Something happened when I was stuck at home during the pandemic in 2019.
I started watching videos on YouTube with consistency. 

Before the pandemic, YouTube had no personal feed for me, I used it occasionally and the algorithm didn't have the chance to understand my tastes and likes. Now, with so much time on my hands, I did have the possibility to give it hints, and suddenly a certain video appeared on my YouTube home page.
Some random HUGE and pretty scary guys were slapping each other, in a sort of game I couldn't catch the rules at first glance. But I couldn't avert my eyes from that... thing! It was cruel and fair at the same time since the participants had to slap each other in turns until one of them passed out.

It was one of the craziest things I've ever seen, and I wasn't the only one back then to see these events as a source of inspiration. Dana White, the guy behind MMA in the US, picked the wild appeal of this game and transformed it into a real sport, with rules, stages, referees and so on.
And it's been a huge success. Because the actual power of seeing in slow motion someone being slapped in the face is both scary and intriguing at the same time. It sure is spectacular.

And that was it. I decided that I wanted to do something, a manga in particular, about that sport, before it's not a sport anymore, due to the comments and concerns of the various athletic commissions against slap fights. Oh, yes, for the record it's called slap fighting.

And I want to tell the stories of these people, as fool as they seem, because... well, I am really into crazy things. No other reasons.

Strong Arm (2023)
story, art & screentones: me