Yes, I read comics.
Over the last year, I read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, Hawkeye, Watchmen, Lone Wolf and Cub, The Swamp Thing, Promethea and Saga.
At the moment, I seem to be devouring anything and everything by Alan Moore. The range of Moore i.e. his ability to delve into any genre from Victorian adventure thrillers, anarchy, superhero realism to gothic horror is astounding. His wit, his parables, wordplay, insight into society, nature, technology and his depth is unmatched.
My favorite at the moment is ‘The Swamp Thing’. To be honest, I didn’t like it at first. But the more I read, the more I was drawn. The Swamp Thing is the story of a scientist who was trying to build a restorative formula and working in a swamp. But tragedy strikes when he ends up losing his life in an accident orchestrated by his enemies. Sounds like the typical premise for our superhero? That’s what you’d think. But The Swamp Thing is not built on the story of a superhero or even a beast. Alan took the reins of the comic and made ‘The Swamp Thing’ so much more than mere horror. In his tenure as the writer of this series, he delves into the subconscious and evokes the fears that really lurk deep down. There is a chapter that is reminiscent of Dante’s path in Inferno, where he is shown the different circles of hell by Virgil. There is another chapter that has an uncanny resonance to the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. And just when you think, nothing is going to surprise you anymore, there is the ‘Rite of Spring’ entirely devoted to vegetable sex (thought one of the most illustrative and sensually captured scenes in comics.)
I also have Gaiman’s Sandman, but for some reason, I’m having trouble getting into it.
But Moore, to me, is a master of the genre. And I’ve read that he is working on a decade long novel called Jerusalem, built on the concepts of eternalism.
Ah, yes… so I love comics that can seep into my imagination and show me philosophical insights into the world that we live in.
Of course, then there are works like Hawkeye… which are a guilty pleasure, which I peruse purely for love of character, wit and relationships. Though with Hawkeye, I really like Katie and Barton’s mentor-student dynamics. 🙂