felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
[personal profile] felis_ultharus
The next thing on my to-review pile are the two graphic novels of Jeff Lemire that a friend gave me, The Nobody and Sweet Tooth. Short review: The Nobody is good, and Sweet Tooth is excellent.

Margaret Atwood once said about Ursula LeGuin that what made her interesting was that she was less interested in the science-fiction and fantasy elements in her stories - though these were well-crafted - but in what happens to psychology and society, friendship and love when you drop in some random alien element. In LeGuin, Atwood said, It's boy meets girl, and girl has gills."

LeGuin used to be the exception rather than the rule. In the last couple of decades, that kind of science-fiction has become more common in the US. But it still competes with the other kind, which focuses on the science-fiction/fantasy elements. Where the shiny guns and ships and spells are the real star. Where the gills and not the girl are in the spotlight. Meanwhile, human-focused sci-fi has always been central in Canada.

And Torontonian Jeff Lemire continues that proud tradition. The Nobody picks up a 103-year-old plotline - I can't say which one without spoiling it - and he rewrites the plot around a mismatched romance and from an ordinary person's point of view. It works, and the story is pretty good. He's breathed some fresh air into an old trope.

Where he really shines, though, is Sweet Tooth. It's a post-apocalyptic story of a mutant boy with antlers who's led a sheltered life with his father in a shack in the woods. When his father dies, he's completely unequipped to deal with the post-nuclear world outside - and too trusting. It's pretty grim but also quite touching. And I'm looking forward to the rest of the series ^_^

Otherwise, little to report. I'm on the sixth minor edit - after three major edits - on the novel. Did another sixteen pages of editing today. My revised deadline is mid-November, and I think I'm going to make it. All the overtime at work made an October deadline impossible :/
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felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
felis_ultharus

September 2011

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