I kept coming to dead ends with my current Medusa story. Every plot and motivation I came up with for “Grinning Jack” just seemed kind of shallow or farfetched. I used some old tropes to make it more simpler. Now it’s a tale of hero on a quest to save a person (love interest, family member. Keeping it ambiguous and leaving it to the viewer at this point). Jack is a bounty hunter of the extradinary and mythical, he’s no stranger to Gorgon’s and their ilk. He needs a part of Medusa, in this case one of her snakes would do in order to alchemise a cure for petrification, so that he can save his person of interest (Working title: The Gorgan Gunman). I typed in Medusa youtube and watched some videos to see how she has been interpreted in moving image.
Unlike a lot of fiction, this video show’s Medusa as a victim. I learned that Medusa was once a priestess of Athena who had promised to remain pure, but when she was raped in Athena’s temple, the angered Goddess cursed her and turned her into a Gorgon as a result. Greek Gods are fickle. I really like the stone tear drop in this video, when it shatters it’s open to interpretation to whole load of visual symbolism. Does the tear respresent her heart? Has her heart turned to stone? She has a broken heart? Good be all of these things.
Battle sequence from the Original Clash of the Titans. It was interesting to see Medusa has the lower body of a snake, I’ve yet to actaully depict her in animation so this was open to possible redraws of her. I’ll try it, but I’m concerned it will make her appearance more monstrous than human, making her seem a little less accessable/relatable as a person.
Have to ignore the dubbed over music, I’m primarily watching these for inspiration on how the fight between Jack and the Medusa, it’s interesting to note that she uses a bow and doesn’t rely entirely on her petrifying abilities to hunt more difficult prey. I also like how monstrous her face becomes whenever she tries to turn someone to stone. This does leave me questioning whether it’s a passive ability that occurs whenever you simply make eye contact with her, or if she can actively control it and choose -not- to turn someone to stone?
I considered perhaps leaving Grinning Jack’s gender unknown, just so it’s not a complete throwback to man rescuing the woman. That’s still a possibility with the big coat, the big hat and the mask, you assume it’s a man… also with a name like ‘Jack’ but that’s a psuedonym.
Another thing to note in these battle scenes, is there always seems to be an example of Medusa’s power, a hapless faceless grunt that falls victim to her petrifying gaze, to assert herself to the audience so we all know that she is to be feared. Grinning Jack works alone so I’ll have to somehow demonstrate this power, without having a victim to turn to stone.