This post might as well be titled “How I Became an Even Bigger Nerd”, or “Let’s Talk About Comic Books”, or “My Slow Descent into Total Geekery”. All of which I considered.
Somehow I’ve managed to surround myself with a lovely little online community of fellow nerds and geeks (does anyone have a working definition for the two?), and I’m very lucky to be a part of it. Since most of you are all about the books (’bout the books, ’bout the books, no t.v….) you might not know what the following post is about. And that’s alright, I’ll see you next time. (How weird is it that we say “see you next time” or “see you later” over the internet?) But a select few of you are the same type of nerd I am, where books and literature intersect with nerdy television and movies. With that in mind, today I am going to write (read: rant and rave) about the Serenity comic books. The Serenity comic books follow the story of the characters of the t.v. show Firefly after the events of the movie Serenity that was created to wrap up their story when Fox (I hate you, Fox) cancelled Firefly due to poor ratings. Quick rant: Firefly is a fantastic show and did not deserve to be cancelled, but Fox was showing the episodes out of the intended order and was just generally dumb so of course the ratings and viewership were low. Have you seen Corner Gas? If you haven’t you should, it’s hilarious. If you have, you know that whenever Dog River residents hear the name of the town Wollerton they spit due to a town-wide hatred for Wollerton. I’m pretty sure that’s what happens whenever a large group of Firefly fans hears someone mention Fox.
Okay rant over. I believe the books are released as traditional comic books and then put into a hard cover volume with all of the comic book issues. There are four volumes so far:
Those Left Behind
and Leaves on the Wind
The two main writers of the series are Joss and Zack Whedon. Yes, THAT Joss Whedon. His official title is King of All the Nerds and Overlord of Geeklandia, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, writer for Marvel, screenplay writer for Toy Story (which I discovered the last time I pulled out my VHS copy) and other creative nerd things. Just in case you were wondering how to address him if you ever met him.
Now that you know, well, whatever it was that just spewed out of my head in the last paragraph, I think it’s confession time. Don’t judge me, but…
I HAVE NEVER READ A COMIC BOOK
Before the Serenity ones, of course.
I had never even read a full issue of Archie. I’ve always been kind of afraid of comic books. It seemed like a part of the nerd world that I didn’t want to get involved with, for a few reasons. The first was, and I am ashamed to admit this, the comic book world was where the nerdiest of the nerds lived. I was never quite prepared to fully accept the entirety of my nerdiness until relatively recently, somewhere around 6 years ago. Once I accepted that I was a gigantic nerd and not just kind of a nerd, I still didn’t want touch the comic book world. It seemed like such a huge undertaking, and an expensive one, so I wasn’t going to read the Serenity comics. I loved the show, of course, and I loved the movie. And I loved Nathan Fillion, whom I actually watched in Castle first before being introduced to Firefly. I also grew to love Alan Tudyk (who I didn’t realize was in SO MANY THINGS), Gina Torres, Jewel Staite, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Ron Glass, and Sean Maher. However, love for the show/movie didn’t transfer to potential love for the comic books. That would have been that, until one day I happened to find Those Left Behind in McNally Robinson, a local bookstore that has an awesome cafe where a friend of mine plays baroque music in a trio. We’re cultured, yo. (If you don’t know me, please understand that I am being facetious. I don’t actually use yo in conversation.)
Since I’m writing this post about them I think it’s pretty clear that I bought Those Left Behind that night and ended up reading it, loving it, and wanting the rest of the comics. I suppose I could have waffled over whether to buy it, dragging out the decision for a few weeks, and then going to get it at some other store, but I like to be predictable.
The best part of the comics are the stories. They expand on the plot of Firefly and Serenity, they continue the characters lives. The Shepherd’s Tale explains how Shepherd Book came to be a Shepherd, which was a huge question mark left when the series ended. I don’t want to give away any spoilers because some really exciting things happen, so if you are a Firefly/Serenity fan, you should just go read.
Apart from the story, the other aspects of the books were incredible as well. Obviously I’m not a well qualified critic of comic book art or use of space or anything, but I really enjoyed the graphic design. Especially the cover art, they are awesome. The characters on the covers look like the actors playing the characters, which I loved. I was a little disappointed because this changes as soon as you get into the book, the characters look similar to the actors but not like on the cover. My best guess as to why this happened is that they had to pay to use the characters’ likeness on the cover, and didn’t want to do that for every page. Even with the art issue, I still loved reading these comics. I loved the stories, the plot and the character development. Oooh! Some of the characters even find themselves in romantic relationships! Finally!
If you haven’t picked these up because you’ve always been afraid of getting into the comic book universe like I was, I would highly recommend them. They’re a great continuation of the Firefly world. I’d like to give a quick shout out to Darkhorse Comics for resurrecting Firefly, thank you from all nerds everywhere. As for other comic book/graphic novel reads, I currently have Maus by Art Spiegelman and The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman sitting in my bookcase waiting for me to read. Consider me excited.
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for you in the bookverse today. Let me know what you guys think about comic books. Have a wonderful Easter weekend!
P.S. If you want to follow me on Twitter, it’s @lfings. But if you don’t that’s cool too, I’m not that interesting. If you do follow me though, let me know!
Oh! I almost forgot! Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk are making a mini-series together and it looks amazing. The Indiegogo link is here, but I’ll give you a quick run down. It’s basically about two actors from a sci-fi show about space pirates. One, played by Nathan Fillion, was the captain of the starship and then went on to big stardom after the show got cancelled tragically early. The other, played by Alan Tudyk, was the pilot of the ship and now spends a lot of time on the convention circuit. So essentially, it’s a parody of their lives and it looks hilarious. Even if you’re not interested, watch the original funding video because it is hilarious.
Okay now I’m done. Bye!