“I am too skinny.” “My hair is a curly mess.” “My hair is too straight. It hangs limply on my shoulders, no body to speak of.” “I hate my freckles.” “My feet are too big.” “Too pale.” “Too dark.” “I hate my knees.” “I wish my hair were blonde/shiny/naturally curled like [insert minor character here].” […]Read More Protagonist Pet Peeves: The “Pretty” Protagonist
Happy Tolkien Week to one and all! One of the aspects of Tolkien’s work that fascinates me is its depiction of Evil. Not only can this mild-mannered, somewhat niggling professor write some truly terrifying scenes, but I also appreciate the thematic truths that inform his portrayal of Evil. I love a good subtle villain as […]Read More Tolkien’s Three Satans and Why They Matter
“If You Want to Write Fantasy, Stop Reading It.” That was the title of a post I wrote a couple years ago for Faith & Fantasy Alliance. (You can read it here now.) Despite the clickbait title, I don’t believe fantasy authors should discontinue reading fantasy: for one, it’s important to keep up with developments […]Read More What Fantasy Authors Can Learn from Beowulf
If you haven’t read this book and you don’t want it spoiled, turn back now! Ahead there be spoilers, unabashed and free-flowing. The second part of Life of Pi is a 16-year-old boy (Piscine, nicknamed Pi) telling the story of how he survived 227 days at sea in a lifeboat, accompanied by an adult Bengal […]Read More So I Read Life of Pi.
Hopefully, last week’s post showed that Moana has some deeper and more complex concerns than a typical Junior Knows Best, Follow Your Heart kids’ film. By looking at the foils, Maui and Tala, we distilled the theme of approval. Through a close reading of the evil crab’s song, we saw that the film also plays […]Read More Moana’s Message: More than Just “Follow Your Heart”
Last week, I shared about the time I was seriously disturbed watching a scene from FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. In short, the scene took what should have been a private, safe moment for a minor and “pulled back the curtain” to the audience, turning her physical and emotional vulnerability–her right to take an innocent bath in […]Read More Naked: Essential or Detrimental to Visual Stories?
Let me set the scene. A teenage girl, after a long and dangerous journey, finally arrives at the home of someone who is not out to kill her: another teenage girl. Though they don’t know each other well, they both immediately recognize a friend. The traveler’s new friend runs a bath for her, pulling a […]Read More The Rape of Winry Rockbell
Despite the fact that Cap spends much of his time thinking and writing about film, we surprisingly don’t see many movies in theaters. But we Redbox! And sometimes, I have Thoughts. Are they timely thoughts, on trend with what everyone else is blogging about? Nope. Thus, I here begin a new “series” that will be […]Read More The Greatest Showman: Belated Thoughts
It may have been a while since you carefully watched the first 20 minutes of Mary Poppins. As I child, I didn’t watch them at all; I just distracted myself until “A Spoonful of Sugar.” Here’s what happens: The nanny wants to quit. Mrs. Banks comes home and sings a song about suffrage, then realizes […]Read More Mary Poppins: The Surprising Solution for Phone Addicts
In my last post, I argued that reading classic literature can help inspire our writing of speculative fiction. To demonstrate this principle, I’ll (over time) write several posts describing how my own reading and teaching of classic English literature has enriched and enlarged my views of what spec-fic can do. For the sake of argument, […]Read More William Faulkner Teaches Fantasy