Friday, February 26, 2010

Childe Austin To the Dark Tower Came

Dark Tower

It's been a long journey for me and the "Dark Tower." That may or may not be appropriate, since it took Stephen King two decades to finish his - and I love being able to use this - magnum opus.

I read the first "Dark Tower" book, "The Gunslinger," and loved the world King had created, a world that had "moved on," which always seemed like a vague reference to nuclear winter, or some sort of irreversible plague. After moving on, King's fictional world (which is called "Mid-World" within the novels) became something akin to a Sergio Leoné film mixed with a Robert Jordan novel, which is essentially a "Lord of the Rings" facsimile; but I'm not here to debate the ingredients that went into the melting pot in order to give us the "Dark Tower" books (I'd be talking about the Robert Browning poem that inspired it, surely; a guy's gotta' have standards).

Nope, this is all about me. After I read "The Gunslinger" I had to wait until I got a hold of the second novel, "The Drawing of the Three." Maybe six or seven months passed before I did, and at that point I decided to re-read the first. What happened? Thanks to "The Drawing of the Three" I decided the "Dark Tower" wasn't for me. Not only did King take the reader out of Mid-World, but he gave us some awful dialect, a black woman from the 60s, and it may or may have not been accurate, but it was certainly heavy-handed, and detracted from the narrative.

I put the book aside, and read something else. Deep inside my brain there was a tiny mechanism at work, though, and it eventually led me back to the novel, and I powered through the awful dialogue, and finished. So, after maybe a two year period, I had read the first two novels, and I immediately started the third.

Something happened to me - after finishing the third novel, mind you - that made my interest in the "Dark Tower" novels evaporate completely. What I heard was a huge spoiler, one I won't repeat here, but I'll just say it violates one of the key storytelling rules I tend to live by, and knowing this I had to put aside my past enjoyment in favor of ensuring future smiles, and went about my life.

We weren't done, though, the tower and me.

- • -

There's a list of blogs I follow, or regularly visit, and one of these belongs to the artist Sean Phillips. He's done a ton of stuff, but is most known here in the states for being the penciller behind the comics "Criminal" and "Incognito," both written by Ed Brubaker.

He recently revealed on his blog that he'll be drawing the next chapter of the "Dark Tower" comics, and even posted a thumbnail page of the issue he's currently working on. He's since taken it down, probably after getting yelled at by his editor. This was enough for me to become interested in the "Dark Tower" comics, and actually drove me to seek out the ones I missed, and see what exactly there was to be missed.

First, I was missing art by Jae Lee, which was already enough for me to wish I'd been following the single issues. Along with that, the colors by Richard Isanove (both of these evident in that picture up there - whew) were beautiful, and perfectly rendered Mid-World and its inhabitants.

Oh yeah, it's also co-written by Peter David, and the worlds runner-up when it comes to knowledge of all things "Dark Tower" Robin Furth, second only to the dude who wrote the novels originally!

The first series, "The Gunslinger Born" deftly delivered the same style and content the leadoff novel of the "Dark Tower" books gave, a sci-fi-ish western-fantasy. Reading this series you can almost hear the sand whistling along the gusts of wind. Jae Lee's panels are either intense close-ups, á la Leoné, or sweeping landscapes á la John Ford. It isn't necessarily fair to only compare Lee to others, as he brings his own unique line work to the table, gives the reader both the grit needed, and the occasional (very occasional) softness.

David and Furth expand on what readers of the original novels know of Roland Deschain and his days as a gunslinger, and do not disappoint with the delivery of all the standards of a good western - action, love, revenge, jealousy, and moody characters affected by all of these.

Now here I am again, deciding whether I should complete the "Dark Tower" novels, despite knowing a huge twist within the seventh book, and knowing how completely I hate what King did. Maybe I'll look at it all like a journey, not unlike Roland Deschain's. He knew it would be difficult, knew without a doubt that there would be moments he would despair, and maybe even seek a way out.

That's pretty dramatic for a simple decision on what to read next, though.

What's Next For Jeff Lemire? *UPDATED*

The writer and illustrator of Vertigo's ongoing comic "Sweet Tooth" is known for his moody, character-driven, and emotionally resonant stories. Not only in "Sweet Tooth," but his previous work with Vertigo, "The Nobody," and the work that launched him into comic book industry acclaim, "Essex County." Published by Top Shelf Productions, "Essex County" is a trilogy dealing with the emotional and mental goings on within small town folks. Lemire's next work is also set to be released by Top Shelf Productions, and has similar themes as "Essex County." Here is the official release about Jeff Lemire's next project, "The Underwater Welder."


