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 Skin color- how much does it matter?

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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:59 pm

It's especially uncomfortable considering how ahead of its time Elfquest was for featuring non-white characters and what would have been viewed by readers as interracial relationships (even though the elves don't separate themselves by race/skin color. At the very least, though-- the main relationship is an intercultural one-- and also an interracial one by elf standards, since Cutter is part wolf.) Also- the broad discussion of prejudice and storylines that deal with questions of racial/special? "purity" vs mixing, and the underlying theme of coming to peace with your identity-- it all just made it so weird to have that line in there.

I was always hoping we would meet more dark elves, like the SunFolk... maybe even African looking elves...  I mean, why wouldn't that type of diversity have occurred, considering all the different ways the elves have evolved so far?

And then-- surprise! It turns out they are all getting whiter. It just seemed to undercut all their positive messages about diversity. And it's not necessary for the characters, for the story, or to get the point across that they are becoming more like high ones. Getting taller would have communicated that on its own.

I just felt as if the Pinis were simply unaware. And that's why they got so defensive. Because they didn't mean it-- it was an unaware thing they threw in. And they'd been trying send an opposite message all this time. But in the end-- they are older, and they are white. And they probably just didn't even think about it.

Richard's reaction was pretty revealing.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:55 am

Honestly, I never saw a problem with that scene.
To me it always seemed to be 90% about Ruffel getting taller and 10% about her maybe getting paler.
When Suntoucher explained what was going on he mentioned how people who used to be like Skywise (short and pale), such as himself and Ruffel (short and dark-skinned) were becoming more like Savah (tall and dark-skinned) and Timmain (tall and pale).
After which Ruffel went on to talk about how Skywise better hurry up and get tal himself so he and Ruffel would continue being such a perfect match.
Finally, in Final Quest #8 Cutter only mentioned how the Sunfolk had gotten even taller without their skincolour being even mentioned.
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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:02 am

I just don't know why they even threw it in. It is uncomfortable-- since the rest of the characters are all essentially white. Red makes a good point that 90% of that scene, and others like it, was about the elves getting taller. Which means, all they had to include was mention that Ruffel was getting taller. The rest was unnecessary. It bothered me, i think, because it was so unnecessary.

If there had been a really solid logic to it, I would have accepted it. But there wasn't. It was just an out of the blue, toss away line that made me go-- "what the heck! you are going to whiten your only dark characters? Really?"

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:02 am

Maybe they included it to show that Skywise weren't always 100% certain about what he was seeing, he simply stated what he thought he saw.
He thought she looked taller and... maaaaybe a bit paler, so he told her that. Besides; it entirely possible that she had gotten a bit paler, due to no longer living in a desert; she was still dark-skinned but she wasn't tanned on top of it anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:35 am

Blue Mountain being a sort of an idealized version of what the palace was, you could see that they really weren't meant to go out all that much. The Gliders had exclusive hunters among them, and that seemed to pretty much be it in terms of outings. They were all very tall and very pale... of course having to do with not being out in the sun, etc. .. but yes, the same thing will probably happen once they stay in the palace long enough...along with other factors: I know it might seem like a stupid question... why does anyone living in the Palace even have hair? Aren't they all pretty much returning to the conehead form? You'd think hair would be the first thing to go but of course look at Timmain, plus you'd really not be able to distinguish whos who if they all became coneheads (in the old panels with them, you couldn't tell them apart except for their clothing in different colors).
It's just something I think about.

I keep thinking of Strongbow coming to visit Moonshade in the palace one day and she's this cone head, and he's all, THIS IS NOT THE WAY.


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manga

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:55 pm

I feel sorry for Strongbow. Everyone loves the poignancy of the "True Peace" picture and hates on Rayek for his role in taking it from Cutter... yet here's Strongbow losing his "true peace" and people keep snarking on the poor guy for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:19 pm

@manga wrote:
I feel sorry for Strongbow.  Everyone loves the poignancy of the "True Peace" picture and hates on Rayek for his role in taking it from Cutter... yet here's Strongbow losing his "true peace" and people keep snarking on the poor guy for it.

