(Continued from The GUN! #2, 1989, Pt. 2)
"CASINO OF EVIL"
Of the first 50 episodes of THE GUN!, I always considered #2 to be the WORST-written. While GUN #1
was unrelentingly fast-paced, violent & funny, somehow, the
follow-up was poorly-developed, not well-thought-through, and had one
scene that was flat-out idiotic.
That changed in 1989.
While hanging out for several months with someone I met at art school, he bet me I "couldn't" re-write #2 without completely re-conceptualizing it and changing every single thing about it in the process.
ONE WEEK later, I proved him wrong.
"CASINO OF EVIL" was the first
of these stories to be re-written, "upgraded" to my then-current level
of writing ability. I guess it's safe to say the potential of my
brother's idea of doing "mini-comics" as a rough draft" finally started
to come to fulfilment here.
Having re-written the story in the form of a "rough" (8-1/2" x 11" paper), I then set about to do FULL-size art. While the initial full-size version of GUN #1 was a rushed hatchet-job based on the original stick-figure version, in this case, the story had been so extensively re-written and upgraded that it was a whole other matter. All the same, I was still really learning how to ink with a brush at this point, and by the time I was really satisfied, the pages had been worked and re-worked ad infinitum.
For many years, I fantasized that, since GUN #2 was so fast-paced, frenetic, nasty, and violent as hell, Gil Kane
would be the perfect person to illustrate the "finished" version of
it., Since there was no way I could actually afford to hire him, I
decided to do it myself-- IN HIS style. If any of the panels in this
thing look familiar to readers of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, DAREDEVIL, or HIS NAME IS SAVAGE, you'll know why!
Ironically, for a comic I conceived as a Gil Kane tribute, the first 4 page sequence is probably a lot closer to another of my inspirations over the years-- Paul Gulacy. Sometimes I wish I could hire HMI to illustrate my scripts!
In my effort to keep The GUN! as much of a mystery as
possible, it was HERE that I first expanded the outrageous upside-down
nature of the series of having the antagonists (the bad guys) as the
"main characters" and the protagonist (the hero) as an unknown intruder
into their "worlds". In doing so, the hero does not turn up AT ALL in
this one until Page 12!! But when he does-- OOOH BOY!
Finally, I had long thought about "casting" people should I ever upgrade
this particular story. I'm never shy when it comes to going against
type-casting, or at least defying people's expectations. In this case,
the people I decided to base the main baddies on were Robert Vaughn & David McCallum-- and the woman in their lives-- Yvonne Craig. Anybody who'se seen the theatrical re-edit film, "ONE SPY TOO MANY" (1966) will understand why.
The guy whose life takes a horrible bad turn was based on actor Barry Nelson. Do I have to explain this?
Oh yeah-- and if I have to spell out who the 3 killers in the alley are... you're probably reading the wrong blog.
THE GUN! #2 (1990 version)
Don't go away! We'll be right back with the conclusion...
Story & Art Copyright (C) Henry R. Kujawa
All prominent characters are Trademarks of Henry R. Kujawa
Don't miss the 2nd PART of this... coming up next!!!
(Continued in The GUN! #2, 1990, Pt. 2)