I have emerged from my cave to recommend two reads that will inevitably torment your soul and rip it to pieces. Everyone hates it but it's true, caring is sharing. Also, misery just loves company. Where should I begin? I do realize that half the time whatever I write here probably goes unread but under the unfortunate circumstance that some poor lost soul stumbles upon this sorry excuse for a blog, please take it up upon yourself to join me.
Enter the comic I never thought I would ever read, nor stumble across which holds true because someone recommended it to me in Forbidden Planet and it's been a downward spiral ever since. The comic in question is Saga and if you've ever had the pleasure of reading a hardcopy of it, you've been blessed in ways you won't understand. Truth be told, I bought Volume one as a gift but I read it anyway. What is there to say about Saga? Volume one was a strange experience. I was exposed to visuals I never thought I'd be exposed to. I suppose I should mention that this is a sci-fi/action comic with some romance and lots of blood and death. To summarise it most briefly, there's an ongoing raging war between a planet called Landfall and a moon Wreath. A girl from Landfall has a baby with a guy from Wreath and shit just goes straight to hell. It's more complex than I just explained, I'm probably doing a terrible job at explaining this but, this comic made me cry at Volume two. The later chapters were horrible but in the best way and elicited some less than favourable emotions. There's no sugar coating this comic, it is crude but it has its beautiful charms. Past many severed heads and mass orgies you learn to look past all that and feel for the characters in question, no matter the side they fight on - and despite loathing decisions they make in the moment, you find you cannot fault them in anyway because even though they look like aliens and freaks, they're just very, very human. Can you fault anyone for being human?
If anything I just said has enticed you in anyway, click here to suffer.
The second recommendation is Maus. This, I cannot offer an online link. I'm sure if you comb through the web you're bound to find a shady copy but I've been cradling a hardcopy for months now. I've seen this in Kinokuniya so there's always that option. This is basically a very personal account of the holocaust in comic book form. But it's bigger than that, it's bigger than just the holocaust. It very clearly depicts humans at the edge of desperation. Despite it being a recount about the holocaust it is not terrifying for it's gore or brutality. It's terrifying because it is tender and it picks at you like a nagging feeling. It makes you feel guilt even though the guilt isn't yours to feel. I will be upfront and say that there is not beautiful fairytale ending but it is a book that will make you look at life differently if not just for a moment before you fall back into your routine and back into the view you have from inside the box. This takes you out of the box, makes you consider and reconsider ideas and things that you may never have considered. This comic book affected me in ways I didn't think it would. I stayed up for two nights devouring it until I fell into frightening dreams of things I can't remember. Maus is a beautiful comic book, revolutionary. Important. Eye-opening.
I highly recommend it to people who enjoy history and even if history isn't your utmost interest, there is a very human and scarily magnetic force that will draw you into Maus.
That is all I have to say.