Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Napoleon53, Dec 13, 2018.
That is some wild stuff.
Also depressing as Hell, but then again this is Madness.
I mean, I did try and make sure there were some light-hearted bits and that they had a legitimately happy ending (although probably not so happy for their workers) but at the end of the day, even by the time of the Great War society was so warped that even normally happy things are gonna be at least mildly fucked up
Contemplating doing a piece of the origins and growth of Comic books in Madness America. Anyone interested in hearing about Colonel Union and his plucky Carolinian sidekick, the Mighty WASP?
That sounds incredible!
Written by a Mr Fredic Wertham perhaps..? Joking aside that sounds like a cool idea, and like most comics from back then it needs unintentional gay subtext and rather nasty violence.
Also if there's any OTL comic creator who is a Pinnacle Man it's probably Jack Kirby, I could see that man being a Boxer in the Madnessverse. He was certainly stacked.
That was and epic love story and actually kind of nice, twisted as all hell, but nice. I can just imagine the film now, with some editing for legal reasons.
I was thinking of making Wertham a government secretary or buisness man championing comics for propaganda or soft power purposes. There will probably still be a CCA but it’ll be much different. Some of the Comics Code Authority rules still work in the Madnessverse with only minor rewriting. Less focus on suppressing sex and violence and more on championing preserving the purity of Fluids, the dangers of miscegenation, Catholic evils, and the like.
And Kirby would make for an excellent Pinnacle Man and icon for the industry. There’s the anecdote that a nazi sympathiser once visited the offices of Timely where he was working at the time, called Kirby and swore he’d attack Kirby if he dared show his face. Jack being Jack and always ready to fight, said he’d be right down. By the time he got there, said nazi had scarpered.
Maybe Jack will be the big cheese of Madness Marvel while Stan Lee will be the background guy swapping back and forth between the giants as a writer
The creator of Wonder Woman (THE PINNACLE WOMAN RETURNED!) was basically a Sexual Marxist
She’ll almost definitely be more Roman influenced then Greek
Thanks! Yeah, there were definitely plenty of things that were twisted, but it certainly wasn't unrealistic. Honestly, aside from the weird Pinnacle Fluids undertones and the Dunlap murder, I don't think it's even too out there for OTL. Plenty of women with weird relationships to their father get married, and some even overcome it like Rachel did.
I'm planning on writing a "meme version" that would be a movie called "When Cokie Met Yankee" that would be a film set closer to the modern day (since it wouldn't at all be serious) that is based on Born in the USSA's post quoted below. In my imagination, the movie is forced to change from being a historical adaptation into a movie "loosely based on, but not representative of, true events" set in the modern day because the couple's descendants threatened to sue.
I'm planning this all out now for the meme version, and I literally plan on using Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, and her in her role as Jordan Belfort's wife in The Wolf of Wall Street as "stills" from the movie. Needless to say, this is not going to feature what anyone from our timeline would recognize as a healthy relationship.
It reminds of another story that Will Eisner told about when he was just starting out in the business and living with Jack Kirby (who was also in the business at the time). Some low ranking Mafia goons came over to rough up Eisner for some money, Eisner calmly told the goons he was going upstairs to grab the money, told Kirby what was up and Kirby went downstairs for him. When Eisner went back down the goons had ran off upon seeing Kirby.
Also given all his New Gods stuff, his habit of creating werid mythology and more I could see Kirby becoming like some whacked out leader of comic clan helping create new elements for the AFC.
That's true, Marston was certainly interesting when it came to that realm. I doubt the Union would like him since he essentially helped create a polyamorous relationship between himself, his wife and a member of the University he worked at, took part in BDSM and believed that BDSM and being open to being submissive would help lead to a utopia of sorts (Marston was really into BDSM, if the lasso of truth wasn't any indication).
God Early Comic creators were interesting and I haven't even really discussed Will Eisner or William Gaines.
A polygamist who believes in BDSM creating the first strong popular superheroine that wears Star Spangled outfits is one of the most Madness things I can think of. Plus, given the AFC's tolerance of Mr. Tobias's antics I imagine that as long as Marston is popular enough and toes the line he'll be left alone.
IIRC were not the Jehova witness the Polygamist?
Hey now he didn't just believe in BDSM...he believed it would help lead to a Utopia (alongside Love), which doesn't sound that bad in my opinion. Reading up on the DISC theory is certainly something.
Marston is certainly a character alright (he was also friends with the first successful distrubutor of fetish wear as well which helped the design of the Wonder Woman costume...which explains a lot). Also from what I've read his Wife Elizabeth and other partner Oliver were intimate with each other as well as Marston. It's amazing this all occured in the 1930s & 40s, it sounds like stuff you would read about today.
They made a biopic I thought was interesting. They told the neighbors the other woman's husband had died and the ruse lasts until a neighbor wanders in while they're all tied up.
