Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Stuff I Read: Comics

"What is it you like about comics?" my husband asked me one night.
He'd just finished watching Heroes...his new favorite show.
I was flopped across our bed reading, and he popped in to ask me that question.

I really do like comics. Graphic novels.

I hadn't had to think of a real explanation of "why" though.

The first layer of it has to do with pictures.
I like pictures.
I like books that have pictures that reflect the story well.

By that I don't mean art that's pretty. The art in Watchmen isn't pretty, but it's perfect, and it's one of the best graphic novels I have ever read.

I mean art that works with the narration, the mood, the person of the protagonist. When the art and the words blend well, it's a fantastic reading experience.

I think another aspect of it has to do with my love of theater and film.

I was talking to Sam Costello about the difference between film and graphic novel script, and he told me there is almost no difference. It makes sense. When you compose both, you need to have the image, the frame in mind as well as the words. This is why comics and movies are frequently written by two people. Most of us are only good at the frame or the words.

The biggest part of it for me, though, is the history I have with comics. There's a nostalgia there, and I think it's great that it's a medium that I was fascinated by as a child and can love as an adult.

So in the weeks ahead, I'll tell you about my top 5 comics/graphic novels.

Probably the people who know far, far, far more about it than I do will stop by and tell me why I'm so totally wrong.

Meme, so I feel like I'm doing something.

Objects Within One Metre Of You.

Husband's Fancy Shmancy camera that I can't figure out, single toddler sandal, my backpack from college.

TV Programmes You Won’t Watch

Age of Love, America's Next Top Model, Survivor, Lost, 24, Law & Order SVU.

Favourite Trivial Pursuit Categories

Arts & Entertainment, Literature.

Superpowers You’d Like To Have.

Invisibility, weapon impervious skin, exact change for anything I want to buy always in my wallet.

Newspapers, Magazines or Periodicals Read Regularly

Real Simple, Cookie, House Beautiful, Newsweek, Men's Health (I circle things I want my husband to pay attention to).

Songs You Dislike

Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me, She's Like The Wind, any love song done by a hard rock band.

Blog Posts of Your Own That You’d Recommend.

On Fucking
Corydalis's Room
Waking Up

People You’d Like To See Answer These Same Stupid Questions

Strong Bad
The Incredible Hulk
Tina Fey

Monday, June 18, 2007


I've been away for a while. Sad information has been coming into my life via e-mails, phone calls, and end of the day conversations with my Beloved. It's just been difficult to write without getting distracted.

Notes have been jotted this whole time, though. Thoughts on a new story, ways to tie up loose ends.

Next week there will be actual content. If not sooner.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

My friend has cancer. She is thirty.

She has been my friend for almost 9 years. Her husband is one of my oldest college friends, and he visited me this afternoon.

He told me he had some "not great" news. Then he clarified "It's bad news".

She has breast cancer.


She told me to tell you not to worry about her.


I know.

Early stages, right? They can just remove it? Right?

No. It's spread very quickly. They can't just take it out.


The doctors were very surprised, because there's no history in her family.

But...she didn't grow up in one of those...cluster...places.

No. The cancer rates where she grew up aren't any higher than in the rest of the country.

THIS SUCKS! THIS ROYALLY SUCKS! What...okay. Okay. What are we doing? What are we going to do?

I tried to keep from crying. I didn't succeed. My son was playing on the floor in front of us, and he came over and smiled at me, then rested his soft little head on my knee.

It spread so very fast, because she saw the doctor and had the mammogram immediately after she found the lump. Then she had a biopsy. The doctors have to find out exactly how far the cancer has spread and she will probably have to have chemo, and a mastectomy.

My friends learned this a week ago today.

Even in my head I am afraid to say "what if..."

What if she dies?

You would think, with everything my husband and I have been through, illness in someone my age wouldn't terrify me, but it does. I suppose I thought my husband was the one. I figured it doesn't happen often in people under thirty, some hideous illness that could kill you, so if it happened to us, then our friends will be fine.

My husband didn't die, though.

What if she dies?

It's so strange that I prepared myself for my husband's death to the point where, if it happened, I knew that I would be prostrate with grief, but my life could go on. It was hard to get to that point, and my husband wanted to know that I could be at that point.

I never prepared myself for one of my friends dying.

What will we do if she dies?

What will her husband do if she dies?

I missed their wedding because the friend who was driving me there got lost.

She's so tiny, and her wedding dress had a very full skirt. She looked beautiful, but she had trouble getting out of the door.

She took the photos at my wedding.

I have a photo of her from seven years ago, putting her cousin in a headlock with silly expressions on their faces.

Her cousin looks very much like her younger sister.

Her younger sister got married this past winter.

Her younger sister was in a play I directed, and on the closing night, my friend and her fiancé (my friend) gave me a spinning tin top...because everyone gives flowers.

Oh, God, please please please please don't let her die.