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Achewood: North Korean Magical Realism

Todd's Misadventures in North Korean Magical Realism
Glorious Ranger confronts Ultraviolet Thunder over the danger a fish presents to a squirrel’s nuts.

Some people wonder at the recent Achewood story arc, in which Todd, a substance-abusing squirrel, attempts to “piss up a rope” and thereby triggers his transportation into a text adventure game in which he and Kim Jong-il together flee North Korea to found the “PEOPLE’S KINGDOM OF ECSTASY AND WRATH!”

To quote a friend: “Man, Achewood, WHAT THE FUCK . . . I don’t know if [Chris Onstad] is ignorant or nuts.”

So, leveraging my International Baccalaureate high school education, I explained:

He is riffing on a Latin American literary convention known as “magical realism” popularized in the English canon by translations of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

An example of magical realism can be found in Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude” when the town of Macondo comes under an insomnia plague. At first, people don’t have to sleep, but then they realize they are losing their memories. So they start putting labels on things to remind them what what they are. And they put a big sign over the main road that says GOD EXISTS. In case one might forget.

In the context of magical realism, it is entirely reasonable that Todd should type with a stutter.

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