Monday, July 23, 2007

Newtonian Political Gorillazilla

Been trying to stay nailed to my drawing table lately, but it's a lot harder that you would think. Short of actually physically NAILING myself to the table, which would create a lot of other complications and make it impossible to draw anyway, I don't know what else to do to maximize the time I have available for draw my brains out. I find that listening to Lightning Bolt is the best way to stay on task for hours at a time.

Here's the line art for this thing. Mostly inspired by my homie Brandon Graham. There was an instance in a coffee shop on Avenue A when he gave me these 11x17 photocopies on a brown card stock of pieces from his sketchbook. It was one of the highlights of my goddamned life.

The Samurai shit continues. I recently caught Kunoichi: Lady Ninja, Slaughter in The Snow, Kibakichi 2, and Samurai Resurrection.

Kunoichi: Lady Ninja is about a group of lady ninja called Kunoichi. From 1998 it's one of the newer samurai movies I've seen as part of watching all Samurai movies ever made. Honestly, this isn't exactly a Samurai movie in the strict sense, it's more of a "martial arts" "ninja" movie. Then again, Yagyu Jubei is one of the main characters and there is a lot of samurai sword fighting, so... I'm putting on the list. Anyway, this movie is basically like if when you were a teenager and on a lazy boring summer weekday you went to 7-11 and got 44 oz. Slurpies and bags of candy then hung around the parking lot of that 7-11 talking about all the crazy shit you would put in a ninja movie if you ever got the chance... yeah, it's basically this movie. There's a lot of violence and nudity and funny things that are only funny in Japanese movies. Totally ridiculous and really noticeably of the 1990s.

Slaughter in the Snow is the third, and my favorite, of the epic Mikagomi Trilogy of Samurai films (The pother films being Trail of Blood, and The Fearless Avenger). This series is also deeply a product of it's time, the early 70s, with the pop-jazzy rock score, and the fountains of opaque orange blood. These were also more action oriented "martial arts" movies, rather than the long play dramas of this genre. The fights are really cool, but seriously... it seems like aside from the heroes and maybe the main villains, every other samurai, of which there are hundreds, is a total fucking pussy. Anyway, I get the feeling this wasn't a trilogy, or wasn't planned as such. Mostly because it's a revenge quest story about this guy, Jokichi, wandering around trying to kill these two evil yakuza bosses that were the ones who ordered that his wife raped, then her and their child murdered. That's one of the unique things about this series, the authority figures are yakuza, and not government officials. Most samurai movies deal mostly in politics and shoguns and shit. This is pretty much about criminals fighting. ANYWAY, my original point is that he never actually kills the last guy he has to kill to get revenge! They just leave it with him walking off into the mountains as his theme song plays! Very much like the last Lone Wolf and Cub film.

Kibakichi 2 was WAAAYYY better than Kibakichi. Just leaps and bounds all around. Also a "martial arts" action movie, not too much drama. Actually, untrue, there is more drama in this one than in the first, but... it's better told. There's just more likable characters this time around, being as Kibakichi himself is kind of vague and abstract. Anyway, you probably don't need to see the first to get the sequel, and I recommend the sequel way more than the first. Samurai Werewolves is a really good idea though. Seriously.

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