Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh boy!

And that's what a Finnish Jew looked like... 10 years before our story started.

Well, not precisely like this... I could not gather much and the Encyclopaedia Judaica had not much information on Finland (in fact I am assuming that in certain towns the Jews were forced to wear the yellow ring on their clothes but was not mandatory, it depended on how strict the functionaries were). For sure he is not orthodox, for that came later, so he was allowed to wear normal clothing.

Okay, but first let's set one thing straight: Finland is NOT Scandinavia... today! (that is... after their independence and several studies have finally figured out that their language, hear ye, hear ye, is not coming from the North Germanic family - to which belong the Scandinavian languages - but it is, in facts... Finno-lappic).

That said... Finland did belong to Sweden (and Russia, if I remember correctly) for centuries and during the time our story is set only the poor and the native would speak Finnish, some clergyman and local nobility... but the Official language throughout the Country, the one used by the nobility that was ruling over them, was Swedish.

Today there's still much confusion about this. So here is how it goes: Scandinavia is a Region that includes Sweden, Norway and Denmark... Countries whose languages have the same root and transition one into the other through dialects. In modern usage a lot of people extend the name to Greenland, Iceland, Finland and Faroe Islands. Common usage, though, does not mean they are right. (just like neon lights are, most of the time, just fluorescent lights... not neon!)

Our story, though, is set in XVII century and Finland was part of Sweden therefore categorized as Scandinavia! But our boy, who is a Jew first of all but a Finnish too... might take a little pride in the difference. We'll see about that. Right now, for sure, we know that he picked a name that reminded him of where he is from... Fynn.

He might have lost his family and his faith in God... his upbringing he cannot deny... his nationality he takes pride into. So whatever happened did not make him mad at his homeland... but at the people who ruled it. He was very unlucky too.

I picked Finland because, duh, I love Jean Sibelius and, duh, I liked the fact that the boy grew up in a land that was dominated by another Country. Kane did too... Sicily belonged to Spain.
They share something and that is why they can relate and become friends.

So if you find more information about Jewish communities in Finland... let me know... I am basing some things on the news I gathered about Germany and Poland but I will not go historically super precise... I am getting inspirations from certain accidents and event, so that we can discuss certain topics without actually talking about specific accidents.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pifo and Wes Special - page 4 -END

This is the end of our special and Volume 2. Freetalk, back cover.... the volume is compiled and ready to be uploaded. I just finished proofing the English version and will be fixing the Italian version next.

Volume 1 has also been checked again and fixed where possible so I will upload a correct version this coming weekend.



Holy Cow Rose Moo!

It might not be perfect... and you'll have to gage things here and there (I designed the template from scratch)... you might have to use glue after all XDD but if you ever see that is really really impossible to build, please let me know where you found difficulties so that I can fix it.

My mock up kinda worked but I used flimsy paper and I think I kind of cheated... but I am a pirate and so I cheat all the time! Muahr ahr ahr!

I hope you like her!

Fan Art is back!

Aaah I kind of missed this! Posting fan arts!

By sun and candlelight. Colour by *elianthos80 on deviantART

I was so taken by the finishing touch ups for volume 2... I feel like I haven't been posting much in here and showing interesting things.
But we always have fan art! *_*

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pifo and Wes Special - page 3



By the way, did you notice, to the left column... the gadget "quizzes"?
I am creating a few more fun games XDD It's surprising to see the results. (apparently it's very hard to get pea's profile)
Enjoy! X_^/

Pifo and Wes Special - page 2

Here's our second appointment with this 4 pages special :D
I hope you like it!



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Callista's song in English

I sort of promised that I would translate the song in English... mhhh... I totally suck at this and I might go back to fix it one day.

Now... when it comes to the melody. I really do know how to record even a midi... I might have to get a small keyboard or something 'cuz all the software I found is either not user friendly or, if it is user friendly, it's a Mac hater.

Well, most certainly I will not sing this for you because when I sing I sound like a clam with a cold and you absolutely don't want to hear that! XDD

I will find a way to put this thing into music, one day... right now please bear (GROAR) with me and sorry for the messed up lyrics. ^^"

Pifo and Wes Special - page 1

Starting today, for 4 days... there will be a special Release!
It puts a lid on the Pifo vs. Doctor situation.


A partire da oggi, per quattro giorni, ce la spasseremo con uno specialino che mette il tappo sulla questione Pifo contro Dottore.
Buona lettura!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Chapter 8 - Final Curiosities

Alright it's time to answer to some of your questions!
We didn't have any! It's alright I'll answer anyways! Muahr ahr ahr!

