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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Oct 10, 2022
When creating fiction we always have to stylise experience in many and various ways in order to communicate with the viewer in a way that's meaningful to them because it's usually impossible to simply show them the exact reality of something and expect that same meaning to carry through.
Sep 26, 2022
What happens when the victim becomes the victor? Most of the time it's like the classic line from The Who “Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss”, typically revolutions (and elections), that promise change don't really deliver, the new people use it as a chance to get revenge on their enemies, take advantage of things the same as the last guys, and do everything they can to cling to power. The true exceptions are rare and special, i.e. Vaclav Havel and the Velvet revolution.
Sep 19, 2022
If something affects or disturbs you so much that you want to respond to it through a story that you write, that can be a pretty powerful form of inspiration! But it depends on how you handle it. For example, Stephan King's acclaimed novel Misery was inspired by nasty interactions he had with fans after he published a fantasy novel. This story was very well received and even turned into a popular movie. And then there are other ways to handle it…
Aug 15, 2022
Leaders are not born, they're created… literally in the case of fiction, created by creators of comics, books, movies, and other media! For this Quackcast I was inspired by two things: a video on Leader Characters by the satirical YouTube channel Terrible Writing Advice, and the Disney movie Lightyear, in which the lone wolf classical hero figure learns how to lead.
May 9, 2022
Let's go forward in time to the past so we can get back to the future and kill our grandfather and be our own ancestor while we step on a bug and change the course of evolution 200 million years in the future and doom the Morlocks to a date with Doctor Who, while Bill and Ted drive a Delorean in the Old West and save Fry's dog as it waits out the front of the Pizza place… Time travel is fun to talk about, but it's easy to mess up because paradoxes in plots pop up all over the place as timelines intersect and cross over and over, getting tangled and logically prevent events that have already happened from happening!
Apr 25, 2022
The full team is assembled yet again! Tantz came up with the idea of having a look at hidden fantasy worlds in fiction that have strong ties with the “real world” and how they function together. Her main example was the world of Harry Potter which has many strong connections to the real world and yet manages to stay very well hidden, which stretches plausibility a bit. The World of Casandra Clare's Mortal Instruments is similar in that regard, it's deeply tied to the mundane world and yet it stays hidden from it to a degree that isn't really possible.
Mar 28, 2022
Retro adventure heroes are an interesting and unique sort of hero. The trope was revived and crystallised by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg with Indiana Jones, but it had existed long before then and continues to persist now in many forms. They're not without their problems But I like these characters. I love their outfits, their competency, intelligence, self sufficiency, and their penchant for exploration and discovery.