Many – if not most – of you who’ve found your way here know that I’ve spent much of the last 10 years writing comics of various and sundry sorts. The large majority of those comics have been of the superhero variety, with some notable exceptions. In the main, that’s the nature of the American comics market, at least in print – the mainstream is composed of superheroes, like it or not.
I’ve got a mate, teaches at the University of Oregon, who’s written what I think is one of the best – if not the best – critical analyses of superheroes that I’ve ever read. It’s unapologetic, it’s ambitious, it’s damn smart, and it is, I think, worth the time of anyone who has an interest in untangling the rather deliciously complex construction of those stalwarts at DC and Marvel. Thus, I recommend to you:
Do The Gods Wear Capes: Spirituality, Fantasy, and Superheroes, by Ben Saunders. The book is available through Amazon, as well, and I would hope you could order it from your neighborhood book store (there are still several around, I’m told), should you desire.
And on the subject of books. I’ve mentioned before, I think, the influence Patrick O’Brian on the nautical aspects of Lady Sabre. My first attempt at reading O’Brian met with failure; I found the prose heavy-handed and lethargic, the book in question terribly overwritten, and I was generally bored out of my mind by it.
I have rarely been more mistaken about anything in my life, honestly. Went back and started with the first in the series, and immediately fell in love with O’Brian’s prose, hist storytelling, and what it was he had set out to do. The series is absolutely masterful, in the most complete sense of the word, and the way in which O’Brian evokes time and place is truly glorious to behold. That he can do so with grace, and with such a gentle, and often-times humorous, touch, only makes the novels that much better.
All this is relevant, because the next BIG update in the Almanac – and we’re a couple weeks out from this – is going to be on the Pegasus herself, the 4th rate that Lady Sabre commands, and that sails the Aether in search of honor, glory, and wealth, not necessarily in that order. Rick and I have been doing an odd little dance about how to make the ship truly work within the confies of our world; how to balance sails with steam, how to justify propulsion not solely on the X and Y, but also on the Z. Many of these challenges have been addressed, and as we continue “building” the ship (or rebuilding, truly, for this is our second try), more will be vanquished. Hopefully, you’ll all enjoy the results of our labors.