Saturday, October 11, 2008

From the Oasis to the Desert: Willworld page 63

The massive wave from yesterday breaks and the water turns into dry land and disappears. Hal finds himself sitting in the middle of the desert again. That interlude with the water seems to have loosened something inside himself, but he still doesn't know what it is, or where he is going.

The goofy uniform distances the reader from Hal, but many of the readers of comic books can empathize with his wonderment. Who am I? Where am I going? What is real, and what is not?
Someone who loved Seth's artwork wrote to me the following, not about this comic book, but about Doom Patrol. But I think it applies here as well to a certain extent: "...certain pages articulate the sense of isolation and loneliness and longing that many comics fans feel."

I found that insight very interesting. It had not occurred to me that since the main readership of comic books is young men, that there may be a general sense of searching for ones place in the world that these books speak to. The superhero who finds himself out of his depth as far as understanding, yet somehow has a connection with a beneficient power that uses all his misadventures to mature him into someone with Real Power--this is a metaphor for the young man who knows that he is more than he seems, but doesn't have a clue how to get in touch with the Person He Really Is.

To that reader, Seth's Hal--trim and fit but not a body builder, compassionate but vague, easily pushed down but willing to get up again and again--is much closer of a model than the overmuscled and seemingly invulnerable superheroes drawn by other artists, though they also are popular among the same readership. Some examples of those others here, and here

No comments: