Equating superheroes with comics

I admit being guilty of this, but this bears repeating as superheroes can and do exist outside of comics (something like El Chapulin Colorado and Sky High being born on television with no connection to comics whatsoever) just as comics can live without superheroes (actually that’s true for Archie, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield and Doonesbury). It only seems that way if it weren’t for the promotion of superheroes, not that I have anything against them.

But rather the odd fact that most people don’t read superhero comics, let alone on a daily basis should indicate that superheroes can and do exist outside of comics and comics can live without them. For some reason, comic book movies almost always refers to those featuring superheroes even though things like Ghost World and American Splendor are also based off of comic books (just not of the cape variety). Actually if we stretch the definition to encompass comic strips, then the likes of Peanuts and Garfield should also be included.

Superheroes can exist outside of comics and comics can live without them, but the tendency to equate the two with each other can be detrimental to those who do comics without superheroes and why it can be misleading to call a superhero show a comic book show when Archie and Garfield also qualify.

Cats in Ancient Egyptian culture

Cats, both domestic and wild, did capture the imagination of ancient Egyptians but I feel to better understand this is to look to some contemporary African portrayals and attitudes to those animals even if it may not be universal throughout Africa (some African communities associate cats and leopards with witchcraft) and there might be some Egyptians who aren’t beholden to cats either. Generally, the ancient Egyptians did have animal totems some in the form of lions which were considered powerful and fierce, protective even.

Some Egyptian cat gods like Bastet actually started out as lions, thus reflecting the gradual domestication of cats as well as the arrival of cats preying on mice and rats. Some contemporary African communities and countries like in Ghana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Kenya and Cameroon still use cats for pest control. So there’s value in keeping them around as it would’ve been the case in Ancient Egypt. As for big cats, the closest contemporary analogue is the prestige leopards have in some African communities.

Among the Ghanaian Akans, leopards are associated with leadership and royalty (to some extent, that’s the same with lions) and the Akan word for soul doubles as the word for cat as in the soul abhors moral filth as the cat abhors physical filth cleansing itself a lot. It could be said that Ghanaians used to be ailurophiles en masse at some point or another, some Ghanaians today value cats for catching pests in shops and homes alike. To some extent, leopards are also linked to royalty among some Bamilekes and the word for domestic cat in one Bamileke language literally means rat-catching cat.

There exists an association of chiefs/fons with leopards where they can turn into such, though this is sometimes linked to witchcraft with others. This too may not always be the case as with other communities leopards are associated with witchcraft and black cats are associated with bad luck. If that’s the case with cats and lions in Egypt, that does explain some things where some important deities appear as either one or the other at some point or another.

Bastet started out as a lion goddess before becoming a cat goddess proper, pharaohs may’ve been likened to lions in the same manner Bamileke fons are likened to leopards. Some examples aren’t exact, but close enough to deconstruct how Egyptian attitudes to and usage of cats were like before.

Cats (and dogs) in Africa

Based on what I know about Africa, depending on the country cats are either tolerated or revered in some fashion (most notably Egypt at some point but also Ghanaian Akans where the word for soul doubles as the word for cat as the soul hates filth) or despised for its association with witchcraft despite being first domesticated there. It’s like with spotted hyenas where they’re native to Africa but they’re not always that well-received for a similar association with witchcraft, even if not all Africans necessarily feel the same way around them so it’s same with cats.

As with contemporary African countries that do tolerate cats, Egyptians practically prized cats for hunting vermin. There are cases in Ghana, Cameroon, Swaziland/Eswatini, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo where cats are also kept for pest control where the saying goes if you can’t get a dog for a hunt, you get a cat for hunt or something like that. There are cases where cats are eaten for meat, though not for reasons you think it is such like attracting women and to gain the powers of a cat just as some people eat dogs to protect themselves against witchcraft.

However not all Africans do this, some of them do prize and care for their animals very much. To give you a list of the countries that tolerate cats the most it would be much of North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya) then comes Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Togo, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Eritrea. The African countries that can’t stand them due to their association with witchcraft includes Southern half of Nigeria (as the Northern half tolerates them), Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mali (it’s actually Muslim but syncretic) and Botswana.

Admittedly this is both misinformed and incomplete, I could be wrong about something but that’s based on what I can garner from experience. For those curious about the association of dogs with witchcraft, it does exist in Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Kenya as well as select demographics in Zimbabwe and South Africa though I too could be wrong about it.

Another Australia

Pardon my pessimism but if people are ever going to introduce foxes outside of continental Eurasia and Japan (where they’re native to) if Australia’s any indication they could easily pose as a threat to native wildlife. That’s being realistic as it already happened in Australia more than a century ago.

However this time they wouldn’t be brought for game but rather for fur and companionship, where I can foresee an uptick in the rise of pet foxes among many folks. These folks will surely take care of those foxes, but ecologically speaking they have the potential to be as bad as prior introduced species are.

That’s being realistic and objective about it where if cats are introduced outside of Africa and Middle East (where they’re first domesticated there) and considered invasive, then foxes and dogs (which are domesticated in Asia) should also be objectively regarded as such, dogs aren’t native to Africa and that’s the start.

(One way dogs would be considered invasive to African wildlife is through their attacks on primates like it did in Morocco and Uganda.)

Pardon if it makes me look like a grouch, but I’m saying if foxes aren’t native to say most of Africa and Southeast Asia they could be invasive if/when introduced to those areas. It’s already the case in Australia where it’s likely foxes did drive some native species to extinction.

