A Sea of Mystery, Comically Speaking

I didn’t read comic books as a kid – I authored them. Okay, Okay… that may sound a little pretentious. Allow me to dismount from my pompous chair now – such a remark deserves an explanation. More seriously, comic books simply weren’t available for me so I tried to make my own. The books in my home were big and old and dusty. To me they were a convenient surplus of drawing paper. Being the imaginative kid I was, I’d take crayola crayons to the pages making elaborate illustrations for setting, creating characters against them and giving them dialogue and direction. The plots were often war-time tales set in foreign countries. I’d stuff small brown and green army-men in the pages and use them to enact the script I’d written. They were a three-way form of entertainment – coloring book, comic strip, and platform for action-figures.

This being said, Y: The Last Man was my first complete comic book experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it. At first it felt strange holding a book so large and thin in my hands. It reminded me of picking up Dr. Suess books as a boy. The total experience was like watching a movie, partly because of the speed at which I flipped through the pages and Pia Guerra’s illustrations that are vibrantly alive. They seem to jump out at you.

Pia Guerra signing copies of Y: The Last Man for fans.

The entire premise of the book is totally fascinating. I found myself imagining alternative events and picturing their potential effects on the story. It really introduced me to an entire realm of entertainment I didn’t know I could appreciate so much and so quickly.

Kill Shakespeare looks like the next candidate to satiate a growing interest in me for comic books. In Kill Shakespeare, William Shakespeare’s sinister characters (Lady Macbeth, Iago, Richard III) fight the bard’s greatest heroes (Hamlet, Falstaff, Othello, Romeo, Juliet) for their freedom in a world created by the Wizard Shakespeare. The heroes search out the reclusive wizard who may have the ability to help them in their battle against the evil forces. It is called an “epic adventure that will change the way you look at Shakespeare forever” on their site. The video advertising Kill Shakespeare’s 2010 release is dark with ominous music – totally captivating.

The world of comics is still a sea of mystery for me, but I can say Y: The Last Man has made it a less intimidating one and introduced to me the true force of expression in this medium. Perhaps the field’s most interesting quality is the daring nature of the author and artist. The plot-lines and illustrations are equally bizarre. The story’s stretch as far as the human imagination goes.

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