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MatthewHunter

MatthewHunter

Currently reading

MirrorMask (children's edition)
Neil Gaiman
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth
Ursula K. Le Guin
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
Maud Hart Lovelace
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde, Camille Cauti
Riders of the Purple Sage
Zane Grey
Vampires, Zombies, & Wanton Souls
Marge Simon
SPOILER ALERT!
Batman: Year One - Richmond Lewis, Frank Miller, Dennis O'Neil, David Mazzucchelli Loved it! It's a tweener, residing somewhere between the cynical shadowy world of Watchmen and the bright primary colored world of Superman. Batman is a very human superhero - gets shot multiple times, has a tv smashed over his head, has a soft spot for stray cats, and chooses the superhero role reluctantly. In many ways, the superhero role chooses Bruce Wayne - without his parents being murdered in front of him when he was six years old, Bruce might never have become Batman, might never have felt the need to change the character of the world to make it safe for other six year olds.

There's one full-page frame in chapter three (I believe) that took my breath away. In it, not-yet commissioner Jim Gordon is sitting at the foot of his bed with a gun in his hand. He's been having an affair with a beautiful detective Essen, and it's weighing heavily on him. He and his wife Barbara have been fighting like mad as they expect the birth of their son. Is Gordon contemplating suicide? Or is his staring at the gun merely his way of contemplating his police job's role in making the affair possible? The reader looks down on this contemplating Gordon, and on a side-sleeping, obviously pregnant Barbara. She appears to have kicked off her sheets at some point during the night. Her night clothes are a bit askew. Sleep has not come easy for the two of them recently. And the pattern on the sheets! Such a vibrant and lush jungle/animal scene! The print on the sheets almost comes alive when you catch a sidewise, indirect glimpse of them. Miller's storytelling and Mazzucchelli's artwork have combined here to sketch an unforgettable moment in the story. Very impressive!

I'm a relative newbie to the world of comics and graphic novels. But I know good storytelling when I see it. Batman: Year One is a true keeper.