Sunday, March 25, 2007

It's kinda funny...

Yesterday Stan Lee presents: The Condor was on Toonami (and released on DVD 3/20) and I've been following along some of the message boards discussing it with amusement - okay, not really discussing it so much as slamming it.

I'm the first one to admit it's not a great film by any means and it suffers from several problems - mainly the small budget and short production schedule, but what I find really amusing is the slant some of these critics take on how some of the characters might be negative stereotyopes. What's really funny is these same critics don't recognize the fact that we also broke several stereotypes. The lead character's parents (both Latino) are wealthy owners of a bio-robotics laboratory and they are both smart and sophisticated as is his best friend Sammi (also a Latina). Yeah, I know, Sammi's another type of cliche - she's the typical girl that he should be with, but is too stupid to notice. I agree that some of the other Latinos are stereotypes, but for Southern California they aren't so much stereotypes as actual people you could meet on the street. Since we felt they were balanced out by Tony, his parents and Sammi it sure didn't feel like we were picking on the Latino community.

And actually one of the more intreresting things about this show is that any Latino that has seen it (that I've heard from) actually likes what we did. As ShadowGUN stated on one of the forums discussing Condor.
One of the other stereotypes that is often pointed out in these 'critiques' is Valeria being a sexy Asian. I never realized that this was a negative stereotype, but I doubt it'll offend too many Asians -especially since in the story she much more than eye candy and is the owner of a sports publication and turns out to be more than all that by the end of the film (I won't ruin it for anyone who still might want to buy the DVD). Her grandfather makes an appearance at the end of the film and he does seem to be more in the Fu-Manchu mode of stereotype, but since the implication is he's part of a bigger plot and organization we felt it worked for what we wanted. Frankly, he isn't anymore of a stereotype than the grandfather and many other characters in the Jackie Chan cartoon - maybe less.
The other complaint by many is the stereotypical voice acting and how there are doubts that many of them weren't even Latino. Due to the limited budget we originally went to Vanmcouver, BC to do our voice recording and to be honest there isn't a huge latino acting community up there, but wherever possible we did use Latinos to create these voices - though many of their names are not typical Latino.
I'm not trying to imply this is the Citizen Kane of animated superhero films - far from it, but I think it's no worse than many of the other current crop and better than some. And if you're interested enough in still seeing it (shameless plug) you can click on the button over to the right...
Anyway, I think I've defended this enough -- how about a couple of attitude and expression sheets from Stan Lee presents: The Condor (I created these expression and attitude sheets though the original designs for these characters came from Dan Haskett)....


...and if these aren't interesting enough for you...here's a Lara Croft I did sometime ago (I don't think I ever showed it here or anywhere before)...

13 comments:

juil said...

any more X-M:E art to be uploaded on your site/Blog? and when is season 4 DVD of x-evo coming out?

Anonymous said...

I liked the Lara craft sketch really cool.....and I wanted to know if we'll be seeing any any any even 1% reflection of X-M:E in ' Wolverine and the X-Men '? By the way the title ' Wolverine and the X-Men ' is not working out,sorry;) View the following forums:

*http://forums.toonzone.net/showthread.php?t=156635

*http://www.freepowerboards.com/videocenter/videocenter-about41.html

Anonymous said...

Will you be putting out another sketchbook this year Steve?

Anonymous said...

It's not too unusual for non-minorities to be offended where minorities aren't. If you can find common real life examples of character traits, it shouldn't be any big deal. There's a big difference between drawing from generalizations and making cruel racial statements (however wonderfull the look on people's faces are here in Florida when I let them know I'm cuban after they've finished a 'smelly spic' joke.)

I'll have to check that show out, missed it the other day.

~ Sara R.

Mokuu said...

Oi, critics, if they go bananas on these issues, wait until they comment on the new disney princess's movie (since she's the first africain american disney princess.
On the subject of Stan Lee, is it true that he is part of a reality show where they search and train real life super heroes? Its a small rumor i heard in college.

Anonymous said...

i need to see all new layout of this website,and would sooo die to to see more X-M:E girls art!

flaviano said...

wow, this place is a full manual of drawing. thanks for share your suff, is priceles

Sketch said...

Steve,
Caught the Condor and the whole family loved it! :) In fact, my oldest daughter (12) wants more ;)

Blaze Rocket said...

I can't say as I'm surprised that people complain about all the "negative stereotypes" but ignore the broken ones or positive roles. Especially on the internet. People... are rather stupid. I've not gotten a chance to see it yet, but I'm going to see it on DVD.

Steven E. Gordon said...

juil - there will probably be some additional XME art in a new sketchbook , but I doubt I'll be adding too much more to the web-site since it's already pretty full.

anonyomous 1 - thanks for the compliment about the croft sketch. I have no control over the title of the show and it will not have anything in common with XME other than some of the same behind the scenes people working on it.

anonymous 2 - I'm planning on a second sketchbook and I'll make sure everyone knows about it here first..

Sara R. - what is one person's stereotype is often someone else's experience. We tried hard to show a variety of non-stereotypes, but you can't satisfy everyone - especially critics. It's funny how no one has leapt to the defense of how we portrayed many of the skaters.

mokuu - yep, Stan has a show out that I think has just been renewed called "So You Want to be a Superhero" (or something like that) on the SciFi channel.

anonyomus 4 - there might be more XME girl art in the next sketchbook, but I don't do much anymore. As to your comment about the web-site layout...what is it that bothers you?

flaviano and sketch - thanks!

balzerocket - I hope you enjoy the show - thanks.

caswin said...

There is a very real chance that that may be the best Lara Croft I've ever seen.

(Tastefulness is not our enemy...)

Ana said...

I love sketchbook. Thank you for that.
I'll post it at my blog, with your credits of course.
Simply loved your site.
Thank you.
Ana

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