Thursday, June 02, 2011

From the Archives 11

The above is a portrait of Lydia Lunch created by J. K. Potter whose strange photographic illustrations were created without the use of a computer which makes them all the more remarkable. I met him when I was buying a large photographic print of the above piece at a gallery show of his work in New York City in the mid-1990s. He was a very likeable guy, and was pleased when I informed him that this piece inspired the creation of two characters from the then current original run of Xombi (he was more pleased to discover that I'd actually credited him in print for this); Manuel Dexterity and his sinister sister Manuella.

Manuel Dexterity and Manuella were two of the more popular creations from the original run, though their appearances were brief. Manuel was the focus of a single issue, while Manuella was seeded through a few subsequent issues in the same storyline. As characters there wasn't much to them. Both were bizarre assassins, and neither spoke their own words. Manuel only spoke the innermost regrets of his victims. But as visual elements, these hand-centaurs were pretty cool to look at. They would have made some truly creepy action figures.

The scene depicting their birth led to the only real incidence of censorship that I encountered while working at Milestone, but that as they say is a story for another day.

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