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Author Topic: Matt 'the other' Wagner  (Read 9068 times)

Bolt-01

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #60 on: 29 October, 2020, 08:56:06 AM »
Gah! I've not had chance to read the first arc yet - will dig my books out asap!

Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #61 on: 10 November, 2020, 09:32:50 PM »
I'm under the impression that the general perspection of Mage - Hero Defined (the second of the trilogy) wasn't well recieved. Certainly judging by the opening issues letters pages it didn't go down well. I find this surprising, though fair to say I have followed the series in the way other fans have. I picked up 'Discovered' relatively recently (maybe 10 or 12 years ago) and then having read it immediately snapped up Defined and devoured that as well. So i've not been a devoted fan waiting years for these.

At the same time given the biographical nature of the series the fact that there is considerable change between the first two series should be no surprise. The author has changed and so should the readers, I'd have thought? Where I adore Discovered I think this is as good. The art even better. Matt Wagner's style has refined, is technically miles ahead. One issue readers letters have is it lost a lot of the longer self reflective dialogue. I think that's a real bonus, not that it bad in anyway in the first story, rather here is shows a shift Kevin Matchstick and by relation Matt Wagner himself as he reflects on a very different time in his life. A time of confidence, friendship, arrogance and striving to achieve and understand, though blind to that need for understanding.

I love the relationship Matchstick has with the other characters. I love when 'Mirth' is kinda revealed at the end Kevin reverts back to the more wordy introspection, all be it briefly underlining their relationship. I love the playfulness of it all. Its fun in that mid life stage way. Its about self and self discover... its about discovering the other in your life. Its about a different character and different story that the first series and all the better for it.

Not that its better in its craft - though in some ways it is - just that it needs to be different and I'm more than happy to embrace that. I'm not going to say I prefer one or another. Rather I marvel and revel in the differences and Matt Wagners confidence, once again, if exposing and playing with them.

Another masterpiece. Can't wait for Denied coming soon.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #62 on: 15 November, 2020, 05:41:00 PM »
Just started 'Hero Denied' and this is the only one I picked up month to month. I know this one one brilliant (as they all are of course) but the opening issue 0 - with an older maturer Pendragon happily letting a young braggart of a hero make his splash - while quietly helping him and letting him get safely out AND the opening panel of issue 1 as he sings Elvis Costello's '(What's so funny 'bout) Peace Love and understanding?' quickly mark this as being the best yet!

Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #63 on: 20 November, 2020, 07:50:31 PM »
And that's that, Mage - Hero Denied is probably my favourite of the lot.

It speaks to be now, while the other two speak to me then and are fantastic as memories of me. It is also the culmination of years of learning craft by the consummate craftsman. The art is just sublime, bold and strong, yet gentle and able to convey tender moments when it needs to. There is absolutely no fuss. And it tells its story with such clarity and pointed emphasis in a way that reveals where there are still lessons to be learnt in the earlier stories.

Each story fits perfectly into the stage of life its reflecting and each is confident in having a similar arc. Across the three its not about using 45 issues to tell a ranging tale it to allow three reflections on the growth of a man. So the structure and form is deceptively simple. I can well imagine if someone read Discovered at the right stage of their life it would be so hard to accept anything after as its equal. Hence I think Defined gets a hard time my some, but I love it. I however have come to Mage late and as such Denied is really my Mage (though I'd read the other two before this came out) as this is the one I've read at the right time.

That said the fact that I've read the other two 'out of context' speaks to the fact they are fine tales in and of themselves.

So to Denied its a wonderful examination of being a parent, an adult with all the responsiblity and fears that brings with it. All the vulnerabilities that have always been there, but are exposed by age. All the dependancies that you deny (and this is dealt with so well in Defined) in eary life that you accept as you get older. But also how these maturing realisations take something else from you. Diminish you in some old ways, to allow you to grow in others. Its all brilliantly wrapped in here in an exciting compelling retelling of the first story, of fighting monster, trying to save loved one.

The end should crumble under the weight of the cliche its dressed in, but in the context of the themes of family and love it works so much better than it does in so many other tales.

Mage is an absolute success of a series. An incredible achievement to not tell a continuous tale but to tell the life of a man. I can't recommend these stories enough.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #64 on: 21 November, 2020, 10:08:36 PM »
Meant to also mention next up I've reading Grendel. Over the next four or five months I'll be working my way through the Hunter Rose Omnibus (Dark Horse) the Comico series - which I'm particularly looking forward to as from memory this is the pinacle of the 'series' and one of the best, must developmental comics I've read and then the 4th Dark Horse Omnibus which cover the later works.

Very much looking forward to this. Even if I seem to think the first omnibus gets a little hardwork at time as Hunter Rose has been a bit strip mined beyond its value. We'll see.