Sunday Bonus Post: An Anime Experiment!

Skrull Space Princess, captive of a big slimy Hutt.

Skrull Space Princess, captive of a big slimy Hutt.

So, yes…in terms of the “plot”, this does indicate that my beloved car is not yet finished, but is nearly complete. Hence why she is wearing the outfit from “Return of the Jedi”, just before the entire cast of Star Wars goes home and gets back to the business of the main plot. At the point, the transmission is finally rebuilt and replaced, and engine fine tuning needs to happen, to ensure a passed smog check…which is being done for me. With any luck, that drama will end this week.

Still…Skrull Space Princess has been a major part of that “story”, so I felt like I wanted to do a “spotlight” piece of art. Unexpectedly, she has become a pretty relevant recurring character in the strip. Much of the time, I think that a character will become important, or come back often, and they don’t. I just don’t feel like drawing them, or feel like they are really adding that much to the “plot.” Other times, a character unexpectedly sets itself into the cast, due to some kind of subconscious “good fit.”

I wanted to do one of my rare experiments in drawing in a more anime/manga style. It is startlingly hard to produce good art in that style, in a way that Western Genre comic artists often fail to understand. It’s not just all “Big Eyes, Small Mouth”…there’s a whole lot of subtlety to the line work. Lines express a great deal of what western artists try to achieve in shading or color…it’s deceptively complex.

I’m also not seeing this as an experiment that I’m doing too often. Art Nouveau is one thing, this is another. Far enough afield from my usual drawing interests to try once in a while, but not engaging enough to keep any real focus.

Disney announced recently that they will no longer be depicting or merchandising images of Princess Leia in the oft referenced “Metal Bikini” from Jabba’s Palace. That is kind of what prompted me to do this piece, to be honest. Yes, it fits well with the “plot” going on regarding the car…but also, its an interesting choice for Disney. I get it to some degree, considering that in terms of good taste, the entire “Metal Bikini/Slave Leia” thing was a low point for a “family franchise.” Still…since 1997, there have been eight different releases of the “Slave Leia” action figure. That’s a fairly solid number of figures and sculpts, suggesting a decent demand base.

A recent version of the figure, in the 6″ format “Black Series” garnered complaints from parents and parent groups as too risque. Considering that the “Black Series” figure came complete with a chain around her neck, as in the film and the art above, I can see a major part of that argument. Priced at about twenty dollars per figure, though, the “Black Series” isn’t really aimed at a child audience, despite being in the toy aisle at Target and Toys r Us.

Carrie Fisher (the original Space Princess), in fact, caught wind of the “controversy” and was not too pleased about it. The actress who portrayed Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” films was outspoken in her commentary to media about one specific complaint of a father dismayed to see the toy on store shelves in Target. When she heard that future merchandise would no longer include the scantily clad character from “Return of the Jedi,” she responded with, “I think that’s stupid.”

In a longer statement to the Wall Street Journal, the actress said this: “The father who flipped out about it, ‘What am I going to tell my kid about why she’s in that outfit?’ Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage.”

I feel confident, as a result, that Carrie Fisher would endorse today’s artwork…or possibly kill me if she didn’t like it.

That’s all for Sunday, True Believers!

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