Self-Plug: Privilege Undermines Disney’s ‘Gargoyles’ Attempts to Explore Oppression

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People who regularly read this blog, I have betrayed you. I have written about Gargoyles for a place that is not here.  Fortunately, thanks to the magic of the internet, you too can enjoy this fine post I have written on how privilege undermines Gargoyles‘ attempts to tell its story–a topic that should be familiar to my regular readers–over at the fine site Bitch Flicks. It goes something like this:

Gargoyles is also a fantastic showcase of what can happen when creators possessing privilege write stories about the oppressed without their input. Weisman and his staff had good intentions, and yet that didn’t stop them from writing “Heritage,” a perennial contender for the award of Most Racist Story That Tried Not to Be Racist (Television). In the episode, Elisa essentially tells the chief of a failing First Nation village, whom she’s only just met, that he’s performing his identity wrong, and is proven correct by the narrative. While that episode is an outlier, it is not alone — despite the show’s attempts to be about oppression and about being the Other, it falls down in multiple and consistent ways featuring more than one episode where the message they wish to send is not the message they are actually sending.

Yay me! Once you’re done, there are also many other fine posts by awesome writers about various films and TV shows for you to read, so please give those a look. Thank you!

 

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The Stone Gryphon: “M.I.A.”

“We thought you’d died with Griff! Is he here?  Is he with you?”  Leo

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Written by: Robert Cohen

Original Air Date: December 21, 1995

Introduces: Griff, Una, Leo

Timeline placement: 1940; January 23 – 24, 1996

Location:  London, England

TMNT episode I could make a very forced comparison to: “Timing is Everything”

 

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Plug: Fashionable Tinfoil accessories

As y’all have probably realized, progress on this blog tends to be, on the regular, slower than an unfired bullet.  I started this blog back in…2011?, and even with bursts of productivity, I’m still only halfway through both TMNT and Gargoyles‘ second seasons.    Therefore, when I look at somebody who can post things with a modicum of consistency, I seethe with envious rage and resentment.  How dare these fortunate souls exist, who can actually focus on things for more than ten seconds at a time and finish things with relative ease?  When these brilliant superhuman monsters also happen to write about things I’m writing about, and do it well, it makes me feel like, like…well, like the rival in a shonen manga / anime. You know how that goes.

On that note, Vrai Kaiser has been posting reviews of Gargoyles episodes as of late, and despite starting yesterday back in August of this year, they are well on their way to surpassing me, and I both hate and love them for it.  Their recaps are insightful and entertaining, and you should totally check them out at VraiKaiser.com.

 

These Ten Episodes Will Tell You Everything You Need to Know About “Gargoyles”

So I was talking to Jed Blue in an attempt to convince him to work with me on little something-something for the blog, having to do with “Golem”. Whilst talking, he mentioned that he hadn’t had the opportunity to watch Gargoyles, and that he’d been thinking of asking me for a list of episodes to watch, so that he could have an idea of what the series was about and what it was trying to do, and work the series in as part of The Near- Apocalypse of ’09, his ongoing deconstruction of the DC Animated Universe (which y’all should seriously read, because it’s great).  Because he is cleverer than me, he immediately saw through my ploy of giving him a sixty-five episode list and told me that he’d prefer it if it were around ten episodes long.  Well, since I love a challenge, so I said “yes”, and after some thinking, here are the episodes, presented in airing order.  They’re not necessarily the best episodes, or the most significant, or even ones that necessarily make a whole lot of sense outside of their contexts as parts of a larger ongoing story, but together, they are enough to give the newcomer  comprehensive idea of what the series is about.

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Character Conception Corner: Shadow Jones

I’ve mentioned before that Shadow Jones is one of those characters from the original Ninja Turtles books that I really wish had made it into 4Kids’ adaptation, and that hasn’t changed much–I still really wish she’d made it to the cartoon. Introduced in 1992 during the “City at War” arc, she since became a fixture of the Mirage ‘verse, which focused various stages of her life–infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood–as various stories hopscotched through the timeline.  She’s also one of those characters who were really useful in showing how time had passed and changed the various characters; TMNT isn’t about just having endless iterations of a single status quo–or at least, not usually about that–but about change.  The characters as seen in volume 4 are not the same characters we first met in volume one; almost twenty years have passed since then, and they have made their presence felt, and Shadow is one of the clearest signs of that, as she turns characters into parents and uncles and teachers.

Since 4Kids did not see it fit to feature Shadow in their universe, I decided to take on the job myself. Because I’m me, this meant changing almost everything I thought I could get away with, while still retaining what I felt was the core of the character.  I then paid an artist, as I’ve done before, to translate my ideas into paper (or whatever its online equivalent is), and this is what came from it.

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Plug: Hall of Lost Legends

So a friend of mine, Kihaela, told me some time ago that she and a friend would be starting up a new TMNT message board, one focusing on the Mirage Era (a.k.a. anything in production before rights were sold to Nick, and borderline stuff like the latter Tales issues).  As someone who wholeheartedly believes that the fandom needs and deserves a place that isn’t The Technodrome, this made me very, very happy.

Well, the board is up, it’s called The Hall of Lost Legends–a reference to a Volume 1 story of the same name, about a place that collected myths–and while it’s rather empty at the moment, that is both perfectly natural and perfectly solvable.  Time permitting, I plan to post there as much as I can, and hope y’all will too.

Fade with the Dawn: “Avalon” Part Three

“We will take no more chances.” The Archmage

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Written by: Lydia C. Marano
Original Air Date: November 22, 1995
Introduces: Arthur Pendragon, King of the Britons, the Sleeping King, Mother of Dragons, the Greatest Warrior Who Ever Lived
Timeline placement: December 29, 1995 – January 1, 1996 (Earth Time)
TMNT episode I could make a forced comparison to: “City at War” Part Three; “Enter the Dragons”

 

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