Today I started my visual research for the Villa graphic short story project (haven’t thought of a catchy title yet, what do you think of Pancho Villa and the Sorcerer’s Stone? No? Le Fabuleux Destin d’ Pancho? Fear And Loathing in Chihuahua?) In the process, though, I came to a disturbing realization and that is this:
I am going to have to learn to draw horses real well.
They’re all over the place in the photos I’m finding, not to mention every statue of him ever (and there’s a lot of them, apparently). And as a large part of his self-created image consisted on his emphasis on his skill on horseback, I can’t believe I didn’t see this coming earlier.
In the banner below, you can get a feel for the general tone of the film I was talking about earlier: And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself, an HBO film starring, who else, Antonio Banderas as Pancho (my teacher got a little upset about this when she was introducing it before we watched a clip in class: “He’s not even Mexican, he’s Spanish!”) Another interesting tidbit that I found out today: another famous actor who has portrayed Pancho Villa is Yul Brynner.
Anyway, I want to convey this feeling: this glossy, attractive and ultimately badass version of Villa. The concept of the project is to highlight the differences between the above image and the one below, an actual photograph of Fransisco “Pancho” Villa. That’s what I’ll be writing about in the accompanying paper and presenting to the class: the way in which we impose elements of fiction (drama, narrative structure, etc) onto real life figures. Thus our exaggeration of revolutionaries such as Villa (click on the thumbnails for more detailed images):