By: Revanche

Forewords and fires

September 9, 2010

As I write this, the neighborhoods two miles away are ablaze. I had nothing to do with it.

Do you all read forewords? Back in high school, we were made to read the introductions and forewords like medicine. These days, I read them in comics to sniff out new authors to follow. If you can hook me in the 400 words or 1000 words allotted to introduce a trade paperback, if you’re really that entertaining or well spoken, you’re probably someone I’d be pretty happy reading.

The line-up for the six volumes of Scalped would be a perfect example, except they’re all big enough names and big enough entertainers that I’m already well aware of their writing.

Take, for example, Matt Fraction. The man knows his way around a story. He weaves, like any good yarn deserves, twists and turns, colors and spikes into his writing that has you Not Breathing for extended periods before you realize what he’s just done to you.

He’s not just a good writer, though.  He’s fantastic on his feet. As witness, his participation in w00tstock (go, go, Google or YouTube “Matt Fraction w00tstock 2010” and revel in the geekery, I’ll be here when you get back).

And he’s generally a pretty cool guy. My Con BFF texted me on the Sunday I was flying away from my beloved SDCC: In line for the Fraction panel, he just worked the line. We just talked cancer.

Me: … what?

Con BFF: A girl in line had a cast on her ankle and he told her she needed a more heroic story for the injury. We brainstormed: kicking cancer in the face.

If that wasn’t enough, his answer to the question “Why do you write strong female characters?” was “I’m married to a very strong woman. And I have a daughter. I know my wife, and I know that she’s going to raise my daughter so that, one day, my daughter is going to look me in the eye and I’m going to have to explain to her my involvement in this world in which I work. So I’d better do the right thing now.”

If I didn’t know all that, his introduction to Jason Aaron’s 4th Volume of Scalped in which he shared the Legend of the Alabama Corn Snake would have clinched it.

I’d reproduce it here but I don’t want to steal, it’s not nearly so tasty in excerpted form, and really, I want you to read all the way up to Volume 4 of Scalped to revel in the goodness of the foreword, marvel in the comic and support the industry. But mostly, it’s really late, I’m tired, and maybe I’ll do some of it later.

In the meanwhiles, I heartily endorse the reading of introductions. At least for comic books – there’s some excellent footage to be had.

2 Responses to “Forewords and fires”

  1. Ruth says:

    I read all of Neil Gaiman’s forwards. And I’ve started to read them more often for other books too. If I already like the writer, chances are I’ll like the forward. If I don’t, sometimes it’s a good way to meet them.

  2. Thot about you and wondered if you were stuck in awful traffic…or worse, even closer than just a couple miles away.

    Nice reviews…reminds me I have a stack of books on the desk here, too, to blog about. Must get focused! 😉

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