Thursday, October 18, 2012

Caesar Valenzano, Samuel Jackson, and Chew


I've been reading this comic book Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory for some time now, long enough to decide that one of my favorite supporting characters is this guy Caesar Valenzano. Part of why I'm drawn, visually, to Caesar is because his character alludes to one of my favorite actors, Samuel Jackson. In particular, Guillory signifies on the look of Jules Winnfield, Jackson's character from Pulp Fiction, in the presentation of Caesar.

When Caesar first appeared in the series, he was working at the right hand man of a leading villain. It turns out, though, that he was working under-cover and actually served in the same organization as the apparent good guys. Caesar's known for his fighting skills and no nonsense approach. He's a bit more soft-spoken than Jules.

There are relatively few African American characters in the comic books I read, which likely causes me to pay attention to a figure like Caesar. Then too, I read The Walking Dead, and Michonne, who's black, is one of the most popular character in that series. In fact, a special one-shot was recently produced featuring Michonne. Would be nice to have a one-shot on Caesar. Maybe.

Then again, part of what makes him intriguing is that he plays the background. The mysterious nature of some characters in stories is part of what makes them so memorable. We know little about Caesar's background; he's just a cool, bad black man who's modeled on a cool, bad black man from a movie, who in turn was modeled on various cool, bad black man characters.

Related: A Notebook on comic books
A Notebook on Rob Guillory 

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