Friday, May 18, 2012

[Link] Fantasy Meets Reality

by Lance Stahlberg

Bouncing off a round table that my buddy Sean Taylor did about a week ago, The Story Behind Urban Fantasy. It got me to thinking about the stories I watched/read growing up, and the stuff that would eventually inspire me to actually try telling these stories myself.

One of the first books I remember cracking open as a child was The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  I was mesmerized by a world populated by magic creatures and witches and talking animals presented as if it were REAL.  No hoaky, kiddie, cartoony gimmicks.  No singing.  This was a real world where a bunch of kids actually went and battled evil.

I also grew up watching cartoons, natch.  In particular I remember kind of hating Scooby Doo (while sitting glued to this opium for kids every day), thinking how lame it was that every case had to be some stupid old guy playing tricks with fake ghosts and stage magic and whatnot.  Why couldn't they fight real monsters dammit?  Guess the creative geniuses at Hanna Barbera thought that would have been too silly. -_-

But that's how it was for the first roughly two decades of my life.  Creators of the time couldn't seem to bring themselves to mix elements of fantasy or the supernatural into the real world without portraying it as a comedic spoof.  There were a few good attempts, mostly in the horror genre, but they were VERY few and far between.

Except for comic books, the one medium where writers had no constraints.

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