Topics: Joe Manduke

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Broly Returns To Dragon Ball

This article could explore the popularity of a particular character in a fandom, even when the appearances have been limited. A good comparison maybe someone like Boba Fett from Star Wars. This piece could take a look back at the history Broly, why he has remained so popular, and predictions on his role in Dragon Ball Super.

  • Yeah, that sounds really interesting. – patelrushi22 3 years ago
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Better Caul Saul: Better Than Breaking Bad?

With Better Call Saul entering it’s fourth season, it may be a good time for discussion on how well the show works. Specifically, how does it compare to the main show it evolved from. The writer could look at narrative and character similarities, stylistic choices and maybe even potential flaw if any are noticed.

  • With El Camino being released, the article could also focus and derive from it. – Dr. Vishnu Unnithan 1 year ago
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The Appeal of Harry Potter

Harry Potter continues to be an endearing franchise. What thematic elements make it so loved years after the books and films have been completed?

  • I think it has to do a lot with the fact that the books were famous before it became a movie and the kids who grew up reading those books are now adults and thus, they encouraged their younger siblings to take interest in the movies and read the book. Not to mention that some of us read the books as adults, (like me) and encouraged our children to take an interest in the franchise (both in books and movies). (at least that is what I did). – Nilab Ferozan 6 years ago
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  • I have see how popular the topic is on the Artifice itself. – Munjeera 6 years ago
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  • This would be a super read! I think it's important to consider the books and the films as separate entities , but also compare their success at some point in the article – LilyaRider 5 years ago
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  • Harry Potter has this certain nostalgic appeal that leads to people feeling a connection with the series, and the desire to pass it on to younger traditions. Aside from fantasy, the series deals with issues of friendship, loss, families, hope, struggles, etc., which allows for a multitude of viewership. Due to these numerous facets, this series has the ability to reach readers/viewers in at least one area of human emotion. – danielle577 5 years ago
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  • It's the characters. There are so many characters or parts of characters that each of us can identify with or want to be. I started to read these books as a teenager, and yet older than the targeted audience. I wanted to get my letter telling me I was a wizard (or witch) and would be swept away into this magical world that exists alongside of our muggle world. Even as an adult it is wonderful to believe that somewhere there is magic or this alternate world that could exist. The core story of love and friendship endures past the books and films. And even as I re-read the series I laugh and cry at the same moments that I read in the first reading. And am sad when it's all over that I need to re-read and re-watch. It's one that shall continue to endure. – therachelralph 5 years ago
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  • I agree that it's the characters because the characters are thought out to such an extent and written in such detail that they can easily be imagined as real people instead of just imaginary people from a book. They also cover a wide range of types of people and do not stick to hard stereotypes. The good characters have flaws. The bad characters have good somewhere inside them or backstories explaining why they are how they are. The booksmart Hermione doesn't always have the answer and brought new depth to the 'nerd' and 'bookworm' characters. All the characters have an amazing depth to them that is actually surprising considering just how many characters there are. Even small characters that you hardly see or ones that didn't even make it into the movies have complete characters. None are hollow characters just there for the furthering of the plot, instead being fully-formed people. I would say that the characters are the main reason the series remains relevant. The magic doesn't hurt though. Essentially, the series creates a world perfect for the imagination of all ages to explore and young fans just get to know the world and the characters in new and deeper ways as they get older. It doesn't just fade away and get forgotten because there's always more to experience and enjoy. – AnisaCowan 5 years ago
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  • It's the appeal of the alternative reality: this rich and amazing world that is just around the corner, if only we know how to look for it. I'd also say it was how well Rowling constructed her universe and how rich and detailed it is. Just the care she put into naming her characters, it reminds me of Tolkien. I think another part of the appeal is that we can all imagine ourselves in that world. If not as students, then as teachers or at least as a denizen. In that respect, it reminds me of Star Trek. – LisaDee 5 years ago
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  • Someone please formulate what Rowling did. I need the money. – Tigey 5 years ago
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  • Many people have mentioned the characters and I agree that is a huge part of it. JKR has called them "character-driven" books and after reading that quote I was immediately like, oh, yeah. It got me thinking. Technically all books are driven by the actions of characters, but some plots don't require you to know the characters on a personal level to be entertaining. JKR takes character to a whole new level; as people have said, it's like you know them (not just the main characters--almost all of them) and could predict what they would do in any situation. And her dialogue is fun, witty, and personal to each of her characters. It makes her writing more fun and truly exceptional, and the story so much more dimensional than the plot of defeating Voldemort. That goes along with the idea of world creation. I hate comparing HP to things like Twilight and The Hunger Games because it blows them out of the water from a writing, literary, and overall goodness standpoint. But a comparison serves to make my point--Stephanie Meyer and Suzanne Collins created worlds within or in the future of our world. They added new rules and created some creatures, devices, and spaces that are purely the products of imagination. But J.K. Rowling created a Wizarding world that, while occasionally intersecting with the muggle world, is a space all it's own. She doesn't even rely on the existence of technology. She invented hundreds of spells, animals, laws, backstories, places, histories. It's mind-blowing. – katybherman 5 years ago
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  • J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series helped change my life as a child. Being of the Harry Potter generation I grew up reading the books, waiting in lines at midnight to get the books and skipping school the next day to barricade myself in my room to read it in its entirety as soon as possible. J.K. Rowlings taught me lessons about hardship, friendship, bullying and life with her stories, for that, I will be forever grateful. Literature to me is going on an adventure. No matter the genre, fiction or non–though I am partial to fiction. By opening the pages of a book we can be transported into a new world, learning and living through characters in the world created. We study and write about it for many different reasons, some to learn, others to simply enjoy. Literature has no bounds, it is not limited by the past, present or the future. It's the relatability of the characters and their progression through growing up learning about, life, love/lust, friendship, bully, and loss that allow us to connect with them, breath with them and even grieve with them. The world of Harry Potter is so much more than one boy with a scar on his forehead or simply words on a page. – RoyalBibliophile 5 years ago
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  • Check out Sarah's recent post, pending approval, as it addresses Harry and enduring popularity. – Paul A. Crutcher 5 years ago
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The Evolution of Sci Fi films

