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Elric of Melniboné Archive Contains older questions relating to Elric, Stormbringer, Melniboné, the Young Kingdoms, etc. You can reply to existing threads here but not start new ones. For new questions please use the main Q&A forum.

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Old 03-25-2004, 02:12 AM
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Default Elric & Albinism.

Just wanted to start a discussion on Elric's albinism.
Is it true that albinos really don't have red eyes?
With the 'seemingly' upcoming Elric movie, i do hope people afflicted with this dissorder don't take it the wrong way or fuel other peoples missconceptions about them.

I think the movie's like 'Powder' got that kinda rap.

Does anyone else in here know a person who is afflicted with 'Type 1' albinism.

Has Mike got any bad rap from people with albinism concerning Elric in any way?

http://www.lunaeterna.net/popcult/index.htm
http://www.rickguidotti.com/life1ful.htm
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Old 03-25-2004, 07:15 AM
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Excellent question, Theocrat. Here's my two cents...

Elric isn't human. He's Melnibonéan and as such, it would actually be he who was offended by the comparison. :lol:

Besides, he's the White Wolf and although I can't find any actual documented cases of albinism in wolves, it seems a book by Barry Holstun Lopez entitled Of Wolves And Men "reported one anecdotal instance of a white wolf with pink eyes shot by an aerial hunter in Alaska in 1957."

http://www.kerwoodwolf.com/BIOLOGY.htm
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Old 03-25-2004, 09:14 AM
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I haven't had any complaints from albinos. Rather, I've had generally a good response. After all, Elric is a hero (if somewhat flawed). Maybe the most famous albinos in music are the Winter brothers. They haven't complained. Some albinos, as I understand it, have red/pink eyes (white mice, for instance) and some don't. I derived most of my ideas about albinism from fiction and hearsay, I must admit, when I was a teenager and first conceiving Elric.. I certainly wouldn't want to offend anyone and am always willing to be put straight about misconceptions, yet in all my career I've had no actual complains, except from one or two non-albinos who say I associate albinism with anaemia (Elric's lassitude and so on). In which case I suppose I really ought to retitle him Elric the
Anaemic. I guess you can be both an albino and anaemic. The important thing is not to characterise albinos (which I don't) as all being like Elric!
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Old 03-25-2004, 10:08 AM
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When I was at college there was an albino music student, who also had a an albino sister. Generally he wore sunglasses most of the time, so either his eyes were quite sensitive to the light, or he was just much cooler than the rest of his band. If I remember correctly, his eyes were pink rather than red. His hair wasn't white as such, but a sort of very pale yellow... and apparently the hair didn't retain dye very well, so that's pretty much the colour it stayed.

Having seen him and his sister around town a couple of times, I can't say I find albinism especially "exotic" as such... there isn't any sort of mystical allure going on.

Strange to think that growing up in this crappy little town I actually saw albinos as often as I saw anyone with Afro-Caribbean features!

D...
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Old 03-25-2004, 04:39 PM
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I work in scientific research. (Please don't stone me!)
I work with albino rats, and albino rabbits.
They have red eyes. I call the bunnies, "Elric bunnies!" 8O
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Old 03-25-2004, 06:57 PM
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Do these bunnies stare at you sardonically? :lol:
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Old 03-25-2004, 07:32 PM
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Yes they do :!: :idea:
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Old 03-25-2004, 07:50 PM
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I saw edgar winter backstage once, (daytime)
he wasnt just bone white, he seemed almost transparent.
He had a black haired babe on his side not the black blade,
but
his presence reminded me so much of Elric
I was careful not to anger him.....you never know.
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Old 03-25-2004, 08:38 PM
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I'm into reggae. Yellowman is an albino performer. He didn't have a happy childhood.

http://www.lunaeterna.net/popcult/yellow.htm
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:23 PM
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I did a bit of research for my own albino character, er "character with albinism" as some of the people at http://www.albinism.org/ prefer (some of them prefer the phrase "people with albinism", but many just say "albino" because it's shorter.) Apparently, the eyes of albino animals are pink or red, but in people with albinism the eyes are actually very light blue or grey (and even light hazel or brown), but they often look red, pink or purple depending on the light. Children with albinism might actually have pink eyes, but they get a bit of blue or grey pigment once they reach adulthood.

