Archives for posts with tag: childhood

Hello again. I am back from Williamsburg, Virginia.

First of all, while I was vacationing at America’s Historic Triangle in Virginia (consisting of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown), I have conceived this idea of writing a big, epic fantasy novel based on and inspired by the cartoon Samurai Jack, one that would take Samurai Jack’s entire childhood, training around the world, and return home as an adult in the hopes of freeing his enslaved people and vanquishing the demon Aku before Aku himself sends Jack spiraling into the future that is Aku, recast it in modern literary prose language (and just like T.H. White have done with his masterful epic retelling of Arthurian legend, The Once and Future King), and retell Samurai Jack’s childhood, training and return home to try and free his enslaved people before Aku banishes the warrior into the future that is Aku for a whole new generation.

The title of my planned epic novel:

The Once And Future Samurai

image

 

And the ‘Once And Future Samurai‘ of the title and in question shall be…

 

This child:

 

image

 

Young Jack, to be exact!

My intention for The Once and Future Samurai is to track the epic life’s journey of Samurai Jack from his boyhood through his training ‘round the world among all manners of warriors and heroes to his return home as an adult to try to free his enslaved people and destroy Aku the Shogun of Sorrow, and ending at the point where Jack is about to strike the final death blow against Aku, at the point just before Aku tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future.

Anyway, I will begin my epic novel, The Once and Future Samurai, shortly after Samurai Jack was born at the end of The Birth of Evil Part II, when his father, the Emperor of Japan/Shanghara gather together the great leaders of the world’s many peoples where, in a great United Nations-type council meeting, they all devise a plan that will prepare The Emperor’s Son, the Once and Future Samurai of the title, for the ultimate battle against the ultimate evil that is Aku, in case Aku ever returns or gets his jailbreak.

Hopefully, in fleshing out the details in Samurai Jack’s childhood before Aku’s jailbreak, I hope to include…

Hmm. Let’s see…

image

 

Oh! I Know!

His playing with the crickets and this girl:

 

image

 

His encounter with none other than Lone Wolf and Cub:

 

image

 

The lessons he learned from his father and mother, The Emperor and Empress of Japan/Shanghara:

 

image

 

The time where he plays with his favorite ball…

 

image

 

 

 

image

 

 

image

 

 

image

 

…and his thwarting of the three bullies who stole Young Jack’s ball:

 

image

 

All was happy for Young Jack and his Japanese/Shangharan empire, until one day, when a solar eclipse brought about Aku’s jailbreak, so he can “smite the world like I had in days long past”.

And guess what will Aku bring with him in addition to his strange powers, don’t ya?

An army of swarthy barbarians from Astronoma, a land to the north of Shanghara, and their ruthless leader, Nam’Krad The Astronomean (which is backwards for Dexter’s Laboratory’s Mandark), who, offended by not being invited to the great United Nations-like council meeting held by Samurai Jack’s father, The Emperor, swears to conquer and invade Japan/Shanghara and the surrounding world in the name of Aku.

The Emperor’s soldiers fought bravely against Aku and Nam’Krad’s invading Astronomean forces but they cannot defeat Aku’s strange powers, not to mention, the explosives employed by the barbaric Astronomean invaders. And Aku also captured the Emperor before he could reached his magic sword.

But one hope remained.

The Emperor’s wife took the sword and Young Jack with her and left Japan/Shanghara to get away from the ensuing violence.

She hid the sword with a secret sect of monks in the cold recesses of Taipania and sent Young Jack ‘round the world to be trained as a samurai warrior among all manner of warriors and heroes from different cultures.

 

image

 

Remember, Jack wears a special symbol around his neck that identifies him as the son of the Emperor of Japan/Shanghara, and somebody to be trusted, too!

