This one’s for everyone, but especially for Matt Kish, who’s a fellow admirer of Rafael Kayanan’s artwork. Over at his Comic Book Resources column, writer Ron Marz interviews Kayanan about his conceptual work back in 2002 for a different incarnation of the John Carter of Mars movie.
Here he is describing how he visualized a fighting style for the four-armed Tharks:
I had also gathered probably some of the best real-world stick fighters and sword instructors on the planet, and we had our own weeklong workshop where we came up with ways to move with multiple limbs. So the swords would pass from one level of Thark limbs to the other, knives thrown and loaded by the other hand. Close-quarter distractions, long-range feints, strikes, grabs and adding crazy patterns of sword work. How would a Thark roll, or execute a double-leg takedown of a White Ape? I asked Olympic Greco Roman champions to show me what they would do, I looked at Jujitsu guys, Western fencers, all kinds of arts. How the torso would stay together, how the legs would step so the Thark was balanced. It was fun as hell!
By the way, Marz introduces Kayanan as “comic artist, concept artist, fight choreographer and weapons instructor,” which is a couple of titles more than I knew about him. Dang these overachiever types!