Themed Shoot from Enrique Peral.
Article by Jack Sturman.
By definition, an outsider is someone who is not part of a group. When Jack from Exclu offered me the chance to make a shoot around this word, I immediately thought about Dr. Alec Holland, the Swamp Thing. For two reasons:
- Reason #1: evidently, he’s an outsider. No one wants him around, he’s considered a monster, nobody sees him as human anymore. Not even him.
- Reason #2: my toy collection is 90% Marvel and Star Wars. So this figure is actually an outsider also at my house.
But nevertheless, I love this character very much. The period when Alan Moore wrote the book was terrific. I remember very vividly a story called “The sleep of reason”, it amazed me how all the plot, since the beginning, develops around an etching by the Spanish (and I’m from Spain) artist Francisco de Goya: “el sueño de la razón produce monstruos”, translated “the sleep of reason produces monsters”. As I recall, it’s been years since I read it, the story starts with Jason Blood (aka the Demon, Etrigan) in some kind of store where a copy of this painting is hanging. So the store owner is making small talk with Jason and then they start talking about the painting and how he knew the painter, Goya, years (centuries is better!) ago. The very painting has the purpose of preface to the main story as we can see in it one of the characters (the Monkey King) that will take part in the story.
The ideas started coming the minute I received the word “OUTSIDER”. But I have something to confess, I didn’t have the figure. This was the perfect excuse also to go to my local comics store and buy a new one. Luckily I looked it up online and yes, they had one in stock. The ideas could now continue flowing. But how does one capture the loneliness, the outsider-ness of the character? The easy way is showing him alone in each shot. Check. But I wanted more, in one of the shots, called “City”, I tried to express the longing of the Swamp Thing for all the things mundane. Everything that is now in his past, civilization, people, social interaction. He looks now to all of this from a safe distance in the woods.
There’s another picture I’ve called “The Birth of the Swamp Thing”. In it I wanted to show the moment when Alec Holland is no more, and he awakes from the nightmare of being human, from the dream of being dead, to his new form, a new life as the Swamp Thing.
The picture “Dust” is a homage to Marvel, I couldn’t help it. It represents the scene in “Guardians of the Galaxy” when Groot makes from his body some kind of gleaming flowers. I know, I know, it’s not the same, but it’s based on that.
The rest of the photos are just to show the magnificence of the figure. I’m very satisfied with it, actually. I didn’t own so many DC, as I told you before. And this one is the first one I have from the line DC Icons. At first I thought it would be a simple figure, with the basic articulations, arms and legs going up and down and a rotating head. But when I took it from the box (free the toys!), it surprised me! It is very articulated, several points in both limbs, the torso and waist. It has both open hands and closed fists… and for a very reasonable price.
I shot everything indoors. Yes, the easy part would have been go out with the toy to a forest and shot there. But I happen to prefer a controlled environment. I hope you enjoy this photo shoot as much as I did shooting it!
You can check out more of Enrique’s work over on his Instagram portfolio @qluraqan and for of the latest shoots stay tuned to Exclu.
Categories: Themed Shoot