 

image

 

On a Japanese/Shangharan Junk, he learns Navigation/Astronomy:

 

image

 

In the land of Elsharzar/Arabia, he learns horseback riding:

 

image

 

In Harlorleanea/Africa, he learns stick fighting from the Zuli people:

 

image

 

In Azigoria/Egypt, he learns how to read, write and translate hieroglyphics:

 

image

 

In Athenodor/Greece, he learns wrestling:

 

image

 

In the forests of Avaland/England, he learns archery from Locksley/Robin Hood, a Robin Hood-like man who is also a friend of Oliver, The Young Captain of Avaland:

 

image

 

In Vargland/Scandinavia, he learns how to sail the high seas from the Varg People of the Northern Sea/Vikings:

 

image

 

In Nevskia/Russia, He learns how to throw an axe at a target:

 

image

 

In Tenjaland/Mongolia, he learns from the Ten’Jai/Mongols how to throw spears:

 

image

 

And in Taipania/China, he learns martial arts from the Shaolin Monks:

 

image

 

In all his travels, Jack grew from a boy into a man.

 

image

 

He may have learned the basic skills of a samurai warrior, but he learned some extra skills as well. All the extra training helped Samurai Jack to become a well-rounded warrior—the only kind of warrior able to take on Aku.

After claiming the sword from his mother, he gathers a coalition of Avalish and Taipanean soldiers as well as the last surviving Shangharan samurai armies and together, they went to the shores of Shanghara and ride to glory against the Astronomeans led by Lord Nam’Krad, with Jack flying the Shangharan standard from a Taipanean Junk.

After losing Captain Oliver to Nam’Krad, after defeating Nam’Krad and the Astronomeans, after subduing Aku’s taskmasters, and after freeing the Emperor of Japan/Shanghara and his people, he challenged Aku:

 

image

 

At the end of my novel, The Once And Future Samurai, Aku and Jack fought a spectacular battle.

And like I said, I shall end my epic novel/retelling of Samurai Jack’s boyhood and training at the very point Jack is about to destroy the demon with one last killin’ blow from his sword, at the very point just before Aku conjured up a time portal that sent Jack spiraling far into the future that is Aku:

 

image

 

Aku: You might have beat me now, but I will destroy you in the future.

Jack: There is no future for you, Aku.

Aku: I disagree.

Like I said, Samurai Jack, to me, is, in question, the Once and Future Samurai refer to in the title of my book, and always will be, would he?

 

image

 

Anyway, even as The Once and Future Samurai will chronicle the boyhood of Samurai Jack, his training around the world, and his return home to challenge Aku and his allies, the Astronomeans, and ending immediately before Aku flung him into the future that is Aku, one of the central themes in The Once and Future Samurai, is going to be an exploration of human nature.

For even though I shall admit the source of my book is the cartoon Samurai Jack (which is my all-time favorite) by Genndy Tartakovsky, I shall reinterpret the events taking Jack from his childhood through his training to his return home to challenge Aku before he sent him to the future, and I shall fill them all with renewed meaning even for a world waiting for dark precarious time to improve (especially in the post-9/11 age and especially in the Great Recession) and especially for a whole new generation of fans of Genndy Tartakovsky and Samurai Jack.

And I shall give the characters in The Once and Future Samurai motivations or traits more complex or even contradictory to those on Samurai Jack the cartoon show.

And I would like to allow Genndy Tartakovsky himself to have a cameo appearance at the end of my Once And Future Samurai book. I will also like to treat the historical characters as mythological or fictional within the world I create for the Once and Future Samurai.

I shall also incorporate not only anachronistic allusions to the past (i.e., dinosaurs, etc.), but also those to events in more recent times (like 9/11, the actions of James Holmes, Adam Lanza or Elliot Rodgers, etc.).

Just like in T.H. White’s The Once And Future King, would it?

 

image

 

Gee, Talk about ‘anachronism stew’ over here! HA HA HA HA!

Anyway, what would you think of The Once And Future Samurai, my epic novel/retelling/chronicle of Samurai Jack’s childhood, training and return home to free his enslaved people and challenge Aku before the demon sends the Samurai into the future? And what would you think of all the things I wanted to incorporate into The Once And Future Samurai?

 

image

Advertisements

Well, you guys know what sparked my fascination and obsession with dinosaurs that dates all the way back to my early childhood. It was back in the day of the early or mid 1990’s.

I have these images of these animals in my head, when I was a little baby or toddler. It was a half hour VHS hosted by Eric Broadman and the original voice of Space Ghost (the original 1966 Hanna Barbara cartoon, not the more popular Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and other William Street productions for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.), Gary Owens.

