Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 3, 2008

Fray by Joss Whedon

Filed under: Look What I'm Reading for Book Club! — traverse02 @ 12:29 am

Last week for book club I read Fray, a comic book series by Joss Whedon. Most of you will be familiar with his most famous creation, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the short-lived sci-fi TV series Firefly (which was subsequently turned into the film Serenity, directed by Whedon). I was never a big fan of the whole Buffy thing aside from the 1992 film starring Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer, but I was so extremely impressed with Serenity that I had to read Fray once Karen showed it to me. I was very interested in seeing how Whedon would handle the comic book format his first time out, and he does surprisingly well as far as relating a fast-paced, action packed story. It’s similar in many ways to Buffy in that the story revolves around a young teenage girl who must accept her destiny as a slayer of vampires. The main difference is that it is set in the distant future and the vampires are sewer-dwelling scumbags called Lurks who feed off the defenseless souls who are resigned to live on the ground level of an ever growing metropolis (think Fifth Element style city-scape). The story is really nothing new to those of you who may be familiar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I’ll avoid giving you a plot summary. The main attraction for me was the artwork which  seems to be heavily influenced by Hellboy (a personal favorite of mine). Whedon’s writing was also impressive; he managed to create a believable future slang for his characters, and the implications of the main character, Melaka Fray’s, battle with vampires are much more serious (ancient gods and demons are involved). The plot, however, was very generic. There are some surprising twists, but it’s nothing really worth writing home about. For those interested in graphic novels, look elsewhere, for this caters to a very specific audience (mainly fans of Buffy). Check out work by Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Mignola, James O’Barr, etc. instead.

I am currently reading Uglies and will report my feelings on that as soon as I am finished.

Godspeed.

Raph

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2 Comments »

  1. Raph, your post sent me to the HELLBOY website which I’m sharing here. When did you become a fan? Not a surprise to me! You mention other authors in your post. If you are able, please bring in some titles by these authors to share w/interested classmates. This is not an area of my expertise and I appreciate your taking on that responsibility. It will be interesting to hear what Keith Ward has to say on TH. Have you checked out his website:

    This is a list of titles that appears on it:
    Contract with God
    Dropsie Avenue
    The 9/11 report
    Marvel’s Civil War
    Batman: DK Returns
    Leauge of E-O.G.
    V for Vendetta
    Maus I
    In the Shadow of…
    Pride of Baghdad
    American Born Chinese

    And I want very much to hear what you think of the Westerfield books which have are enjoying great popularity among teens, a fandom similar to the Stephanie Meyers’ TWILIGHT trilogy phenom!! KES

    Comment by sunyprof — February 3, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

  2. I’ve been a fan of Hellboy since 2001 when a friend of mine introduced me to a whole slew of comics I had never read including work from Brian Michael Bendis (Powers, Torso, Goldfish, Daredevil, Ultimate Marvel series, etc.) and Garth Ennis (The Preacher). As for bringing in some of my titles, many of them are the actual issues and not the trade paperbacks, so I’ll bring in a few that really stand out.

    Also, I did visit Keith’s site and am really looking forward to class on Thursday.

    Comment by traverse02 — February 5, 2008 @ 3:21 am


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