The relationship between audiences and science fiction films have changed over the century. This has been affected by the political struggles of each era. How have the focus of these films changed over the decades. How similar or different are our fears between the 1950’s to today.

  • It is interesting to see how Sci-Fi has gone mainstream. Why is that? How did sci-fi become part of pop culture? Has it lost anything or does it mean that audiences are more open than in the past? This is a good topic. – Munjeera 6 years ago
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  • This may be relevant, since it deals with political issues. In a film class, we discussed James Cameron's Aliens and American films' (primarily action films, but Aliens is also sci fi) portrayals of masculine action stars (counting women, i.e. Ellen Ripley and Vasquez) and how they were influenced by Reagan's public persona. This may be taking allegory too far, but Ripley is essentially a hard body using violence to go up against an Other, which is in this case actually aliens. American sci fi tends to deal a lot with a fear of the Other/invasion (Red Scare, hostage crisis), but that's just one take to potentially explore. – Emily Deibler 6 years ago
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  • Specifying a certain countries' sci-fi films could help focus this article, since sci-fi is often used to explore and speculate on social issues, which change depending on where the movies are being made. – chrischan 6 years ago
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  • The Matrix was a very good "fear of technology" movie, made just as the internet was becoming omnipresent in daily life. – Tarben 5 years ago
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  • Interestingly enough, the sci-fi stories themselves have changed through the years with new and advancing technologies in the real world, but I feel as though the overall drive and goal of the genre has remained the same: To give humanity hope for the future. – Bluejay 5 years ago
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  • The "science" in movies nowadays is more ridiculous and at the same time believable as compared to those Sci-fi flicks made .30 years back – DevanshSharma 5 years ago
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The Pros and Cons of Reboots: Ghostbusters

Due to the controversy surrounding the new Ghosbusters film, what does it say regarding our society and the relation of fandom to changes in existing franchises and fictional properties? Many recent film examples could be used to explore the current state of film and other media.

  • I think that a good reboot finds ways to honour the original series. For example, the new "Ghostbusters" has so many great cameos. Also, the story and dialogue felt the same as the originals to me. – Lauren Mead 5 years ago
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  • I just think, in many cases, not all, it feels as if people are so lazy that they just sit in a writer's room and discuss old movies they can remake. What about novel ideas? Exploring creative ideas or novel subjects that will draw in crowds? Also, such as with Ghostbusters, this is a difficult one to draw viewers into because younger generations are likely unfamiliar with the movie; whereas older generations love the original, and do not want to see yet another remake. The one time when I feel a remake is apropos is when the filmmakers, and creative team, are truly passionate about the movie and want to give it it's proper cinematic representations. Then I applaud them. – danielle577 5 years ago
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Homosexuality in Naruto

It’s often been joked about about fandom regarding the relationship between Sasuke and Naruto. However, does this perception within the fandom have any relevance. Yes or no? What’s the impact for the overall narrative and themes of the series if any. Furthermore, how do cultural perceptions regarding controversial matters such as these influence the series.

