Friday, April 12, 2013

Briefly Noted

…for a Jon-specific definition of “briefly,” at any rate.
As something of a follow-up to my last post there are a few things I wanted to mention.
First of all, I want to make it clear that From Hell is, in and of itself, a very good book.  The fact that I enjoy the Appendix more than the actual story should not be taken as a slight against the story, and it simply speaks to how excellent the Appendix is.
Second, on the topic of Grant Morrison donning a “fiction suit” and entering his own story, he did that much more explicitly well before doing it again in The Invisibles when he appeared as himself in the final two issues of his run on Animal Man.
Up to that point, Buddy Baker, the titular Animal Man, had been having a rough go of it, and the end of his quest for answers led him to a little cottage where he met the literal author of his miseries.
It was a neat little meta-moment in which Morrison got to engage in a conversation with the character whose adventures he’d been chronicling.
Of course, there were some unintended consequences to this, in that by stepping onto that four-color universe, Morrison established himself as a character within the continuity of the DC Universe, which meant that he was, as such, fair game for use by other writers just like any other character within DC’s stable.
As a result, Morrison’s fictional self was written into a storyline in Suicide Squad by John Ostrander, and given the title of the comic, you can guess how well that worked out for Morrison…
This wasn’t the first time that sort of thing happened, as the heroes of the Justice League had, on multiple occasions, visited Earth Prime, the alternate Earth in which they exist only as fictional characters in the pages of comic books.  In other words, our Earth.  During those visits they frequently interacted with those residents of Earth Prime who, though some sort of psychic attunement were privy to the happenings of the lives of the members of the League, and depicted those visions as fictional stories.
One such adventure ultimately led to one of DC’s writers – I want to say it was Cary Bates, but I could be misremberingbecoming a super villain.
And of course, on the Marvel side of things, the in-universe version of Marvel Comics has licensing deals with most of the super-heroes that gives them the rights to publish comic book accounts of their adventures, though of course those stories don’t delve as deeply into the private lives of the heroes as our versions of Marvel Comics do, and so there are fictional versions of real-world people like Smiling Stan “The Man” Lee in the pages of Marvel Comics.
And finally, I wanted to mention a little something about author self-insertions in the form of Mary Sues, which is a term for idealized versions of the authors.  As often as I have inserted myself into my own stories, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything that, in the strictest sense, qualifies as a Mary Sue (or a Marty Stu, to go with what has been used as male-specific version), if only because the versions of me that appear in my stories are far from idealized.  Hell, in my appearance in my Fontaine novel Fontaine flirted with me to get me to buy her a drink then completely blew me off once she got what she wanted.
Then again, one could argue that these versions of myself are idealized, just not in a way that would be considered positive by most people.  They may not be the bestest, most specialest, most beloved people who are without any sort of significant flaws except for some “quirky” behavior (*Cough*  Bella Swan!  *Cough*), but they do tend to suffer even greater indignities, annoyances, and self-inflicted tragedies.  After all, for them, when things go wrong, they go really, really wrong.  I suppose they could represent my martyr complex or something – if one assumes I have such a thing.
I mean, fine, if you want to think that about me, go ahead.  I can take it.  Just one more indignity for the pile...
(Climbs down from cross)
Anyway, just wanted to mention these things, which I actually meant to mention in the last post, but it was long enough as it was.
And now I’m off to write a story in which the Mary Sue version of Jon can write a blog post with “briefly” in the title and have it be accurate.

1 comment:

Merlin T Wizard said...

Get back up on that cross! You know the Universe isn't done with you.