So we’ve come to this…

“Death cut him short.  The end closed around him.

Flying free of his limbs

his soul went winging down to the House of Death,

wailing his fat, leaving his manhood far behind,

his young and supple strength.  But brilliant Achilles

taunted Hector’s body, dead as he was, “Die, die!

For my own death, I’ll meet it freely–whenever Zeus

and the other deathless gods would like to bring it on!”

The Iliad, Book 22: The Death of Hector, Lines 425-432

I truly hate that I’m at a point in my English-reading life where I read the phrase, “leaving his manhood” and legitimately wonder whether it refers to the Hector’s soul just leaving the state of being alive, or leaving his penis behind.

V for Vendetta

I liked it.  And not because my brother-in-law told me that I was obligated to enjoy it when he recommended it to me.  He has been trying to get me to read this one for a couple years at least and with the reading challenge going on I figured it was a good opportunity to actually sit down and read it.  It took me longer than I wanted it to, but it was something that required a lot of breaks for me, and not because it was boring or unpleasant, but because it’s incredibly dense.  Every scene has at least two things happening, whether it’s characters talking, radios playing, tv’s going, or other things like that.  It’s all extremely busy, so it can be a slow read.  I actually have a hard time writing about books that I like.  But I was discussing things with my brother-in-law earlier and decided that I wanted to talk about a something.

There are things that I liked and things that I didn’t, but I’m fairly certain that was intentional.  I enjoyed the book as a whole.  It had an interesting, thought-provoking story, and the art was impactful, and I suppose that gave me a chance to actually get upset when things happened to people I liked.  I think I identified very heavily with Evey, and so whenever something bad happened to her, I felt bad too.  When V took her in and educated her, I felt happy, and I got attached to the character of V.  When he left her alone in the street, I felt a little abandoned too, but then she found someone who made her happy, and I was happy for her.  When V revealed that it was him who had tortured and imprisoned her, I was… well, very upset.  My brother-in-law pointed out to me that you’re not necessarily supposed to like V (we both actually ended up liking Detective Finch a lot), and that the book is not supposed to make you think a certain way, but instead is just meant to make you think.  I realized then, that for many of the events that took place, I really didn’t know how I was “supposed to feel,” and I realized that I fell into a trap that gets laid down by books and movies.  I found myself looking for the agenda.  The opinion.  The thing that would make it so that I either whole-heartedly loved or hated the comic.  There’s always a side that you’re supposed to acknowledge as the “right” side for the story.  You don’t have to agree with it, but it’s there.

There’s not really anything to that effect in V for Vendetta and I guess I like that.  It put me in this weird, uncomfortable place where I don’t know what I’m supposed to think about these morally ambiguous characters and their decisions, and in a funny way it was freeing.  It makes me laugh just thinking about how “meta” that concept is.  There’s a lot I ended up liking about the comic, but I think in the end after some discussion, that is the concept I find the most interesting, and the most necessary.

More Saga

On one last note about Saga, I really enjoyed the art for the most part, but it kind of lacked impact regarding certain scenes such as this one. “Listen to my voice, boy. I’m going to murder you… right after I murder everything you ever loved.” That is a line that is said by a dark, gristly man whose just lost everything. For one thing, there is not enough attachment to The Stalk for the reader to garner this feeling and for another, the art and expression is completely bland here. He doesn’t look terribly angry, just… Like he’s talking to whoever.There is another scene which comes to mind: the scene in which Marko and Alana come to the Uncanny Bridge. There is a huge battle taking place, but they just kind of see it and leave, but the colors and the layout of the page just don’t drive anything home for me. Very bland there too, though I though that the giant-ass turtle with an entire camp on its back was awesome.