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The Pirate Balthasar
The Pirate Balthasar
Pirates like you've never seen'em before! 
Wilson Kane wins a fortune and his future bride at a game of dice from the former pirate Balthasar. 
When he decides to go and get the girl, the pirate way, by kidnapping her, not only he finds out that she is more than a pirate could ever want from a wife... but that she has 4 identical sisters as well. 
This discovery hits him when his men, who were supposed to help him out, each kidnaps a different girl... and none of them gets the right one! 
But Wilson Kane wants the girl he had met and no one else! Luckily for him it will be the girl herself to solve his problem and put an end to his dilemma, a solution that will eventually fling her into a new way of life, aboard the Alidivento, across the Mediterranea sea!
Volume 3, front cover.
Theme and Thesis
I started releasing The Pirate Balthasar online in 2010. It all begun from a simple blog then decided to use webcomics hosts as well.
Although it involves pirates it does not follow the stereotypical adventure/treasure hunting/damsel in distress kind of plot. It's more established as a slice of life oriented toward the romantic comedy type of narration.
Using an enclosed circle, such as a ship, the story revolves around the theme of freedom and independence, exploring the condition of women in the XVII century, what life on board a ship was supposed to be like and piracy really was about, which couldn't be more further than what Hollywood has shown us in the past few years.
While on one hand we see that piracy has always existed, on the other hand the story also explain why people were driven to a life of hardship and sufferings that wasn't merely the monetary allure.
Chapter 3
Chapter 18
Although the style of the drawing is quite simple and on the Disney style (professional deformation) because I don't have more than one hour to produce a page - I work more than 10 hours per day - the pages are mostly in sepia tone with a few exceptions of colored pages or splashes or color here and there when I want to create a focal point.
The drawing take me about 3 minutes per panel, that I clean up with mechanical pencil the same way you'd do a clean up for animation. The rendering takes place in Photoshop. 
Because I was formed as a storyboard artist I divide my pages in 3 parts: set up, development and then third part is either a climax with cliffhanger (if I want the reader to flip the page), a joke or a denuement. The panels are structured to look like camera moves or shots: pans, tilt, over the shoulders. So I could not honestly possibly call this a comic, rather it's a storyboard with baloons.
I'm a big fan of old books, movies, art, in general so I like to put bits and pieces of things I like: like this kiss scene from Notorious,  a musical number from Anything Goes, a line by Mark Twain. You know the usual stuff you do when you are a fan and want to keep the stuff you like alive because these days the internet is creating short term memory loss. 
The chapter covers are designed in Illustrator and then refined in photoshop. It takes me about 20 minutes to do the drawing and one hour to go to finished result.
Chapter 8 - special
Chapter 18 cover
 In conclusion I have been having fun for about two years now.
The product is very experimental, it's a mix of languages from different media and I am still exploring many other possibilities.
The main story will end this year and I was planning to start spin offs, one will go more towards the adventurous type of story and will explore more in depth the theme of why piracy exists and how it came to be. Another one will stay more slice of life and will focus on the condition of women in the XVII century. 
After these two I will start a new romance/adventure on the decline of the age of piracy.
Updates will be posted here: The Pirate Balthasar
The Pirate Balthasar

The Pirate Balthasar

mix media, experimental comic that exploits common themes and reversal of tropes to explore the condition of men and women in the XVII century th Read More