Writing isn't just a form of escapism for me. It's a passion, just like gaming.
The Failure of Disney remakes
The Disney classics will forever remain in everyone’s hearts, as they were made with love, creativity and imagination. The animated adaptations had managed to capture the magic of the original stories extremely well, such as "The Little Mermaid", "Peter Pan"…
Nowadays, Disney has been on the warpath with the remakes of their old classics and has been putting out live-adaptations this time. Somehow, retelling the same stories with a different animation and using big shot superstars (such as Will Smith playing the Genie in the lamp in "Aladdin" or Beyoncé as Nala in "The Lion King") to appeal to the audience has managed to bring in some money.
However, there seems to be something wrong about these remakes. The latest live-adaptations seem to have been taking the fans for granted by changing the very core of the stories that were brought to life and were adored; for example, the lead actress of Snow White intended to portray Snow White as some sort of ‘leader’ who doesn’t need a man… which is the complete opposite of who Snow White actually is. The origins of Cruella Deville in "Cruella" practically twisted this evil and detestable character into an alternate version of itself and completely changed it to some kind of… ‘hero’?
How and why does changing the core of the classics to accommodate the most popular trends and movements (such as feminism) nowadays backfire badly on Disney, resulting in the House of Mouse losing massive amounts of money and alienating their audience despite banking on nostalgia to revive their popularity?
The Influence of Carmilla
Throughout the years following the publication of the novel, the character of Carmilla has influenced popular culture in a way that it’s been used a lot of times. Some writers have even written a sequel to the original novel, whilst others have included the iconic character in other forms of media; films, television, video games, comics.
Carmilla’s character seems iconic in the way that she seems to represent a symbol of Gothic literature and the Gothic genre in general, on the same level as Dracula. She is depicted differently in other forms of media, so much that her lore seems to evolve from one author to another. Even her personality varies, depending on how she’s meant to fit in the media that wishes to see her in another way. For example, the 2000 Japanese movie "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust" has depicted Carmilla as a noble vampire that was known for her vain and gluttonous tyranny by bathing herself in the blood of virgins. She’d even been named the "Bloody Countess" as a result. Her acts had disgusted Dracula so much that he’d destroyed her himself.
It’s quite a far cry from Carmilla’s original depiction. But somehow, she fits the tone wanted by the author.
Why would other artists choose to depict Carmilla as differently as possible? Examine the reasons why her character has such a great influence in popular culture to the point that she needs to be modified to fit in the tone of another story.
The Appeal of the female characters in Arcane: League of Legends
Ever since "Arcane: League of Legends" came out, the praises haven’t stopped and are still keeping the show alive in people’s minds. Even months later, people are still loving its story, characters and storytelling because it has come out in an era where diversity and an agenda have now convinced screen writers and comic book writers that it was enough to make a good story.
So many things stood out in "Arcane", but one of the most important was the way female characters were written. Violet, Caitlyn, Jinx, Councilman Medarda… they were written and characterized in a way that made them both appear strong and weak at the same time. Circumstances of the story showed their vulnerability and their strength in a matter of ‘Show, don’t tell’ that has been lost these past few years in movies and TV shows where they have female leads.
This begs the question as to what else could have made these female characters so appealing to the public upon the release of the hit Netflix series. What has made them stand out so much in "Arcane: League of Legends" among the throng of other female characters? How has the writing of the show made them special and quite unique in their own way?
The Importance of Mystery and the Past in Lady Mechanika
"Lady Mechanika" is an independent comic book written by Joe Benitez, telling the story of a woman having lost all her memories. More importantly, she doesn’t remember what happened to her as a child, as she’d been the victim of horrific experiments that have left her deeply scarred. Her limbs (arms and legs) were replaced by prosthetic limbs made of metal and her eyes have turned red, with the sclera now black.
The main character is shrouded in mystery, which is one of the main themes of "Lady Mechanika". The identity crisis she’s going through shoves challenges and obstacles in her quest of finding out the truth about her past, although it raises questions that shouldn’t be ignored: is it that important to find out about your past, despite it being horrific enough to blow your mind, while you could just rebuild your life and move forward?
Shouldn’t it be better for the main character to rid herself of the shackles of the past and look forward to the future?
It would be interesting to confront these questions in regard to the main character, who is so focused on her quest for identity throughout her adventures in the world created by Joe Benitez that it might seem borderline obsessive. While she has every right to find out the truth about her past and why she’s been mutilated, going through such ordeal could also be seen as torment or being a glutton for pain.
Consistency, originality and creativity in
The lore of "Trese" is as mysterious as it’s intriguing, because the comics are based off Filipino mythology. This is quite uncommon to write about, as the comic book industry is vastly dominated by the super-hero genre, with issues coming out with brand new storytelling that haven’t won over the public lately, but rather pushed them away. There are several reasons for the decline of the American comic book industry, such as a focus on a character’s sexuality instead of writing a substantial story or rewriting a character that has already been established years ago to fit the present narrative.
Consistency, originality, characterization and creativity seem to have been shoved aside to push an agenda forward. This agenda also drives comic book readers away, who can’t stand to see their favorite characters becoming a figure of representation and diversity. This issue is problematic, as comics themselves offer a deeper introspection into the universe created by the writers; this is their vision they’re willing to show to their potential readers through the characters, story and lore they create. The more original and creative a story is without the problems associated with diversity and representation, the more interested readers will be in comics.
The "Trese" series have been ongoing since 2005 and have recently been given a Netflix adaptation, due to the success of the comics in the Philippines. What has been observed is that not only is it still coherent and consistent in its story-telling, but the originality and creativity in its lore keeps eliciting curiosity and a need to learn more about Filipino myths. The black and white style used by the creators also compliments the essence of "Trese", fitting the theme of horror. Such series that have remained unaffected by the drastic turn in the comic book industry is a rare sight to behold nowadays. It would be interesting to analyze the pros and cons of "Trese" to understand why and how the series succeed where American comic books have been failing for some time.
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