Let's start with the Biblical references...
Apparently these girls, when they joke, they like to be smart pants! XDD Unfortunately for them... Pifo was the source of all their knowledge and, sometimes, they get mixed up.
For instance... Pea uses Sodom and Gomorrah in reference to the statue of salt (that's what happened to Loth's wife... while fleeing the city... she turned around, maybe felt regret, was not forgiven for the action and got turned into a statue of salt).
In Italian when you say that someone is very very very very surprised... frozen by surprise... you tell them: did you turn into a statue of salt?

Therefore Pea uses that sentence to mean that Kane and Castalia look as if they were frozen and taken by surprise. Unfortunately for her those cities were more often referred to... to... mention the unmentionable sin of homosexuality, particularly Sodom. While Lio goes all Genesis on her joke... and it was evening and it was morning... meaning that they could spend hours standing still like that - so taken they are by the other. LOL

We discovered now that Callista never spoke too much but actually had interesting things to say all her life. What do you know? The girl is actually knowledgeable!!! In fact she probably read a lot and uses a Latin word to describe, in a very unique way, what she seems to read as a sexual or close relationship. Little does she know this word will indeed become the root for the English word: intercourse.
We deal with malicious people so even though she uses a complicated word that means simply "very close relationship" they still get the message right: she means sex.
Now... I hope you are not too fond of those kinds of movies and manga were the spectators see way too much in what they are looking at. I am referring to those kinds of manga like Garasu no Kamen (of which I am a huge fan) or those action movies where people comment: dear Lord, it's not like they are dancing... it's like they are flying!! - and they even go to the extent of imagining wings sprouting on their backs. Or: it's not like they are fighting, they are making love!

Let me tell you... the duel got sensual, yes, but the comments were there to make fun of the whole "smart pants spectator" you usually get in these kinds of shows... in fact Lio voices my opinion very clearly: that's not sex it's just foreplay! (which is the joke I usually crack when I watch those movies... I also quote Woody: "that's not flying it's falling with style!" - at times... especially when I read Swan! LOL)

Didn't mean to pull anybody's leg. You still get pretty hot, steamy duel... I just wanted to get the sexy duel in there and make a little fun of it XDD.

This is a beehive stitch. It's used to crumple or make fabric go elastic.
It's used to ruffle things up. Probably it's the reason why Pea's sleeves look so pretty!

I talked about the duel here.
These are all fencing steps and moves.
Second and trust and the firm foot: they are all position or moves they are talking about.

Apparently Kane is knowledgeable in the Alfieri school.
Here's the cool thing: Castalia recognize it.
How so?
The Alfieri manual was published in the year 1660. Probably Kane got the book and read it. He is very updated in theory!
Castalia is a practical fencer. She did not read the book, she practiced the school's technique. So... way to go Hans... you could not defeat her but you did teach her something useful! XDDD

When Cassandra is not around the Devilish Duo cannot take action... or can it?
Seems like the Devilish Duo works in a way that favors the Devilish Duo but... Lio and Callista are a duo as well.
We have never seen them in action before but now that Callista talks we'll see more of it and... this other duo is more of a comedian pair like boke and tsumokki. This is just the beginning of their career and seems like Kane... is an ideal topic for their jokes.

Yes, this is indeed the Little Mermaid. One of my favorite movie of all times... got me started in art and I wanted to thank the movie for being there and still drive me so much. My mother keeps saying: you sit at your table and draw and sing that friggin' mermaid song every day and you have been doing that for 20 years. Aren't you tired?

No, I love Mermaid! --- but this scene (and many others) always puzzled me when it came down to story telling... and just because I love something with all my might it does not mean I have to be blind or fanatic about it. She meets the guy once and goes: lallaaa part of your world for the rest of the movie.
Some movies don't have time to set things up and so they rely a lot on narrative compromises. I never got the magic completely drilled into my head so I either joke about what I see, make up my own dialogues for fun... spoil the ending bursting out loud: oooh I seee (and almost get killed) or I keep pondering: is there a way to make this beautiful concept work?
I have been doing this since 1989... I don't think I can stop now.

To me such a meaningful scene, so beautifully lit and soooo moving and romantic (I fall in love with the movie every time I watch that part) can be used in a different way. So I tried to catch two birds with a stone. So far I put all of my favorite movies in the comic, to thank them for always being there for me when I needed a good story to keep me going... I wanted Mermaid to be in it too.

