9.15.2006Well, I know I haven't been writing much here lately. Mostly it's due to the fact that I've spent the past month or so preparing for & moving into my new home. Anyway, as I'm getting settled I figured I could offer up something I was asked to post for the Teen blog we have set up at my library. So here it is in all its "glory". LOL!
Why I Love Graphic Novels
When I was probably in 5th or 6th grade my library introduced me to the wonderful world of Wendy and Richard Pini’s Elfquest, and that was the beginning of my love for graphic novels (i.e. comic books) From there I explored numerous other authors and series, gravitating towards Batman after the first movie came out in ’88 and then to X-men when my best friend let me borrow her copy of the Dark Phoenix Saga in middle school. Later, during high school, I fell in love with Jeff Smith’s humorous epic, Bone, which often left me rolling with laughter (although it failed to amuse my teachers when I read during class.) High school also introduced me to the amazing art of Alex Ross, when a friend loaned me DC’s Kingdom Come, an amazing epic set in the far future, one where Batman controls Gotham via a system of hi-tech robots and Superman no longer cares what happens to the Earth and it’s people. Finally, in college I met some friends who threw me headlong into the wonderful world of manga, (i.e. Japanese comics) and I’ve been in graphic novel heaven ever since. Today, I’m a very eclectic comic reader; if the story looks interesting and the art is eye-catching I’ll pick up just about anything and give it a whirl.
My most recent read (aside from a plethora of manga) is a very imaginative and wholly engrossing retake on the Marvel universe, Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602. It’s certainly a far cry from his Sandman series, but is, nevertheless, incredibly enjoyable. Of course, I’ve always been a big fan of alternate universes/histories, but this is truly a work of art. Neil Gaiman decided to pose the question, “What if all of our most well-loved Marvel heroes hadn’t been born in the 20th century, but the 17th century instead?” and the result is an amazing story with some very surprising twists. At first I was a bit hesitant to read this collection because, as much as I love comics, I’m not one of those people that reads them religiously and I was worried I would miss out on and/or not understand all of what was going on. Was I ever wrong! I can’t believe I waited as long as I did to read this incredible story! I will admit that all of the recent Marvel movies helped me out considerably. In fact, if your knowledge of the Marvel universe is anything like mine(S-P-A-R-S-E!), you might want to have a movie fest before-hand - watch Spiderman 1, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and both of the X-Men movies. You might also want to keep a copy of Peter Sanderson’s Marvel Universe handy for any other extraneous characters that pop-up.
The plot is as follows – Queen Elizabeth has been assassinated, the planet Earth is in mortal chaos, and everyone is struggling to uncover the truth behind it all. Some blame the witchbreed (mutants), others claim the end of the world is at hand, but the truth is far more bizarre than anything the denizens of this altered world could possibly imagine. The story is excellently woven, and once everything is said and done you’ll still be craving more - because this is a world where Peter Parquah is apprenticed to the Royal English spy, Sir Nicholas Fury - a world where Spain’s Grand Inquisitor, Enrique, plots and schemes against his one-time friend Carlos Javier - a world where entire ballads have been written regarding the Crew of the Fantastik, who were altered forever after a fateful trip through the Sargasso Sea (the Bermuda Triangle) and then vanished without a trace - a world where, once you’ve immersed yourself, you’ll never want to leave.