It is called…More Dinosaurs. I will tell you about what I saw in full detail…

It all started with Gary Owens meeting Eric Broadman in what is supposed to be the home of Donald F. Glut (author of the Empire Strikes Back novelization). It then shows photos of the early dinosaur hunters like O.C. Marsh and E.D. Cope, which are the guys who are involved in the bone wars of the late 19th century.

It then shows Eric saying how to find more dinosaurs, and then zooms in to the mouth of a tyrannosaur and there is a well done opening title sequences fabricated from images of the ever-popular 1981 William Stout book, the Dinosaurs: A Fantastic New View of a Lost Era (reissued in 2000 as the New Dinosaurs, y’know, the reissue of William Stout’s dinosaur book that I have in my house).

It then shows dinosaur caricatures of Gary and Eric before moving on to a 1985 animation festival opening where a punk-dressed, anthropomorphic dinosaur juvenile delinquent making a graffiti outside a building before being chased off by the sounds of police siren alarms and shouts from the off-screen police (“HEY YOU!”) and then show what he wrote in the grafitti… Mokele-mbembe (translating from the languages of the African natives of the Congo region, it meant “creature that blocks the four rivers”), which is described by Herman Regusters (or whatever I say his last name) as a living 35 feet sauropod dinosaur.

It then show Eric Broadman documenting Herman’s failed attempts to find that living sauropod the African natives called Mokele-mbembe via video footage that has recovered from the jungles of Congo.

Eric narrates that Mokele-mbembe’s footprints were discovered in 1776 (around the time the Americans declare their independence from the UK, giving birth to the United States of America) and says that natives were humiliating and eating remnants/members of that sauropod’s family.

It then shows Charles R. Knight’s 1897 reconstruction of a sauropod by the name of Amphicoelias and then stills of what is used to be Mokele-mbembe swimming in the Congo river that Herman took in his failed attempt to find that dinosaur.

Well, Eric was sitting in the park and reminding me or us that the only way to see a living dinosaur was to dinosaur films like Disney ill-fated 1985 Touchstone Pictures release, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (which feature some great pre-Jurassic Park animatronic dinosaurs or brontosaurs or sauropods) followed by behind the scenes clips of that film (including the making of the animatronic brontosaurs) and a clip from that film as well.

It then show Gary, who, in front of those zany and wacky dinosaur puppets, and while giving way to clips from the 1925 silent version of the Lost World, narrates that the first full length feature film to include dinosaurs might be that 1925 silent version of the Lost World, whose stop motion dinosaurs were brought to life by some guy who would later bring to life Kong and the Dinosaurs in the Original 1933 King Kong (later remade by Peter Jackson in 2005). He said it was a huge success in 1925 and indicates that in the climax of the 1925 silent version, an Apatosaurus rampages through London, the capital city of the UK, before diving into the Thames River to avoid capture and as its weight disintegrated the London Bridge it stood upon.

Gary also pointed out that earlier in 1914 (1912, he said), Animator Winsor McCay drew the first widely popular cartoon character with personality, Gertie the Dinosaur as well as showing a clip of that cartoon which precedes King Kong, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, even James Cameron’s AVATAR (my favorite movie).

It then flashes back to Eric walking in the lush tropical park before moving on to an interview with a paleontologist living in the 1980s named Edwin H. Colbert and followed by clips from what it is used to be a stop motion short with a dinosaur and a caveman and what it used to be Ray Harryhausen’s unfinished and ambitious Evolution of the World project he made between 1938 and 1940 before he cancel his own project after seeing the Rite of Spring segment in Disney’s Fantasia.

Gary Owens then pointed out that dinosaur movies are different than dinsaurology (which is dinosaur science), and then it shows a color photo of what Roy Chapman Andrews discovered in 1924 Mongolia what is used to be a nest full of Protoceratops egg embryos (now identified as an Oviraptor nest not long after Jurassic Park opens in theatres in 1993, 8 years after this video was produced in 1985 or something like that.).

