The Slow-Motion Intensity Of Samurai Fight Scenes In Victor Santos’ Rashomon

by Hannah Means Shannon

Victor Santos, the auteur behind the spy-noir thriller Polar, told in three horizontal volumes from Dark Horse, has a new book coming up this autumn, also from Dark Horse, Rashomon: A Commissioner Heigo Kobayashi Case.
This new volume collects two European volumes into an English-language edition, and Santos has also applied color to his well-known black and white style artwork to stunning effect. Santos, who is also the artist on the breakway success Violent Love from Image Comics, specializes in fight scenes and emotional conflicts between tough characters, and in Rashomon, he brings that to the Samurai tradition, too.

Santos’ love of film sometimes seems to give his artwork the uncanny effect of slowing down and speeding up in ways more typical of film than comics. Perhaps he’s invented a new way to suggest those effects in the comics medium, particularly in his intense fight scenes.
Here, Santos has been kind enough to share three stages of process for each of ten pages of interior art on Rashomon. Feast your eyes on some master artistry here, particularly the double-page spread fight scene below:

Rashomon will arrive in shops on October 18th, 2017, in comic shops, by the end of October in bookstores, and is currently available for pre-order.

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