Author Topic: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American  (Read 25825 times)

Offline Wise Son

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2007, 01:19:57 am »
I naturally can't speak for everyone, but I saw it in the dialogue. 

I just don't get this at all. They aren't talking English, they're speaking Hausa, translated into English for the comic. Would you feel easier if everything the Wakandans said had those <> marks either side of them?
And on the subject of dialogue, some months back when Jer said that he thought characters sounded too "American," Reggie's answer wasn't to say "No they don't" so much as to explain that they sound that way because they watch American TV.

It's an interesting point. Reggie has started bringing up the uneasiness that some feel in Wakanda about the weakening of their isolationist policies under T'Challa. I think Reggie's point would be made stronger if he explicitly stated it in the comic rather than just on the board, but he only touched on it explicitly for the first time in the most recent issue, but it would be interesting to see the a generational conflict between younger Wakandans with more outside-world awareness an the older, more isolationist and xenophobic Wakandans. Also, I agree with Reggie, if T'Challa travelled and learnt abroad for cultural awareness, his sister most likely would at least have satellite TV. ;)

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Offline Wise Son

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2007, 01:28:06 am »
[ Or would it be better if they all used that stilted, contraction-free speak so popular in older comics and bad Star Trek series (and in Priest's version coincidently). 
Exactly, I think some people would be happier if the Wakandans were spouting stuff like, "My friend, I swear by the honourable hair of a thousand silver-back Gorillas that Queen Ororo is more beautious than sunrise over the serengeti!"

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Offline voodoochild

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2007, 08:16:25 am »
[ Or would it be better if they all used that stilted, contraction-free speak so popular in older comics and bad Star Trek series (and in Priest's version coincidently). 
Exactly, I think some people would be happier if the Wakandans were spouting stuff like, "My friend, I swear by the honourable hair of a thousand silver-back Gorillas that Queen Ororo is more beautious than sunrise over the serengeti!"
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Offline Loren

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2007, 07:13:12 pm »
I just don't get this at all. They aren't talking English, they're speaking Hausa, translated into English for the comic.

Hey, I'm not the only one who sees it.  Just look at some of the other responses to my post:

Quote from: Evasive1
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't think it is far fetched that modern Wakandans would use American Slang.

Quote from: Yaw
As I said in my original post, Wakandans do sound and act too AMerican but this isn't something that was started by  Hudlin.

Quote from: voodoochild
The Wakandans sound "American" because they are written by Americans for an American audience... They use Americanized slang.

The disagreement doesn't appear to be over the question of whether or not Hudlin's Wakanda HAS a noticeably American (or, at least, Western) flavor to it, but rather whether it SHOULD.  Even bluezulu's opening point with "Tsotsi" isn't to deflate the observation that Hudlin's Wakandans do look and sound kinda Western, but rather the "fanboys' arguments" that Wakanda should be freer of American influence.

And I think that's a much more subjective question.  I have a certain vision of Wakanda (largely mirroring Priest's), and Hudlin has another that doesn't jibe with it.  The guys who did "Ultimate Avengers 2" had a vision of Wakanda that agreed with neither of us.  And we each have our reasons why we think our vision is the best one, and reasons why we think the other guy's is misguided.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 07:23:42 pm by Loren »

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2007, 07:49:27 pm »
I take your point about the differing visions of Wakanda.  However, that doesn't really address Wise Son's point about the "sounding Western" business being a consequence of the translation into English.  It could be that the Wakandans use Hausa slang that is translated into American slang for American audiences.  That would be consistent with the goals of good translation: to render ideas in a manner that a native speaker of the target language might express them.
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Offline bluezulu

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2007, 07:59:24 pm »
Yea but in the movie totsi, they were saying stuff like kiss my ass in their language with sub titles on the bottom. Remember way back when that was what jumped this whole think off, kiss my butt wakanda. What country does not have a comparable saying to kiss my butt. ::)

I bet foreigners think we are soo stupid, sitting at our little computers pontificating in our american ways on how and who they are when we never been to their country and if we did we are visitors and not from there.