Pressure. As an underwater welder on an oilrig off the coast of Nova Scotia, Jack Joseph is used to the immense pressures of deep-sea work. Nothing, however, could prepare him for the pressures of impending fatherhood. As Jack dives deeper and deeper, he seems to pull further and further away from his young wife, and their unborn son. But then, something happens deep on the ocean floor. Jack has a strange and mind-bending encounter that will change the course of his life forever. ... Equal parts blue-collar character study and mind-bending science fiction epic, The Underwater Welder is a 250-page graphic novel that explores fathers and sons, birth and death, memory and truth, and treasures we all bury deep down inside.

So not only is Lemire writing/drawing an ongoing title for Vertigo right now, with issues coming out regularly and on time, but he managed to write AND draw a 250-page original graphic novel? I have no idea how this guy does anything but sit at a drawing table.

Here is the first preview image of "The Underwater Welder," due out in 2011. *UPDATE* The Top Shelf page has this listed as coming out in 2012. Not sure which is the real date as of now, but if one is set in stone I'll find out.

Underwater Welder, by Jeff Lemire

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Paying Too Much Attention: The Sandman

Absolute Sandman Vol. 1 Absolute Sandman Volume 2

Boxes were almost definitely designed and created to carry books to my doorstep. In the occurrence that I can't make it to a bookstore to buy the books, or by some terrible twist of fate they don't have what I'm seeking, online is the way to go.

Within two weeks I've had four comics brought directly to me, and the excitement of opening the boxes is a lateral move from Christmas morning, but it also has its roots in visiting the comic shop on new comics day.

Two of the books were by Canadian creator Seth ("George Sprott" and "Clyde Fans"), one was by Jason Lutes ("Berlin: City of Stones"), and these had been added to my "to read" list somewhat recently. The other two were grandfathered into the list, inhabitants since the bullet points were only in my mind. These other two were like my holy grail, although I wasn't actually searching for them, so that's a bad analogy. They are written by Neil Gaiman, though, so the British part of the whole grail analogy can stay.

The first two Absolute Sandman collections were delivered to me, and I've spent the last week or so completely rolled up inside Neil Gaiman's insane world. They are gorgeous; the writing, the art, the binding, just all around top-notch.

The first eighteen issues have been re-colored, and the update was most needed. Before buying these Absolute editions I had the first and second trade-paperbacks, and the coloring stuck out the most. The intense pastels were perfect reminders that the issues were originally printed in the 80s, and although small, this had an affect on the reading experience.

Now with brand new colors the Absolute Sandman is operating at 100%. This means you'll realize Neil Gaiman is one of the best comic book writers around, and you'll probably be sad for a short period of time, knowing that Gaiman doesn't write comics full-time anymore. This sadness will fade, though, because he DOES write novels full-time, so yours isn't a Gaiman-less world.

- • -

I had read almost all of the issues contained within the Absolute Sandman Volume 1 previously, but I had somewhat forgotten about the content of most. Re-reading them, I was reminded how fantastic a book this one is. There is probably a book's worth of praise for "The Sandman," so rather than just toss out a blanket rating or a few adjectives, I'll highlight the three stories within the first Absolute volume that are not only awesome, but are three of the best single issues I've ever read.

Issue number six, "24 Hours," doesn't feature the Sandman until the last page of the story, not strictly speaking at least. The main character of this story is Dr. Destiny, a villain from the sixties who looked like Skeletor/The Taskmaster, and was mostly harmless. Then Neil Gaiman came along, and made him look like a reanimated corpse who's "Materioptikon" - some weird machine that could affect reality - was in fact powered by Morpheus's ruby. It turns out the ruby was imbued with a portion of Morpheus's power, and since Dr. Destiny was a mere human, possessing it severely messed up the dude's head.

After escaping from Arkham Asylum he hitchhikes, picks up his (Morpheus') ruby, and heads to a 24-hour diner filled with customers; it is cover to cover insanity. Dr. Destiny opens up the customers' lives and looks at all the layers of neuroses, emotions, and fears he can find, and exploits them. Over the course of 24 hours he drags them around in his psychic (psycho) wake. There isn't really a lot of hope in this issue, but seeing how someone has been so affected by the ruby of Morpheus is interesting, and how Gaiman shows the emotions of all the different characters is pretty freaking masterful.

