sketch for mini-comic Picture

Working out a scene for my mini-comic. Done in my sketchbook, using non-photo blue and pencil.

I used Michelangelo's Pieta as inspiration for the posing of the characters, with the ruins of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan as the background.

The boy is Eztli, the star of the comic. The goddess figure is an amalgamation of two Aztec deities, Coatlicue and Mictlancihuatl. She also somewhat recalls La Catrina, the perennial iconic figure from Dia de Los Muertos.

The original purpose for the mini-comic is to tell the origin of Dead Dinosaurio and his companion Eztli. But in creating the back story for the characters, I've been researching the rise and fall of the Aztec civilization, their vast mythology, the scope of their ritualistic sacrifices. I've also been learning more about the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, the forced conversion from native religion to Catholicism and the inevitable and widespread practice of the Dia de Los Muertos festival.

All this for a short story about a skeletal dinosaur! But that's what I love about studying a subject for a story. Not everything I read or watch will make it into the mini-comic, but the more I learn, the better I can pick and choose the 'highlights' I need to make the story I am after. It's not a matter of twisting history or trying to editorialize the facts, because anyone can read the record of what happened and conclude their own verdict.

My job as a storyteller, I feel, is to be as 'selfish' as I want to be and create the story I want to tell, using my skills and POV to make it. Whenever I do have to do some research, I sometimes feel like a kid in a candy shop, discovering so many new people and places and events. Picking those I want to use, and recreating it all in a brand new narrative. I've always felt, as a reader (or viewer), that when I get an author's personal vision, if it's well done and compelling, and I feel an attraction to the material, then I'm lucky to have experienced the author's voice.

More process to follow....
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