Offline Yaw

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2007, 08:24:49 pm »
Yea but in the movie totsi, they were saying stuff like kiss my ass in their language with sub titles on the bottom. Remember way back when that was what jumped this whole think off, kiss my butt wakanda. What country does not have a comparable saying to kiss my butt. ::)

I bet foreigners think we are soo stupid, sitting at our little computers pontificating in our american ways on how and who they are when we never been to their country and if we did we are visitors and not from there.

Oh I definitely agree with that.  There is a difference between having an African actually speak English and the thematic translation of what they would have said in their own language.  The way Wakandan speech and any African speech for that matter, was presented entailed the stiff and highly structural representation of the Enlgish language.  They were written as foreigners trying to speak proper English imo.  I don't know how the editors or Quesada feels about it but I think it would go a long way if Hudlin would placed the "<>" around the words to signify what you are reading is in their own language.  Therefore a fleeing AFrican enemy to Wakanda saying "<Kiss my Butt>" will signal that the character is indeed speaking their own language and what we are reading is a representation of what they would ahve said in their own language.

It's like in the Brazilian movie City of God.  The character played by Seu Jorge was "Knockout Ned" in English but in Brazilian it was something like Galliniehro.  I can't remember the exact spellling but I recognized it as resembling "gallina" in Spanish, which means "Chicken."  WHen I looked it up on the web later I found out that his name was like Chicken Ned or maybe Rooster but the point was the filmmakers decided to change it  because the cultural meaning would be lost on an American audience.  "Knockout" was suppose to symbolize him being a badass and also a pretty boy that got all the ladies.  It works both ways in English fine.  Chicken or rooster wouldn't have the same affect although if one were to think about a rooster strutting for the hens and cockfighting, you could easily surmise the concept.  That however would have taken too much time and to explain for a movie. 

In many Central African cultures kicking or sticking your foot at someone is a sign of deep disrespect because your foot touches the dirt and other fould things on the ground.  "Kiss my foot" would be the same as "kiss my ass."  If Hudlin wrote him saying kiss my foot it would have me little sense and came off as poor writing.  THe list goes on. 

 

Offline Loren

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2007, 07:08:10 am »
I take your point about the differing visions of Wakanda.  However, that doesn't really address Wise Son's point about the "sounding Western" business being a consequence of the translation into English.  It could be that the Wakandans use Hausa slang that is translated into American slang for American audiences.  That would be consistent with the goals of good translation: to render ideas in a manner that a native speaker of the target language might express them.


I look at it the same way I look at period movies, or foreign films, or even Bible translations.  Naturally, the words have to be translated simply to be understood by the reader or viewer.  Even Old English wouldn't sound terribly familiar to our ears.  And sometimes literal translations aren't accurate ones.

But when I eventually see "Apocalypto" or "Letters from Iwo Jima," I really hope that the dialogue isn't sprinkled with distinctively American idioms and slang.  I don't care if Gibson or Eastwood were trying to make foreigners sound more familiar; if a Mayan says "As if"," or if the Japanese in WWII carry on a conversation like they were cast members from "Friends" or "Studio 60," then that's going to pull me OUT of the film, not make it more comfortable for me.  The same goes for when an ancient Wakandan ritual has WWE-esque ringside commentators dropping quips.

Of course, all of this is flexible depending on how serious the work is.  A comedy (e.g. "Robin Hood: Men in Tights") can have all the pop culture references and anachronistic humor and dialogue it wants.  A drama (e.g. "The Passion of the Christ") should avoid it.  The ones who try to walk the line inbetween (e.g. "A Knight's Tale," which had a dance number to a modern song midway through) may connect with some people, but can easily look ridiculous and silly.

And has it been said that all Wakandans speak Hausa now?  Because back under Priest, Hausa wasn't widely spoken in Wakanda, and was used by the Dora Milaje specifically because it meant that their conversations with T'Challa would be private.

Offline voodoochild

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2007, 08:28:35 am »
I look at it the same way I look at period movies, or foreign films, or even Bible translations.  Naturally, the words have to be translated simply to be understood by the reader or viewer.  Even Old English wouldn't sound terribly familiar to our ears.  And sometimes literal translations aren't accurate ones.


But The Black Panther is not a period/foreign/Biblical epic.  It's a modern day superhero comic book...written by Westerners for Westerners.

