Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My transformation is nearly complete

My boyfriend is a big nerd. OK, we all know this. His nerdliness manifests in things like gaming, science fiction/fantasy, and comic books. I'm already a scifi/fantasy nerd, but before I met him I wasn't particularly interested in gaming or comics.

He doesn't game so much anymore, but when he was doing it regularly I did try it out a couple of times (wasn't really into it). I think my experiences were clouded by the circumstances, and had there been a better game master, using a better system, I might have been more interested. So I suppose there's still time. We both like playing board-type games, and QIR has turned us on to several outside of the milton bradley/parker brothers classics; we're fans of several of the Rio Bravo games like Carcasonne, San Juan, and Settlers of Catan.

But it still took me a while to warm up to the idea of comics/comic books as a storytelling medium. I'm so much more of a verbal person than a visual one when it comes to stories, and I've tended to get impatient when reading the few comic books I'd read before we met. But drawing and reading comics are two really important things to him, and over the years I've slowly grown used to the idea of storytelling through primarily visual means. I think I really started to warm up to it when he was working on this comic that didn't have any words in it at all - and it was really good, and I couldn't wait to see the next page.

Anyhow, over the last several months I've read a comic rendering of George RR Martin's short story "The Hedge Knight," I've read Audrey Nieffeneger's new work without words (The Three Incestuous Sisters), and I've worked my way through Jeff Smith's entire Bone series. Last fall, I read Craig Thompson's Carnet de Voyage over a couple of weeks while eating my morning cereal.

While we were in California, His Nerdliness found a used copy of Craig Thompson's "Blankets" and got all excited about it (though couldn't understand why someone would sell it). He told me about how much he thought I'd like it. It's been sitting in our apartment for over a week now. Last night I picked it up, just to see what all the fuss was about, and except for when I was making and eating dinner (and watching The Aristocrats on DVD - my favorite joke teller was the mime, though I thought the guy who was telling the joke to his toddler that wasn't Andy Richter was really funny, too, and most of them made me laugh at least once), I didn't put it down. I read all 500+ pages in just a couple of hours, and it was BEAUTIFUL. Absolutely stunning. It's basically an autobiography including parts from his childhood and adolescence, and his experience of his first relationship. I loved how he was able to convey the emotions of his childhood and teenage self primarily in his artwork. It reminded me of things from my teenage years, and the character of himself reminded me of one of my high school pen pals. Feelings and emotions from some of my own high school experiences came back to me and made the experience of the book that much richer.

To sum up: "Blankets" by Craig Thompson? Good. Read it. Also, I should probably go out and buy myself a D20 or two, because if the comic books have gotten to me, it's only a matter of time before I'm a half-elf warrior with a +5 in shape shifting ability or something.


Dan said...

Insert obligatory nerdly "come to the dark side, Luke," etc.

Anonymous said...

I've heard about "Blankets" several times, but I always forget about it twenty minutes later. Maybe it'll stick this time.

EEK! said...

Clearly, you need the Geek Hierarchy Chart to sort this new development out! :)

Eden Kennedy Onassis said...

Damn it, Blankets has been on my wish list for ages. Obviously no one's going to buy it for me, must I do everything myself?

MLE said...

Well, it's a relief to know I'm not as geeky as erotic furries or people who get married in Klingon garb or whatever.

Leah and Mrs. Kennedy: "Blankets" is totally worth paying full price for it if you can't find it at a used bookstore like Hulk did, or if you can't con someone into buying it for you.