Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sequel Outline: First Draft Complete

Obscured to prevent spoilers

Over a year in the making—and in its sixth revision—the outline for the sequel to Badin and the Secret of the Saami is complete. 

The software to create this flowchart is called Scrapple. It is from the same developer that created Scrivener

That program was used to write the script for the first graphic novel—and will be used for the sequel.

Naturally, I obscured the details. Each different color signifies a change of scene for the script. 

All of this will change. However, it is merely a general roadmap for the plot.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Sequel Update: Outlining at Glacier-Like Speed

Very rough concept in the margin of a printed outline I was editing
Vaarvaa, the placeholder name for the sequel to Badin and The Secret of the Saami, is still in progress. With my full-time job and union steward activities, it is very hard to focus and get this thing done. Yet I persist.

I did complete the Directors Notes for the Badin and the Secret of the Saami Special Edition. However, this sequel is so important—and my time is so limited—that I had to put it on hold.

For the sequel, I went through countless writing sessions, trying to develop a premise. After conquering that hell of hurdle, I am now on a death-defying climb of literary mountains: Script outline.

The outline is in its sixth revision (the premise was a grueling nine revisions). My intention is to write a story that dwarfs the first graphic novel. When the outline is satisfactory to me, I will submit it to my advisers—Saami scholars of Saami culture and history. 

Although the story takes place during the end of the Neolithic era—and definitive scholarship about Saami people is not so abundant from 10,000 years ago—my adoption of this ancient culture for the world of my characters requires the utmost respect and sensitivity. The last thing I want to do is insult the ancient ancestors of and the progenitors of the Saami people.

Upon implementing any recommended changes, I intend on writing the full script. From there, will begin the artwork phase. 

However, as you see above, I jumped the gun. Albeit, I did this as a single event—an innocent indulgence! Who they are, I will not share. However, one is indeed Vaarvaa. 

You can learn a little about her in the single self-titled Vaarvaa Mini-Saga or in the Mini-Saga Compilation (Available in print or ebook). She also makes an appearance and is mentioned a few times in the graphic novel Badin and the Secret of the Saami.

I hope you are as excited as me about this special project. I think about it every day and want it to become the best story I ever tell.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Badin: Humble Member of the Royal Court

Portrait of Badin by Maria Fröhlich

It is always pleasing to see dignified portrayals of the historical Badin, such as this series of beautiful illustrations of Black Swedes by the talented Maria Fröhlich at Världskulturmuseerna in Stockholm.

However, the use of the word Hövtjänare is problematic.

Literally translated as "High servant" or "Cheif servant" we can concede that it is certainly a better descriptor than "slave"—which is typically attached to Badin.

However, the English translation at Sweden's World Culture Museums website, Världskulturmuseerna reads "Servant of the Royal Court."

The more appropriate, less insulting phrase in English should read "Member of the Royal Court."

Servants were not adored and treated like Badin was by Queen Lovisa Ulrika. They did not have close relationships with the queen's children throughout life. They did not grow up to own property and collect massive libraries.

For her, Badin was a confidant. A friend. A scholar. A son. 

Swedes need to accept that Black inferiority and white supremacy are not independent of each other. Each one thrives because the other is tolerated. It is past time that Black Swedes such as Badin receive the respect due to them.

As historians and artists have no problem embellishing some of the most vile and undeserving characters in Swedish nobility, Badin is no less deserving of more respectful titles.

Moreover, the exclusion of the historical-fiction graphic novel, Badin and the Secret of the Saami—as well as the Stockholm Museum of Ethnography's own commissioned piece about an imaginary meeting between Badin and Anders Sparrman—in the sources section of the exhibit is troubling.

Although not directly related to Badin, any mention of "savage" must be thoroughly reconsidered in the presentation about Black Swedes in the 1900's. Certainly, there is a valid historical context that can support the term. 

However, the same goes for the n-word. In a society where blatant discrimination against Black Swedes is so prevalent, using the word "savage" in the title is totally inappropriate and irrelevant.

Badin was not a slave, servant, savage, sex object or clown. He was Sweden's forgotten Black Prince. In the very least, he was a humble member of the Royal Court.