Here's how I interpret this thing: what Kane comes to realize is overwhelming. In an effortless way he had managed to give Castalia all she ever wanted without fake promises or selfish gifts. His ulterior motives never did lead him to think: I'll make this girl like me and if it breaks her heart who cares. And because he was straightforward and not so perfect he becomes perfect in Castalia's eyes.

Now, Castalia is someone who's been working her ass off to deserve the spot she thinks she should fight to conquer. Little does she know... when she tries too hard she fails and if she is opened and frank she makes his heart skip a bit. So if she is straightforward and not so perfect... she becomes perfect and wins his heart in an effortless way.
Kane gets to spend so much time with her and he gets to know her so well, because she is transparent quite frankly, that he even manages to figure out what Castalia did think and what the answer to Pea's question should be.

It's too much and he faints. When he opens the eyes again... he opens them to a new life. The first thing he sees is actually Castalia's face and that's the face of his future. It's not someone he's just met... she's someone he got to know well and fell for.

I was trying to achieve that state of confusion one lives when he looses consciousness.
The sounds are muffled and distorted and you blink a couple of times seeing white first and then black again before you begin to put images on focus. When your eyes are closed you hear all the sound with this weird echo effect... and when you open them, even for a split second, what you hear sounds broken - because your senses can only focus one at the time.

So Kane goes from badump to bastump and then is out for a few seconds.

I don't know if I mentioned this before but I chose this time period because it kinda went through what we are going through today.

Big economical crisis. Unfortunately the pirates employed on the Thundering are either part timer or temp workers. Poor fellas XDD but one of them still managed to get to his retirement. I hope he settled a nice retirement plan else he'll be old and poor XDDD

Chapter 8 - Release on Smack Jeeves.

Sorry to keep you waiting! ^^"
I realized that most of the reader from Smack Jeeves are from the other side of the globe and me updating in the morning for them... gives them something to read a night (while if I upload when in it's evening here... it's the afternoon in Europe and people in the U.s. are sleeping).

So I try to keep the time for upload on the SJ account constant at around 7 a.m. for me.

DO CLICK on the title of the post to read from page 24 on Smack Jeeves the latest release of the Pirate Balthasar.

And thank you all for reading this far! I can't believe another volume is gone.
Apparently we finally reach 500 readers on SJ... I don't know how many of them are still sailing with us... but to all of you still on board: thank you ever so much! :D

And now I have to run to work because I do have class at 8 a.m. LOL!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Pirate Balthasar - Chapter 8 END

BE WARNED! There are two extra pages, at the moment on this release... compared to the ones already released on Smack Jeeves. (But smack jeeves will be updated in the morning and so will be the title of this post! - which will link directly to the beginning of this update)

Alright guys these pages (which are not 15 and are not 18 but I think I went over 20 this time) mark the end of chapter 8 and volume 2.
But stay tuned... I am planning a little special and I will be uploading it one page at the time starting tomorrow... did you get that Doctor and Pifo's fans?

Il Pirata Baldassarre - Capitolo 8 FINE

Buona lettura. Queste pagine concludono il capitolo 8 e il secondo volume de Il Pirata Baldassarre.

Tuttavia restate sintonizzati su questo canale... perché nei prossimi giorni metterò su uno speciale... una pagina per sera...

Avete capito fans di Pifo e del dottore?

Volume 2 Back Cover - Final (and why flowers?)

Hello everyone,
in the end my back cover turned out to be like this!
The flowers the doctor is holding are actually used in medicine so he is not just holding flowers for the heck of it LOL
but if you were to put the two covers together... you see Cassandra wearing those flowers! Hee hee hee
So he does use them for other purposes! ^___^/

Otherwise he would use chamomile for soothing and relaxing purposes (but also uses it for wound healing and some inflammations of the skins... and will probably use it on the girls if they have vaginitis and stuff ^^").

The other flower is a Daylily they actually spread in Europe around the XVII, particularly in England, as ornaments... but when they first arrived from China they were use mostly as food or for medicinal uses. It's diuretic and febrifuge (it's supposed to be an antidote against arsenic poisoning too).

So see if for Cassandra flowers are just pretty... for the doctor they are useful!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eat our shorts, Picasso!

We rock cubism our way!!! Don't we?



thank you for giving a home to my little Kane and putting together my messy template (even though I forgot slits - but I fix them now. really) ^^"

And somebody else rocks our world today: Rachele!
She is havinf fun with the line art folder! Yay! *_*/

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kane Cubie Cutie

Lego inspired me to make... cubee paper craft!

Kane Cubie Cutie by ~Dedasaur on deviantART

Alright guys! I've decided to make some toys for you!
You can print it on thick paper and follow directions... therefore you won't need glue nor tape.
In case you want to print it on regular paper and glue it on bristol board... then you need glue hahaahha.

