Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Kavalier and Clay

"The Escapists", by Brian K. Vaughan, Steve Rolston, Philip Bond, Jason Shawn Alexander, Eduardo Barreto and et, al, is one of my favourite comic books of all time. It's a perfect package, the kind of project I turn to when I'm down in the dumps, needing inspiration. It's so horrifically meta, but not in that overbearing Alan Moore way, or the Grant Morrison method of creator imposition... this isn't Vaughan as Vaughan talking to the reader, it's Maxwell Roth, a character that is so real that you can't help but be dragged along by his story. I loved it, picked it uop from #1 because it was, umm, $1 (and I'm only human) and the Frank Miller cover, whilst it did nothing to represent what was going in on the inside, drew me in. I loved the art from page one, I loved the writing, and there have been very few books (if any) that have actually competed with it's position in my heart. The way in which the walls between comic books and real life blur is beautiful; this is heroism, but not super-heroism, about human weakness and wanting, and, God, have you been paying attention to me these past few years? This is the writing I want to do.

Anyway, I digress. I went about The Escapist mythos in completely the wrong order. I read the comics first, the Dark Horse "The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist" and then "The Escapists" after that, but that was stupid. I understood most, if not all, of what I was reading, but then I realised that I needed to read what spawned this character, I needed to know the subtext to it all...

I finally got the chance to read the source material, Michael Chabon's "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" this week. I'm not going to review it, or rant on about how you should read it (you simply should), but I am going to say that I found the novel engrossing, and I read it over a few days, only stopping to sleep and work. If I didn't need to do either of those things I would have been done in a day.

I loved this book. And so should you.

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