapting a book to a comic and the things I’ve learnt (and the things I tried to avoid) in the following newsletters. And I hope, like this is such a relevant novel, Planeta will be able to get international editions soon.
I recently made a Takeshi Kitano’s commission. The client only asked for a single figure but things went out from hand and drew this:
You can see all the commissions I have made in my social media galleries, or clicking the label in my website:
Recently I decided to disconnect from social media for some time, trying to focus on my current work and basically don't spend my day checking the phone every five minutes. I noticed how these apps were consuming my time and attention and decided to make a clean break. I was running accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and very occasionally Tumblr. And my website, my newsletter… And it is very demanding.
At the same time, the levels of toxicity and discomfort in these places were increasing. There is always a daily controversy, a daily speech of hate, a daily misunderstanding that becomes anger because somebody didn't bother about reading the context.
First of all, I removed the apps from my phone, so if I have the need ("the hunger") to check it, I need to wait until I switch on the computer in the following morning. Later, I decided to limit visiting these platforms to my mornings before I begin to work. And never use the computer at weekends (except if I have some “work emergency”).
However, this decision has no relationship with the latest activities of our friend Elon Musk. I think the toxicity of platforms like Twitter is a problem rooted in how it’s built and how it needs to grow. I made this “disconnection holiday time” and maybe there won’t be a twitter to return… but it’s fine. I have no intention to join Mastodon and enter in a new cycle of getting tired of a poisoned ambience.
I’m conscious that as an independent creator I need these means to promote my work, but it doesn’t mean I need to be hooked all the day. So I’ll take a break and let’s see what happens. I’m realist, I’ll need to return from time to time to announce releases, news and stuff. I can’t allow myself to cut these communication lines. But I think I can manage them in a more healthy way.
The past November 9th the artist Carlos Pacheco left us and there are very few things I could add to all the wonderful stories their friends, fans and collaborators shared. All the Spanish artists we feel a little orphans now, because Carlos was the guy who showed us the way. He wasn't the first Spanish artist working for a foreign country, or USA, but he was the first to become a star, to begin to impose his own rules. So he was a pioneer and aspiration for us. He also was a nice, accessible, cultured man. I couldn’t consider myself his friend because surely he was too big to my eyes (I share this feeling with some colleages). We spent some time together in conventions, of course, and we had this respect between professionals, I think. It was a joy to meet him in any event.
I have this little story with him. I was a guest at a little convention in Gran Canaria, a beautiful island full of nice people and great food. The only guests were Carlos, myself and a third author who finally couldn’t attend. The organization even paid our wives’ tickets and accommodation. Our only duty was an hour panel and the rest of the weekend was for us, like two friend couples enjoying holidays. And we had a great, funny time. I never considered this a con, when I talk about that event I call it “that time I won a weekend with Carlos Pacheco.”
Thank you for so much for all, Carlos.
MY OBSESSION WITH JAPANESE ACTION DIRECTORS
I don’t want to finish this edition with this bitter feeling and maybe it’s time for some of my silly recommendations. Due to my involvement in the Left Hand of the Devil project, an Irish-Japanese movie production based on a (in development) graphic novel characters I created, I have been very into the Japanese indie movies scene lately. And found really cool things there, especially in the action genre.
All this interest began with Kensuke Sonomura’s work. Sonomura is a choreographer and stunt specialist with a very personal style, who debuted as a director in 2019 with Hydra. This movie has realistic but ultra-fast urban combat action scenes.
A sample here:
And I’m dying to see Bad City, Sonomura’s second movie
You can see a Yugo Sakamoto’s short in YouTube, Heaven’s Rush:
And finally Yūji Shimomura, director of the Crazy Samurai Musahi film I wrote about in the previous newsletter. His movie Re:born (like Musahi, starring Tak Sakaguchi) has stunning close-action scenes, using a martial art developed by Shinomura called “Zero Range Combat”.
All of these movies are really hard to find legally from my place in Spain. Sometimes I can find a B region bluray to buy (I usually buy a lot of UK bluray of Asian movies because I can watch them with the English subtitles). In Spain, distributors threw in the towel with the physical format due to piracy, which is ironic because you are increasing the piracy removing every chance to buy the movies legally. If you live in the USA you can see some of these movies in the Hi-yah! streaming service, but sadly you can’t subscribe from Europe. So sometimes I need to swing through wild waters to see these films.
And with these movie recommendations I wrap today! See you in a couple of weeks with a new episode of Ginger revenges!
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