Wednesday, December 05, 2007

God bless readers

This was posted in a Newsarama thread about HAWAIIAN DICK #1 selling out (and after a comment of mine about using more pidgin English in the book):

Ho wow man, I can't wait! I love Hawaiian Dick, I've purchased all the issues of the previous series as well. I'm a Hawaii girl currently living in Florida. I'm old enough to remember old Waikiki Beach before all the high-rises were built, my dad built his own HUGE surfboard (6 feet long) and used to surf Waikiki all the time. We used to live a short walk from the zoo in one of those rinky-dink 2-story apartment buildings back in the '50s. My husband is a local boy, grew up in Kaimuki and Palolo Valley, so we know the old Hawaii. I love Mo and Kahami, and Chinatown ... So few writers and creators "get" Hawaii (that Michener guy - nah, his book junk in my opinion), that we who grew up there get very excited when someone does it right. You guys have been getting it right. I would love to see more pidgin in the local characters' dialogue, but I know you have to balance it with the need for all readers to understand what is being said. So, geev 'um, Mistah Moore!

In this same thread, two Hawaiian readers (who admit knowing each other) had taken us to task for abusing Hawaii for our entertainment purposes, as they had both done on boards in the past.

I've always suspected that those guys were less about dogging our book and more about grabbing a platform from which to pontificate, and that's fine. I understand that.

I've seen the book attacked for some pretty ridiculous things. One "reader" in a forum noted that Byrd dressing in long pants would have immediately outed him as a "stupid haole." Well, you know...that's what he IS. And anyone who tells me no one wore long pants in Hawaii in 1953 is just being stupid. Likewise, people have taken exception to the notion that Hawaii played up its Polynesian culture to lure tourists in the fifties, which is equally absurd. But I try to avoid debates over that stuff. I fully understand that when people who feel they usually get the short end of the stick get an opportunity to make their voices heard, they're going to take it.

So, anyway, while I've never claimed HAWAIIAN DICK was a realistic reflection of 1950s Hawaii (see my earlier post about "Heightened Reality"), we have gone to great lengths not to be condescending or insulting, and to try to somewhat give people a feel for what it might have been like back then.

So, thank you, Librarykat. You've made my day.

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