  • There are a lot of fandoms out there that "ship" or imagine relationships between two characters of the same sex, particularly in anime and manga. It could be interesting to frame these questions within an exploration of "slash" fiction as a whole and its relevance, impact, and place in today's culture. – Nicole Williams 6 years ago
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Godzilla as a Nuclear Metaphor

Analyze the original Gojira film and its importance as an allegory for the horrors World War II. Maybe offer suggests on how the view of Godzilla has changed over the decades.

  • There certainly needs to be more detail for this topic i.e. how was Godzilla originally seen as a Nuclear metaphor/has there been any studies into nuclear metaphors within cinema that can be applied to Godzilla – Ryan Errington 6 years ago
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  • I'm a big Godzilla fan myself. Let me know if you need any help with this one. Make sure you mention "Lucky Dragon No. 5." – ajester 6 years ago
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The Influence of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Television Storytelling

Focus on the commitment to a long running story in syndicated television. This predates many shows since most that came before were generally episodic.

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    Monster: The Nature of Evil

    Explore what makes Johan Liebert such a complex villain. In fact, is he truly evil?

    • A very good topic, to cover the personality and charisma of Johan Liebert in general. And on the true nature of evil and whether he was really a villain: a really good point to explore. Obviously, he wasn't the "evil" evil. Extend by discussing the various negative roles that actually have a double meaning, taking the example of Kira from Death Note -- another fan-loved "evil" character. Btw, I think this article has great potential but I don't understand why it's housed in the manga category? Why not anime? – Abhimanyu Shekhar 6 years ago
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    • Honestly, anything on Monster would be incredible. – Travis Cohen 6 years ago
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    • There's already an article in the anime section about this, so this topic may be a redundant. Maybe take a look to see if this one would be rehashing old ground. – Jordan 6 years ago
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    • I'll check for it. Maybe this could be restructured to focus on the moral questions of the series. Specifically Tenma's internal turmoil. – Joseph Manduke IV 6 years ago
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    Joss Whedon: Strong Female Characters

    Explore how Whedon created strong female characters in Buffy, Firefly, Dollhouse, Avengers ect.

    • I'd say Whedon is also good in creating well-rounded woman characters, as well as the 'strong female' character e.g. Buffy being a teenage girl and having emotions / flaws as well as being a kickass vampire slayer. – Camille Brouard 6 years ago
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    • Whedon's track record here is not what it necessarily could be though. If you look around the Internet you'll find a fair amount of criticism of his work from a feminist perspective, some of it a little out there, some of it right on the money. Just as an example, the fact that Buffy and Angel having sex nearly causes the end of the world is on the decidedly uncomfortable side. – Winter 6 years ago
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    The influence of The Sopranos on Television Drama

    Explore the Sopranos and the influence of Breaking Bad, Mad Men ect.

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      Spider-Man and Maturity

      Explore the character’s lack of development due to editors preventing him from growing up.

      • Would you looking for an article about his lack of development with added explanation about editorial interference or a history of the franchise that highlights instances and periods of when this editorial interference occurred? – Austin 6 years ago
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      • I should preface this with saying I absolutely love Spider-Man. I'm glad the topic came up, though, because it's good to look at instances where Marvel has stumbled in its treatment of an otherwise exceptional character. Austin raises a good point. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few instances of editorial interference that would be good for whoever writes this topic. "One More Day" is probably the greatest example in recent years, or even the character's history in general. That story portrayed Peter to be quite immature in coming to terms with his Aunt May's condition, and how he essentially wanted to save because he couldn't accept her dying to do something he did. Moreover, Peter being so much of a defeatist in that arc - something that he has never been, just look at stories like "If This Be My Destiny!" or "Spider-Man No More!" as evidence to how he always bounces back - to the point that he literally strikes a deal with the Devil? This is something a desperate pouting child would do to get a toy he wanted, not a good-hearted hero like Spider-Man. There was also the "Sins Past" arc that had Peter learn that Gwen Stacy fathered twins with Norman Osborn. You'd have to look into it more for confirmation, but I do remember reading that apparently the editors vetoed writer J. Michael Straczynski's pitch for Peter to be the father of Gwen's children. Reason being, the editors supposedly thought that Peter being a father would "age him too much." They eventually agreed on Norman Osborn being the father instead, a very creepy and totally out of character decision for Gwen. Funny enough, both of these stories happened during Straczynski's eight-year run. Which is noteworthy because he brought a great sense of nuance and maturity to the character; rather, it was these editorial decisions that put blemishes in his otherwise excellent – BradShankar 6 years ago
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      • In some ways I feel like they're trying to keep him young for new generations, every generation should experience Spider-Man and in order for that to be, they have to adapt to each generation; so, they can relate and so thus keeping him young let's that happen. Then again, I don't know who would want to see a 28 year old Peter Parker flying through the sky, so there's pros and cons. – scoleman 6 years ago
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      Nihilism and Destiny in Berserk.

