When fiction is more.

Sometimes inspiration is nowhere to be found and the idea of a challenge is just not appealing.

You might still want to think, but maybe not feel…not care…

Meet Bret Easton Ellis

Easily my favorite author, he deals with a far too familiar voice in the depths of depravity, insolence, excess, addiction and downright immorality. How he writes it so well makes one wonder.

Part of the beauty in his work is the ability to show us how simply rotten life can be, how it goes on beyond each of his stories he presents and is ultimately the main character in every book.

The world is not always a pretty place, and he doesn’t shy away from that idea. However, it isn’t always ugly, but to truly understand and appreciate this he feels that you must acknowledge the other side.

Like everyday life, if you actually sit back and survey the situation the common threads he plays with of what is “good” and what decides ”worth” you can find humanity and positivity behind even his most repulsive characters.

His most infamous creation, Patrick Bateman, the sociopathic, misogynistic, serial killer in American Psycho, even displays a semblance of humanity when he spares the life of his secretary, Jean.

To understand Jean and the relationship she shares with Bateman that differs from just about everyone else she      meets is to be able to recognize purity and positivity.

Jean is a glimmering hope that Easton Ellis writes so well. There is good in the world. She is the least shallow person the Bateman character has ever encountered, hope exists.

When you’re done with his work you’re not really done. Typically, like any good piece of work, you’re left changed in some way or another.

Introspection occurs and you find yourself either worse off than you were going in, or maybe you find many more redeeming things about yourself that you just hadn’t looked towards before.

…or maybe, to you, his work is just literature…

Easton Ellis’s works include: Less Than Zero, the Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, the Informers, Glamorama, Lunar Park and Imperial Bedrooms.

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Familiar Friends

What are some of your fondest memories from being read to as a child? What if you found out recently they have experienced a re-imagining and grown in a way that would make them relevant as ever? Would it interest you?

In the early 2000s DC Comics introduced a title that incorporated everyone’s favorite childhood nursery rhymes, folklore and mythological figures into a book called Fables.

The abundance of these figures existing in the public domain give the writer, Bill Willingham, not only a bevy of properties to choose from but also the freedom to use them as he likes.

His takes involve building off of the literary histories of those involved and giving them a modern twist. One interesting usage is the way he has taken all of the “Jack” properties, Sprat, Frost, Horner, etc…and folded them into one figure who has quite an exciting history. Here’s a list of every character to appear in the series. 

Fables

The premise is simple; having escaped from a place outside of reality known as the Homelands by an evil “adversary” many of your favorite make-believe friends are now on the run and living hidden away in New York City.

Over the run of the comic, they have fought to maintain their cover, ultimately won back control of their homelands and now are in a bigger conflict with a villain named Mister Dark, which is a modern interpretation of the boogeyman.

The book serves a bigger purpose than simply telling a story, amalgamating the traditional literary worlds and characters with an interpretation of modern life to give you a unique prism to view the world through. It just so happens you given a great story along with it.

As I’ve grown I have become more socially and politically aware of the world around me. This series loosely deals in adult themes such as alienation, the definition of home (as Willingham is very much pro-Israel, and explores the idea early on with the Fables relocation from their Homelands to New York and a setting that may not be too welcoming to them) and ethical dilemmas.

With 115 single issues collected in 16 graphic novels the series is building quite a novel history itself.

Here is a link to a free download of the first issue.