Jun. 21st, 2011

humbleminion: (Default)
I was never into comics as a kid. Just never got into them, largely because they were too expensive for too little. Probably a good move on my part, since I was a kid in the late 80s and early 90s, and apparently that was the blood-splattered foil-covered exploitative nadir of the medium. But to be honest my hard-earned $9.02 per week of paper-round money went straight into plastic models, cheap ouzo and Warhammer so I'm hardly in a position to be holier than thou about teenage investment choices.

I have, however, really enjoyed the best of the recent spate of superhero films (X-Men 2, Iron Man and the first two Spiderman films at the top of the list, haven't seen First Class yet), and my enjoyment is probably heightened by my NOT having a head full of established continuity. What I've really gotten to enjoy, though, is the recent spate of superhero novels. The melding of the fantastically out-there plots of your average comicbook story with the additional depth, plot complexity, and insight into character that the prose for can give is something I find oddly fascinating. Blending genre authenticity with actual real-life authenticity is one of the more fascinating writing and world-building challenges around, and it's one that (from my limited knowledge) the actual comic medium abandoned a long time ago in favour of an ever-more elaborate and inconsistent sci-fi shared world.

(I should at some point write a post on what is My Favourite Shared World Ever, even though I've never seen a single use of it in any medium that lives up to the setting's potential)

Been musing a bit on the medium. Historically of course it's usually films which go to (generally poor) tie in books, computer games, comics etc (my particular surrealist moment was seeing in the bookshop a novelisation of 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' - except that the Bram Stoker version obviously wasn't good enough so they grabbed Fred Saberhagen and told him to churn something out that matched Coppola's script). A bit more often now you get other media - books, comics, computer games - going to film, from which point they spin off into the usual polyethylene explosion of tatty marketing paraphenalia. But a very comic-specific genre going to books, with original characters that aren't a spin-off property - that's something new. I'm just trying to get a handle on what works and what doesn't.

Read more... )

Still to purchase/read/review: Ex-Heroes, Playing for Keeps, From the Notebooks of Dr Brain, Heroine Addiction, Masked, Nobody Gets the Girl, Paranormal, Brave Men Run. The genre's really getting a workout recently, it seems.

So after all that twaddle - which superhero novel is the best? The one I'm currently about 20k words into writing, of course... :p

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