"Men of Good Fortune," Sandman number 13 has way less torture, murder, and madness than the sixth issue does, and is essentially the opposite side of the coin represented by issue six.

Set in the 1400s, Morpheus walks into a tavern and overhears a boisterous drinker talking about how death is a fool's game, and he's not going to be a follower, someone who dies because everyone else on the planet does too. In response Morpheus says, Yeah, well how 'bout you meet me back here in a hundred years? So that's what happens.

- • -

It's a lot easier to tell from the early issues of "The Sandman" that Neil Gaiman wasn't sure what he had inside his own head. The DC imprint Vertigo was in its infancy, and the modern version of the publishing house was barely a sketch on a page. The division between Vertigo and the regular DC universe was thin. The character's whose name Neil Gaiman was utilizing makes an appearance, as does Etrigan, the Justice League International, and other characters including Dr. Destiny, who was an old Justice League of America villain.

Regular DC universe characters/references would make small appearances, but mostly "The Sandman" was the impetus behind the division of the companies, putting a much more solid wall between the two.

Where I think the division is most obvious is in issue number eight, "The Sound of Her Wings." Morpheus has just finished retrieving all three of his missing items, his helm, ruby, and pouch of sand, and rather than feeling relieved he is confused. The emotion struck me as so real - the "What now?" moment - that this issue hit me just as hard as the previous two I've mentioned.

Although Morpheus is a member of the Endless, and will exist as long as all other living things, he doubts, he despairs (actually one of his siblings), and Gaiman highlights these emotions again and again. "The Sound of Her Wings" is the first appearance of Morpheus's sister, Death, and she is a sign that he has started to move away from the regular DC universe, and started to build something completely new.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sweet Tooth - Script and Pages *UPDATED*

It's nice and safe out there. Pressed up against the exterior of our doors and windows is a world that won't turn on us at any second. Danger does exist, but it isn't as prevalent as the world Jeff Lemire (pronounced Luh-meer) has created in his comic book "Sweet Tooth."

Along with being post-apocalyptic - which already means its a notch above our world when it comes to danger - there is a crazy chance if you're a child in the "Sweet Tooth" world you will be a weird human/animal hybrid, like the title character, "Sweet Tooth" (real name Gus), who happens to have antlers growing out of his head.

Lemire's stories are not sunny, so don't go into reading something of his hoping for a reason to start your toes a'tapping. Loaded with melancholy, Lemire's works are often dark and downright sad.

Issue number six of "Sweet Tooth," which was recently published by Vertigo Comics, is a great example of a spot occupied on the emotional spectrum by the majority of Lemire's work. It is soul-crushing; it will make your face scrunch up, your eyes feel heavy, and possibly even add a little quiver to your lip.

And it is the most fun I've had being sad in a little while. Lemire writes and illustrates the comic by himself, so it is basically all his (except for the colors, which are done by the great Jose Villarrubia). Mr. Lemire was kind enough to supply me with the script for issue six, and with his permission here are two pages from that script, along with the corresponding pages from the issue. For a really interesting comparison of craft and how the process of comic book creation is different for everyone, look at these pages first, then check out John Layman's scripts and the finished pages, illustrated by Rob Guillory, of his comic "Chew" here.

Since Lemire takes care of both writing and illustration duties on "Sweet Tooth" his scripts are much looser, and contain way less panel description than normal scripts. This is demonstrated nicely by how the line "...fighting I can do," is relocated to page two in the final comic, while within the script it is located inside panel four of page one.


After reading the comment about why Jeff Lemire may write full scripts for a comic he both writes and illustrates, I contacted Mr. Lemire and asked.

"Originally I did just write the scripts for editorial purposes, as I was used to working much, much looser, with just a detailed outline. But I found as I got into a few issues of Sweet tooth that the detailed scripts actually helped me to organize my thoughts and break down my outlines. I actually thumbnail as I write the scripts now, and it really works for me. Especially with a set page count that I have to work within each month. I guess the scripting process helps most in terms of writing dialogue. Once you get into the flow of of the writing the script it helps the dialogue come out more naturally."

