The thunder of my drums is silent.
My bolts are spent. My blood, cooled. The storm is passed. In this calm, I make ready. Electricity lies dormant in cloud. It must be hewed, unsheathed. Forged. Made sharp and true.
Concentration is everything.
Freed from my sack, the winds have buffeted the lands below, a gusty accompaniment to the tempest’s cacophonous fury.
The storm has passed; my gales sleep calm and quiet. Now comes the time for frisky breezes to search and seek and ply the currents; for mischievous zephyrs to swirl.
The drift is everything.
Most people don’t realize that I’ve drawn and cut three versions of Raijin and Fūjin so far.
⊛ The first was a pop piece for an exhibition at Gallery1988, celebrating the Master’s of the Universe toy line. That’s He-Man, for those not up on their toy lingo. It featured my two favorite characters, the airy Stratos and the clunky Trap-Jaw, in a composition inspired in equal parts by renaissance painting (specifically the Sistine chapel) and Japanese screen paintings of the Gods of Thunder and Wind. It remains one of my favorite pop-style vividity works, in part because of the open, airy composition on the cherry wood juxtaposed (there’s that word) against the powerful and jaggy forms of the characters.
⊛ This pair, This Lightning Won’t Forge Itself and This Summoning Wind, are the second rendering, and fit in a bit more neatly with the main body of my work.
⊛ The third time these demon/gods visited, they incorporated as something akin to European portraiture.
Each time, I found that this pair of tempestuous companions lent themselves to very different themes and concepts. They’re a surprisingly adaptable pair.
Sure, these two Shinto deities are usually depicted, if not as enemies, then as challengers. Imagine competing coworkers up for the same promotion.
I never saw them that way. To me, they seemed like a pair of roommates. Or maybe even a couple. The relationship couldn’t have been an easy one,. Raijin, the self-serious, dependable, focused god of thunder and lightning. Fūjin, as flighty and disheveled as the wind itself, with a wicked playful side. It had to irk Raijin that, as tremendous and fearful as he is, the wind can actually wreak a whole lot more damage on the earth down below.
Still, they do say that opposites attract. Fūjin might be the only being in the universe that can get the thunder god to loosen up, maybe even smile. And without Raijin, the wind would arrive late for half the storms.
Now, who else wants to see a romantic comedy featuring these two deities as they laugh, love, and finally work hand-in-hand to blow away the puny humans below?
This Lightning Won’t Forge Itself and This Summoning Wind are the 12th and 13th prints to ride the gale back into the shop. So, yeah, today’s a twofer.