8FOLD/HCC: Nonfiction # 1, So I Wished Them Up (USENET-friendly version)

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 13:48:48 PST 2013

On Feb 23, 8:13 pm, Tom Russell <joltc... at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've had this idea (what if there was a French superhero comic that was turned into a propaganda tool after the Battle of France) in one form or the other, kicking around for a while. For a long time, I was going to do it "straight"-- i.e., as a story about the actual characters "actually" existing, with the characters actually turning into psuedo-Nazis, etc. But it didn't make any sense without the meta-story conceit.

Hmmmmm. Yeah, I see whatcha mean.

> I'm not usually one for the fake essay genre, but I've been warming up to it and Dave's concept challenge just made everything kinda click.

I like it! <3

> 1. I kept the behind-the-scenes stuff fuzzy here, but I'd imagine there were strong suggestions from some Germans as to how the character should be portrayed in keeping with their racist ideology. And the Germans, in both art and in war, were not known for their subtlety in this period. Especially if this was seen as a form of propaganda, a way to turn the French "heroes" into a tool for indoctrination, they wouldn't hesitate to use whiplash-inducing opposition. And, as Goebbels once said so famously, people will swallow lies if they're big enough. Whether or not that in and of itself is true (and given the declining sales of the title, it seems that it wasn't in this case), it was an idea that German propagandists certainly believed in, would have acted upon, and would have expected occupied collaborators to act upon.

I dunno. It just doesn't seem like the level of whiplash where an
explicitly heroic character becomes an explicitly villainous character
- even the Nazis were usually subtler than that. I'd expect him to
just be completely dropped. That said, I can imagine a particular
individual in charge of the project deciding to do it and just
steamrolling his underlings into agreeing. I'd just have really liked
more info on the decisions behind that, but then, our anonymous essay-
writer was unlikely to have any.

> I was going for a Samuel Mudd type thing here; Mudd's family, even today, has continued to perpetrate the lie that he was but an innocent doctor who mended Wilkes's leg, and this lie has been perpetrated with great success. Movies and books and popular myth cast Mudd as the innocent leg-mender, when he was in fact a full-fledged member of Wilkes's conspiracy.

Man. I'm surprised anyone still cares.

> > >    But then, out of nowhere, appeared twelve champions dressed in costumes of black and white. For one brief impossible hour, the Societe de l'egalite was real. We need them, so someone wished them up. After that hour, they had disappeared, the German heroes have been utterly destroyed, allowing the allies to continue fighting, and, of course, to win.
> > Eeeeeeeeee <3 <3 <3
> Eeeeeeeeee was what I was going for, thanks.

Don't mention it. XD

> > Interesting. You'd think that'd be the sort of thing that'd come out
> > in a big way in the Internet age.
> It certainly would in _our_ universe, where superhero comics are a big part of geek fandom. But in a universe where superhero fandom and comics fandom are distinct and separate flavors of the geek continuum, I think the "official" comics would be fairly obscure, the same way Fletcher Hanks was and still is, and the "underground" comics moreso.

Ah, but if the genre a bigger thing in Europe, and this is basically
one of the founding pillars of it...

> One reason why I participate so seldom in the HCC is that when I write fiction, I "fuss" too much over it, and take too long, and end up not having an entry. Which is the sort of thing the HCC is supposed to prevent, but there you go.

Pretty much the same thing here, plus usually having some other
project I'm working on.

> Writing a pastiche (as I did here, and for the olympics-themed HCC story, and I guess also for the Tostig story) seems to allow me to complete the entry in a reasonable time frame.

Plus, it's interesting and different!

> > Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, love!
> Glad you enjoyed, and as always, thanks for the feedback.


Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, must keep up feedback stream.

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