There are different types of albinism. It is characterised by partial or nearly total lack of pigment. Type 1 Oculocutaneous albinism is a complete lack of pigment --Ivory hair, very pale eyes, no tanning or freckling of the skin. Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome is a kind of albinism in which degree of pigmentation varies and the lungs and blood are also affected--the blood won't clot normally. Colitis is sometimes of symptom of HPS and so the excessive bleeding could lead to aenemia. There are other forms of albinism as well.

About 16 years ago, when I went to college the first time around, there was a man I met who had albinism. His eyes mostly looked light blue, but flourescent lighting often reflected off his retinas and made his eyes look red or purplish. Albinos have very little pigment in the eyes, so light often shines right through the iris. It's just like when your eyes look red in a photograph-- the flash reflects off the retina in the eye-- except their eyes look like that in regular light, not just from a flash.

Most albinos have very poor eyesight because when they are babies they get too much light coming through their irises and this affects the development of the eyes. Something to do with how the brain takes in the information through the optic nerve. There's more about that on the albinism.org site.

Some of the people there have read Mr M's books. Most liked them. I haven't looked at the site in a long time, but I recall there was a discussion about Elric and someone brought up the same point as PsychicWarVeteran did-- Elric isn't human, so it doesn't matter if his albino characteristics match those of a human.
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Old 03-27-2004, 02:50 PM
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Thanks for that. Very useful.
Yes, I think we have to accept that whereas most human albinos have light blue or grey eyes, Melnibonean albinoes have eyes like glaring
rubies!
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Old 03-27-2004, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Moorcock
Thanks for that. Very useful.
Yes, I think we have to accept that whereas most human albinos have light blue or grey eyes, Melnibonean albinoes have eyes like glaring
rubies!
Well, if a person can accept the concept of the Multiverse or the Champion Eternal, then I think the mind'll be able to accept the idea of Melnibonean albinoes having ruby eyes... Makes a much better image in the mind.
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Old 03-28-2004, 11:39 AM
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Well, I had a post all written out for this thread and then it got wiped…bah….so lets try this again . . .

When I first got into Role Playing, AD&D *2nd edition* I decided to make my elvin character stand out and I made him an Albino. I find that to be very unique visually and I wanted my character to stand out in some way that was ‘legitimate’. His hair was pure white as was his skin. I made his eyes a very light, almost translucent amethyst though. Making him like this I also did a little reading on the condition and had it where he could not tolerate the sun to much extent. His eyesight was actually pretty good though but that was because he didn’t get over exposed to it when he was a child. (His childhood was far from how it should have been . . . but I suppose some good actually came out of that mess . . . being locked away had its advantages as in his eyes didn’t get burnt out so to speak). And he also had a blood condition. Odd set of similarities considering, looking back in retrospect, what I had created was spooky in many ways to a certain albino we all know. At the time, I had never heard of any of Mr Moorcocks books or the Elric series in the slightest but my DM was very familiar with the series and brought over his copies for me to read. Needless to say all I could say was WOW. To begin with what a story . . . and then what similarities I had stumbled across (and I thought I was being original).

Anyway, reading on albinism in some various encyclopedias and stuff when I was drawing up this character, what I read said there was ‘full albinos’ and then something regarded (at that time) as ‘half albinos’. They generally had more normal pigmentation but usually had some distinguishing mark in their hair (yea that sounds odd but that’s what I read I swear). I had a class mate that could have been one of those. She was pale in complexion, light eyes but brown hair with the front naturally very light blondish/white. She never dyed it. This was years ago and Im sure theres been much more knowledge gathered on it since then. I remember reading something about the ‘half albinos’ carried the gene and that if one parent had the gene, 1 in 4 births (on average but not always the case) would be albino and I think 1 would be half and then like 2 would carry the gene. Im really not good with anything like that and its been years since I read any of this stuff. Shoot what I read was probably so wrong anyway :P I probably only read enough and remember enough to convince most I don’t know a thing about it….errr…..

