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MAYOR MONTENEGRO: Primeros Acordes

MM Perdidos Cordillera parte 1 pag 1-2

Que tal Amigos,

Si están disfrutando el webcomic de Mayor Montenegro, aquí pueden ver sus primeras historias, publicadas originalmente en el blog de Guido-Visión. Notarán que tanto mi técnica como el personaje han evolucionado bastante desde su primera aparición, ojalá lo disfruten!

Hello, Friends

If you are enjoying Mayor Montenegro’s webcomic, you can check his early stories here. Originally published on Guido-Visión‘s blog, you´ll notice that both the character and my technique have evolved quite a bit since his first appearance. I hope you dig it!

Mayor Montenegro en: La Cruzada del Sándwich (2011) (NSFW)

Mayor Montenegro: Perdidos en Cordillera (2011) (NSFW)

Mayor Montenegro en: La Competencia (2012)

Mayor Montenegro y Bucéfalo Quinto en La Caza de La Monumental (2013) (NSFW)

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Wordless comic of the week #6: “Anima”, by Serpieri

davAnima is a recent volume of Eleuteri Serpieri’s (Italy, 1944) long-running series of graphic novels, Druuna. Starring starting the titular character, a voluptuous woman, Druuna is a sci-fi series that features elements than, depending on your mileage, might qualify as either erotic or pornographic. As opposed to other titles featured in this blog so far, Druuna is not a pantomime series, so the volume covered here, “Anima”, is an oddity in the series.

I’m not very familiar with the main Druuna series, though there is a random volume of it in my collection, but Serpieri is a master craftsman, and his talent goes beyond the beautiful women he is mostly known for. Besides the art, I was attracted to the idea of checking out a novel-length pantomime comic, since there are not many of those that I know of. Plus, it is set in a fantasy world not unlike the ones I feature in my own work, so I figured it could be interesting.

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A sequence that seems to be homaging Moebius’s Arzach, a classic pantomime comic.

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Gorgeously illustrated, the narrative is clear and fluid. The story is slight, as the main character wanders through a fantasy land and has a few adventures, the main one consisting of rescuing another female character from a mysterious temple. It also features a kind of oneiric connection to the main Druuna series, but I con’t explain that one very well since, as I said, I’m not that familiar with the main series.

This book is definitely for adult readers (I had trouble finding enough safe for work pictures to post here!), and some of the sexual situations might seem problematic to some sensibilities. However, as an exercise in pantomime comic, I think it works very well, and is an example of how pantomime can be used to change the pace in a long running series.

 

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Sonic inspirations #01

Absolute Elsewhere

In case you were wondering what kind of music I listen to when I work on Mayor Montenegro: During the process of Titanaktum, the one I’ve played more often is In Search Of Ancient Gods, by Absolute Elsewhere.

This project, led by Paul Fishman, released a single album of prog/space rock in 1976. A curiosity that would perhaps be forgotten if it didn’t the legendary Bill Bruford on drums, its cosmic and atmospheric sounds get me in the right mood to work on The Mayor!

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Wordless comic of the week #5: “Cándido”, by Mena

 

Mena

Mena portrait. Source: http://humoristan.org/es/autores/mena/

So far in the brief history of this column, I’ve talked about books I’ve encountered as an adult, and which I have approached with the specific interest of studying pantomime comic. Today, though, I want to talk about my earliest memory of a wordless comic. That’d be Cándido, the gag strip by José Luis Mena (Spain, 1935-2006)

As a kid, I loved reading the comic strips section of the newspaper (yeah, those still were around back then!), but my parents didn’t get the paper on a daily basis, which meant I couldn’t really follow the adventure strips, which told a continuous story. I was a lot more engaged by the gag strips, some of them featuring characters I knew from cartoons but also others, like Cándido, that only lived in the funny papers.

candido 2

Source: http://columnadejuguete.blogspot.mx/2009/02/inventario-de-ausencias.html

Deceptively simple, the strip stars the titular Cándido, a lanky, bespectacled guy with a big nose and three hairs on the head. It usually presents, in three or four panels, what seems like an everyday situation, before solving it with a clever twist by the end. A couple of them were so mind-blowing to my young mind back then, that I still recall them.

Cándido 3

Source: inciclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Archivo:Candido_comic.jpg

While the other titles I’ve featured so far are easily available in compilation books (some of them in multiple editions, even!) I couldn’t find any info online on a book that would feature Cándido´s strip, or even Mena’s art in general. Therefore, what I’m featuring here are samples of variable quality I managed to scramble together on the web.

Cándido 1

Source: http://www.revistalineas.com/numero05/miradas01.htm

Finally, as a tribute to Mena (and I regretfully admit I didn’t even know who Cándido’s author was until researching this column), I’m recreating from memory one of those Cándido strips I still recall from my childhood years. I’d never have imagined back then that this seemingly innocuous strip would plant a seed in my head to create my own pantomime comics many years down the road.

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If anyone has access to the original strip and could send me an image, I’d love to see how close my memory was to the real thing!

 

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Wordless comic of the week #4: “Age Of Reptiles”, by Ricardo Delgado

davPerhaps there’s something about dinosaurs that lends itself to wordless storytelling. Last week we talked about the adventures of Gon, the tiny dinosaur. Today, we have the less whimsical but equally exciting tales of Ricardo Delgado, who has published Age Of Reptiles in parallel to his career as a successful storyboard artist.

Age of Reptiles has been published as a handful of miniseries and short stories. The first one, Tribal Warfare, appeared in 1993, and the latest so far, Ancient Egyptians, came out in 2015.

 

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Joseph Campbell used to describe the horrors of existence by pointing out that life feeds on life, and that could be this series leitmotif. The world presented here is a brutal, survival of the fittest scenario in which feeding and protecting the progeny are the motors behind almost any action.

That’s actually one of the interesting things Delgado does with his stories. With this savage drive for survival as the backdrop, he usually sets an ongoing conflict between a group of dinosaurs as the backbone of each miniseries. These conflicts can be read in terms of human drives. But there’s also the question: say, a T-Rex mom chasing a pack of smaller dinosaurs that ate some of her eggs, is seeking revenge, or trying to save the rest of the eggs from predators?

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Since there is no dialogue, these questions are not explored, and they don’t need to. Delgado’s dinosaurs are carefully rendered, in a detailed and realistic style. He also manages to convey certain basic emotions on their facial expressions without getting too cartoony. The backgrounds are also often awe-inducing. Delgado gets a lot of mileage of contrasting the sizes of the smaller and larger dinosaurs, and then dwarfing even the biggest ones against the massive environments they inhabit, be the desert, the jungle, the mountains or, in the case of pterodactyls, even the clouds!

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Ldavast but definitely not least, is Delgado’s action storytelling. His experience in storyboarding  definitely serve him well to show very dynamic action sequences, which are usually preceded by moments of great tension. Since the dinosaurs are rendered in a fairly realistic style, there are no cartooning shortcuts to differentiate them in an overt way, so sometimes it requires a bit of attention to follow which dinosaur is which, but usually they are identifiable by subtle details.

 

 

This is a really good series. It feels very realistic, though Delgado takes some geologic liberties for dramatic purposes. It can get pretty brutal and sometimes a little gory, so it’s probably not for kid as young as those who could enjoy something like Gon. Teenagers and adults will certainly get a kick out of it, though. It is admirable the way Delgado can sustain the narrative, with no words, for a mini-series length story!

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