Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Character Study

So here's something that amazes me:

Mourning fictional characters.

It's one thing when it's someone in a movie or television series, because you can physically see and hear the people, so when they die, it's more visceral. Also, there's typically manipulative music accompanying it, which helps.

But what's really odd is when it's a character in a book that gets you.

Because it's all just words. The individual, their history, their thoughts, anything they've ever done - it's all just words. So when you read about them passing - even if it is in a way that is highly unfair - and you have an emotional reaction identical to one you'd have if it were happening in real life? That's some amazing stuff. I don't know if when that happens it's a testament to the writing ability of the writer, or if it speaks poorly of the brain's ability to tell the difference between reality and fiction.
Maybe both. [shrug]

I bring all this up because, yes, I've been impacted by something recently read. I've been reading the Walking Dead graphic novel series. It's extremely addictive and pretty well done overall. Plus, the basis of the series is zombies, so, you know, right up my alley. :)
Anyway. Yes, there are generally deaths in each volume. But the latest - issue #8, "Made to Suffer" - was absolutely the saddest one yet. There's at least one more collection ("Here we Remain") to go, so maybe things'll pick up for the survivors... but it is a zombie story. [other than "Shaun of the Dead" has any zombie story ended well?]

I don't know that there is anyone who is reading the series who is also reading this, but I'll spoiler tag the discussion, just to be safe (and if you are ever going to read it, you should make sure you don't highlight this because being spoiled on it would be a bad thing):
Holy shit, dude. Not only did Rick lose Lori, but Judith, too? I mean, she was just born in the last issue. God, I'm near tears again as I type this.
And Tyreese, too?? And ugh. The way the Governor killed him was particularly brutal, even for this series.
I have to admit that as I was reading this issue, I was expecting Rick to die - what with him passing on his gun to Carl, and also asking him to be the Man of the House, as it were.
Plus, the prison safe haven that they've stayed at for so long is completely overrun now. All in all, things are looking really bleak for everyone left alive.

I can't wait for the next collection.


Anonymous said...

Dude, I KNOW!!!

It's a weird series for me, because sometimes the writing is SO FUCKING CLUNKY that it hurts my teeth, but the emotion behind it is rock-solid. I like the "no one is safe" mentality, which makes it ring (other than a certain character's random ninja shit) totally true...

But those deaths threw me for a loop and bothered me as well, especially that one...

P@ said...

EEE! I'm so super excited that someone else is reading it, too!

Yeah, the series is far from perfect - does everyone have to yell everything? and there is the clunkiness you refer to - but when it's on, it is on.

Do you happen to know if issue 9 is the final one? Or how far they plan on going with this?