On the subject of Marston, I feel like some of his ideas would not fly well even in the sexually liberated RU. I feel like sexuality in the RU is geared towards assertiveness and dominance. A man openly talking about being submissive might lead to people questioning the strength and vitality of his Precious Fluids
A large part of me thinks this and believes that the Madness twist he receives should be to have a view opposite on that, talking about male dominance. However...
Another part of me almost feels like the RU would follow some sort of gender neutral "power is the ultimate aphrodisiac" ideology, especially as women become more prominent. It's no weirder for a Pinnacle Man to submit to a truly powerful Strong Woman than the vice versa! After all, he's still er, spreading his bloodline. Plus in the case of Marston the fact that he was with two women and fathered children with each of them would probably subdue those claims.
The Union is the most progressive of societies, the only limit is the purity of your Fluids, no matter your race (of Better) or your gender. In an intimate relationship it is only right that the partner of lesser fluidation submit to the authority of their partner as to a Chosen Judge of Old. Your partner might need to fight for your honor but what significant other worth their salt wouldn't?
Even in a more sexually progressive society, RU society still probably views sex and sexuality through the old Protestant American lens, with Dominance still viewed as a inherently prime masculine trait and someone lacking that may be viewed as being less masculine and having weak Fluids. I’m not saying Marston and others can’t be submissive but that such thing in wider society is still looked down upon.
“Our predecessors once thought that women had to be meek and submissive to be proper ladies. But through our study and understanding of our Precious Fluids and Scientific Marxism, we come to know that a women can be strong and assertive and still be a prime Better of Society. But be careful men, don’t let her assertiveness overwhelm your own. A submissive man is a man who’s Fluids are weaking, lacking the strength to fulfill his duties as a Pinnacle Man”
Five Colours For A Dime
A History of Comic Books In North America
The history of comic books can find its origins in some of the earliest examples of media. In ages when literacy was a rare commodity, illustrations of stories was often used to convey the message to the uneducated masses, particularly for religious texts. With the invention of the printing press, these illustrations gained text allowing for "speech". Production of these illustrations were still time consuming and expensive and so mostly focused on religious matters. The rise of the newspaper saw these illustrations taking on political and satirical elements but were limited to one or two illustrations per page. Tucked away in newspapers, these illustrations were often seen as highbrow and adult only content, with children rarely if ever seeing them. That would soon change.
The origin of the first american comics be found in Rhode Island in 1837. Rodolphe Töpffer, was a Germanic Swiss immigrant who had fled the violence of the French revolution and Napoleons rise to power. Settling in Providence, Rhode Island, Töpffer earned a living as an illustrator and caricaturists for a local publishing house. It was during this time that American Fundamentalism began sweeping across the Republican Union. Töpffer soon found himself swept up the wave a religious and patriotic madness, quickly converting to the growing faith and going so far to anglicise his name to signify his religious rebirth.
Randolf Topper, 1835
The new Randolf Topper found himself wanting to spread his new found faith even further. Randolf noticed that many of the stories, passages and holy prophecies from the Book's of Manifest Destiny were flying straight over the heads of many children and young adults, leaving them confused and without the same religious feverancy of their parents. Deciding to rectify this, Randolf set about adapting the Book's of Manifest Destiny into an illustrated form for the youth to better understand. Told through implied language and sequential art panels, the story of Burr, Benedict Arnold, and the Angel of Destiny were regaled.
In late 1837, the first copies hit shelves late and Toppers adaptations exploded in popularity virtually overnight as children and adults like fell in love with the animated tales of the Prophet Aaron Burr. Their success allowed Topper to found his own company Oldbuck Publishing, who would go on to adapt the later books of Manifest Destiny and even the works of Marx and his scientific theories. The Oldbuck adaptations were many would learn the importance of their Precious Fluids and their destinies as Pinnacle Men and Women. The success of Toppers Animated Adventures of Aaron Burr would see a wave of similar illustrated texts flood the market but few would ever reach the success of Topper and Oldbuck.
To find the birth of what many would consider modern comics we must jump to New Jersey in 1895. Richard J. Outcalt was a young cartoonist working for the Newark Examiner adding satirical images to stories to fill up space. Extremely talented, Outcalt often found himself frustrated by his limited opportunities and could often be found doodling during work hours. A common reoccurring doodle was one of a child in a yellowed potato sack, based off of the street urchins living in the Inferior ghettos near the Examiners office. Outcalt's doodles would often be passed around the office, eliciting laughs from his Better co-workers. Soon Outcalt was writing entire stories around the kid, quickly named the Potato Sack Paddy, to share. Potato Sack Paddy 1895
Outcalts big break would come during the summer of 1895 when a slow news week left the paper struggling for content to publish. The papers editor decided to throw in a few of Outcalt's easy to reproduce strips to fill up the pages. Potato Sack Paddy proved to be an immediate hit, with the Examiners offices flooded with letters asking for more. Sensing a business opportunity, Outcalt began publishing his stories independent of the Examiner under the banners of Outcalts Comedies to huge success, and the first true american comic was born. Throughout the late 1890's and early 1900, the comics market would be largely dominated by funnies like Outcalts Comedies or religious epics like Oldbuck Adventures. That would soon change with the rise of Hero comics.