Agree with you manga.
As for me, living with a former WOW-addict, I have seen how pale a person can get if they stay inside all the time, just fast trips to the supermarket and in and out of the car when going to work, and he had all his hair Rolling Eyes

We still haven't seen the end of FQ, maybe there is a plan behind it all, and maybe there is a reason behind them getting more high-one-ish, other than getting someone offended.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:28 pm

I've always loved Strongbow (AND Rayek Wink ) . His world's core is being shaken and he doesn't know what to do. I think he's getting criticism because the situation obviously requires a level of adjustment and Strongbow is not exactly one to adapt. So he's being challenged. However, I also really take issue with Moonshade's polar extreme of wanting to be in the palace, because it makes me wonder WHY exactly she wants to stay there. There's really been nothing to ***show *** what she's doing there besides wandering around in preserver silk and possibly communing with Crescent, and that's about it. I always felt it was an escape route for her, to hide from 'the way'...she didn't naturally just become drawn to this other life, she seemed to deliberately choose to turn her back from 'the way' almost as though 'the way' betrayed her, since it's felt too harsh for her recently.
Strongbow contributed to the situation by just not bending at all. But he's never needed to since she's always gone along with him. And now that she's not, he is totally ill-equipped to do anything but more of same. It's been a fairly fixed, rigid life mating from my observation, but it worked for them for a long, long time. However, it's not conducive to any sort of change which is why it's falling apart.

But I still feel badly for him.
I get concerned he's going to keep going in the opposite extreme Moonshade is going, keep doing 'the way' until he somehow gets killed. And then his spirit will be in the palace and she'll see it there and be devastated, but then in some ways will she be happy, because he's finally joined her? I just feel that might happen.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:32 pm

Do we even know that the elves (immortals that is) are changing all the way back to conehead shape? Isn't it possible that they're simply changing back to high-one shape? The way I understand it, the conheads changed into high-ones on a genetic level, which means that now that is the "default form" for the elves.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:31 pm

Oh wow, I forgot about the high one shape. I don't know why. I just assumed, I guess, that they were returning to original shape. Talk of the stars and going there etc. had me thinking that's it.
I also didn't realize the form of the high ones was genetic.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:32 am

Something I've been meaning to post about here for a while now... the elves (of any color) don't actually have Caucasian features. No human has eyes that big or noses that small. Even their body proportions are different. It would seem to me that they have anime/manga features, which makes sense as Wendy was inspired by anime and manga. Those features may look Caucasian, but their origin is not Caucasian; they're a Japanese fantasy, based on what Japanese people think is cute/pretty.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:02 pm

Right, but it's still their version of an ideal, which is a very exaggerated concept of how they view 'Western' faces. They love the big blue/green eyes and tiny noses and little heart-shaped faces. And of course you're right, she was inspired by manga/anime.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:16 pm

We saw in issue #9 that Skywise and Leetah are fighting the Palace's magic to stay Cutter's height. Could be it's possible to resist the change (if there is one) to skin color as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:45 pm

I'd say that's entirely possible. Could easily imagine there would be quite a few who'd prefer to be darkskinned.
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:33 pm

@Zadzi wrote:
Right, but it's still their version of an ideal, which is a very exaggerated concept of how they view 'Western' faces. They love the big blue/green eyes and tiny noses and little heart-shaped faces. And of course you're right, she was inspired by manga/anime.

Second that. I don't know which manga/anime actually influenced her, but her standard elf features still are Caucasian-y. Zhantee and Skot have pretty much the same features, it's kind of the default look for male elves. Shenshen and Newstar are the female variant (stubby or pointed).

Of course, the eyes are too large for humans, the noses too small, but for the rest. Jawline, shape of noses, eye-shape
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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:34 pm

She has stated that Japanese manga and anime influenced her. Is it just me, or does that seem to be an odd way for the Japanese to draw faces? Sort of... and please don't kick me for saying this, but... self hating in a way. I mean- sure, sometimes the guys have narrow eyes... but the girls always seem to have these huge, round eyes. Who do you know from Japan (who's actually Japanese) who has huge, round eyes? It's as if every girl in a manga or anime film is Amanda Seyfried. I mean.. Japanese women are beautiful-- so why draw Amanda Seyfried every time?

