Behind the Scenes with ‘Hand of Danger’

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Threat Quality

Another glimpse of “How the ‘Hand of Danger’ sausage (sausage…of ACTION!) is made.”

As all video-gamers know, every good action story needs a final villain. A “Boss” character, in old-school-NES “Double HoD - Rough 1Dragon” parlance. A character that can easily beat back the hero, making his triumph all the more awesome (in this case, through judicious use of magic hand-power).

Here is the script that Chris sent me:

“TOMMY  looks up to see Mr. Smith, a young-looking man, very muscular, standing in front of the idol…

TOMMY
Mr. Smith?

SMITH
Excellent, Hand of Danger.  You’ve come to me at last.

TOMMY
Uh, yes.  So, the guy?  Where’s the kidnapped guy?

SMITH
Kidnapped?  I haven’t kidnapped anyone.  The story was a hoax.  A fraud, meant to lure you here, to the seat of my power, where I could kill you and feed on your chi power.”

Now, as the guy who’s gotta draw this, I had some questions. I email Chris: “Thoughts on what Mr. Smith should look like? Your description in the script – ‘a young-looking man, very muscular’ – gives me a lot of ways to go (I have nothing in my head right now, other than a Shang-Tsung Mortal Kombat-lookin’ dude and I don’t see any reason to bother with Asian stereotypes…despite the whole dragon motif this episode). Just wanted to check if you had any further visual input.”

To which Chris replied: “Smith.  Mr. Smith, I don’t know what I thought he was supposed to look like, only I just didn’t think he looked particularly Asian.  I guess, besides that, it doesn’t really matter?”

This was not exactly helpful. I mulled it over. “Evil businessman”? Been done. “American Action Star”? Been done. DAMN YOU, “SCOTT PILGRIM”!

So I went inside myself. After some thought over who I’d really like to pummel the shit out of, I got it: “I have unlocked the secret of the Mr. Smith character: Polo shirt. I HATE polo shirts, but everyone wears them. So, yeah, there’s the douche I was looking for.”

(Deeply sorry to anyone who regularly wears a polo shirt. It’s my hang-up, not yours. As long as you don’t pop the collar, we’re cool, I swear.)
Now we’re ready to draw. As to action sequences, Chris is pretty open to interpretation:

“They fight, and are basically evenly-matched, partly because SMITH seems to be invulnerable.  There is a brief pause in the fighting.

TOMMY
Okay, I hit you pretty hard that time.

SMITH
Sorcery, you know?  I use chi-power to make myself invulnerable.

TOMMY
Really?”

So how – HOW – do I choreograph the fight scene? Simple – by acting both parts out on the porch and figuring out who would punch where, and what the reaction-attack would be. It is very draining, assuming you are an out-of-shape-nerd who wants to draw action sequences?

So I sketch out the fight I just had with myself:

HoD rough 2

And then I draw it up.

Which is all well and good. But next issue there are two protagonists, and a gaggle of ninjas. This took a lot more mock-fighting on the porch.

But that’s a story for another time, I suppose.

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Comments
  1. Tad says:

    So if I see you and Molson playing on the porch, I can assume there will be a guest appearance of Molson: Puppy of Random Barking at the TV coming up soon?

  2. Jeff Holland says:

    Oh, he’s just the CUTEST ineffectual sidekick EVER!

  3. Moff says:

    You know how they say when you learn more about something, it’s actually more rewarding than when it was all just a mystery? I think that’s not always true.

    (I KEED! I KEED!)

  4. V.I.P. Referee says:

    YES–“80’s preppie” for evil! His pink (we’ll assume), tied sweater over his polo shirt, doubles as a CAPE (has this been done before?) There’s authenticity in that, too, considering 80’s preps are the fools who’ve turned the U.S. economy into a virtual “Bermuda Triangle” of trading over the past few years (just guessin’…no pointing fingers).

    Maybe preppie (he needs a real Amer-Ivy-League-Blue-Blood name, like “Chet” or “Tad” :D) began developing his supreme skills around the time “Karate Kid” and “Bloodsport” came out? And he continued to train only from watching cheesy “B” fight movies? Yet, despite being mocked, he still evolved into something totally powerful from this method?

  5. V.I.P. Referee says:

    Sorry, Tad. I’m just being a brat. You’re an original! I know it! 🙂

  6. V.I.P. Referee says:

    Sorry. “Poor form” on here too often–I’m not actually cruel.

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