Saturday, November 28, 2009

V is for Cookie

Remember in the 1990s, the cool letter was "e"? E-mail, e-commerce ... It was 10 years ago; I can't remember more. Then we got to the 2000s, and now the cool letter is "i". I-phone, i-pod, i-nternet ... yup, couldn't think of any more.

During one epic flu in high school, I got the original "V" from Blockbuster. It was okay, although I think I slept through a lot. I was pretty excited to see the remake, and I'll probably keep watching it. Anyway, we're not talking about that particular V.

After we moved and found the local library, I decided I'd start reading more. I've been out of school long enough to no longer have a violent aversion to reading books, and there are just so many that I've wanted to read. When I was in school, I was mostly in the upper level English classes, which meant I had to read some truly dense books, but not the ones everyone else knows and loves. (Have your high school English syllabus handy? Send it to me!)

The Book

One of the books on my list happens to be "V for Vendetta." If you're more in the know than I was, you'll laugh. Yep. Because it's a comic book. When I picked it up off the library shelf, it fell open a little and I saw pictures. I was too embarrassed to let the hold lapse, so I checked it out and off I went. With my comic book.

I've read maybe one comic book in my life. I think it was the one where Superman died. (Can you believe that has it's own wikipedia page?) Comics always struck me as kind of weird, although I often watched the after-school cartoons based on comic book heroes.

It wasn't a difficult read, I guess in the sense that it didn't take long. The story was very complex, and I was constantly confused. There were so many characters! They all looked the same! There were no descriptions of what was happening, what characters were thinking ... just pictures. And some of it was pretty horrific. And I'm not really in to political statements. So I resolved not to like it.

But, in all honesty, it was a good book. Abundant messages in a book are easier to swallow when you agree with them, right? I'd had the recent movie on our Netflix queue for a while, and I wanted to see the movie while the book was still fresh, so I moved it up.

The Movie

The movie is immediately different from the book. There, I blew it for you. But the changes to the storyline made perfect sense; the original story wouldn't have flown with the general moviegoing public (including me!). And, being done by those Matrix guys, there were points in the movie that were very visually striking without overdoing the bullet time effect.

I can't say which I liked better because they both had good and bad points. But it was far easier to follow the storyline, even if it was somewhat different. I liked what the character V was in the book much more than the movie (he kind of struck me as a superhuman troublemaker in the movie). The movie was less political and cut out a lot of the scary/gory parts. But the book had more storyline that I liked!

Remember in high school when you'd read a book, and then the teacher would wheel in the TV and you'd watch some cheesy 1960s movie version? This was sort of like that but awesome and not cheesy. I've been missing out all these years!

I have a couple more books from my list on order at the library. If you're in Los Angeles, let me just mention that the public library is amazing. They'll order or pull books for you, and let you know when they're ready to be checked out. All for free*! If you're not in LA, you should probably still poke your head in your local library. I'll bet they're just as awesome, even if you're looking for a comic book.

*I pay taxes, OK? I'm just getting the most I can out of my 9.25%.

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