Been rereading The Hunger Games trilogy, and I’m now midway through Mockingjay — which took me all of a day and a half to read the first time around and about a week and a half to sort through the myriad of competing emotions that held me in their grip.
This to me is the number one mark of phenomenal storytelling: when a tale continues to haunt you well beyond its finishing, and persists as a object of periodic reflection as if held in actual memory. What George R. R. Martin wrote about stories being old friends that need to be revisited from time to time is so true.
If I could impress but a single moral axiom upon my child, it would be this: stories are to be cherished — worshipped, even — as abstract idols encompassing the very best the human mind has to offer.
From the Tragedies of Sophocles, down through the comedies of Monty Python; where would be be without stories to inspire us, enlighten us, caution us, frighten us, anger us, or make us laugh? Still cowering in caves, no doubt — shackled to the darkness
Few would argue that any Batman writer has ever understood the Dark Night (et alia) better than Frank Miller. Yet looking back over the years, I have to say that Jeph Loeb comes a close second. And while there are panels from Dark Knight Returns that make me want to kneel, I have to say that The Long Halloween remains my favorite Batman story, and indeed one of the greatest ever told — the 20th century’s answer to Oedipus the King.
“Mommy, your eyes are scaring me.”
He’d asked me about The Iliad, so I gave him a thirty-minute crash course in the Trojan War, complete with maps and pictures of Hercules: TLJ characters. It’s probably been a good fifteen years since last I read it, and I’m stunned by the level of detail I could still recall. I can only imagine what my eyes must have looked like.
(Anyone who knew me in my early teens will surely understand.)