Have fun... and please show me the end results! *_* I hope you have fun with these (yes, plural, I will make more)

Kane Vision: going wild.

Very very soon!
And the end result?

You shall see!
In a few days only on: The Pirate Balthasar!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cassandra Pin Up

Cassandra Pin Up by ~Dedasaur on deviantART

It's been a while since my last illustration. Sorry, after the chubby pirates I focused on the update since this is a difficult chapter (so much action, eh).
I had one spare hour today and so I picked up the sketch. Finally fixed that leg that bugged me so much.
And here she is. Our second girl for the pin up serie, female side.
3 girls and 1 boy to go :D

Names: The boys - part 3

One friend pointed out the fact that I had not completely explained the origins for all the boys' names.

Sorry... I still have to go through: Martin Steeves, Josh Habel, Pifo and Quoque Tu.

Martin Steeves
It's kinda silly but it's like... Steeve Martin in reverse. I wanted a name that worked both ways, like mine... my name and last names can be reversed and they are both names. It works especially with my dad. In fact most people mix his name and last name all the time.
Then my mom, for a while, could not tell Steeve Martin's name properly... she kept saying Martin Steeves, Martin Steeves (I think she got confused with Martin Sheen too) and that got stuck in my head.
It's a silly reason but that's how it came to be.

Josh Habel
I cannot quite remember how this his name came to be. It is a left over from the original story, when the protagonist was named Kyle... and I think it comes from The Guiding Light. If I am correct, back then, these two guys Kyle and Josh, were competing over Reeva. My friend Giorgia, who was writing the story with me, back then, liked the name right away and so we adopted it.

Originally Josh was not Kane's brother. They were rivals. He was supposed to be the other guy: the one who is supportive and understanding and in the end... withdraws from the competition because love is the higher thing amongst things. He was Giorgia's ideal and she was his mom all the way.

Then the story changed. By the way... The Kane and Habel thing is a pure coincidence.
Josh Habel was indeed called Habel way before Kyle turned into Kane. I cannot remember if Giorgia picked it because she was of the idea that Josh was like Abel and Kyle was like Cain. In the end it was a fun coincidence and I kept it and pushed it too.

Pifo Papadopulos

Don't hate me, Pifo fans... the original pronunciation problem with Pifo was not a mere F for and S... the guy had a lisp and so everything was complicated but written with Sh... for S.
His original catchy line was a continuous: My name ish not Pifo it's Pisho.
Which in Italian could be meant as: I'm not Pifo I'm piss.
His catchy line would disgust even pirates and he would make silence drop and everyone stare at him like this O_o.
In the end a smart person would figure out and say: wait... your name is Piso?
Then the "Sh" thing was complicated to read and write, the piss joke was tasteless and to have a running joke so disturbing just 'cuz the guy is named... after a nap... really wasn't worth all the trouble.
But the name is cute so I kept it.

Quoque Tu

Quoque is not Quoque's real name. You'll find out his real name pretty soon.
Quoque is more of a nick for the fella... just like Cat and Foxy.
It comes from Tu Quoque!!! And quoque sounds very much like cuoco... the Italian word for cook.
How did he earn his cute nick name? I'll draw a special about it! Don't worry.

There's one more person I need to talk about: Call.
For him... I simply choose a name that started with a C that would go nicely together with Castalia, Callista, Cassiopea, Calliope and Cassandra.
The only boy's name I could think of was: Callimaco (the original Greek name would be Kallimachos). I did not pick it for any particular reason... it just sounded right.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Very productive sunday!

Today I've managed to go a little ahead of myself so I will be sooo ready for the update (and I am already drawing the next one). Maybe one day I'll manage to draw one chapter ahead of the actual release.

And also since I woke up at 6:30 =_= on a sunday... I spent the first hours of the morning finishing my Flagship. Look how big it is.

I felt so accomplished after I was done. *_*
Problem is the figurehead is a sawfish... so this beautiful ship is called... The sawfish? XDDD

Fan art! Yay!

Catch the Sunshine. by *elianthos80 on deviantART

And after a long break... our lady of fan art, elianthos, is back in business.
She had this in the Work-in-progress of the group for a very long time (actually I have 2 as well LOL)... so glad to finally see in color, right?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I (heart) Lego!

Okay this is totally unrelated but I did not have the day off today and actually came back home only at 4pm.

So before I went back to sit in front of the computer again... I've decided to take a couple of hours off and relax a bit with my Lego ship.

