I have not written in months. Or rather, I have not written anything of much consequence. I’ve written for my day job, and I’ve posted here. But my personal work, the stories I must ply from my heart and mind, have largely sat untouched.
While reading Blue In Green, I figured out why I have not lately touched my personal work. It is because consequential work, work of the type I would like to produce, demands effort and sacrifice. It demands a level of commitment I cannot currently achieve. Hovering in a liminal state during perhaps the most liminal month of my most liminal year, it is taking most everything I have to continue being a partner, a friend, an employee, a son, and a brother. I cannot be a writer, too.
So I understood exactly how Erik Dieter felt when the pale man offered him a choice in New York City. Dieter simply wanted to cut through life’s bullshit, while he was still young and alive, and create something that felt real. Something that felt great.
It is ironic that, where Erik Dieter failed, Blue In Green succeeds. Ram V, Anand RK, John Pearson, Aditya Bidikar, and Tom Muller have created something great, while commenting on the very act of artistic creation.
I have read too many stories to be shocked by most of them anymore. But the first volume of Sleepless subverted my expectations in such a way that I feel compelled to recommend it to you, dear reader, so that you also can spend ten minutes flipping back and forth between Sleepless‘s final pages, your jaw hanging agape at what has just occurred.
I will not spoil Sleepless Vol. 1’s ending in this review, because I think you should feel that ending’s power for yourself. But I will talk about how Sleepless builds to that ending in ways that both set it up and make it surprising, paying off the book’s main points of tension.
I don’t know that any recent Batman story has made me feel more joy than Batman Universe. Together, writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist Nick Derington, and the rest of the Batman Universe team have crafted a humorous, action-packed story that positions Batman as a reader’s guide to the wider DC Universe – which is a wondrous place packed full of Hawkpeople, dinosaurs, immortal villains, telepathic super-gorillas, and so much more.
What is it about G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward’s Invisible Kingdom that is so compelling? I believe it’s that Kingdom melds so many different explorations of modern society together so seamlessly, and that it uses its characters’ desires to do so.