Written African literature

It does in fact exist, especially not just in the form of Coptic and Arabic but also in the form of Ajami which’s almost any native African language written in the Ajami script and which’s quite possibly the dominant mode of African writing for centuries. Possibly more African demographics still use this kind of writing, but it’s best preserved and more prominent in places where Islam dominates. But it could be argued that it does exist outside of Muslim majority countries to some extent, especially whenever Arabic influence predominates in Africa.

Ajami documents are interesting in which if translated, we could get a glimpse of how languages outside of Coptic evolve. Any surviving document will give a glimpse of how the languages evolve and develop, alongside any knowledge of medicine and folklore. (I even think a printing press of sorts did exist in Africa, which might account for any high possibility of surviving copies of certain documents.) Not to mention European languages in Africa started popping up in the 19th century or a little earlier, which’s when much of Africa got colonised by European powers such as France, Germany, Italy and Britain (but only France and Britain were more successful).

Under their guidance, we see the emergence of African languages written in the Latin script such as Yoruba Bibles and newspapers for instance. But the fact that much of written African literature was done in the Arabic script attests to the influences of both Islam and Arabs have on African people. Likewise the literacy rate in Africa might be much higher if only Ajami were included, then again that would also mean that literacy in Africa might be around much longer and embedded in the cultures more deeply. More Ajami documents will be unearthed eventually, which gives more insight into what written African literature was like before European colonisation.

Peculiarities of Iberian Spanish

To put it this way, the differences between Iberian Spanish and Mexican Spanish is similar to the differences between British and American English where they differ in vocabulary, pronunciation and possibly spelling. European Spanish uses boligrafo to mean pen while Mexican Spanish’s stuck with pluma, European Spanish has distinccion in which the soft c and z are pronounced as th as opposed to an s in French and Portuguese or a ch sound in Italian. It’s like how Australian, Estuary English and New Zealand English dialects aren’t rhotic (pronouncing the r) but West Country, Irish, Scottish, Canadian and American dialects are.

(In fact Elizabethan English may’ve sounded closer to Irish and West Country dialects.)

Iberian Spanish might not be the only Spanish dialect where soft c and z are pronounced th but it’s the most prominent example of such. Interestingly, only a handful of places in Spain lack distinccion which became a main feature of Latin American and especially Mexican dialects. (Though it could be argued that the languages in Mexico and the rest of Latin America lacked the th sound so it’s often conflated with the s sound there.) Then again that’s a feature shared with Greek where there’s a th sound and it’s represented by the letter for theta.

There’s a vlog somewhere that compares European Spanish to Greek in terms of phonology and pronunciation, though these may be examples of linguistic convergent evolution in which the Spanish ‘j’ sound started out as a stylised s or something before becoming a ‘kh’ sound. Iberian Spanish is interesting in which it’s analogous to British English whereas Mexican Spanish’s more like American English in which it’s widely spoken and popularised. Both of them have their own peculiarities wherein European Spanish opts for ‘boligrafo’ when it comes to ‘pen’ whereas Mexican Spanish goes for ‘pluma’.

Black Disney animators

Both Floyd Norman and Bruce W Smith are not the only black animators working for Disney but they are the most prominent examples that I can think of, Floyd Norman’s even the first black Disney animator and he never left the business whether if he worked in storyboards, animation proper or Disney comic strips. Norman even cofounded Afrokids, an animation studio dedicated to Afrocentric productions. Bruce W Smith didn’t just work on animation but he also created The Proud Family with his studio Jumbalaya.

Floyd Norman was hired by Walt Disney where he worked on productions such as The Sleeping Beauty, Jungle Book and Sword and the Stone and later on Fat Albert. He lived long enough to work on later Disney productions such as Soul and Monsters Inc. Norman even did work for Ruby Spears, Hanna Barbera and Film Roman. Bruce W Smith worked on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Tarzan and The Princess and the Frog in addition to doing character designs and directing animation for Space Jam.

They are the two most prominent black Disney animators that I can think of, though Norman deserves special mention for his longevity and being the first black Disney animator as hired by the man himself.

Disney Animators Who Work for Warner Brothers

As strange as it sounds, there are Disney animators who do work for the rival Warner Bros studio at some point or another. Darrell Van Clitters worked for Disney before moving onto Warner Bros and then Renegade Animation. Tony Bancroft worked for Disney Animation before doing animation for Space Jam and storyboards, he’s also a practising Christian. Bruce W Smith did animation for Disney and had done character designs for the Monstars and Nerdlucks for the first Space Jam film. He would eventually return to Disney to help animate Tarzan and then beget the Proud Family (which got rejected by Nickelodeon for some reason).

There could be many more animators that have worked for both Disney and Warner Bros but I’m naming some of the more prominent ones that I can think of.

Character prototypes

When it comes to the creation of certain characters, they often tend to have prototypes preceding them. Bugs Bunny for instance is descended from a rabbit character that Porky Pig tried to hunt and early on he had a different voice from what we recognise as his. Likewise his girlfriend Lola Bunny is descended from Daisy Lou as she was going to be called as such, despite the other attempts at giving Bugs Bunny a female counterpart such as Honey Bunny, Lulabelle/Lunabelle and Bertha Bunny especially in the comic books.