He went on to explain the difference between versions of his scripts, particularly the variations in drafts, saying, "Of course I am always tweaking and changing my script as I draw, re-arranging panels...this is so the letterer has an accurate script to work from once the issue is drawn. The script [you posted] was a lettering script, so earlier versions would have diverged from the final art even more."

Thanks again to Jeff Lemire for being freaking awesome.

*Click on the images to make them larger.*

Sweeth Tooth 6 - pg.1 "Sweet Tooth" issue 6, pg. 1
"Sweet Tooth" 6 - pg. 2 "Sweet Tooth" issue 6, pg. 2

Locke and Key: Issue 3 Review

Comparing "Locke and Key" to the TV show "Lost" is a big time mistake, but I've done so in the past. What I really meant to say, most likely - hindsight - was that "Locke and Key" is a well-written, well-drawn, just all around well-freaking-created mystery.

What's actually comparable between "Lost" and "Locke and Key" is how I interact with their stories; I've seen episodes of "Lost" at least three or four times, and I've read issues of "Locke and Key" just as many.

Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez are putting together a story filled with mystery, questions that may or may not get answered, and something that ties all of it together nicely, a prerequisite for any good mystery, at least one that succeeds on more than one level: character.

Good mysteries are certainly capable of existing without strong characterization, but if this happens then most likely they are intriguing because the reader/viewer/interested party is surprised by something; a twist they didn't see coming, for example. Having a twist/surprise is entertaining, but taken alone they are stunted enjoyments, like riding a roller coaster without throwing your arms up.

Not all roller coasters are suitable to throw your arms up, however, and this is just as easily a metaphor for all stories not having both mystery and characterization. "Locke and Key" is not one of those books.

Issue 3 of "Locke and Key: Crown of Shadows" was released on Wednesday, February 17, and along with furthering the mystery, adding more questions, more "What Ifs" to the already towering pile of them, it is loaded with characterization, foreshadowing (ehhh, puns), and humor. While all of these aren't necessary for the creation of a good mystery, they can occasionally be added to create a streamlined-machine-of-a-mystery that is bigger, stronger, and faster than normal mysteries.

- • -

There are quite a few things I like about "Locke and Key," but one of the most desirable aspects of the book is its unpredictability. The first time the reader was given a glimpse of the anthropomorphic shadows that are referenced in title of this third "Locke and Key" storyline was during the second storyline, "Head Games."

Locke and Key: Head Games issue 1

It was a gorgeous two-page spread of the high school production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," as performed by Rendell Locke and Lucas "Dodge" Caravaggio. The shadows have an ominous presence in the picture, and seem to be coming to life. We see beasts, warriors, and demons all lurking behind the foreground, and the reader has no idea what is going on, other than teacher Joe Ridgeway's description: "...magic."

Before the titled of the third storyline was released these shadows didn't mean much to me, at least not in a direct way. I was sure they had something to do with a key, just not which one or why. After it was revealed the third storyline would be entitled "Crown of Shadows," I started forming theories about what these shadows may be, particularly when the variant covers for the issues of "Crown of Shadows" were shown. Here is the cover to issue three, along with its variant.

Locke and Key: Crown of Shadows

I had a theory that each person's shadow was defined by their inner workings, by who exactly they are. By utilizing the Shadow Key someone could activate their shadow, and thus do...something with it. This definitely wasn't my only theory regarding the story, but it was the first one to be shown as completely wrong.

Now I can go on reading "Locke and Key," forming theories, testing them, and smiling when Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez send one flying by me, like they did here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chew - Script and Pages

Recently the Alter Ego Comic Cast talked to John Layman, the creator and writer behind Image Comics' crazy book "Chew." It is the tale of Detective Tony Chu, who happens to be a Cibopath. Not sure what that is? That's because it's completely nuts, and totally out there freaking awesome and fun.

A Cibopath is someone who receives telepathic flashes - images, sounds, feelings, smells, tastes - of whatever he or she eats. Yeah. I won't go too far into explaining this, but allow you to seek out the first issue and find out exactly how weird and fun this idea can be.

What I can do, though, is post three pages of John Layman's script from issue number two of "Chew," along with the finished art for the pages, minus dialogue. I've always loved comparing script pages with finished art, particularly in books that are written by one person and illustrated by another. The process of creating a book with two separate minds involved intrigues me to no end, and this is one way to get a unique glimpse into how exactly these awesome things called comics are made.

