Am I smitten with it? Absolutely.
… Do I tire of it sometimes?
Well. Tire isn’t the best word. Rather, I become familiar with it. Mind-numbingly, inevitably familiar.
Allow me to set the stage for an example.
Me in my room, lounging with a library book. The cover is somewhat typical for a young adult novel.
Narrator: A dark-haired man comes into the room and says to the orphan boy—
Me: The man is the boy’s father, although neither realize it yet. The grand reveal will come in the fourth to last sentence, and the author will postpone the reunion until the third book of the trilogy.
Narrator (stammering): H-how do you know?
Me (á la Sherlock Holmes): Quite simple, really. You specifically said that both the orphan and the man have dark hair. You didn’t include many other details, so I know these ones are significant. It’s a typical coming-of-age story, so I know he’ll be the father, not an uncle or cousin.
Narrator: Ah. I see.
Narrator: He said to the boy—
After so many years of love, storytelling can become set in its ways. This is frustrating, especially because it could so easily be prevented! If the boy’s father hadn’t been the dark-haired man he admired—if it had been the mousy, uncertain man whom the boy had mocked—I would’ve fallen out of my chair. I would’ve loved the book.
Some authors are experts at turning my preconceptions on their heads. Megan Whalen Turner does it. Franny Billingsley does it. But so many others don’t, and this frustrates me.
Honestly, most of this problem is probably my own fault. I’m becoming cynical in my old age. I expect a certain element from books, and when I don’t get it, I’m disappointed.
What I need is a storytelling palate cleanser.
And I am fortunate enough that my good friend, Ghost Ryter, provided me with that very thing.
Until quite recently, I would’ve sworn that I dislike comics and graphic novels. “Comics,” I would’ve sniffed, in my endearing Diane Chambers-esque way, “are fah inferior to novels.”
Then Ghost Ryter introduced me to The Silver Eye, a webcomic by Laura Hollingsworth.
And reader, it is beautiful.
I won’t go into much detail over the plot, because I want to review it someday soon. Suffice it to say that it is an enchanting maze of details and memories, time twisting in on itself as the story unfolds in dazzling, multi-faceted images. The artwork is stunning. The writing is stunning. And the characters—O! reader, there is not one character who is poorly portrayed. I love all of them.
And the best part, reader? I have no idea where it is going.
Yes, I value—not originality, per se. I like classic themes. But I like it best when an author is able to work beyond clichés, or better, turn clichés into something originally profound. What about you, readers? Where have you encountered this before?
Reminder: I'll be gone for a decent chunk of the summer, so I may be slow at responding to comments. Rest assured, I still value your input!