As a B-movie ‘foreigner’ character, Snuka profits from the fact that B-movie scriptwriters
are sometimes a bit vague on a character’s specific background. Defining a
character rather generously just as hailing from a certain hemisphere – ‘South
American’, ‘Asian’, sometimes even just ‘abroad’ – allows their
background to be fleshed out later, in any way the script calls for. Or, sometimes, in
several different ways at different points in time. Independent of their nationality,
foreigner characters can just be assumed to have milled about the general area – so a
Japanese character can naturally be expected to know about the local customs in any given
Mongolian village, and a Chilean one to know obscure facts on Mexican history.
It also pays off to not bother with the details too much – sure, Brazilians speak
Portuguese as a rule, but there always might be one or two who just prefer
Spanish for some reason, and vice versa, so just don’t worry too much about such trifles.
Just use the same, time-honoured catchphrases to add texture to all your South American
characters: ‘Andale, Andale, Arriba’, ‘Los servizios son rotos’ and ‘We
don’t need no steenking badges!’.
As far as the Japanese Mario…uh, I mean, Japanese warrior tradition is concerned, you’d
have to do quite a bit of research before trying to incorporate it into a movie script.
Unless you’ve played lots of Japanese video games, of course, in which case you can just go
by that. Although, a word of caution is in order: Believe it or not, even Japanese
video game designers sometimes take liberties when it comes to certain aspects of their
culture (or Chinese or South East Asian cultures – of which we can assume them to have in
-depth knowledge by virtue of their Asianess…Asianity…). Point in case: The
tanookisuit worn by a certain Italian plumber in a certain popular video game completely
left out the massive balls usually associated with tanuki
Japan, a fault I conscientiously avoided in today’s strip. And one which is all the more
puzzling considering the offensive potential of that specific physical trait. I don’t just
mean its potential to offend, but its potential as offensive weaponry – tanukis were often
depicted as fighting each other with their giant scrota. I’m not quite sure, however, how
that was supposed to work – personally, I would have suspected such a massive target area
would be more of a liability in a fight.
Speaking of target area…well, Mopey is really sorry, for once, but she just
couldn’t stop herself. She has spent so much time perfecting her personal style of martial
arts that it has become something of a conditioned reflex. It’s the fate of all martial
arts pioneers, I guess.
Naturally, I left out the picture of the actual carnage taking place, and replaced it with
an allegorical depiction, as per the guidelines of the ‘Campaign for Webcomic
Decency’. On Monday, there’ll be a peek behind the scenes on the production of this
sequence, and then you’ll be grateful for that…
Snuka also features on today’s voting incentive, by the way. Some days, the kid just can’t
catch a break.