This is like... Martin's ship. You know I have a pirate ship already LOL.... but this one is bigger and I just started the second manual...
I have to say that it's really big, much bigger than the pirate ship... I wonder how they look like when they are together *_* I wish I could bring my pirate ship here and then... battle! Muahahaha.

What I love about this Lego stuff is that... it's so relaxing! Oh, it just takes your mind off of stuff for hours and you keep putting things together and feels like nothing is happening for a very long time.

In fact putting the keel together is reaaaally time taking. Lots of little pieces and stratification and you have to put things together the right way or the thing does not stay up!

The other thing I love about this Lego stuff is the details... you have to put together little pieces that will come together to form a piece.
You have stuff that slide and rotate and truly work... and then you look inside, below deck... and the cannons have their own little things there... feels like they are ready to go to battle.

I am guessing the name of the ship is Sawfish.
If you look under the bowsprit you can see the figure head.
It's a Sawfish!!
So hey, officially, from now on, that's what I'll call Martin's ship! :D

Ah, there, if you look at the first picture you could totally see... that you could go to the bathroom close to the bowsprit, like on the Alidivento.

And here's the kitchen. Now... they have it below deck here, while the Alidivento has it on deck... I like the fact that this guy is chopping carrots (how fancy) has dried sardines in a barrel and is even roasting a chicken! (I wonder where he got that).

We only get to eat tsatsiki and shark stew on the Alidivento (except ham and sausages when we meet the ship from Parma!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Line Art Gallery

I've created a Line Art Gallery both on Deviant Art and on Facebook.
There you would find Black and White pencil drawing of The Pirate Balthasar for you to color and have fun with (whichever way you like XDD).

If you use any of the drawings... remember to link back to me (here or on DA or Facebook) and also please please send me the colored picture! *ç*/

Have fun!

wallpaper chapter 9

Sorry if this shows up twice on facebook!
I had forgotten to post this on the blog.

Here's a wallpaper for chapter 9 guys! I hope you like it.
I will be uploading it to the wall paper page soon.

Btw seems like the line art folder was an idea appreciated by many so I will be setting it up soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Volume 2 back cover - work in progress

This is the work in progress for the cover of volume 2.
As you can see it's not rendered yet, just colored...

Which made me wonder: are you guys interested in having a folder just with line art? In case you are into coloring - and you might be a better colorist than me (in fact I suck at coloring LOL).

I could open one on Facebook and one in the Deviant Art group!
Would you like that?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Helpful yaps!

Look at Kane and Castalia go!

So today I was surprised to see Photobucket remove my drawings because they violate their terms of submission. Too bad those were 1 minutes charcoal gesture of a not naked lady... with no facial features and no genitals.
So I put the drawing back up with figue leaves like in those ancient Adam and Eve paintings... just to demonstrate what a filthy mind the person who removed my drawing had! Nude is not naked.

Anyways... I put a list of helpful yaps on the right side of the blog... they're all the curiosities I talked about so far: eating habits, fashion... a bit about women and marriage, insights on the characters and their names, the locations...

In case you missed them because you only started reading the comic recently... you can catch up easily without having to browse the whole blog (also because I keep getting questions about things I've already posted about XD)! Ain't that nice...

Time for dinner now...

Balthasar Playlist.

Not too long ago I made this post... It's about the music I hear in my head while I draw the scenes.

For my duel scene... I love how it starts up as "one fine morning" and then a bunch of dialogues follow... until the music gets very agitated and you can totally see some little jokes cracked here and there, the drama, the comedy... and then a duel starts until the whole music becomes so heroic and full as the orchestra joins the soloist developing the main theme. (then minute 7:54 is where Castalia and Kane have fun! XD) Gotta love Itzhak Perlman's big hands.... *_*

I think this was used for an old Musketeers movie with Gene Kelly! So cute!

But I know - and I read - that you guys come up with your own song and music while you read the Pirate Balthasar... would you like to create a playlist?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Yes tomorrow is a public holiday and I get to stay at home and rest!
Horray for meeeee!

Today I defeated a monster called bureaucracy twice!!!! *_* And also managed to clean up six more pages...
this chapter is getting interesting... I have to say... it was not completely storyboarded and it comes along by itself as I try to figure things out.
Some unexpected reactions and dialogues popped out too.

So just so you know... Kane and Castalia will work out a nice sweat!

And today is tuesday, my favorite day of the week... I went to a workshop and drew with charcoal to my heart's content. *_* Next week is portrait day and I will try to use pastels... but I have to get better paper than newsprint.