It Was followed by one of Douglas Henderson’s illustrations that he did for a book called Maia: A Dinosaur Grows Up, Gregory S. Paul’s illustration of Hadrosaurs nesting or taking care of their young, and a sauropod herd illustration that you will find in an 1984 book called Ranger Rick’s Dinosaur Book as well as a illustration of an installment of the ZooBooks series where a baby Protoceratops hatches from its egg, Gregory S. Paul (the author of the ever-popular 1988 book, Predatory Dinosaurs of the World) being interviewed and Mark Hallett’s 1985 contribution for the ZooBooks Dinosaur Book showing a herd of Triceratops defending its young from a pair of striding Tyrannosaurus Rex, followed by a clip from test footage of Willis O’Brien’s unfinished 1931 Creation Project which led directly or indirectly to the original 1933 King Kong. It shows a Triceratops watching over its young.

It then shows Eric traveling through the country side and passing and bumping through sculptures of a Stegosaurus, A Triceratops, what it look like A Diplodocus, and a Dimetrodon (which is a non dinosaur which lives in the Permian period which is way before the dinosaurs took over the earth), before being given some reward from some old guys.

Eric travels through a city full of dinosaur-related signs, before meeting a hitchhiker before stopping at the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, where he was interviewed by a guy working in that quarry.

Eric then destroys the Quarry which collapses and reveals a scene in the Mesozoic showing a Stegosaurus and a Apatosaurus fleeing from what it look like a Tyrannosaurus or an Allosaurus which was stopped by Eric who warns the animal that a flood is coming, only to be wiped out, along with the dinosaurs by a flood engineered by a dinosaur surfer before being buried in the earth which then breaks and dug up by paleontologists, as Gary as narrator tells us of a mistake involving the Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus head controversy until cutting to Eric in skeleton form collapsing from his pilt helmet.

Gary then peers into a skull of a Tyrannosaurus, before talking to a curator at the Smithsonian (that museum with an African Elephant in the Museum’s entrance) who shows us the history of life on earth up until the dinosaurs’ extinction.

It then shows a skit featuring Eric visiting children in an elementary school being obsessed with dinosaurs, followed by a clip from the 1980 Will Vinton Claymation short, Dinosaur (not the 2000 CGI film from Disney that places talking CGI dinosaurs and lemur-like primates in digitally processed and manipulated live action footage) and by Eric playing with clay representations of a dinosaur and a pterosaur.

It then shows Edwin talking about Dinosaur footprints as well as a brief tour of what the dinosaur hall at the American Museum of Natural History probably look like when this video was made and put it on video store shelves.

It ended with Eric reuniting with Gary and being spotted and stalked and pursued by a cheesy-looking Tyrannosaurus Rex before being gobbled up by the cheesy-looking dinosaur as the video and its closing credits were brought to a close.

It ended with a video promo of a 1987 dinosaur video titled Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! (which is well known for Gary Owens’ transformation into a anthropomorphic stop motion animated talking dinosaur (paging the 1991 Disney/Jim Henson TV series, Dinosaurs) (That video actually came out after a video on the prehistoric mammals that took over after the dinosaurs became extinct, titled Prehistoric World), as well as a clip of the dinosaur parade from that video before closing out with footage of children playing alongside a Triceratops outside the Smithsonian before the video fades to black.

See, it was the video that sparked my fascination and obsession with dinosaurs that dates all the way back to my early childhood. As I grow up, I was beginning to learn about contemporary and recent theories on dinosaurs (some of them are outdated), you know like, how the dinosaurs look in real life, flesh and blood, and the fact that dinosaurs are active, tail-off-the-ground warm-blooded and communal animals that practiced socialization and parenting among other things, as well as, among other things, dinosaur nesting grounds, the mass migration of herds, polar habitats, the shape of Apatosaurus’ head, giant meteoritic impacts, the fact that birds are living dinosaurs and even the Feathered Dinosaur revolution that has been going since the 1996 discovery of Sinosauropteryx. And I really think a dinosaur movie like my dream project, Dexter’s Odyssey (though based on and inspired by characters from Dexter’s Laboratory (my favorite TV show and cartoon) and/or The Powerpuff Girls, two obscure kids TV cartoons from the 1990’s, I think it will have dinosaurs as well as winged fire-breathing dragons that is to share the skies with birds and/or pterosaurs), might be the culmination of my fascination and obsession with dinosaurs that dates all the way back to my early childhood.

So, besides my encounter with that video, can anyone please tell what sparked the fascination and obsession with dinosaurs of any of you who likes dinosaurs (even if it dates all the way back to the early childhood of even some of you), in addition to the video that I’m talking about? I really appreciate it. Thank you.