August 16, 2002
byrd of paradise
Newsarama.com has a feature article about Hawaiian Dick: Byrd of Paradise, a new comic book series set for a December debut. It's a film noir inspired private detective series set in 1950s-era Honolulu.
"It's set in a stylized reality, if that reality also includes zombies and the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors," said [creator B. Clay] Moore. "What we're doing here is taking a film noir approach to 1950s Hawaii, and then tying Hawaiian folklore and mythology into each story."
There are comments below the article, including a few responses by the comic's writer in response to suggestions that the book will just be a cheap tiki/hula girl/grass shack bastardization of Hawaiian culture. Personally, I think the art samples look great and the premise is intriguing. I love gritty crime stories, and I always thought that Honolulu would make for a great setting for a series of private detective novels.
Posted by Bill
at August 16, 2002 07:04 PM
Posted by Ryan on August 16, 2002 7:40 PM
What a great link, Bill.
There will be no media portrayal of Hawaii that will satisfy everyone. I'd have to say the representatives of the 'sensitive' end of that spectrum at that particular site aren't among the most articulate. I wouldn't discount their views entirely, of course.
But I think the creator, who wonder of wonders interacts directly with site visitors, has done a good job of framing his comic, the vision, the mood...
A comic book is about the most 'fiction' fiction you can get. No one will mistake it for a documentary.
Writes B. Clay Moore: The book is influenced primarily by film noir. That means dark. So there will not be a focus on some tropical paradise stereotype. There is no surfing planned for this book. In fact, I'm sure some people will read the book and be disappointed I didn't play up all the stuff you guys are expecting to see... My main character wears Aloha shirts, and nothing but. Why? Because he's a recently arrived haole, trying to escape trouble in the States. Forgive him, but he's trying to find this tropical paradise he's seen advertised, and having little luck doing so. Why? Because, as you point out, it doesn't exist.
The concept is intriguing, and the artwork does look great. I confess I'm not much into comic books, but if I see this on the stands, I'll definitely pick it up.
("Hawaiian Dick," though. Priceless.)
Posted by frank shipt on August 23, 2002 12:05 PM
Looks like a site
Posted by Bill on November 6, 2002 2:45 AM
The website for the publisher of Hawaiian Dick, Image Comics, has put together a nice little preview page for the comic. You can read a few short web-exclusive one-page comics, done almost in the style of a Sunday comics spread. There are five of them up there now, including a nice little October treat (#4). There's also a five page preview of Hawaiian Dick #1.
If you were curious at all about the art, go check it out.
Posted by Ryan on November 6, 2002 2:45 PM
Thanks for the update, Bill. I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I'm still insanely curious about how well they'll reflect the little details of Hawaii life. While I love the artwork posted so far, the "scenery" available is only the P.I.'s pad and the Pali Highway at night.
Posted by Glen Miyashiro on December 23, 2002 1:24 PM
Hawaiian Dick: Byrd of Paradise #1 is now on the shelves at your favorite comic book shop. It's a pretty standard crime-story plot, the dialog is snappy, and the art looks great. You can tell that the artist has seen reference photos of 1950s Honolulu and is using them, which is a Good Thing. And the night marchers, who show up at the end of the issue, are creepily cool and are plausibly Hawaiian looking. It's worth a read, and I'll probably pick up the rest of the 3-issue series.
Now I'll pick a few nits: the Hawaiian names could use some authenticity help. Byrd's sidekick is named Mo Kalama, which is fine, but the femme fatale character's name is "Kahami", they mention a street named "Nuuenu", and throughout a bar scene Mo keeps on calling Byrd "ali'i" as if he was saying "chief". These just plain sound wrong to a Hawaii ear. The writer acknowledges research help from someone named Lyle Masaki who apparently is a local boy - Lyle, brah, what happened? Couldn't you suggest some more authentic sounding names? "Kahami" sounds about as Hawaiian as "Lilo".
Posted by palani on November 8, 2004 1:09 PM
"Lilo" means lost in Hawaiian, an obvious description of Disney's character. It can also mean, "to change into something," depending on the context. "Kahami" is meaningless and cheapens the Hawaiian language by assuming you can just invent a "Hawaiian" sounding word and it will work. The meaning of the word in pre-contact Hawaiian was so strong that the name often decided rank in society. The author misses this critical cultural component.
Posted by kimo on December 12, 2004 8:38 PM
Well this is a "comic book"
classified as such at least.
But it is in no way:
except in its depiction of local life.
Referred to as:
an unrepentant disrespectful title for a graphic 'comic book' format storyline of a haole guy newly transplanted from da mainland working as a private detective.
(in real life, you would need to be a real kama'aina to become a private detective. Anyone else would most obviously stick out like a verrry sore thumb! And not be able to get ANNNY where in their investigation.
So right there the premise falls flat as hell.)
he most definitely is NOT Hawaiian.
Upon further reading he most certainly is a 'dick" or at least those responsibe for this ambomination.
The creators were queried:
you been to Hawaii!?
one sez no.
But i got a buddy in the military there, so i get firsthand info on what its like.
You get firsthand info on what its like only if;
Not a military guy's accounts of hotel street if and when he ventures off da base.
da odda one sez:
BUT! I been to mexico. and I passed out in an alley there.
and as equally insulting.
We are equated with any other generic subtropical clime!
experienced under a stupor.
what a sad, pathetic pseudo excuse of a qualification to write a "Hawaiian detective graphic novel".
They bring up:
'tiki culture" as their draw. Well, this concept did NOT exist in the 50's. It is a current creation of a mainland clique that was weaned on the Disneyland "tiki room" and has no existence outside of this lil club.
the dick drives a convertible. NO one drives a convertible except obvious haole tourists.
a character within the series is named Kahami, a very unlikely unlocal sounding moniker. (Commie!?)
(unless they consider this to be a generically pretty name (for some unknown reason) and the islands under the rule of Stalin or Ho Chi Min...)
the "dick" wears two shirts AND long pants. AND black leather shoes. NO one wears this alla time, here. Too hot. You are immediately branded a haole FOB.
one would expect to hear; "eh. haole crab. You one real dick. You dress li dat. Stoopid buggah!"
he also wears what appears to be, in C/U shots, (or drawings/panels) a tiki necklace. This was done mostly by California surfers. In the 60s and beyond. Wrong again, chucko!
a female asistant to "dick' sez: well, a 300 pound guy should be easy to find. "
many of our bruddahs and local blalahs are about that!
I'm damn near that myself!
they admit to "reinventing" Hawaii.
ok so much for authenticity.
it IS a comic book after all!
yes. very comical.
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Posted by Kahami Wolfbane on April 29, 2006 9:24 AM
I made my nick name up as a derivite of Nanaki and Kahsumi, and it just so happened to turn out like Nanaki. Don't ask me how.
Now I'm researching the name and find all this...creepy.