I will post some picture of the charcoal drawing in my personal blog tomorrow.
I hope you like the little preview! :D

Monday, November 15, 2010

And the duel continues...

...the pirate way, of course.
I've reached page 31!!! Which means I am 8 pages into the release... actually 10 (but not rendered yet)... so no matter how crazy this week will get... something is going up! XDDD

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Imperial Flaghship!!!

Okay not so related topic but... Loook how cool it iiiiis!!!
Okay, so, it will be 75 cm long when it's done and it will take me months because, let me tell you... this huuuuge and heavy box contains 22 bags of bricks and small pieces... none of them numbered!!!

Yes, exactly! Unlike the pirate ship... the Imperial Flagship comes with no numbers on the bag and no instruction on "please do not open and mix all the pieces"...

Which means that this sucker was created to give troubles to pirates like me... all the way!
But I shall conquer you... starting tomorrow I'll separate the bricks by color and shape, as if I were making a puzzle... I will not use my table to dine anymore!

I shall build you, Imperial Flagship, and once I am done... brick lady... you are going to go jump jump into the jaws of my new baby shark! Muahahahahahahaha!

Duel in Progress!

Oooh, I wonder why these guys look worried XDD

Today I must go buy paper because it's all gone and definitely I hate drawing on white paper. My only eye cannot stand it... must go get yellow right away.
Tomorrow I will have a few hours to continue my clean up and wonder if... I can get more ahead of myself.

Here's another picture with my naked toe... if you like the naked toe vote on TWC LOL.

Fickle what say you?
<_3_>___l leave me alone, I'm letargic... spit.

Aaah, no wonder I did not see you around anymore.

In the next release we'll have some fencing going on. When fencing terminology comes up I'll try my best to explain it although I might not be super good at this. Something in this duel is paying homage to the famous duel between Westley and Inigo Montoya - The Princess Bride - but with the main difference is that their fencing predates mine so it is done with one sword. Our duel is fenced with two.

Here's the dialogue:

Inigo: Begin. You are using Bonetti's defense against me, uh?
Dread Pirate Roberts: I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.
Inigo: Naturally, you must expect me to attack with Capo Ferro.
Dread Pirate Roberts: Naturally, but I find that Thibault cancels Capo Ferro, don't you? Inigo: Unless the enemy hasn't studied his Agrippa, which I have! [pause] You are wonderful!

Bonetti "School of arms" 1576. (kinda obsolete)
Ridolfo Capo Ferro "Art and use of fencing" 1610 (linear fencing)
Gérard (Girard) Thibault d’Anvers "Academie de l’Espée" 1630 (more... geometric fencing)
Camillo Agrippa who wrote, "Treatise on the Science of Arms with Philosophical Dialogue2 1553. (a master of the short sword, by the way)

Our fencing duel is done with an Italian rapier (many English website state that Italians, don't have a term aside from "Sword" spada... for this kind of weapon which was actually invented there! But... when I go to museums and read about it in Italian I always find the term Stocco from which derives the word Stoccata, I am guessing, which is a common word used for different types of ... attacks? Trust, pass, touch, hit...) and a short sword called a main gauche (which means left hand).

I'll refer to another fencing master, Alfieri... who published his manual in 1660... which will make our dear Wilson Kane upgraded to the max level of fencing knowledge except for the fact that he probably only read the book while Castalia has been fencing her whole life.

Sorry to finish this post in Italian but the Princess Bride's dialogue has been mistranslated in my language and I've always wondered why since most of the master fencers referred to are Italians.


Avrete capito che sto parlando del duello tra Il Terribile Pirata Roberts e Inigo Montoya...
Bonetti, Capo Ferro, Thibault e Agrippa diventano rispettivamente: la difesa ad Alfiere, la torre, la testuggine e io conosco le capriole.
Ditemi... non odiate i traduttori non professionisti che si inventano i dialoghi perché non capiscono un benemerito ciufolo di quello che traducono e sono troppo pigri per andare a fare una ricerchina?

Un dialogo che praticamente spiega come un tizio parta da una difesa super chiusa, che può essere smantellata da uno stile lineare, che su terreno accidentato va neutralizzato con uno stile di scherma più geometrico e può essere bloccato solo da uno stile che prevede "tutto vale pur di difendersi" (detto da un maestro della spada corta)... diventa un dialogo senza senso che fa semplicemente da contrappunto sonoro a una bella coreografia.
Ora è vero che chi non capisce niente di spade continua a sentirlo come un dialogo senza senso ma a qualcuno può venire la curiosità di pensare... ma sono veri sti nomi? Come ho fatto io la prima volta che ho visto il film in inglese e ho sentito che il dialogo era completamente diverso... e i nomi erano in italiano!!!!