But when I eventually see "Apocalypto" or "Letters from Iwo Jima," I really hope that the dialogue isn't sprinkled with distinctively American idioms and slang.  I don't care if Gibson or Eastwood were trying to make foreigners sound more familiar; if a Mayan says "As if"," or if the Japanese in WWII carry on a conversation like they were cast members from "Friends" or "Studio 60," then that's going to pull me OUT of the film, not make it more comfortable for me.  The same goes for when an ancient Wakandan ritual has WWE-esque ringside commentators dropping quips.


Apocalypto and Iwo Jima are subtitled.  Is that what you would prefer in a comic book?

Of course, all of this is flexible depending on how serious the work is.  A comedy (e.g. "Robin Hood: Men in Tights") can have all the pop culture references and anachronistic humor and dialogue it wants.  A drama (e.g. "The Passion of the Christ") should avoid it.  The ones who try to walk the line inbetween (e.g. "A Knight's Tale," which had a dance number to a modern song midway through) may connect with some people, but can easily look ridiculous and silly.


More apples and oranges.


Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2007, 10:48:09 am »
I look at it the same way I look at period movies, or foreign films, or even Bible translations.  Naturally, the words have to be translated simply to be understood by the reader or viewer.  Even Old English wouldn't sound terribly familiar to our ears.  And sometimes literal translations aren't accurate ones.


But The Black Panther is not a period/foreign/Biblical epic.  It's a modern day superhero comic book...written by Westerners for Westerners.

Exactly.  BP is contemporary.  The target audience is contemporary Westerners.  I would expect informal speech to be ... informal.  No matter what language it is conducted in.

And has it been said that all Wakandans speak Hausa now?  Because back under Priest, Hausa wasn't widely spoken in Wakanda, and was used by the Dora Milaje specifically because it meant that their conversations with T'Challa would be private.

I presume this is an aside.  Even if the Wakandans aren't speaking Hausa, I don't think they're speaking English either.  Just out of curiosity, do you speak another language? 
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Offline bluezulu

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2007, 11:42:07 am »
Yea but in the movie totsi, they were saying stuff like kiss my ass in their language with sub titles on the bottom. Remember way back when that was what jumped this whole think off, kiss my butt wakanda. What country does not have a comparable saying to kiss my butt. ::)

I bet foreigners think we are soo stupid, sitting at our little computers pontificating in our american ways on how and who they are when we never been to their country and if we did we are visitors and not from there.

Oh I definitely agree with that.  There is a difference between having an African actually speak English and the thematic translation of what they would have said in their own language.  The way Wakandan speech and any African speech for that matter, was presented entailed the stiff and highly structural representation of the Enlgish language.  They were written as foreigners trying to speak proper English imo.  I don't know how the editors or Quesada feels about it but I think it would go a long way if Hudlin would placed the "<>" around the words to signify what you are reading is in their own language.  Therefore a fleeing AFrican enemy to Wakanda saying "<Kiss my Butt>" will signal that the character is indeed speaking their own language and what we are reading is a representation of what they would ahve said in their own language.

It's like in the Brazilian movie City of God.  The character played by Seu Jorge was "Knockout Ned" in English but in Brazilian it was something like Galliniehro.  I can't remember the exact spellling but I recognized it as resembling "gallina" in Spanish, which means "Chicken."  WHen I looked it up on the web later I found out that his name was like Chicken Ned or maybe Rooster but the point was the filmmakers decided to change it  because the cultural meaning would be lost on an American audience.  "Knockout" was suppose to symbolize him being a badass and also a pretty boy that got all the ladies.  It works both ways in English fine.  Chicken or rooster wouldn't have the same affect although if one were to think about a rooster strutting for the hens and cockfighting, you could easily surmise the concept.  That however would have taken too much time and to explain for a movie. 

In many Central African cultures kicking or sticking your foot at someone is a sign of deep disrespect because your foot touches the dirt and other fould things on the ground.  "Kiss my foot" would be the same as "kiss my ass."  If Hudlin wrote him saying kiss my foot it would have me little sense and came off as poor writing.  THe list goes on. 

 
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Brother who are you and what do you do? Sometimes I am in awe of you, the way you break things down and how therough you are. You post actual scans of the points that you make in a comic discussion and you bring tangable evidence of your points. Some are lazy and don't back up what they say and you bring the fire each and every time.

