Friday, 23 July 2010

Bendy People

I have acrobats on the brain at the moment, contortionists in particular, and I'm pretty sure I know why.  It's a combination of the following 3 things:

Nightwing comics
I only got into these pretty recently, although I've always been a bit of a Batman fan.  For those that don't know, Nightwing is the grown-up version of Dick Grayson, the first Robin.  After spending most of his childhood and teen years under the wing of the Dark Knight, he realises that he's outgrown the guise of Robin and needs to strike out on his own so he quits, moves to nearby Bludhaven, and sets himself up as Nightwing and starts taking back the city from an impressive set of bad guys, as well as popping back to Gotham to help out whenever Batman needs him, training the new Robins, and attempting to conduct a life outside of the Batcave.

I find Nightwing's story just as intriguing as Bruce Wayne's.  Everyone knows that story, the man that turned himself into a crimefighting symbol and rules his city through fear, but this is the story of the kid who was adopted into this lifestyle and never inherited that darkness.  He was the light, optimistic side of Batman, he added the humanity.  He's not the Bat, and so to see him fighting to win the approval of his mentor is an interesting thing, and the acrobatics don't hurt either.
Dick's backstory is that he grew up in the circus, joining his parents in the trapeze act, and after their murder he keeps up his heritage, so he has MAD SKILLS, and seeing them drawn well, like in the fantastic sequence on the left by Scott McDaniel makes my illustration brain very happy.

I ran across this webcomic a week or two ago, and although it's still in it's early stages and I don't know where it's going to go yet but the drawings are well seen and it's just fun to see a story built around such... bendy people :)

Cirque de Soleil
I've seen Quidam and Varekai after getting a ticket for the last two Christmases, and each time the level of performance has blown me away.  The professionalism is amazing, and my favourite thing to see by far are the aerial acts.  There is something about seeing a twisting figure suspended twenty feet above the floor, hanging on by a single hand, that just defies belief.  The skill and ability of human beings to contort themselves into those kinds of positions always astounds me.  The 'Flight of Icarus' performance in Varekai blew me away, it's such a beautiful thing to watch, especially live, that I was speechless.

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