Thus in Africa and Southeast Asia, it wouldn’t be any different except that this time they’re introduced as pets and for fur rather than game as in Australia before. One might say the same things about the way cats and dogs are introduced when outside of say Africa and Asia respectively, which would certainly be the case.

But it goes both ways for all three species and why the introduction of foxes in Southeast Asia and Africa would be another disaster in the making.

Children’s comics

I actually want to do children’s comic strips and comic books, especially when I want to tell the story about a boy civet named Clive then that’s the market that I’m aiming for. That’s not to say all-ages comics don’t exist, they do exist whether if it’s Peanuts, Pugad Baboy, Supa Strikas or Calvin and Hobbes. As for comic books, they do exist whether as adaptations of children’s books and others, things like Asterix, Tintin, Turma da Monica and Archie or adaptations of literary classics like with Classics Illustrated.

If there’s a market for adult readers, there’s also a market for child readers as well though I think with DC and Marvel they usually separate the kids imprint from the one most canonical for some reason. Not that Turma da Monica and Archie are any better or worse, as much as I think they tend to appeal to mass audiences more if their wide accessibility in bookstores are any indication, I think children need more of that stuff really. Maybe they do exist, though I’m afraid it’s not enough to counteract adult comics.

And why I think kids do deserve to read comics.

El Chavo del Ocho

That’s the name of a popular Mexican programme which aired in the 1970s, alongside another creation by the same comedian (Chespirito) that is El Chapulin Colorado. I’ve been watching this in late December (sometime between or after 21 December), where it’s about this orphan named El Chavo. All the children parts are played by adults, though it could be played for laughs like it did before.

Other notable characters include Quico, the son of Dona Florinda and Dona Clotilde or the Witch of 71 who has a pet dog. There were actually two cartoon adaptations in addition to the comic book series (for both El Chavo del Ocho and El Chapulin Colorado), though the one by Anima Estudios is the one that ran the longest and with the most merchandise available along with some live performances.

Somewhere in Brazil, the programme was given a tribute of sorts featuring different actors and that’s how popular El Chavo del Ocho is there (under the name Chaves).

If Australia’s any indication

If they ever introduce red foxes to say Cameroon and the Philippines, if Australia’s any indication if red foxes are native to continental Eurasia and Japan, then they wouldn’t be native to the Philippines and Cameroon.

Whereas red foxes in Australia were brought for hunting game, if people were to get red foxes delivered to the Philippines and Cameroon it would have to meet the demand for pet foxes and fox fur even if it results in another introduced species.

Sorry to say this, but I think the demand for pet foxes can result in another invasive species in Africa and Southeast Asia where those same foxes aren’t native there and risk endangering native wildlife like they would in Australia.

Don’t be surprised if some Cameroonian scientist said that red foxes make native wildlife severely endangered, it’s not any different in Australia really and why Australia’s an example of what would happen if people were to bring foxes to places where they’re not native to.

Some mention of good dogs

I believe there’s room for good dogs in Christianity both in the Bible and in related literature (which depending on the edition, it’s part of the Bible). From what I know about Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox editions of the Bible, they often include Book of Tobit which mentions a dog sent to live with a man who guides him to his way home or something.

In one of Jesus’s parables, there exists the dogs who lick the sores of a poor man and God does use dogs for good such as the time when Jezebel was thrown out, the dogs came to attack and eat her like they would with rats and other vermin to be fair. There are Christian monasteries that use dogs to guard premises and cats to hunt vermin so there’s that, along with dogs hunting snakes.

If dinosaurs were still around

Aside from birds and cryptids, realistically if dinosaurs were still around today there’s bound to be increased competition and somebody in the fields of speculative biology/evolution pretty much figured out that if dinosaurs were still around (as in not in isolation), whilst mammals still exist there wouldn’t be much of a niche for humans. Actually according to The Speculative Dinosaur Project, primates exist as catlike creatures.

If dinosaurs were still around in isolation, there’s going to be conservation efforts to keep them around longer and away from introduced species that attack their eggs and eat up their food. It’s like the thing with foxes in Australia, it’s likely they drove some native species extinct so it’s just as likely for say cats and dogs to drive some species of dinosaurs extinct in a remote island.

That’s being realistic if dinosaurs were still around in a remote island, there’s increased competition from introduced species and the latter prey on their eggs and young. It’s even feasible for dogs to scavenge on dinosaur corpses like they do with rats and other dead animals, for better or worse. If dinosaurs were still around today in remote islands, there’s going to be conservation efforts to keep them safe from further extinctions and endangerment.

Mexico

It’s one of those countries that I haven’t been to yet, but I do have some knowledge about it with regards to comics like Kaliman, Zor y Los Invencibles and tie-ins to programmes like El Chavo del Ocho and El Chapulin Colorado.

The latter two are very popular in Latin America and to some extent, outside of it like Italy. There are even animated tie-ins for those programmes as made by Anima Estudios, that’s a Mexican animation studio by the way.

There’s something like Katy La Oruga which likely played in some Mexican theatres before, not to mention Saint Seiya’s very popular in Latin America and Europe (that’s an anime featuring a band of young warriors as anointed by a girl).

That’s all I know about Mexico, so I feel the need to learn more about it through reading up on its ancestral states (most notably the Aztec period of Mexico where some missionaries documented Nahuatl) and its eventual break from Spain.