Comic Talk and General Discussion *

I have a feel that fantasy fans tend to hate Fantasy.
Furwerk studio at 6:27AM, May 19, 2020
posts: 107
joined: 12-18-2019
I know statements of “feeling more real”, “allows to connect to the world”, “more immersive” and so on when the subject of doing something different in fantasy is brought up in many writer forums but at times I feel like a massive chunk of fantasy fans, really hate fantasy and actually want very realistic history fiction.

I bring this up because when I was looking for a super high fantasy book set in Japan instead of England, in the vain of the Genji games or Nioh, the only responses I could find was ONE suggestion while the rest were extremely grounded which was the exact opposite of what I was looking for. It was not the first incident but it was the straw that broke the camel's back after years upon years of reading about how firearms were not “era appropriate” or how it would be unrealistic to have magic or seeing a whole forum just daring to have a different idea for an elf (my idea for an elf have been a five foot tall rabbit like creatures) and dwarves(who in my setting were well versed in technology before corrupted by magic in a war and turned into some kind of sludge monsters, and evil.)

I did ask this subject on another forum, and the popular answer I got back was along the longs of, “readers are getting smarter, and they want more character studies that prob the depths of psychology and find out what it means to be a lowly stable shovel boy with no hope” which I say is fine and all, but it my thoughts are if you are coming to High Fantasy for realistic historical fiction is like coming to French torture porn for the romance, and getting mad there is blood involved. Maybe you should try a completely different genre more suited for your taste instead of trying to force to force the square peg into the round hole.

Honestly I just dropped a comic series because I could not figure out how to explain how a demonic world where time and death is utterly meaningless operates because I really could not explain that it's a messed up demon world where nothing dies and everything eventually resets in a very scientific way for the audience, because I know there will be a group of nitpickers who will demand to explain how demon genomes work, how is there oxygen to breath without living plants, how do things age if there is no time, etc. etc..

It got tiring trying to counter the nitpicking with hundreds of world building documents, I just wanted to tell a story.

Sorry to be kind of aimless in this rambling, it's just something I had to say and want to know, why does it seems like much of the fantasy fans seemly hate fantasy?
last edited on May 19, 2020 6:34AM
DeanZeeks at 7:14AM, May 19, 2020
posts: 27
joined: 7-10-2017
First of All, I feel like this is more about you not being satisfied with your work though the premise I got from your description seems pretty neat
Second of all, I feel like “explaining it with a scientific way” is what ruins the fantasy element; a example I'd give would be the force in Star wars, what was once considered just some form of spiritual power eventually is explained by having your blood be sensitive to the influence of Midi-chlorians (an intelligent race of micro-organisms)
A good example on how to explain a fantasy element in a cohesive not-necessarily-scientific way is the Art of Nen from the manga/anime Hunter x Hunter, it's your life force manifested through your feelings into a personal super power depending on your mental state,age, and conditions of birth
And saying "fire arms are a silly concept for fantasy is kinda bullsh*t because it's fantasy, it's supposed to not be bound by the rules of our world
bravo1102 at 7:50AM, May 19, 2020
posts: 5,559
joined: 1-21-2008
I can actually lay claim to a degree in Medieval studies and I have waded through so many sites by folks saying such and such is inaccurate or an anachronism and having to tell them it isn't.

I remember someone going on about stews being an unlikely food to make when camping and Sam makes in LOTR. So I dragged put dozens of accounts of what real soldiers ate in those conditions. Broth with bits of this and that, the thicker the better. In other words: stew.

That's the infamous pseudo-medieval setting. It somehow has to represent historical reality. So you end up with thinly veiled Anglo-Saxon history (LOTR) or the Wars of the Roses with dragons and Huns (Game of Thrones). It's incredibly reductionist but it is basically true.

When world building one can get so involved with explaining EVERYTHING to simply blow away the nitpickers. So you end up with reams of notes and fighting the urge to info dump. Fighting the urge to turn your epic into walls of text going over the use of medicinal plants or other ephemera that appears only once in the story and never again.

I only explain things as needed. And sometimes I purposely keep it obscure because even in the real world people really don't know how everything works. The example I like to use is how much do you know about all the mechanics of your car? Do you know precisely how an internal combustion engine works? How about brakes? A lot of people don't know how breathing really works let alone motor vehicles.
So some things are mysteries and not explained and don't need explanation. If the explanation matters to the story, it'll be there but you don't need to describe batteries and electrical starters when a character turns the key to start his car.

And if I remember correctly this is about the fourth time I've gone over all this on a site. I think there's a few Quackcasts about it including one where I was guest.

Then there's the fact that too much fantasy is Eurocentric or slavishly based on historical precedent. Too few take the leap to the truly fantastical.

In addition being consistent within the rules made up for your world even if that consistancy is that everything is inconsistent and illogical.
last edited on May 19, 2020 7:59AM
El Cid at 10:10PM, May 19, 2020
posts: 1,275
joined: 5-4-2009
I'm guessing the main thing those people were trying to get at, is that fantasy fiction typically needs to at least make some internal sense, otherwise it turns into a surrealist exercise where you're just juxtaposing crazy imagery for its own sake. That doesn't apply if you're actually going for surrealism, but just keep in mind that is not the most popular subgenre. People drawn to your comic expecting to see an epic adventure in an exotic setting with solid worldbuilding will likely be turned off if it turns out to be just a hodgepodge of dissonant assembled parts.

Also, it's great to be creative and invent your own stuff, but when you draw upon a preexisting mythos, you're also taking on a lot of baked-in expectations. If you do a comic where the orcs are small, furry, peace-loving woodland creatures, at some point someone's going to ask why you bothered calling them ‘orcs’ to begin with. You're dipping into a prebuilt audience, and part of that built-in interest comes from familiarity, from knowing the rules of the game. You can tinker with that a little bit, especially if there's a good reason for doing so, but tinker too much and no one knows what game you're playing anymore.

If you want to do something totally original, then you should do that. Have samurai with guns riding dinosaurs, if you'd like (actually, that sounds really badass!). It *doesn't* need to be believable; it just needs to make internal sense, so the readers can follow along with some reasonable comprehension of what's happening and what to expect. But if you're going that route, don't handcuff yourself to already-established mythologies. And if you *are* building off of preexisting fantasy lore, you should learn the rules of that universe and be purposeful where and when you choose to break them.

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