Just comic stuff

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I have so many secrets I’m sitting on right now that it’s fucking me up. Seriously.

One secret is so secret that I can’t even hint what the secret has to do with. It’s just too big. I didn’t even tell Robin the secret and she could care less about comics.

There are 8 more secrets that I can technically hint about a little bit. You see, I have this book I’m putting together and I drop little bits of information about it every so often on this site. The plan is to announce the book on the 23rd, along with my new Hive column. Well, I’m going to spill a little bit – it’s an anthology and there’s room for 13 teams within it. I’ve staffed 8 so far and every team came off of my “if I can have anybody, who’d it be” list.

The book has legs – and it knows how to use them. I’m retarded psyched.

Secrets, man. Too many secrets.

I don’t really talk comics much around here – I don’t run a review site, I’m not good at giving reviews, I don’t have the time necessary to make myself seem intelligent and pretentious enough to lay down a strong review. Not my thing, you know what I mean? I’ll say what comics I like occasionally (read BROWNSVILLE this weekend, for instance, great book – worth buying, 18-bucks for a hardcover is choice, too) and which ones didn’t get me going (like GODLAND, for instance – read the first trade this weekend. I “got” it, I know what it wanted to be, but I just didn’t really care much. It was an entertaining read but I don’t see myself buying the second trade). I’ll give the occasional plug for a book that doesn’t get enough attention, like Jobnik! #2 which I finally read this weekend and watched the story and technique improve by leaps and bounds. But sometimes, man, a comic just smacks you in the ass and you need to dedicate the time that it deserves.

American Virgin. I went into this book with no expectations. I bought it for the cover. I enjoy Seagle’s work and Cloonan is a fantastic artist but for the most part this book just sort of cruised under my radar and demanded none of my attention. Don’t know why, shit just happens sometimes - the subject matter just didn't excite me enough, I suppose.

I was in the comic shop and I believe it was Fossen’s review that was stuck in my head and I decided to pick it up.

Last book I read. By the time I got around to it I felt like it was a chore, a waste of 3-bucks if I didn’t read it.

Here’s the thing – here’s what made this issue exceptional. Is that you’re reading this book and you have this character who, when you really break him down, is a good guy. And not a good guy in the way your coworker is a good guy for letting you grab some twizzlers – the guy is just righteous and not hypocritical at all.

He’s the guy we all hate. And I’m reading this book and I’m saying to myself that there is no way I can enjoy this book beyond the first issue – there’ nothing relatable about this guy whatsoever, he’s just this tool that’s better than me and happy about it. Who the fuck wants to read stories like that when we have Tom Cruise in the real world?

So I’m reading this book and they keep teasing the girlfriend fucking it all up angle and I’m wishing something bad happens to them. I just want her to break up with him or to cheat on him. And they tease the cheat, the whole not coming home thing, I’m reading that and saying to myself, “Oh damn – looks like somebody’s out getting stuffed.” And I was happy about that, you know – I saw what was coming and I was happy that this douche-fucker was going to get what he deserves for being so righteous.

And then the ending came. And it was so real and so raw that it just sucker punches you and you realize that you WISHED for that to happen. Maybe not that exact scenario but you’re reading this book and you’re wishing for something bad to happen and then what happens is worse than you imagined happening. Within a panel you find yourself relating to this douchy, unlikable character. Partially it’s because you feel bad for him, true, but partially because we know what that instantaneously loss feels like – we remember what it was like the first time we experienced true tragedy and you think back to your past and wonder if you felt as important as the main character of this book felt – if you’re whole perception of reality was destroyed in an instant as well.

I remember the moment; I talked about it on this blog. When my Uncle Mike died, it was shortly after my confirmation – he was my sponsor. There was always this delusional sense of holiness crammed into my head – I still have it now and it was certainly a lot stronger as a kid. Come confirmation time I chose my Uncle Mike over my rich Uncle Chris and it seemed like this move ordained by God – angels in heaven singing hosanna because I went with a man who needed to feel love over a man who’ll buy me a bike. My mom plays into it, tells me I made the right choice.

We got closer as the months went on, confirmation came and went, we had this special connection through God – and then that Christmas he went into the hospital with internal bleeding – by the time we showed up he was in a coma, shortly after he died.

And whereas the relationship was different, the age and the circumstances were different – there’s this reality that drops on you and reminds you that you’re not immune to this type of shit – just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it’ll never happen.

You just kind of understand that nobody really knows what God has in store for them – and you find yourself wondering what’s going to happen next. And that’s how the lead from AV becomes relatable – the issue ends and you’re wondering what’s going to happen next, much like he is.

I hope it goes somewhere not too cliché – I’ll be looking forward to the second issue.

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