Offline bluezulu

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2007, 11:57:46 am »
I take your point about the differing visions of Wakanda.  However, that doesn't really address Wise Son's point about the "sounding Western" business being a consequence of the translation into English.  It could be that the Wakandans use Hausa slang that is translated into American slang for American audiences.  That would be consistent with the goals of good translation: to render ideas in a manner that a native speaker of the target language might express them.


I look at it the same way I look at period movies, or foreign films, or even Bible translations.  Naturally, the words have to be translated simply to be understood by the reader or viewer.  Even Old English wouldn't sound terribly familiar to our ears.  And sometimes literal translations aren't accurate ones.

But when I eventually see "Apocalypto" or "Letters from Iwo Jima," I really hope that the dialogue isn't sprinkled with distinctively American idioms and slang.  I don't care if Gibson or Eastwood were trying to make foreigners sound more familiar; if a Mayan says "As if"," or if the Japanese in WWII carry on a conversation like they were cast members from "Friends" or "Studio 60," then that's going to pull me OUT of the film, not make it more comfortable for me.  The same goes for when an ancient Wakandan ritual has WWE-esque ringside commentators dropping quips.

Of course, all of this is flexible depending on how serious the work is.  A comedy (e.g. "Robin Hood: Men in Tights") can have all the pop culture references and anachronistic humor and dialogue it wants.  A drama (e.g. "The Passion of the Christ") should avoid it.  The ones who try to walk the line inbetween (e.g. "A Knight's Tale," which had a dance number to a modern song midway through) may connect with some people, but can easily look ridiculous and silly.

And has it been said that all Wakandans speak Hausa now?  Because back under Priest, Hausa wasn't widely spoken in Wakanda, and was used by the Dora Milaje specifically because it meant that their conversations with T'Challa would be private.

------------------------
Hold on to this. The above statement by you captures your major beef with Hudlin in this series. THIS IS HIS STYLE. If you care to do it, I suggest you do because the energy you put behind this, warrants you taking the extra step to go rent two movies directed by Reggie. Boomerang and BeBes kids. Also check out his contribution to the book Birth of a nation. In it you will see the same dance between deeply serious moments that are not designed to make you laugh and those that will have you rollin with laughter. It is a valid way to tell a story. Black people love it. That is why Tyler Perry has so much success. He can take very serious issues. Make you laugh about it and teach you something at the same time. The final point is that if you like this book or the writer it comes down to one simple thing taste. For the past two years we have seen a ton of arguments raised by fanboys. Trust me. The problem isn't the writer. That is why we have had such a Strong rebuttal to your statements. We watch movies and read books in the style of the black panther all the time. It was no biggie to us. Actually we were presently surprised that marvel would take such a contemporary urban (black) style to telling super hero stories. You all were shook because Reg did not tell the traditional super hero stories in the exact same super hero way. Take this info and reprocess the stories. Take Priest out of the equation. Priest is old school marvel and Reggie is a new flavor. There is nothing wrong with the two. They are just different and it comes down to taste and which one you prefer. Luckily for me I like both.

Offline Wise Son

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2007, 03:26:55 pm »
Yaw makes great points. It comes down to how you want the Wakandan language translated? Is it somehow diminishing to Waknada to translate their speech into one version of English over another?

I never for a moment assumed that the guy in issue #1 was literally saying 'kiss my butt', just that he was using an otherwise untranslatable expression that was equivalent to the phrase. I would like to know what those complaining would offer as 'more suitable' translations.

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Offline Loren

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2007, 04:47:30 pm »
But The Black Panther is not a period/foreign/Biblical epic.

I know; that's why I compared BP to a them, and didn't say BP *is* one.  And I didn't say anything about Biblical epics.  I'm talking about standard Bible translations.  The differences between NIV and NASV and KJV, etc.  Some take a very literal approach, and others do like in that article I linked to.

Quote
It's a modern day superhero comic book...written by Westerners for Westerners.

Quote from: Curtis Metcalf
Exactly.  BP is contemporary.  The target audience is contemporary Westerners.  I would expect informal speech to be ... informal.  No matter what language it is conducted in.