Huge thanks to John Layman for providing the script pages and final art work, and for doing an interview over on the Alter Ego Comic Cast. *NOTE The interview will be posted HERE*

When selecting the pages to showcase I tried to select a few that would feature a strong sense of panel progression in order to show exactly how good storytelling should work in comics, along with pages that may feature ideas or mechanisms that might seem difficult to translate into images. The artist for "Chew," Rob Guillory, demonstrates in these pages - and the rest of the comic - how to tell a good story utilizing both the words supplied by the writer, and the images supplied by a pencil or pen.

(I had to break the script pages up into two separate pieces, so you'll have to utilize multiple windows. Sorry. Also, click on the images to make them bigger.)

"Chew" Issue 2 - Page 1Chew issue 2, Pg. 1 - Part 1Chew issue 2, pg. 1 - part 2
Page 2 of "Chew" issue 2.
"Chew" issue 2, pg. 2 - part one"Chew" pg. 2 - part 2
Page 7 of "Chew" issue 2.
"Chew" issue 2, pg. 7 - part one"Chew" pg. 7 - part 2

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Millennium City - Where's My Zeppelin?


Valentine's Day is great. I'm not going to poo-poo it, as that is somewhat in vogue nowadays - or has been since the beginning of the holiday, anyway - but rather I'll talk about why it's awesome. (Yes, if you don't have a significant other, Valentine's Day sucks. Move along.)

New books. New DVDs. New things that stimulate the mind (and body!), and inspire us to do things! Whatever these things are, we will take what we receive on Valentine's Day and move forward into the future, turning those seconds and minutes and hours into the present!

This year I will be doing this with the help of one man, one of the most romantic and eloquent men on the face of this here blue and green orb we live on. I will be within the world of his creation, a technicolor palette come to life, radio serials playing in the background, and fat dirigibles punctuating the skyline.

Happy Valentine's Day Alan Moore.

- • -

About three years ago I bought a trade-paperback from the comic shop I go to/work at/live in, and it has sat inside a box since then, unread and unloved. I've looked at it a few times, but only its cover, the hard edges of its spine, its descriptive back panel that wants to lull me into reading the inside despite the number on that well-formed spine. Instead of a large, black "1" it is labeled with an infuriating "2."

Up until Valentine's Day I haven't been able to read anything regarding Tom Strong, Alan Moore's pseudo-composite of Doc Savage and Superman, but my lovely girlfriend got me the first collection of Tom Strong, and after eating the dark chocolate orange cake she made me (freaking AMAZING), I read the first issue of Tom Strong.

Alan Moore is perhaps completely misunderstood. Some of his books are impenetrable constructions of narrative that leave the reader feeling like he or she is jumping into the middle of a tale that has unfolded for years before their entry into the world he - and his artists - have created.

That's part of the fun, though. There's somewhat a sense of disconnection right there at the start, but it's more internal than anything, a fear that you won't know what the hell is going on. Moore wants this, and somewhat depends on the feeling of history inherent in his writings. You can't freak out. Just read, and be confident that you will reach that comfortable place where the story settles down around your mind, the two mingling and creating that sought after feeling of complete and total involvement.

I got the "Deluxe Edition" of Tom Strong volume one, which means it's hard cover, forty dollars, and contains some form of special features. I flipped toward the back to see what exactly these were, hoping for script pages, and was disappointed to see a few sketches, maybe some cover images, and NO scripts.

After my initial disappointment over having gotten the "Deluxe Edition" and finding out it isn't all that deluxe, I started to read. First, the introduction of sorts by Moore himself. This introduction is more of a history, a mixture of fact and fiction that helps to build the world before you've seen a single image of it - outside of your mind - and starts to work toward whittling away at the feeling of confusion that may be threatening your reading experience.

Tom Strong was born on a remote tropical island, lived the first ten years of his life within a compression chamber with a heightened gravity - about five times that of Earth - and emerged as a physically impressive specimen, his intellect equally as impressive due to his father being a genius, and his mother an emotionally receptive and loving person.

He lives within a world that was most likely somewhat present in certain minds in the 19th century. Tom Strong has a daughter he names Tesla, a reference to the great scientist/inventor/imaginator Nikola Tesla, whose mind was constantly churning, putting things into the world that could have taken us to the place occupied by Tom Strong's fictional Millennium City.

We didn't arrive there, however, but here, where we currently live. There are large cities, metropolises with towering buildings and technological breakthroughs that could have been wonders. Mostly we seem to inhabit a place short on wonder, lacking the verve of a setting where everything seems possible, and actually is.

