I finally drew a cover (that still needs to be colored) and am in the middle of penciling the first five or six pages of the prologue to Asylum Girls Club. I think I have found an artistic groove but it is always difficult setting up an imaginary universe with the world events you need to show. Also I copped out with the date
using 20XX. I figure it wont be dated till long after I am dead, lol!
Its been hard with the pollen apocalypse and typical spring time melancholy (it is my least favorite season) but I am finally happy with what my pencil is putting on paper. I have been tearing up and crumbling many of the pages I did in the last three weeks. I want this to be as good as it can be but perfection is impossible and to be frank I am not really that good so it makes no sense to hold back.
Once again I have to credit Hajime Isayama, the creator of Attack on Titan for a bit of renewal and inspiration in doing comics. With the meltdown of American comics and their default corporate/leftism seemingly infiltrating every damn comic even the independents, Attack On Titan shows what comics can still be. The fact that it has many detractors and the creator himself does not think highly of his own art is interesting as it has made him a millionaire! Its themes of duty and nationalism are strikingly refreshing and even though it still has the current japanese cliche of wimpy male leads.
It has a killer pace and now the storyline shows one of the themes of survival horror that I always go back to, no matter what horrific other worldly menace comes for you there is still no worse enemy than your own species. Grim and bleak
maybe but I don't give a damn. Now I don't plan this for AsylumGirlsClub don't worry but the future supernatural stories will be. Of the Three Darkness Epoch story lines, I think Fencemen will be most likely the one I draw first.
I also look forward to the Attack On Titan live action film (I think Toho is making it!). Wait, they replaced all the obviously German characters in AOT with Japanese actors? I should be outraged! lol!
Rape of the The Vampire (Le Viol du Vampire) 1968
Directed by Jean Rollin
In my current serial, L'Asile Des Vampires (I hope I translated that right), the vampire characters of Margaret and Penelope created by are
staying at an asylum in northern france and dealing with both their own issues and
the outside threat of a vampire hunter with mind powers. Freaky, no? I got the inspiration somewhat from obscure french vampire films that are as cult (or kult)
as they get although in truth my stories are more coherent.
The doctor of the clinic is named after the late French horror director, Jean Rollin.
Rollin was truly a cult figure in horror cinema and really the only prolific French
director to make horror films. Very, very French horror films. Rollin was an anarchist, very much a new waver(film not music) and was never appreciated in his home country until many,many years later.
French horror films were rare which is strange considering the earliest visual representations of horror were French. Think of George Melies fantastical films,
the first macabre visuals put to celluloid. The Theatre Du Grand Guignol with its
gory stage plays and even the tone of the decadent writers and surrealist artists
before the World War. As usual where art and commerce intersect, why bother making horror films when the British and the Americans have that cornered?
Spain and Italy did not agree, but Germany did and so did France. Except for one
rebel named Jean Rollin.
His films are very, very cheaply done making the typical low budget italian film
seem like a hollywood blockbuster in comparison. I'd say Jess Franco and him
probably has similar budgets, but whereas Franco could be hit or miss (made up for by making 200+ films), Rollin always managed some nice, surreal dreamlike atmosphere. While the surreal and bizarre set pieces make them seem like art films at the time, the narrative always returns at some point to remind you this
is a horror film. This alternating between dream like images and then concrete
action and storyline can be jarring. Its obvious that he is filming both illegally
and on whatever location a friend will allow him to use, so there is very much a verite style. As a amateur dabbler in filmmaking (video making) its true that you film around your locations and the script you planned usually goes out the window almost immediately.
His first film was Rape of the Vampire. Originally a short, a second 40 minute sequel was shot to make this a feature length. It was an indie film so it was released as the 1968 anti DeGaulle riots in France commenced. It made a decent franc as it was the only movie released apparently. Many of the students rioting sought refuge from the gendarmes beating their asses (good! cafe marxist scum! ) by buying a ticket to the cinema and they were flabbergasted and outraged at this strange vampire film.
The storyline is four vampire sisters in a remote castle running afoul of angry villagers and a trio of cool, hip parisians med students who think they are merely insane and need treatment. The sisters are all killed and two of the parisians are turned into vampires who then have to deal with the vampire queen who has her own private asylum to do experiments on her brood. She actually revives the dead vampire sisters and all hell breaks loose.
Picture that storyline in your head, because the actual movie you see is almost
nothing like what I described. How is that possible? The visuals and strangeness of
the film overwhelm even that narrative and you soon forget what is going on.
Just a sample of the visuals and events:
A female vampire dressed as a man in 18th century garb being temporarily slain
with a smallsword in a cemetery duel. Well before Anne Rice's french vampires or the Rose of Versailles manga you have gender bending and ancien regime era clothes.
Two vampire women in see through gowns dueling with Epees(the french dueling sword with the bell like handle) at night under torchlight.
A vampire being blinded by a thrown pitchfork and then her eyes being sown shut the rest of the film.
Vampires in straitjackets drinking blood from what look like giant gumball machines
filled with blood.
A vampire catholic priest with fangs and an upsidedown cross leading a funeral
A marriage ceremony with the bride and groom being nailed into a coffin.
Naked vampires smeared with blood kissing each other on the pebble beaches of
A car chase with the actor doing all the stunts and lots of humans and vampires shooting guns at each other.
An Eartha Kitt looking Vampire Queen laughing at the most inappropriate moments.
A strange statue of a satyr looking vampire dummy statue with some old guy throwing his voice.
Lots of beach scenes. Lots of cemetery scenes. Lots of abandoned building scenes with overgrown vegetation in both the country and the city.
A vampire woman looking like Sharon Tate wrestling with the blind vampire woman on a beached fishing boat.
A pair of annoying and fey henchmen, one wearing all black the other all white
A band of french youth playing free jazz with one made up like Robert Smith of the
Cure in front of a giant fake Bat with multiple female breasts (or are they eyeballs?).
The very effective, tragic and creepy scene of the final fate of the vampire lovers who seal themselves in a basement for eternity so as not to murder anyone. Claustrophobic yet touching as the two embrace..
More naked breasts then I have seen in the last decade.
The surviving still human hero who looks like Liam Gallagher from Oasis dancing with his dead girlfriends body in the paris streets.
A really cool horror organ sound/modernist soundtrack alternating with frenetic
free jazz (that i actually liked).
It was reported that there was actual people in the audience throwing stuff at the
screen and rioting again at this 'awful' movie and most of Rollin's film critic friends who saw it were disappointed and panned it ruthlessly.
I personally enjoyed it thoroughly. It is a 20th century film with its heart
in the 19th century poetry of Poe (One of the few figures who makes me proud to
be Murican) and Baudelaire and the surrealist work of so many others. If I had seen
this as a twenty something probably not so much. He was also influenced by many
of the edgy continental european comics that were becoming popular in the 60's.
I know nothing about them so the pieces of the puzzle get more intriguing the more
I research (I know of Mobius and of course Tin Tin and Asterix)
Oh yeah and I'm sure there was no drug use involved in any of this (LOL!)
This guy went on to make at least Twenty more films! As he went on the films
became more coherent but his distinctive style was always apparent. In interviews
he is the opposite of the Italian directors (who are all so bloody serious) and
seemed quite affable and basically admitted he had fun making films with his friends for no money.
RIP Jean Rollin!