Project Description

INKTOBER 52 2024 Week #23: DINO.
“This prompt helped me remember something I haven’t thought about in a long time: Gon. He is a diminutive t-rex-ish dinosaur with a big personality, a bigger appetite, and some insane strength. Gon began as a very popular manga by creator Masashi Tanaka, but also made an appearance in the mega popular fighting game Tekken 3, along with starring in his own games and a tv show. I don’t remember exactly when or how I discovered Gon, but it was sometime in the mid to late 90s when I was in college. I think I saw the manga first, courtesy of a friend who was a Japanese exchange student. Getting one’s hands on manga back then was not as easy as it is now, translations were even harder to find. However, that didn’t matter with Gon, as there is absolutely no dialogue, no captions, not even sound effects. The purely visual storytelling transcends culture and language, and is accessible to all.
In addition to the way he could tell fun, compelling little stories without words, I remember being blown away by Masashi’s art style. It was pretty intensely detailed, seemingly realistic but also cartoony. He made use of a lot of fine lines and hatchmarks, creating some really wonderful gradients and textures in his work. Definitely inspirational for me, and I’ve unintentionally started experimenting with similar techniques more recently, so it’s pretty timely to have rediscovered Tanaka’s work. Gon’s personality was great, too; sometimes innocent, sometimes angry and violent; equal parts fierce and funny, ferocious and cute. I can definitely see a little Gon in who PMD has become, now that I think about it, so I’ll add him to the ‘ingredient list’ of inspirations.”
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