In his introduction Moore references a patent clerk resigning in his fictional world in the year 1899 because, "...everything had already been discovered or invented." This wasn't true for his creation, and is certainly not true for our world either.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gantz: A Feel Good Story

Dark Horse Comics isn't exactly known for pushing the envelope when it comes to mature content, but there is one title under the publisher's name that can be said to do just that, although it doesn't originally hail from Dark Horse.

"Gantz" is a manga that has 27 volumes published in Japan, and is only now bleeding into American pop-culture thanks to Dark Horse. Not only is there an anime of the manga, but they are now venturing into the realm of the silver screen, as the live-action film is under way currently. Here, thanks to Topless Robot, is a freaking awesome picture from the set. I doubt they'll be able to achieve ALL of the nudity the book has in it, or ALL of the violence, but we can count on some of both making it onto Japanese screens, and then eventually onto American computers.


The Daytrippers Stop By For a Chat

I'm a co-host on a podcast, the Alter Ego Comic Cast, and we normally just sit around and try to make each other giggle with stupid crap. I guess occasionally maybe some people listen, and if you're one of them you might be interested to know that Tuesday night, February 9th at 8 p.m. EST, and all day Wednesday, the 10th, you can tune in to the Alter Ego Comic Cast to hear an interview with creators Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon, the men behind the fantastic comics "Daytripper," "The Umbrella Academy," "BPRD: 1947," and "De: TALES."

Issue number 3 of "Daytripper" is out Wednesday the 10th, and if the snow hasn't trapped you anywhere, go pick up a copy.

Daytripper 3

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Paying Too Much Attention: Lost and Me (Me and Lost)

* I've already done a few entries of Paying Too Much Attention over on the Alter Ego Comic Cast Facebook page, located here. They're located under the "Notes" section, if you're interested. *

Making a list of the "greatest" anything is a fool's task. The world has just gotten over an onslaught of these with the new year's arrival, but it's not necessarily contained within that period of time. After witnessing the creation of so many lists recently I came to a conclusion: humans love to make lists. You know who loves making lists the most? Nerds.

We'll list our favorite anything, our least favorite anything, list after list of what turns us on or off, and no matter how successful one list seems there is always another in the works.

I only bring it up because the premiere of "Lost" finally happened, and I want, so desperately want, to call it the greatest maxi-series of all time, but I know the kind of weight held by those words, and don't sling them around lightly.

- • -

When "Lost" premiered I was a very different person. Not drastically, I guess - for instance, I still cared about all of the things I do now - so my experience with the show wasn't what it is now. I can actually remember lying on my bed, flipping channels and accidentally witnessing the plane crash from the pilot episode. The sound was perfect, the visuals were exciting, the acting was sharp, and I felt as if I were there, on the beach with these poor souls.

I changed the channel. There was no mental mechanism controlling my hand, it just happened. My only description for why this happened is on that particular night I had no desire to see or read or do anything that required brain functions.

Later, the DVD had been released, and I'm not even sure what made it appear on my radar. As far as I can remember now, the series wasn't registering for me at all, and if anything I started to care - or at least think about caring - because a friend started talking about how great it was. I borrowed his DVD, and asked how long it would take before I was hooked.

"Dude...first episode," he said.

Five years, five DVD sets, hours of conjecture, guesswork, theorizing, and just plain nerding out, the show is coming to an end. The first episode of the sixth season proves to me that this whole "Lost" experience is having a huge effect on me, far more than any TV show ever has in the past, and possibly - just maybe - more than one will in the future.

It's a unique experience, because aside from being completely entertained by the show, it's also giving me a good sense of storytelling, the pieces fitting together wonderfully. A large number of writers - and every other role inside the movie/TV business - are working together so seamlessly, operating at such a level of success that is normally not seen.

I've been able to separate my enjoyment of the show into two categories, almost dividing my mind up, allowing it to exist on separate planes. Even after the last episode is aired, and secrets revealed or explained, I will return to this show and watch it again and again. It's good Sci-Fi, drama, comedy, action; it has, and will continue to teach me how to be a good viewer (a skill easily transferrable to other mediums: reader, listener, etc.), and it will help me understand the makings of a good story.

Maybe one day I'll do a Paying Too Much Attention that actually discusses the show and its plots, but right now I'm much more content with what the show is doing to me.