Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is For Zoo

In Chicago, we're lucky to have the Lincoln Park Zoo. It's a free zoo to enter and has a wide variety of offerings that are always changings. For example, right now they just celebrated the birth of a baby gorilla, red panda, and tiger among many other additions.

In fiction, games, and other forms of media, the zoo can play an important role.

First, it's a location that has a lot of people in it. This could be useful if you need to have a setting where there are lots of people.

Those people mind you, are usually all about minding their own business because they are often there with children. Lots of noisy loud children.

Second it's a location that has a lot of potential trouble to it. The new movie coming out, Jurassic World is what goes wrong in a zoo of the future. In comics, there have been incidences where the characters use the animals around as assistants.

For example, in a Punisher arc, Frank shoots the glass out of a shark tank and the shark does the job of finishing off a criminal.

Third, it's a location that has a lot of potential activities to it. Characters could be looking for things to do and going to the zoo and watching ice sculptures being cut with chainsaws beats standing around in the cold doing nothing.

Other more likely scenarios include housing some unique animal or having events proclaiming the birth of a newcomer to the world.

Fourth, for a true turn of events, the characters can be from the zoo. They can be the animals that live there. The graphic novel Pride of Baghdad, written by Brian K Vaughan, features a group of lions that 'escape' the zoo when the country comes under attack. A powerful story with great art,

In a fantasy setting, such a place can be even more important. First off, it may have to be stocked. Where do such creatures come from in the first place? Sounds like a job for the characters.

When such creatures escape, as they are wont to do, who is there to put them back?