Friday, October 6, 2006

Astro City: Confession (I have no words...)

I just read Kurt Busiek's Astro City: Confession. It's the second TPB. I'll talk about the first later. Right now I just need to say "Why does Marvel suck so hard? Why? Why? Won't someone please think of the children readers?!"

Confession is beautiful. A beautiful story. A beautiful reality. A beautiful slice into life and problems and what happens when the people turn against their heroes and the possible causes behind such a turn. It's told through the eyes of a teenage boy. It's awe inspiring. It makes me want to weep. It puts up a backdrop that's just... I'm going to over use beautiful again because that's what it was.

I'm moved.

Selflessness. Sacrifice. The desire to do good. The need to protect. Beautiful. Just...beautiful.

How can Marvel think Civil War in any shape or form comes close to that kind of beauty? I know there are people who like Civil War. They can like it. I'm not planning on become the Supreme Overlord and taking it away from them. Well, I'm not planning on taking it away from them. But still - How can they know something like 'Confession' exists and then get it all so wrong?

How can they lose the beauty of the debate, of the struggle and conflict and rising tension against inner pride and feelings of wanting to retaliate against the seeming ungrateful. How? How can 'Confession' slip in race issues with a single sentence, while Civil War uses a big page spread of a dead black man, bound and chained?

I need to own these books. I'm currently borrowing them. But I need to own them by the end of the year. I need to own them so much, I'm half hugging the ones I've got here with me. I need to own them so much; I like them so much; that I'd consider swallowing my agoraphobia just to meet Kurt Busiek; just to see him talk at a panel; just to wait in line for an autograph. (I own one autographed piece of property. And a friend had to shove me in line to get that. It was enough for me to own the cd.)

I... I have no words. I'm so touched and moved. I know part of it is that Confession deals with 'A Dark Avenger' and I have a serious soft spot for those types. But wow. Just... wow.

Astro City touched me in book one with it's first story about the Samaritan. It made me look at Superman in a whole new way. It made me appreciate 'Big Blue' in a way I never thought I could - It made me appreciate him on his own, vs him played against someone I liked better.

All I want to do is go 'Omg. Omg. omg. Squee. Omg'. But that wouldn't tell you anything. And this book, this series deserves me being able to tell other people something. I'm so goddamn moved! I'm touched. I'm awed. I'm overwhelmed. I want to wave the books in the faces of people who say 'girls don't read comic books - they don't like the fighting / whatever' and tell them how much I loved this book and this series. I want them to read it. I want to discuss it with them; even if all I can say is 'omg, so beautiful'. I want to say that I like my superhero icons like that. I want to say that I want them respected like that; men and women. I want to say that I like my superhero stories to say something about the human condition as beautifully and wonderfully and well crafted like that. I want to talk about how glad I am I didn't kill myself in my teens, because then I'd have never read this. And wow.

Kurt Busiek is my new hero. I'm awed. Awed!

Everyone talks about Neil Gaiman but I never felt this way when I read Sandman. I liked it. I liked the incorporation of other DC characters. It intrigued me. But I never felt like this. It was removed for me. It was a story that appealed to my academic interests in geekdom and fandom and mostly of mythology; especially Greco-Roman pantheons.

But Astro City? Busiek? I think I'd read anything he does or ever did now. I'm awed. I need to look up his pencilers and colorists and everyone connected to see what else they have done. Because if they were involved in this, there has to be something special about them too.

I want to cry and I want to laugh and I want to shout and I'm pimping the series hard to my roommate who doesn't even like graphic novels because pictures aren't her thing. I... I don't know what to say. I'm babbling and overjoyed and overwhelmed and moved; like looking at your first cathedral during early morning mass when the light hits the windows and the buttresses and a couple of dedicated old women are singing for the mass in reedy thin voices filled with noithing but praise and determination. I feel side swiped the same way I did when I looked down into the tiny little life in my arms and my little brother blinked at me and I knew I was going to love and protect him for the rest of my life because he was my blood.

I didn't think art did that anymore.

I'm really happy to find it still does.


ETA: It's come to my attention that the mention of suicide in my babbling post might seem cavalier. It isn't. I've struggled with chronic depression for most of my life. Not most of my adult life, but most of my entire life. This journal is specifically set up away from day to day talk about other things I'm dealing with. If I slip in a sentence casually about something like that or about abuse or domestic violence etc it's not because I don't take them seriously.

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