POP CULTURE RANTS: Be it comics, movies, animation, manga, anime, graphic or popular novels, if you got a beef, put it here!Just

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    Just had to share this with my fellow Machiners. I’ve been griping about this for years, ever since I saw the first Harry Potter movie. Right off the bat, I admit I never read any of the books, but AM I THE ONLY PERSON WHO FEELS J.K. ROWLING RIPPED OF DC COMICS’ CHARACTER TIM FROM “THE BOOKS OF MAGIC”?


    Same basic story of a young boy destined to become one of the greatest mystics of his time, tutored by old masters of the craft. Thoughts? Opinions?



    If you think about it, J.K Rowling also ripped off the legend of King Arthur and all of the stories, films and TV shows that also have a wise old mentor tutoring the chosen one (Star Wars anyone? Lord Of The Rings even?). It’s not exactly an original story idea and certainly not one that is specific to Books Of Magic (as much as I love Neil Gaiman).
    BTW, as hipster as it is to say it, the books are much better than the films. The films, especially getting towards the end of the series, cut too much stuff out and added in bits that were unnecessary (Order Of The Phoenix, please step forward), but that’s another rant.



    I’m not usually one to enter these discussions, but I’m a fan of both stories. The idea of a nerd-ish boy becoming a wizard is pretty standard (Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, etc.). Assuming that she’s into comics, it wouldn’t surprise me that the idea of an English boy with glasses becoming a wizard could have come from BoM, but that’s pretty much were the similarities end (although, I don’t remember Tim’s childhood – it’s been a long time since I read it).

    The themes of both stories are very different, as well as the mythology. Also, their characters develop along different paths. Gaiman deals more in archetypes, Rowling is more character-driven. Gaiman is anti-Western/post-modern literature, Rowling is pro-Western literature. Of course, since I’m more about characters, I enjoy the Harry Potter series far more than BoM. In fact, out of my top seven list of stories, I only have one that would classify as archetypal and it’s not one of Gaiman’s.

    What’s funny is that I never hear anyone complain that Gaiman borrow’s characters that he didn’t create from DC Comics, as well as other places, into his stories. Not that I’m complaining either, but if it’s going to be said of Rowling, then it needs to be said of Gaiman, too.



    JR, you and Can’tDraw both raise excellent points, but call me a stickler, it just bugs the hell out of me that the main characters of both look so similar! And Can’tDraw, like you, it’s been a long time since I’ve read BoM, so I don’t want to really get any deeper in discussing the actual story in depth, at least not until I have a re-read. Thanks for the opinions, guys!



    I think the books are more original then the movies. I do think, though they are cool, the movies are a little cliche. But the books are more original. At the very least, they have a more modern feel then the movies.



    Don’t want to beat a dead horse, especially one that has been rotting for a couple of months but I think this quote from Dylan Horrocks, author of Hunter:Age of Magic, sums up the issue:

    “the superficial similarities are striking – but no more so than any number of other stories in the genre. As Gaiman has repeatedly said, he and Rowling were merely drinking from the same well. In fact, there was even a story in ‘2000AD’ (called the Journals of Luke Kirby) which came out a few years before the ‘Books of Magic,’ which was extremely similar to both the ‘BoM’ and ‘Harry Potter.’ This is a genre – and Gaiman and Rowling are both playing with the conventions of the genre, to different ends.”

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