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:44 pm

It the same thing with Elfquest. Amanda Seyfried, without much of a stretch, could be any of these characters-- or at least any of the female ones. I always thought the Gliders seemed vaguely asian. Maybe Winnowil could be played by Ziyi Zhang. And the Go Backs are a little too tough. (They'd have to all be played by Emma Stone). But what elf looks like Angela Basset without a stretch? Maybe Savah and the Sun Toucher have non-white features. But there's quite a minority there.

Actually... Angela Basset, feature-wise, would be a good Timmain. I take it back!

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:56 pm

Osamu Tezuka was inspired by the wide eyes of Disney cartoons in the 60s and it stuck ever since. That said... There is a lot of different style variation in manga depending on if it's shoujo (especially mahou shojo), shonen, josei, seinen, etc, etc and can range from moe to bara with character style. Also ALOT of the popular characters are minors, and the wide eyes are meant to convey youth/innocence (moe characters especially).


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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Anime features on a real human STILL look uncanny valley.



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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:27 am

Here's a funny thing about skin colours.

The first four tribes, introduced back during the Original Quest, all had reguluar skin - and hair - colours. Aaaaand... then the Wavedancers happened!

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:22 pm

Read something recently about biology, and it seems we are all just different shades of the same skin color.

People who have more melanin are more resistant to sunburn and to skin cancer, but don't absorb as much Vitamin D from the sun. People with lighter skin are the opposite. So primitive people migrated to areas of the world that suited their skin tone. This would have been thousands of years before the Suez Canal was built, and perhaps when there was a land bridge between the Americas and Asia.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:30 pm

I will say that not all elves have European features. Dodia for instance has the features of an African or Mesoamerican,Rayek's always looked a little Egyptian as does Maleen and Leetah looks a little Latina. Some of the Go-Backs resemble Arctic people well.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:08 pm

Personally I wish there had been more characters with Negroid features, beyond Cam Triompe and what's-his-name from New Blood.

FWIW About twelve years ago, when I was involved in a fan holt, I created a whole community of what I thought of as Elfricans.  They were a large tribe of nomads who migrated north and south every year.  They  followed an intertwined set of north-south routes, resembling a braid with several strands, across a landscape resembling the African savannah.

Every six months, when they gathered at the northern or southern meeting places at the end of all routes, they stayed a while for business and pleasure.  This time allowed them to form and strengthen relationships, to trade knowledge, such as news, and to make decisions as a group.

One important set of decisions involved how they would reorganize before heading north or south again.  They migrated in groups of five to ten Elfricans, organized every six months according to who needed to be with whom.

Small children, of course, walked with their parents or rode on their backs.  Lifemates walked together, unless there was some need for them to join different groups (both were skilled healers, for example.)  Injured, disabled or heavily pregnant Elfricans might even be assigned stronger tribemates who either helped them along or carried them in something resembling a sedan chair.

Other than that, students were joined with teachers, elders were appointed to groups of younger adults and children, and groups were otherwise balanced out according to their needs and skills.  Craftspeople might be given a route that allowed them to trade their wares with humans.

Tribemates who could not get along with each other would have to travel together in order to work out their differences.  For example, two males with a Cutter and Rayek chemistry might be joined with elders who would put them through a series of challenges that forced cooperation.

These Elves had black Afro hair and very dark skin.  They hadn't encountered any Caucasian Elves since the time of the High Ones.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:16 am

Sounds cool, Trollbabe!

For me, I was just contemplating earlier today why Teir has lighter skin than before, it kind of has annoyed me. I think it might be when they decided who his parents were , Wendy decided to lighten it but it still makes not sense to me because technically with how long Teir had been at Howling Rock, he would've been dark, like, say, Mender is dark, even though his parents weren't (the last time we saw them at least.... ) ... I don't know. It shouldn't matter, but it does. Why does he have to be lighter? Even when he was describing his own parents and what he knew of them, they were genetically lighter skinned coming from a colder climate anyway. Assuming he spent just as much time away from the sun as he had in it still isn't an explanation, because what about Mender? Teir went from darker than Ember I think to just light skinned with a really slight tan. I don't get it.

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PostSubject: Re: Skin color- how much does it matter?   Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:43 am

Dewshine and Scouter spent almost as much time in the Sun Village as Dart and Mender, but they aren't shown as tanned, because we have the notion of them being lighter skinned.

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