Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook by Jason Heller provides creative look at pirate mythos
With the release of the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, “On Stranger Tides,” Quirk Books has released a humorous tie-in to the adventures of pirate Captain Jack Sparrow with “The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook.”
A.V. Club journalist Jason Heller writes the handbook, and shared some of his processes and ideas about pirates in an e-mail interview.
NERDAGE: How did you approach the tone of the book? You’ve found a nice mix between humorous and informative here.
Jason Heller: My publisher, Quirk Books, had a pretty good idea form the get-go about how they wanted The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook to look. That said, they gave me some leeway to get creative with it. One thing we wanted to do was make a book that tapped into the underlying tone of The Pirates of the Caribbean without being anything resembling an adaptation. We started with the basic and ridiculous premise, “What if someone alive today wanted to become an 18th-century pirate? But not the 18th century as we know it, but the magical version that exists in The Pirates of the Caribbean?” Once I wrapped my head around that—which wasn’t tough, seeing as how I’m naturally given to daydreaming and fantasizing—it was fairly easy and lots of fun to mix real-world facts about pirates with the supernatural and slightly surreal vision the films project. It didn’t hurt that the new Pirates movie, On Stranger Tides, is firmly rooted in real-world pirate mythology with the inclusion of the infamous Black Beard.
NERDAGE: What was your research process like?
Jason Heller: Funny enough, I’d been doing a ton of research on pirates just before Quirk offered me this project. As valuable as any number of books and websites were, though, it was interesting to me that so many of my research sources were full of glaring omissions or contradictions. To me, it just goes to show how little we still know about the golden age of piracy—and how much we do know has been colored or obscured by our popular preconceptions of them. In real life, it seems to me, pirates were both more fantastic and more boring than they seem in the movies. And that fit the tone of The Handbook perfectly. That said, it was a blast to conduct research for this book knowing that I was under no obligation to really get anything right. I tried to be as rigorous as possible, but at the same time, playing fast and loose with pirate mythos is what Pirates of the Caribbean—and Jack Sparrow himself—is all about.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 22069Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 17657Oklahoma City Thunder: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins?
- 12691Rockets guard Patrick Beverley bombarded with hateful Tweets after Thunder get eliminated
- 10660Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 10002Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments
- 9693Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss
- 8348OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 6426Tulsa man tells police he smashed woman's head in self-defense
- 5624Rx drug bills sent to Oklahoma governor
- 5094Will a MAPS 4 initiative involve a football stadium downtown?
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients