Christopher Higgs is doing a great series over at HTMLGIANT called Reading Comics reviewing some of the best comics around. There’s already some great entries, and I’m excited to contribute with a review of 100 Bullets. Inspired by the comics, but also troubled by the increase in gun violence, this is both an ode to the comics and an exploration of how the arts deals with the question of suffering throughout the centuries. Below are some excerpts:
People look for answers, or escape, wherever they can. And, no surprise, the problem of suffering and vengeance has been tackled by literature and the arts since antiquity. Jump back to the Biblical Job who loses everything and tries to make sense of it in a fierce philosophical debate that culminates in a confrontation with God. Aeneas, in Virgil’s Aeneid, ruthlessly shreds his enemy to pieces in vengeance for his friend’s death (the violence of the language in the final chapter still haunts me thousands of years later). In the Chinese epic, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the Emperor Liu Bei nearly loses his empire trying to gain revenge for his brother, Guan Yu. The Count of Monte Cristo is probably the most satisfying of the bunch with an elegance that puts it pat in the cliché of a Hollywood formula, though it’s still a damn good read. 100 Bullets drips a uniquely ‘America solution’ through its canvas of 13 graphic novels.
Thanks Chris and htmlgiant!