Wednesday, October 19, 2005

New Comics Day

Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four
Klarion the Witch Boy
X-Men/Power Pack
Green Lantern Corps
She Hulk
MK Spider-Man
Top 10: Beyond
Authority Revolutions
Shaolin Cowboy :-)
Life During Wartime :-(

Books of Magik: Life During Wartime concludes its series, and effectively, the adventures of Timothy Hunter. I have had, at one point or another, every single issue of each incarnation of the Books of Magic. I've sold off the bulk of the collection not for money, but for the hope that in some way I could allow more people to read and enjoy the series. There are perhaps a hundred-sixty or so issues of Books of Magic, Books of Faerie, Age of Magic, Life During Wartime, and various specials-- and every damn one of them was good.

For sheer volume, for sheer consistency of quality, it is a rare book than can compare with Books of Magic. In the earlier days of the series (founded upon concepts by Neil Gaiman) John Ney Rieber and Peter Gross and crafted what I feel is the definitive modern fantasy tale. It was leagues ahead of Harry Potter, and while Rowling's Potter series is certainly creative and engaging in many respects, it is merely a compilation of the genre's more intriguing notions-- many of which were directly addressed in Books of Magic. The original series was one amazing tale after another, drifting both casually and abrubtly between the harsh reality of Hunter's British home life and the surreal otherworlds populated by his many enemies. It was never all unicorns and sunflowers, either, the macabre cast of demons, rogues, and allies often took the story into areas of dark compromises and outright horror.

About halfway through the first Books of Magic series, after Neiber left as writer, the book seemed to blossom into a wonderful second act. This was maybe fifty issues in, where you would think all of the plot-lines had run their course, but it became clear that the surface had just been scratched. Peter Gross had for years amazed me with his dreamy artwork, but he proved himself to be a hell of a storyteller as well. Later series took a character or concept and expanded it further, but all revolved around a single princple: Timothy Hunter was the most powerful magician in the universe. In fact Tim Hunter was just a vessel, the fiction that evolved out of his story proved him to be the very incarnation of magic itself, or at least the current incarnation, which in alot of ways is the point. Tim Hunter is a product of his time, both temporary and eternal, an embodiment of magical prowess endowed with an unbearable responsibility. Over a span of a decade, the books follow this concept from the innocent uncertainties of a young boy to the confident resolve of a young man. With a history of stories so rich and deep, I will remember the Books of Magic as some of my all time favorites.

Post a Comment