Oct 17, 2022
“Freedom” is the catch cry in so much historical fiction but it's usually an anachronistic piece of nationalist fantasy. You fought for your lord, for pay, your honour, your small region, etc, not for “Scotland” (i.e. Bravehert). Even today it's generally propaganda: e.g. The Invasion of Iraq being called “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and Russia's invasion of Ukraine being all about “freeing” the Russian speaking areas from “oppression”. We alter historical stories to fit with contemporary ideas about ourselves and to give us some form of foundation for our prejudices, motivations and identity. Good examples are the Arthurian legends, Gladiator, Braveheart, The Patriot, Robin Hood, The stories about Christopher Columbus, The 300, and The Woman King.
Topics and Show Notes
Controversy from the African community about the movie “Woman King” (we have not seen it) is a good recent example. It's about an all female fighting force in Africa in 1823 that fought European slavers, based on historical events. But the real historical tribe were actually slavers themselves. They didn't fight white slavers and “freedom” was never their goal. This very stark disconnect is interesting.
In other respects this film seems to be a much needed positive take on African identity, feminism, and the important and significant role of black women in history, if slightly “alternative” history in some respects, like Inglorious Basterds.
I can't comment more because I've not seen the film and do not know enough about the subject. I will link to people who do. Suffice to say that with historical tales we often reformat them in our own image in order to support our identity (see religion), Woman King is a good recent example, but it's not bad or unusual because of that.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Forest Reckoning - Creepy atmospheric sounds fading in and out of the grey mists surrounding you. Are they the ghosts of lost children or are they the calls of tiny playful forest spirits as they dodge and tease and attempt to lure you deeper into the mysterious depths of the dark shadowy woods?
The Woman King: the Truth About Slavery Matters, Tafi Mhaka, Al Jazeera - https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2022/10/7/the-woman-king-the-truth-about-slavery-matters
Woman King is Worth Watching: But Be Aware That its Take on History is Problematic, Dominique Somda, The Conversation - https://theconversation.com/woman-king-is-worth-watching-but-be-aware-that-its-take-on-history-is-problematic-191865
The Woman King: True History Agojie Dahomey Slave Trade, Yoonji Han, The Insider - https://www.insider.com/the-woman-king-true-history-agojie-dahomey-slave-trade-2022-9
Topics and shownotes
Bobby Carter: Creephunter - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/oct/11/featured-comic-bobby-carter-creephunter/
Forest Reckoning - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Forest_Reckoning/ - by Dpat57, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
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Jul 31, 2022
The Manchild can be a fun character or they can be pathetic. They're a staple of comedies because they're an adult that gets to act immature and childish, without the restraint and responsibilities imposed by adulthood. This can make a great contrast; “The adult man acting like an immature child”, John C Riley and Will Farrel have always done that extremely well, as did Chris Farley back in the 90s. It can be be portrayed as pathetic and sad when the person can't seem to be able grow up or take on any responsibilities. They're often characterised by people with “childish” interests, like the cast of the Big Bang Theory, or with a childlike love of something like sports like Kevin in Kevin can F Himself.
Jun 20, 2022
Sometimes it's worth revisiting old ideas because you can do them better or explore them deeper. This could be in the form of a full reboot, or it could be as simple as reusing a pose in a panel or using the same theme again like Pixar does with 90% of their output i.e. “coming of age”. Like them you don't need to feel obligated to always do something totally original, revisiting old ideas is a great way to refine them, create better work, or explore different aspects of them you hadn't considered before and put new and interesting spins on things. Consider that Pixar's Turning Red, Encanto, Moana, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, and Luca all share the same “coming of age/childhood independence” theme and yet all do it in unique and original ways, exploring different aspects of the idea from all sorts of angles.
Jun 6, 2022
How do you keep on with your creative output when something happens to you? When you lose function or are impaired in some way, how do you adapt or relearn so you can keep on as you were before? Maybe you can't and have to change to another medium that's a better fit for your abilities? Comic creator Bravo1102 once talked about how he moved from drawing to using action figures to make his comics partially because of his eyesight. My own eyesight has suddenly started to go bad and I'm having to adapt to that, and Tantz tells us how her deteriorating eyesight forced her to work digitally.
Jan 31, 2022
This Quackcast is about one of the cool things about being an adult: growing out of childhood prejudices and expanding your tastes to try new things. There's this rosy, idealistic idea that kids are culture sponges, open to everything, all experiences and tastes, but that's a fantasy unfortunately. Kids are only open to experiences for a relatively short time before their preferences solidify, but even THEN they have a very strict hierarchy of sources they'll accept those influences from- parents, friends, family etc. A lot of what they like is driven by peer pressure and the opinions of others.
Oct 18, 2021
I was reading an article the other day about the comedy of Sacha Baron Cohen and how that style of comedy is now out of date, along with The Hangover and Hot Tub Time Machine. The idea is that the day for this sort of masculine, bawdy, sleazy humour has been and gone and that we're more advanced, sophisticated and enlightened now. Personally I took issue with this, I think this style of comedy is extremely relatable and eternal because of it. You can see examples of it going back thousands of years across all cultures because many factors of it are universal to the human cultural experience.
Oct 4, 2021
Tantz explains why she really hates a bunch of tropes that are super commonly used in things, stuff like very obvious plot armour for the protagonist so that you KNOW nothing can seriously hurt them so you stop caring what happens to them and in the story in general, child-led stories where the adults are all useless and ineffectual because it takes away your suspension of disbelief, and amnesia where a huge bunch of the story is erased so the writers can just repeat stuff over and over. Banes and I join it to talk about stuff we hate too!
Sep 2, 2021
There seemed to be a lull for a while after the 1990s and the massive sequel craze of the 80s, but nowadays we're back in full swing again with sequels, reboots and reinvisioning of film and TV franchises. Banes noticed a distinct pattern of behaviour that occurred around bad or failed franchises: The makers would chose to go against what existing fans liked about the property in the fist place, usually in order to appeal to new fans. When both new fans and old ones dislike what they do, they attack the fans and blame the fans for failure of their version. Then they'll search and find a new franchise to mess up. It's rare that people own up to or admit to failures anymore, it's usually always the fault of the fans for being too “toxic”.