That's why I used "Apocalypto" and "Letters from Iwo Jima" as my analogies.  Both were created by contemporary Westerners for contemporary Western audiences. 

Now up until now, I can't recall if anyone's made the argument that it mattered that the time setting of the *story* made a difference in the transliteration argument.  (Evasive1 came close, but he was arguing that Wakandans have actually adopted American slang, not that it's a scripting device.)  I'm not sure why that makes much of a difference, if the argument is that the use of slang makes a story more accessible to American audiences; you'd think an audience would need that accessibility even more in a period piece.  And if the contemporary setting is what sets it apart, then it ought not to apply to the scenes from #1, which were most definitely period.

Quote
Apocalypto and Iwo Jima are subtitled.  Is that what you would prefer in a comic book?

Comic books are already effectively subtitled.  The English translation is just inserted in the balloon rather than at the bottom of the page.  After all, you can't dub a comic book; foreign language comics always (or at least, nearly always) get translated in the word balloons themselves, not in literal subtitles inserted at the bottom of panels.

Loren

Offline Loren

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Re: For anyone who thinks that Hudlin's Wakanda is too American
« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2007, 05:31:39 pm »
Hold on to this. The above statement by you captures your major beef with Hudlin in this series.

Um, this subject has never been one of my major beefs with this series.  In fact, I've probably written more about it in this thread than I have in the last two years.  Heck, I only piped in on it because Wise specifically asked for a counterpoint.  And my other, bigger complaints cannot be chalked up to style.

Quote
If you care to do it, I suggest you do because the energy you put behind this, warrants you taking the extra step to go rent two movies directed by Reggie. Boomerang and BeBes kids.

I've seen Bebe's Kids, though it was probably 10 years ago now.  I rather enjoyed it, in fact.  (Though according to IMdB, Reggie wrote the screenplay; another guy directed it.)  I'm not sure of your point, though, since the movie was first and foremost a comedy, and I don't recall it having any scenes that were notably more serious or somber than, say, "The Lion King" (even though the film was certainly more adult).

Quote
Also check out his contribution to the book Birth of a nation. In it you will see the same dance between deeply serious moments that are not designed to make you laugh and those that will have you rollin with laughter.

I've read it, and I enjoyed it too.  Not my favorite comic, but good satire, and you're right, some very funny scenes.  (My biggest beef with it is that I wish they'd had Blackland succeed with less underhanded activity.  Building the economy on the money of drug lords and arms dealers wasn't the best foundation, and making their own conspiratorial deals to suppress world-saving technological advancements kinda undercut their moral victory, IMO.)

And as long as we're talking Reggie's pre-BP work, I was a HUGE Bernie Mac Show fan for the first three years or so.  It was appointment television.  Then Fox started jumping it around the schedule, and I lost track of it after it went on hiatus and ended up on Fridays.

Quote
It is a valid way to tell a story.

Hmm.  Mixing deeply serious moments with drop-dead hilarious comedy.  Maybe that's why I can't stand "Scrubs" or "The Office."

No, wait, that's not right.  I love "The Office," and "Scrubs" is probably my favorite sitcom ever.  Maybe you're confusing me with someone whose taste in entertainment you actually know something about. :)

Quote
Black people love it. That is why Tyler Perry has so much success. He can take very serious issues. Make you laugh about it and teach you something at the same time. The final point is that if you like this book or the writer it comes down to one simple thing taste. For the past two years we have seen a ton of arguments raised by fanboys. Trust me. The problem isn't the writer. That is why we have had such a Strong rebuttal to your statements. We watch movies and read books in the style of the black panther all the time. It was no biggie to us. Actually we were presently surprised that marvel would take such a contemporary urban (black) style to telling super hero stories.

Wow.  I make a series of posts that make no reference to race whatsoever, and you rebut by claiming that I don't appreciate the book because I'm white.  I'd be annoyed, but I've done that before and nothing good came of it.  So I'll be amused at how subtly you tried to turn the discussion into one on race, with me as the defendant.  It was a noble effort, but I'm not biting.

Quote
You all were shook because Reg did not tell the traditional super hero stories in the exact same super hero way.

Yeah, that's why I'm a huge Priest fan, since we all know Priest tells traditional superhero stories in the exact same superhero way.