Ora a parte Capo Ferro, che è senese, e quindi lo conoscevo... Thibault e Agrippa non li conoscevo. Su Bonetti mi ero già mezza informata.
A prescindere dal fatto che comunque magari solo poche persone sono così proattive da andarsi a cercare i nomi perché il resto del pubblico oramai è, come dice Battiato, "come sabbie mobili succhiate giù"... e basta.
Quello che mi fa incavolare è, soprattutto... perché togliere il divertimento a quei pochi schermidori che invece avrebbero capito il dialogo e ci si sarebbero sganasciati su?
Tanto restava senza senso per i più... ma Diosanto, sai quanti schermidori si sganasciavano a vedere questa scena capendo le battute? Pochini... vabbé... ma perché togliere loro il divertimento?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

R.L. Stevenson... Ahhhrppy B-day!

Yay on Google for remembering Stevenson's B-day!
(you did not remember Tezuka's, you bast*rds).

in his honor I wore my pirate sock - please admire the naked toe - and took pictures of some work in progress... this... will be after the duel though... so it's not going to be in this update but most likely in the next one... and maybe it will turn into a special too... because everything about Pifo is Special! *_*

In the meantime enjoy the big duel!

Coming soon....

Big duels are fun for everyone!

The Pirate Balthasar! Real fun for the whole family! LOOOL

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tic tac... wow!

I was checking some cartoons today and I usually watch stuff while I drew and little that I knew I kinda almost draw the next two installments... and I am cleaning one page per day at least and I draw as I go.

So... mhh... I drew a little ahead of myself and this will probably save my life since I am not going to have saturdays off until the beginning of december. I wonder if I can switch my tuesdays with my saturdays but honestly drawing in my office or doing it at home makes no difference hahahaha. The light table is in the office anyways.

Tomorrow I'll try and clean up as much as I can and see how much ahead of myself I can actually manage to go!

It would be great if I could finally get to go that One chapter ahead like I've always wanted to...

Chubby uncle and spearman!

Alright guys... Did you miss the uncle and the spearmen? They'll be back in a nice chase scene! :D Soon... not too soon but soon enough.


Thank you all for registering with the Fan Clubs: 151 people decided to participate so far! It's awesome!

Counting also the people who chose the option "other"
that's how we are going:

Cat has 72 fans a 1/2 (bottom or top part?) XDD
Westley has 37 fans.
Kane has 16 and 1/2 fans (left or right?) XD
Foxy has 11 fans but noisy ones! yeah!
Pifo has 7 fans, mostly Italians.
Josh has 5 fans.

Somebody stated ALL that will give extra boost to the guys. Somebody else said 3 of them but left no names T_T so we'll never know and will be left to wonder....

Pretty cool, eh?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chapter 8 B - Curiosities

And here we go with the usual curiosities... welcome back to our precious appointment!
Is it precious? I hope so... I have fun doing researches on these.

Last week I forgot to mention about the laudanum.
It's basically opium diluted in alcohol and it was used as pain killer. Now, of course, it's not like the doctor is giving heavy drugs to the girl... the percentage of opium is very low and he just put a few drops in her drink. Is it bitter? Truth is Cassandra cannot taste a thing and is just being annoying hahahaha.
One thing the doctor does wrong... he let her sleep right after the accident. Of course he is an "old times" doctor... the kinds who bleed you and think that a good nap can cure a lot of things. If she had had a strong concussion there, with some serious damage to her head, she might have died in her sleep and bye bye Cassandra!

He is quoting the Song of Songs here.
This song has been translated in many different ways, most of them wrong, until maybe in 2004 somebody decided to go and read the Hebrew version and compare it to the Bible. In Catholic Bibles that sentence was translated into: do not wake up my beloved. That's how it's supposed to be meant... but the sentence has a double meaning and it needs to be implied. That is why, after a few years, at least in the Italian version the Bible has gone back to a version that could imply "my beloved" and "love" (as in the emotion) at the same time.

If your nose is plugged you cannot taste a thing... I am sure you all know that LOL. I just quoted this image again just to show that in the previous one Cassandra was just nagging. Now... laudanum has worked wonders on her here, she feels better, she is hungry and her love for food takes the best of her...

