I was happy with my comic book ignorance up until yesterday. I didn't need to know about the vast array of characters, plots, and settings they explored. I was blissfully unaware that comic books had anything to offer other than superheroes and skintight clothing. If you had told me that I was missing an opportunity to experience an exciting genre of literature in comic books, I'd have told you that if I wanted my stories envisioned for me I'd watch the movie.
Oh how I have been humbled.
On Tuesday, Lia Habel tweeted her enthusiasm for Ruse. Perhaps "enthusiasm" is the wrong word. More like "rabid fangirly devotion."
If you are a #steampunk or into comics drop everything NOW and GET THEM. It was the best series EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER. --via @LiaHabel
What else is a girl to do on her lunch break besides search Google for more information on this series? You say steampunk, I come running.
Ruse originally ran from 2001-2004 and in March, Marvel issued 4 new books (this was the news that got Ms. Habel so excited). The series sounded cool and with such a glowing recommendation I decided I'd check it out. After work I headed to a nearby comic book store for the first time. I was quite nervous, worried the fanboys would peg me as the outsider I am and chase me off with pitchforks.
My fears were unfounded. The store was busy (Just after working hours in the Loop? You don't say!) so I was able to wander and browse free of any hairy eyeballs or raised brows. As luck would have it, the store had not only all four issues of the Ruse new release, but issues 1-12 of the original run. At about $3 a pop, I figured I'd just buy them all. I spend that much on books all the time without batting an eye, so why not comic books as well?
When I got home, I read numbers 1 and 2 of the original and number 1 of the new series. And I was shocked to find I actually really enjoyed them. Like, really enjoyed them. Instead of being annoyed at the lack of words, I let myself relax and get into the illustrations and see what wasn't being said. Normally I despise having words interpreted for me, and prefer to put my own slant on things (see: why I hate movie adaptations; why I like reading plays instead of going to the theater) but in this case, it was an entirely new experience.
I've read a couple of graphic novels in the past, usually because they had been or were going to be turned into movies (300, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and I had the hardest time getting into them. Maybe it was the length that was the problem. Maybe I just wasn't reading the right story for me. Whichever it was, my attitude toward the genre has undergone a complete 180 degree shift. I went to another store near my house last night and picked up a few new books that caught my interest. I'm even considering starting a collection of a series that is adapting the L. Frank Baum Oz books, which I already collect and adore.
I'm so new to this that I'm kind of stumbling around in the dark. Other than Alison Can Read's Manga Mondays feature, I'm not aware of any bloggers focusing on graphic content. Do you read graphic novels, manga, or comic books? Would you be interested in hearing more from me as I explore this genre? I'm curious to hear what you think about it.
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