I had a rather odd conversation today with a friend. He was talking about making a Robin Hood – Camelot cross-over, and I couldn’t help but get absorbed into the conversation.
Let me explain. Back when I was a kid, I borrowed lots of books from the old school library. Some of the books were hardbound classics, while others were illustrated adaptations made safe for kids. I read every adventure-themed book I could find; my first love was whodunit stories, mystery novels ranging from the light and fanciful to the deep, dark, sombre world of Arthur Conan Doyle (at least for a kid).
Then I started running out of those books, and I moved on to reading fantasy novels and novels about the Lone Ranger. I don’t remember most of the books I tore through back in those days, but I know I read a lot. I wasn’t a member of the bookworm club for several years for nothing (it was also an excuse to keep away from sportsfest-related activities; you could hang at the library to hide from the booths and the “bullies” who made sure you were humiliated for the whole world to see).
I first read Robin Hood, and while I don’t fully remember the story now, I believe that it was one of the first chivalric tragedies I’ve ever read. The merry men they may be, but the eventual rise of King John to the throne, and the disbanding of the thieves of Sherwood forest, to the penultimate death of Robin of Huntington by bloodletting sort of wrecked the entire story, but in a good way.
And then I read Ivanhoe.
Ivanhoe was a bore, now that I think about it, but it got me interested in Prince Valiant, which in turn piqued my interest in Arthur Pendragon’s knights of the round table. I’m not exactly sure which version it was I read (it was an old, original hardbound book that smelled just like any old, hardbound book with plenty of pride in its spine should), and unless I did a little bit of research, I don’t think I can remember much about what took place throughout the life of Arthur.
But why does the memory stand so clear in my head? Because, good reader, the fact that I stayed up until six in the morning on a school day, reading the bloomin’ book by flashlight, is, up to now, still pretty amazing.
So, two books from my childhood. Two epic tales of chivalry, magic, and European honor. The story of an archer and a king, put together in comic form. And my friend wants to work on it for real.
Two questions, however, come to mind:
Who’s going to do the research? And how the hell is Arthur going to become the king of the Britons when Richard the Lionhearted was the monarch during Robin Hood’s time?
Two answers to the last question. First is Time Paradox. Second is a wizard did it.