Corsets are evil! (the doctor says Bust... probably means to say bustier or bustiere... point is he knows what it is, doesn't have to wear it and did not pick up the name properly. It's a men thing)
Squeezing ribs and moving guts around is not good. No matter what people say... I have a kidney that walks around and falls 7 cm below where it's supposed to be, resting on my colon... and let me tell you, sometimes the pain is a b*atch!

Let me list you some interesting articles on the topic, they mostly refer to hourglass, tight lacing and Elizabethian corsets but we are in the same realm here:

Mostly by 1660 the fashion had moved away from corsets and into stays. Truth be told our girls are so damn poor they cannot really affordo to be completely fashionable and updated, so they might be wearing unfashionable corsets still.

Castalia slapping her brother in law silly... cannot be portrayed fast enough in comic... but I will try it again because I want her to go totally Terence Hill on him before he can even finish sentences.

I need to spend a few words on the doctor because after this release and the next one his set up will be done and he will go back to some pills moments and will not hog entire chapters like he did so far for a while. After spending so much time on his getting involved with Cassandra we need a break. I also need to establish set ups for the things to come and set ups take a very long time.

The reason why I am having a good looking guy have bad luck in love is that I am sick and tired of certain losers' stereotypes.
It is very easy to have people feel for not so good looking guys who admire the girl from afar and get all emo on the girl without even trying: you rely, feel connection, empathize, you are like them and I wonder... is that really the person you want to be? Well, not me! I can only sympathize with people who try and fail because that's how I live my life and having been close to death I cannot think of life as nothing else than an apple. I bite and chew.
So... no matter how good the comic is, after a while, it's just too easy to exploit certain formulas... I had problems even liking Wall-e for the same reasons (ah the droopy eyes, God spare me, what an easy trick to win the audience over!) I had to step away from looks... thinking: no looks are not everything... why do they force sad looks, ugly look and pitiful looks on me every time?
I got fed up... TT__TT
It's 30 over years of the same thing and the past 20 years reading manga has increased the percentage of this stereotype re-occurring in my readings so my tolerance level has gone down a lot. I got fed up a bit... forgive me. Not that I dislike them, I still read plenty, but at one point I felt numb and thought I had been reading the same story for 10 years... just written by different people. Then TV shows started doing the same... and movies... and I feel like Homer Simpson on lobotomy.

So I wanted to experiment and take a cool guy... destroy his self confidence and have him be the looser. Wanna bet I'll get complaints? LOL

Now, the poor doctor... if he were to be not so good looking and trying... and he if were emoting... people would probably root for him and like him more: go doctor, we cheer for you!
But because he is good looking I get reversed discrimination. It was appalling! LOL
My compliments NOT for doing unto others as you would that they should do unto you. XD

Let me try and break that down! I want a good looking guy suffer the pains of Hell because he is unrequited!
I am tired of rooting for the lesser horse! It's the easy way out!
I don't know if I can make it... but I want to try. Please allow me. I want to think outside of the box as much as I can... I hope you don't feel uncomfortable... I promise I will tie the loose ends in the end. Let me try, please.

And let me me get another thing straight: the guys is a Jew. It's worse than being ugly in 1660.
Jews were not considered humans... and they were not even member of civil society. The guy admits it: the girl would not go for me I'm a pirate and a Jew.
Does he sit around and mope? No, he goes for it anyways... that should be something to admire... but no, he is good looking, that's not a standard thing... he needs to be categorized as obnoxious and snob or cool and prince like he cannot try and fail. Why? I think that could be interesting for a change...

An outcast, who becomes an outcast, no matter how good looking he is... is still someone who does not believe in future and so clings onto his past and what he has lost. (if he were ugly doing what he does you would like him but he is good looking. I wonder why rooting for the loser only applied to storytelling and not to real life!)

Liking a gentile girl and hoping to have a chance at her is merely wishful thinking.
The way he is approaching Cassandra, now that he likes her and has everything to loose, not only is awkward but it's clumsy too. What? You did not see that? Go re read! XD He is nervous and always goes wrong.

So now, let me ask you a question... if he were mediocre and sulking and not taking action you would like him more? Would you really root more for a passive or negative character? If he were ugly or gay would you root for him more? So being a Jew in 1660 is not enough of being a minority... he has to be a minority in our times. Really?

Could you, please, for now, cut him some slack? Discriminating someone for his beauty or liking someone for his beauty is the same as discriminating someone or disliking someone for his ugliness, isn't? Can we just see him as a fella with a crush on a girl?

So please, please, give the Doctor and Quoque and Pifo some chances... there is one thing that Kane will start saying quite often, now that Josh has entered the picture: I keep my promises, it takes me a lot of time, but I do keep them.

I do too but you have to trust me on that.