Saturday, December 02, 2006

Schooled in the Square Circle

Went to a book signing/ meet n' greet with publisher Keith Rainville, lucha artist extroidinaire Rafael Navarro and the 1st Lady of Hard Case Crime Christa Faust over at one of my favorite comic shoppes The Secret Headquarters over in Silverlake.

Of course it was all to celebrate the release of FPU's new book, LUCHA NOIR, a compilation of all the wonderful masked wrestling art Rafael has done for the short lived magazine FROM PARTS UNKNOWN.

I picked up a volume and had it "auto-sketched" by Rafael as well as picking up a copy of Christa's "masked wrestler pulp" HOODTOWN, which I had her autograph.

Of course, we discussed THE SKULL, and I received some cool tips of what to do and not do from the experts. These guys know their stuff back and forth, up and down and put my meager lucha knowledge to shame. I was positively geekified.

Update: Here's Rafael "auto-sketching" my book. From Christa's Flickr gallery. I'm off left behind Raf.


Anonymous said...

This may sound a tad strange, but, in all honesty, from someone who obviously knows their stuff, can you tell me what is the attraction of comics or cartoons to the adult mind? Is it something to do with the protagonist's maliability by the writer/artist? I have three boys who continue to be interested in the genre as adults when I gave that stuff up when I was 12. I simply don't get it. Please don't say, "Well then I'm not going to tell you". I am trying to understand what the attraction is to this style of entertainment. And, while we are at it, what about Japanese anime? To me, that's like watching a badly dubbed Asian movie. But that is just my opinion. Thanks

Cunningham said...

Goddess -

(may I call you Goddess?)

I will answer this question in my next post, but leave it open here for people who want to comment in the meantime.

Anonymous said...

Sure you can call me Goddess, or even Patricia (my real name), but living in Canada where the snow is well, pretty deep right now, Arctic is about right as the beginning of my nick name. The Goddess is me being hopeful.

Roger Alford said...

Goddess, I imagine that you'll get a different opinion from everyone you ask, but let me give you my own perspective. I'm a visual person -- been drawing since I was a kid and eventually grew into a decent artist. As a kid (and I'm in my 40s now, just for perspective), comic books and movies really spoke to me. I loved the heroes like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, et al. But mostly I loved the aspect of visual storytelling. How the words and the pictures worked together. And in comics (like movies) the pictures can also tell the story. Not just the words.

For that reason, I also loved the Disney animated films. I loved the artistry of the animation itself, as well as the great stories. I also liked Saturday morning cartoons, such as Looney Toons (which were originally made for the big screen) and Johnny Quest. As I got into my teens, I began to appreciate the artistry more and understand the Disney films as something in a world apart -- classic animation.

When I got older, I put these things aside, but still liked to pick up the occassional Batman comic book and watch the Disney films. Then the 80s hit and comic books grew up. Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke and others re-invented what comic books could be and pushed them further than ever before. This spoke to me not just as the kid that was still inside, but also as an adult. They worked on both levels.

Same with the movies -- Star Wars, Superman I & II (I don't want to talk about III and IV), Blade Runner, and all the other great Sci-Fi flicks of the 80s appealed to both the kid and the adult in me. Blade Runner in particular is an excellent example of an incredible visual film with IDEAS that make you think. Same with X-Men and Spider-Man 2.

Somewhere along the line I also fell in love with pulp of the 30s and 40 -- The Shadow, The Green Hornet, et al. These aren't just costumed heroes with cool gadgets or powers, the radio shows and serials are all great crime stories, too. They make me seriously geek out.

As for anime, I confess that I don't get it (I may get shunned for saying this), either. Probably my age. I remember Battle of the Planets (G-Force) when I was a teen, and thought the animation was sub-standard(but the show was okay). Though my daughter likes Pokemon, I think it's really stupid and encourage her to watch other stuff instead. I have seen some anime that does have great animation, but for some reason, the style itself just turns me off.

So, there's my two cents. Hope that helps. I'm anxious to hear what Bill and others have to say.