      Explore the darker themes within the series.

      • This isn't a helpful comment but man do i feel the need to chime in. Berserk is bloody dark. – wolfkin 6 years ago
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      The Best of David Lynch

      Perhaps an article about the primary aspects of Lynch’s work. Maybe exploring Twin Peaks and his most essential films?

      • This would be very interesting given the new interest in Twin Peaks. Maybe a focus on that and then a run-down of how his other work links in/is similar for those who don't know it. – Francesca Turauskis 6 years ago
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      • Mr. Lynch is my favorite film director, and thus I'm very tempted to go ahead and grab this topic. But yes, it might make more sense to write this article once the new Twin Peaks series starts becoming more of a reality. It would also be interesting to go through a series of tropes that Lynch uses consistently in his films and in Twin Peaks, and even how other directors have been inspired by these same Lynchian tropes. There's so much that could be written on about Lynch! He's a fantastic rabbit hole of ideas for posts. – Rachel Watson 6 years ago
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      Mad Max: The Power of Practical Effects

      Due to the recent release of Mad Max: Fury Road and it’s success, it seems relevant to discuss the fact the film is primarily fueled by practical effects. This article to could explore the importance of not utilizing CGI. Sadly, this is an larger tendency for film makers the past few decades.

      • Also, JJ Abrams has already demonstrated that he will be utilizing practical effects for the upcoming Star Wars film. – G Anderson Lake 7 years ago
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      • CGI pales in comparison with stunts done for real. There is that awe-factor which is leagues ahead of what we get from CGI. – Akilan 7 years ago
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      • A good film to watch or mention in your article would be Jurassic Park, I rewatched the film recently and they had a number of practical effects rather than CGI and I think it still holds up today. Mad Max: Fury Road has demonstrated that practical effects have a more visceral impact with viewers. The recent Evil Dead remake, while not a great film, incorporated practical effects to make the sickening gore more effective. – Nathan 7 years ago
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      literature
      Write this topic

      Tolkien and Christianity: Religious Symbolism in Lord of the Rings

      One of the more interesting aspects of Tolkien and his work are the subtle and not so subtle commentaries of various topics. Some parallels could between with his work and Christian lore and doctrine.

      • Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were good friends, and Lewis certainly wrote with a ton of religious themes. I know there is some documentation of their discussions about religion somewhere, which would certainly be worth looking up. – G Anderson Lake 7 years ago
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      • Tolkien himself always claimed his stories were not allegorical. – Kristian Wilson 7 years ago
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      • Sauron would be parallel to the devil, Saruman to Judas... but where do characters like Grima and Gandalf fit? – SpectreWriter 6 years ago
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      Han Solo: The Strength of the Anti-Hero

      Despite Luke Skywalker being the main character in the trilogy, Solo is equally popular if not more so. Explore the dynamic of Han and why this builds upon his popularity.

      • Well that's because he has got more entertainment in him. He's unapologetic and fun. He's The Dude from the 70s - funky and very vocally, money-minded. No doubt people dig him. – Akilan 7 years ago
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      • He is the most dynamic of all the characters in the trilogy, which makes him more human and allows the audience to relate to him the most of all the characters. Luke and Leia are admirable, heroic characters from the start. Their resolve never falters and their honor is never doubted. Solo, on the other hand, goes through quite a transformation. He begins as a selfish man out for his own gain and ends up as a hero capable of teamwork, friendship and love. – Visenya 7 years ago
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      Fullmetal Alchemist: The Battle Between Two Series

      Fullmetal Alchemist is an extremely important manga and anime franchise. It was one of the primary shows to lead Adult Swim in the early 2000’s and the flagship show for newer anime viewers around the same period. With the introduction of Brotherhood, a series closer to the manga, the series was re energized interest in the franchise. However, comparisons have been made between both versions of the series and which is superior. This article would seek to determine which has the better narrative.

      • I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I think someone already similar topic on FMA vs FMAB. Maybe try to offer a different perspective in your article – Aaron Hatch 7 years ago
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      • Perhaps on what makes this series such a gateway anime. – Joseph Manduke IV 7 years ago
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      • I wouldn't say "better" narrative. I think what makes each series great are their spins on the same concept and how they each branch off. The most interesting part is how each develop their worlds (plus the concept of balance is taken way further in the original series). Another interesting point would be that of intention. We have one series that was created as the original creator (Arakawa), and one that was not. Defining the differences based on that distinction might be neat as well. Also, not sure if someone has already done this, but either way this would make a good article. I know I've talked to friends extensively about this and a well thought out analysis would be fun to read. – Tecohen0 6 years ago
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