In 1902, the Custer Youth Brigade was founded by one Theodore Roosevelt. A youth group designed to instil patriotism and national service into the youth, Roosevelt needed a means to encourage membership. Noticing how much money the kids of the CYB spent on Outcalts comics, Roosevelt was struck by the idea to use the favoured medium of kids to drum up interest and fuel their patriotism. The first Custer Youth Comics were met with mixed success, falling victim to clunky writing and poor art, often reading more like text books and field manuals then fun stories.
Stanley Kirby, 1917
In a bid to save face, Roosevelt enlisted the aid of local publishing house MLJ Magazines and Stanley Kirby, one of their top writers and artists. In order to get children interested and enlisting in the CYB, Kirby proposed a massive imagining of the endeavour. Gone were the clunky stories, instead a new narrative was forged around the fictional Stephen Higgins, an everyday youth who through enlistment in the CYB is able to unlock the full potential of his Precious Fluids and Marxists spirit, and become the ultimate Pinnacle Man. Taking the colours of the flag as his new uniform and a vow to fight all enemies of america, Higgins had become Colonel Union, All American Hero!
Issue 1 of Colonel Union, 1903
The creation of Colonel Union would see membership in the CYB skyrocket as youth everywhere wanted to be just like their new hero and become Pinnacle Men just like Higgins.
The success of Colonel Union would mark the start of the the golden age of comics, as companies everywhere fought to get their own Hero comics on the market. Of these, perhaps the most famous is the Might Wasp of Carolina. Conceived by Confederated Carolina Publishing as a response to Colonel Union and as a desperate bid to keep the Carolina comics market from being swamped by their northern neighbour, the WASP would quickly grow to be a cornerstone of Carolinian pop-culture. Taking inspiration from the acronym White Anglo-Southron Protestant, Might Wasp comics followed one Daniel Boone Zachary, a young man in the fictional city of New Troy (based on CCP's native Charleston) who dons a mask and title of The Mighty Wasp to fight corruption and crime plaguing his city. Just like his northern counterpart, the Might Wasp proved to be hugely successful, even across the border where his comics became a popular commodity among kids.
Issue 1 of the MIGHTY WASP, 1905
While Hero comics would prove to be a heavily male dominated filed, we would be remiss to not mention the female heroes who pioneered this new frontier during these early days of the industry. Perhaps the greatest of these early titans is Valkyrie. The brain child of William Moulton Marston, a young RUMP officer from Massachusetts who made his name in Shicagwa, Marston's true passion lay in myths and legends, particularly those of the ancient nordic people. It was from these tales of Asgard that Marston crafted Elena Baldursdottir, The Valkyrie. The daughter of Odin's son Baldur, Elena was fearsome warrior and champion of the Valkyries, the warrior legion of Asgard. Closed off from Earth for centuries, Odin would choose Elena as his herald to root out evil and prepare the Midgard for the return of Asgard. With such a heavy focus on a pre-christian faith, Marston's stories initially had trouble getting off the ground. Eventually, Marston rewrote his initial draft to make the Asgardian a Lost Tribe of Israel akin to the ancient Nipponese who had lost their history fighting sinful Ice Giants.
William Moulton Marston
These re-writes from much more popular and Valkyrie was soon picked up the Shicagwa Eagle Magazines, becoming a huge hit among both young girls and boys. It wasn't long before young women all the country were asking for swords and battle armour to imitate their favourite comic book heroine. Marston would continue writing Valkyrie for the next decade, using her as a platform to champion various ideals of liberty, equality, freedom and politics. Marston was eventually pushed out of Shicagwa Eagle when rumours about his home sex life began to bubble up. Rumours that Marston was in not only a polyamorous relationship but also enjoyed BDSM cause public outrage and fearing harsh consequences from ORRA and the AFC, Marston was forced to quit in disgrace. Despite the Marston controversy, Valkyrie would remain popular.
Valkyrie issue 212 The Battle for Baldur's Blade 1932. Sadly, few early issues of Valkyrie survive to this day due to a fire in the Shicagwa Eagle archives
During the World War, comics would only go from strength to strength as publishers played into the growing militarism, patriotism, and prosperity of the age. Fuelled by their success, MLJ Magazines, Shicagwa Eagle, and Confederated Carolina Publishing united under the banner of All-Star Comics, with Colonel Union, the Might Wasp, and Valkyrie becoming The Sentinels of Liberty
Authors notes: so yeah, comics in the Madnessverse. I had to take a few creative liberties, like having the golden age of comics happen 20 years early and smashing Jack Kirby and Stan Lee together as neither would be born till 1917 and '22 respectively. Let me know your thoughts
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