I haven’t had a chance to read the whole comic yet, but this is getting a lot of buzz online: there was an old Carl Banks Uncle Scrooge comic in which the Beagle Brothers infiltrated Uncle Scrooge’s dreams, using some sort of apparatus invented by Gyro Gearloose, to get him to reveal the combination to his safe. Gyro, Donald, and the nephews show up but can’t wake Scrooge and the Beagle Brothers for fear of serious mental repercussions, so they send Donald into Scrooge’s dream.
Uncle Scrooge: The Dream of a Lifetime
(Thanks to Walter Smith and Matt Staggs)
Update: Commenter Your Obedient Serpent says this is comic was by Don Rosa, not Carl Barks, and it dates from 2002 – which is a lot less impressive.
August 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm
Also: Paprika, by Satoshi Kon, based on a short story by Yasutaka Tsutsui from 1993…
from what I’ve heard (I have not seen Inception) follows a somewhat identical plot.
The Scrooge Thing is mighty funky though. Gonna have to check it out.
August 5, 2010 at 9:26 pm
I didn’t entirely like Inception all that much; but I will say, after reading this comic a few days ago, that the similarities are relatively ambiguous. There were more similarities between Inception and eXistenZ and/or Paprika and/or The Cell, than there were between Inception and the uncle-scrooge comic.
Of course, these themes have been in fiction well before the inception of the uncle-scrooge comic, and specific correlation does not necessarily imply specific causation.
Inspiration often comes from many works of fiction, including everyday-life; there is nothing wrong with this. If anything, the uncle-scrooge comic may have conveyed the idea that stuck with him, and was simultaneously influenced by many other sources from then until the finalized screenplay of Inception.
However, for sake of argument, if Inception were (mostly) inspired by this comic, they had enough differences between them to make them unique-enough stories to enjoy both of them in different ways. For instance, in the uncle-scrooge comic there were only silly random one-level disjointed dreams bifurcated with amnesia, and inception was produced by external sounds origination from outside of the dream(s).
The movie Inception had up to three dream-levels, albeit ambiguously, and all of the dreams influenced each other in relatively complex ways. Also, in Inception, inception was produced by dream-to-dream influences to change consensus-reality amongst all of the dreamers, rather than from squeaky-toys and human sound-effects; lol.
August 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm
Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times interview with Christopher Nolan:
Question: “So who do you read in preparation to make a movie like this? Freud? Philip K. Dick?”
Answer: “Probably Jorge Luis Borges. I’d like to think this is a movie he might enjoy. [laughs] It sounds like a highfalutin reference in some ways, but the truth is, he took these incredibly bizarre philosophical concepts – like a guy facing a firing squad who wants more time to finish a story in his head, and he’s granted more time by time slowing down, as the bullet travels between the gun and him – and makes them into very digestible short stories. “The Matrix,” to me, was another great example. It was an incredibly palpable mainstream phenomenon that made people think; hey, what if this isn’t real? Yes, that’s a massively complex philosophical concept in some sense. But in another sense, it’s really simple.”
So, either Nolan has (a) read this comic and is knowingly covering it up with other inspiration(s), or (b) read this comic, but doesn’t remember reading it, letting it influence his script via Priming_(psychology), or (c) never read the comic and the similarities could be coincidental.
August 10, 2010 at 5:14 am
It was a Don Rosa tale, not Carl Barks, and it dates from 2002, after more than a few dreamscape/artificial reality movies had immersed themselves in the public consciousness, including DREAMSCAPE itself, from 1984.
Walking through dreamscapes isn’t just a well-established science fiction trope safely in the public domain — it’s a traditional ability of wizards and sorcerers dating far back into myth, legend and folklore.
The BoingBoing article about exactly this same story was written clearly tongue-in-cheek.
August 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm
if we were to apply the law of large numbers. even if the chances of two people having the exact same idea without ever having heard each of other is 1 in 10 billion, there still gonna be enough people over the centuries to ensure that that happens.
September 7, 2010 at 3:07 am
Walking through dreamscapes isn’t just a well-established science fiction trope safely in the public domain pennington jersey— it’s a traditional ability of wizards and sorcerers dating far back into myth, legend and folklore.
September 7, 2010 at 4:03 am
Twenty years ago, a successful man in the TV always wore business suit with clean dress shirt seriously debating with his rivals at the negotiating table.
After 20 years, the man was wearing a T-shirt such as woodley jersey with fine texture, in the golf field.?
October 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm
after reading this comic a few days ago, that the similarities are relatively ambiguous. There were more similarities between Inception and eXistenZ and/or Paprika and/or The Cell, than there were between Inception and the uncle-scrooge comic.