In My Humble Opinion #15

So, it all came to me in a dream, right. A brilliant misty dream of ideas and images and things that would give Neil Gaiman a hard on. Something right out of Little Ego, but with less sex and strange lesbian pirate women. Look, I'm going somewhere with this. Stay with me children.

See, it involved fanfiction authors in giant faceless masses shouting back and forth at each other about the future of fanfiction, and above them, equal legions of comic book writers doing the same thing with their field. And yes, I do drink too much before bed. That's not the point.

The point is that we often mirror our professional counterparts in the strange arguments our community takes. For those of you that have been paying attention, a great deal of comicdom has been involved in the huge debate in where comics is going.

You have Silver-Age revisionism, PopComics, Indi-stream thematic, and cinematic styled comics. Each is convinced they have the way of the future tucked in their glossy pages. Which is right?

And then you have fanfiction, arguing between Movieverse, Subreality, Non-X, slash and a dozen other fractioning subgenres. So many types that the mainstream comicbook fanfiction is no longer the mainstream. All of them in totally isolation, or bitter contention, it seems.

So, which of those is right?

Who knows? But, it occurred to me in the waking hours of the morning that maybe we need something more to tie us all together other than an archive links list, in a manner that ACFF or OTL used to. Matt Nute sees a single monumental piece of work that causes the recoalescing of the community; a masterpiece so above and enduring that it transcends all genres and styles. Maybe he's right, or maybe it's distribution. There will be more on this later, as my alcohol soaked consciousness throws up increased mental images. So, only with the fic.

So, got two more for the masses today.

John Constantine lives in a nasty sorted little world of drugs, boy buggers, violent death and dark magic. It's a dark world of evil wet things in the night, and one that few writers are comfortable in. Rossi has taken a head first drive in her twisted tale of man/boy love and grim death in Suffer The Children . Told in a deep English Estuary style that reeks of London smog and curry vomit, it has all the atmospheric background of the original comic.

John is brought into an investigation by a police contact, which involves the messy and occasionally explosive deaths of various renowned pedophiles. As John dives into the underbelly of London's sex industry, he finds himself drawn into a mystic style mystery which grows increasingly dangerous as he gets closer to the truth.

Rossi has always had a clean and interesting style, but in this case, she blends in a finely honed atmospheric sense of description. Her ear for dialogue and plot is vaguely reminiscent of Ennis' run, with John at his wit's end and totally twisted. There is also the same touch of brilliant madness as in the earlier days of Alan Moore, and touches of Ellis' London Shamanism melded into the magnus. In both plot and dialogue, the entire story is a visceral experience; a tangible delve into the dark world that the Hellblazer inhabits.

Boys and girls, we've got one for the records here. Back in the early days of comic fanfiction on line, when dinosaurs and Biblical prophets roamed USEnet, there was a story put out about a young Scottish girl. This Scottish girl was related to Bobby Drake of the X-Men, and came to stay one summer. And when she was good, she was very good. And we shall was bad, she took everyone with her.

Mhairie has become legend in fanfiction, so recognizable that it's heroine has become part of the language. And after a nearly four year wait, her writer, Lady Amethyst has added another chapter to the tale.

Mhairie has become a rather fascinating study in all the years it's been on-line, and between the legends that have grown up around it. It was unique in the fact that during a time of mostly mainstream and straight-forward fiction, it delivered a cross book sexual odyssey of Dionysian proportions. It's epic in the sheer range and imagination of the various sexual pairings, from Jubilee and Gambit to Cyclops, Shatterstar and Rictor. One of the major strengths of the early Mhairie chapters was the fact that any thing could and often did happen.

Also, due to its slow development, it serves as a documentary of Lady Amthyst's maturing as a writer. From often awkward and muddled pacing and description in the first few chapters, it refines itself into an almost lyric style by later ones. The entire focus of the story and the erotica shifts from a mad sexual romp into a more psychological analysis of the situation created. 'Mhairie''s latest chapter, 12, deals almost exclusively with the effects of her power on Creed, and her empathic ability to reach his demons in a significant way.

Lady Amethyst has always dealt fearlessly with same-sex pairings, bondage, dominant/submission relations and a host of other topics. Her latest chapter deals heavily with the effects of early child abuse ending in down right torture. It has a strong empathic sense in her writing, and an intriguing dynamic rarely achieved with canon and original characters.

Flaws or merits, it's a classic story worth reading, and the newest chapter is hinting on it's evolution into something completely new. Now, the question is if we'll see another chapter in the next four years...

Well, a blast from the sexual past and nasty things ending in Constantine all covered in blood. Yup, it's IMHO alright. It's it for now. I have a number of fics on the rack and hopefully will have the chance to hack through them soon. As well, the random and increasingly intoxicated ruminations about fanfiction will continue a apace. Any questions, comments, flames and reviews can be sent to me at this address. Anyhow, I'm off to corrupt the youth of my immediate area for fun and profit...


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