Friday, September 11, 2009

American Widow

Steve here.

About a year ago I quit writing comic reviews for the website I used to write for, PlaybackSTL. I didn't choose to quit writing reviews for them, and it's not like they fired me either. In fact, my editor has been pestering me to come back for the year that I've been gone.

No, I quit writing for them because I hit a huge, tremendous block that I couldn't overcome. That block was the graphic novel American Widow, easily one of the worst graphic novels I've ever read. But I didn't know how to write the scathing review the book deserved and remain sensitive to its subject matter, the story of a woman who lost her husband on September 11.

But after living with this book in my headspace for a full year, I finally was able to overcome my mental block and finish the review. You can read the review at this link, if you wish. And in fact I wish you would read it, because even after finally getting it out there, I'm worried it might be a bit too negative, a bit too controversial in its criticism of a 9/11 widow's book. I'd like to hear your opinions, but be warned: it's long.

to entice you to read further, here's a paragraph out of the middle of the essay:

"The book as a whole is incredibly unclear. I asked the rhetorical question earlier, "Who am I to pass judgment on her reactions to this horrible event in her life when I don't know what she went through?" But that's just it. I wouldn't pass judgment if I did know what Torres was going through. But despite the fact that she wrote a book about the situations she encountered after her husband died, I still can't say I comprehend her perspective."