I have heard that albinos do not always have red eyes but that is a common color for their eyes to be. Ive also heard that not all true albinos have white or light blonde hair either . . . I always thought it was very cool that the ‘hero’ of this saga had something like that. Even though Im not one, I never thought anyone could or would take offense to Elric being an Albino. If anything, if I was one, Id think it would be cool that such a dynamic character in the fiction world could be ‘flawed’ like that. Then again, I don’t consider stuff like that to be a ‘flaw' persay. Its part of what makes that person who thay are. I found it refreshing to have a ‘hero’ character that had problems like Elric had. It seemed more ‘real’ to suspend belief on and accept when you were reading it. Having a main character not perfect was just . . . well . . . perfect . . .
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Old 03-28-2004, 01:46 PM
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http://www.lunaeterna.net/popcult/

I'm indebted to my friend Ian for this. I checked out the site and have also written to them. They use a very nice Robert Gould picture, too!
They aren't aware of Zenith the Albino, it seems, who can also be checked out at the Sexton Blake site and also at the Savoy site, where other links to Zenith can be found. In no way is Zenith lethargic, except when smoking opium. He's astonishingly strong and fit, in fact.
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Old 03-28-2004, 01:55 PM
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As long as my AD&D character took the necessary precautions he was pretty fierce as someone to go against. I went to that site on albinism and glanced around and I cant see where an albino could be /that/ fit and robust all the time without at least some precautions (in regards to the other fantasy character you just spoke of). I dunno, it just takes some sort of ‘believability’ out of it if you have a character with a known liability be unhindered by it at all.

When I first did my character up my DM advised against it cause it would leave him prone for various situations if I screwed it up. I welcomed the challenge and couldnt have been happier. It made the game and this characters development better IMO. And I didnt take them away after I realized the inadvertent similarities to the Elric series. As I said before, having the main character not nigh invulnerable is one of the most appealing things about him as a fantasy character IMO.
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Old 03-28-2004, 02:14 PM
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I think it makes good drama to have a hero with a handicap or being prone to some illness or attack (even if it's Green Kryptonite). That said, Zenith's main problem with his albinism is that he feels that he is an outcast, too different to his fellows.
For some years now, of course, I've also dealt with the genetic strain in the Melnibonean royal family, the people usually known as 'silverskins',
who are considered not necessarily genetically abnormal, as 'different'
and dangerous. Some more of this comes up in the graphic novel sequence I'm doing for DC with Walter Simonson. Silverskins are, it's pointed out by some supporters, often 'lucky'. Others think doom comes to Melnibone with such rulers.
That site points out that traditionally albinoes have been identified in negative ways. I suspect that Zenith and Elric have largely shown albinoes as positive, in that they are indeed 'outlaw' characters but are
nonetheless very accomplished and smart.
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Old 03-28-2004, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Moorcock
I think it makes good drama to have a hero with a handicap or being prone to some illness or attack.

Kind of like Stephan R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant and his leperosy. ever read those anyone? I liked the first three. The second trilogy seemed a little too much (IMO).
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Old 03-28-2004, 02:35 PM
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I, too, think those books are above average, though I was a bit harder than I should have been on him in Wizardry and Wild Romance, tending to lump him in with Tolkien imitators about whom I had become a bit grumpy at the time.
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Old 03-28-2004, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Moorcock
I think it makes good drama to have a hero with a handicap or being prone to some illness or attack.
I agree. The AD&D character I have referred to was so challenging to RP I cant say he always had the better of his 'liabilities' and it always made for some serious and intense RP if I say so myself. (I ran that AD&D character from 1984 to 1996 and finally retired him. Though its not a permanent retirement. I just got tired of converting him to all the rule changes that are always coming out...and he did get pretty high level). Ever since I drew up that character every other one Ive done has never been 'perfect', totally-powerful-in-every-way ‘hack and slash' specialist. That has just never appealed to me. It didnt before that character and I go out of my way to never get one like that since. I think if more writers took that outlook they might come up with better and more griping stories and characters. No one is perfect in real life. Having a little 'real' in a fantasy world is such a nice touch. I hope what Im saying makes sense.
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Old 03-29-2004, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Moorcock
http://www.lunaeterna.net/popcult/

I'm indebted to my friend Ian for this. I checked out the site and have also written to them. They use a very nice Robert Gould picture, too!
They aren't aware of Zenith the Albino, it seems, who can also be checked out at the Sexton Blake site and also at the Savoy site, where other links to Zenith can be found. In no way is Zenith lethargic, except when smoking opium. He's astonishingly strong and fit, in fact.
Yeah.. The girl who's made the site seems nice and smart. Good thing to mention Zenith to her aswell! :) I forgot about that.
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