Exal Grut, a comic artist, weaves together an incredible tale full of adventure, fantasy and superheroes in an innovative exhibition “Hatari : Become the Danger” at Kondor Into the Future Gallery.
I have always thought SL to be a really great creative medium for making comic books. Those who have a great story to tell have the opportunity here to do so through a series of snapshots clicked inworld. Exal Grut has done this rather brilliantly in his latest exhibition at Kondor “Into the Future” Gallery.
One look at Exal’s FLICKR page will tell you that his work is influenced by his immense love and passion for comic books. With classic DC comics being some of the first things he ever read, the concept of superheroes has always fascinated Exal.
“I always enjoyed making up my own characters and stories, but I never had much artistic talent in RL to make my own series of comic books”, says Exal. “So when I discovered SL, I realized I could use it as a platform to help develop my characters. It was like a match made in heaven.”
Hatari, the titular character of his latest exhibition at the Kondor “Into the Future” Gallery, was one of the first characters he created in Second Life. The story begins with Michael Bagby losing his girlfriend while he is down on one knee popping the question to her. He watches in horror as she gets sucked into a mysterious portal which opens up nearby. Her family, not believing his seemingly crazy tale, press charges against him and he is thrown into jail.
As Michael sits in jail, drowning in grief over the shocking loss he has just experienced, another portal opens up, but instead of sucking him in, a suit and a helmet emerge from it and land in the jail cell along with a cryptic message : “Kuishi Kuwa Hatari“, which is Swahili for “To survive, become the danger”.
It is then that Michael suddenly realizes that Dee Dee, his girlfriend, might still be alive and that to save her, he must become something more than he is today. He must become the danger. He must become – Hatari! Through the rest of the story, we follow Michael, who has now become Hatari, on his quest to find Dee Dee and in the process, save the universe from a Destroyer of Worlds.
“The story of Hatari has been rolling around in my head for a few years now and the full story is much more nuanced and deeper than I could portray in the exhibition”, says Exal Grut, the creator. “I knew I would need to make at least the first five pictures to show the background story of the character. After that I let the story lead me.”
But making comics is not easy work at all. Exal tells me that for him, setting up the scenes was the most time-consuming task. First he needed to pose the avatars involved in a specific way. The next challenge was to find the right angle. Often he took pictures from several different angles and later decided which one to use.
Kondor “Into the Future” Gallery has been created by Hermes Kondor to showcase some exciting new, creative projects happening on the grid. And this one fits the bill perfectly. The planning for this exhibition started several months ago when Hermes came across Exal’s Flickr feed in January. He was impressed by what he saw and encouraged Exal to showcase the story of Hatari through a series of pictures at his gallery. After meeting up with Hermes inworld and seeing the gallery, Exal Grut got to work.
“I have a busy RL schedule so making all these pictures really took some time for me”, says Exal. “I think eventually, having that deadline really helps and gives you the little push you need sometimes. But I am so glad I did this. It has been a really wonderful experience for me. The camaraderie and support Hermes has shown is really inspiring. I am honored to be a part of this.”
And we are glad Exal’s incredible works have found a space for display inworld as well. Through a series of fascinating images, the ease with which he propels the story forward simply amazes me. His exhibition also reminded me of some great comic books I had read as a kid and made me dig up one of them through my collection the same day.
We hope to see more of Exal Grut’s comic art soon in the near future.
Visit “Hatari : Become the Danger” by Exal Grut at Kondor Into the Future Gallery and be mesmerized by this exhibition with a story. Click HERE to visit it inworld.
See more of Exal Grut’s incredible work on
- His FLICKR page