As for Elmer Fudd, it’s commonly assumed that he’s descended from Egghead as they’re both bald and that Elmer was at some point shown wearing similar clothes. However according to somebody else, Egghead’s just his brother so he’s not descended from him. Mickey Mouse does have his prototypes in the mouse characters that Ub Iwerks and later on another person did that got reused for other characters such as Warner Bros’s Foxy and Piggy. Likewise Donald Duck first appeared in a book before appearing in animation and even then in animation, his personality was different from what’s eventually expected of him.

Goofy has his prototype in Drippy Dawg, Sylvester the Cat and Tweety have prototypes in unnamed characters and that’s possibly true for every fictional character ever.

My problem with TV Tropes:

While that might not always be true for all tropes and tropers, I get the impression that TV Tropes are mostly immersed in 21st century American pop culture as evidenced by some things they call inversions are actually long-held stereotypes (especially in Germany and German language media where Italians are stereotyped the same way Latin American men are in US media). That makes sense as Germans aren’t that exposed to Latin Americans the way they are to Italians, even if Latin Americans do exist in Germany they’re not as longstanding as the Italians are (though Italians are pretty common in France as well).

Likewise, some of those things aren’t that recent where when it comes to women and lapdogs that’s actually the older stereotype dating back to the Middle Ages and a mainstay of 18th and 19th century literature where these characters are stereotyped as childless, loveless and prone to displacing romantic and maternal feelings onto animals such as poodles, Pekingese, pugs and sometimes terriers. (The stereotype’s still alive in Taiwan in the form of women and stray dogs enough to warrant a study.) I don’t think a lot of TV Tropers are this well-read, especially if they mostly know 21st century American pop culture so well that they’re practically ignorant of anything else.

Or precisely, from my experience TV Tropers are more likely to be well-versed in late 20th century and 21st century Japanese and American pop culture than they would with 19th century and early 20th century literature as well as German language media which explains why they think and believe the way they do. I don’t think there are that many TV Tropes who do dig deeper in things like the historical association of single women with dogs, which was the case in 18th and 19th century literature.

On the origin of Lola Bunny

While Lola Bunny first appeared in the 1996 film Space Jam (and has reappeared in its sequel this year), she has her origins in earlier productions and production sketches where she was going to be called Daisy Lou. Daisy Lou being a character from the short ‘Hare Splitter’ which premiered in 1948 so she was 48 years in the making, though it could also be said that if Elmer Fudd evolved from Egghead it’s only logical and natural that Lola Bunny evolved from Daisy Lou. There were multiple attempts at giving Bugs Bunny female counterparts such as Bertha Bunny and Honey Bunny, only Daisy Lou can be considered the direct precursor to Lola as she was going to be called Daisy Lou.

The fact that of all the Bugs Bunny female counterparts, Daisy Lou was even named and found in Hare Splitter should give an idea of what Lola Bunny could’ve been like if she appeared in the 1940s and 1950s. If you want further proof of Lola Bunny being essentially the same character as Daisy Lou or at least an evolved version of her the same way Egghead predates Elmer Fudd, here are the pictures:

While Daisy Lou might not necessarily be the same character as Lola Bunny, the fact that Lola was going to be called Daisy Lou shows that the animators acknowledged Hare Splitter as an influence on her.

Pam Hogg

She does a lot of extravagantly flamboyant catsuits and leotards that don’t look too out of place in a superhero story, but perhaps ironically while superhero costumes continue to shy away from the flamboyance that characterises their outfits in the print pages Pam Hogg embraces that. There are already superhero cartoonists and costume designers who do acknowledge the influence of fashion design, though I think Pam Hogg deserves more recognition and influence on people especially in how she makes flamboyant catsuits look presentable.

I even based a Golden Glider redesign after a Pam Hogg outfit, which looked good and better than the previous efforts at redesigning her outfit. I even said before that having an eye for designing and/or sewing outfits can make for a great character design, especially with regards to the way the character’s clothes are designed, formed and coordinated that it’s almost imperative to draw great clothes in addition to designing great character silhouettes and stuff. It might not come easily to other cartoonists, especially if they don’t have a knack for designing clothes but it’s just as necessary to study clothing as it is to study anatomy when getting something done right.

In the case with Pam Hogg, she can make spandex catsuits look good and they can be pulled off. Though there are other fashion designers who do spandex catsuits, Pam Hogg’s one of the few if any who can do something that won’t be too out of place in a superhero book and is one of those people with a knack for designing leotards and catsuits. Now that’s something to like, especially when it comes to fashion designers they can make anything look good for as long as they have an eye for shape, colour and design. It does help to study clothing to give a better idea of what the character will wear or how such an outfit would look like on that character.

That goes the same for catsuits, especially when worn by actual models and wrestlers that should give an idea of what a practical superhero outfit would look like.