Other Ten Percent 6/18/14

Jun 18 2014

Oh right, I’m also writing these every day. Whoops. I got kinda distracted by a small errand in the middle of the day. Nikki had a new car now and it’s awesome! We can both do errands! Okay, luckily I had a topic queued up. Let’s talk about writers I like again.

In case it wasn’t clear from the last one of these I’m trying to stick to writers that don’t really get enough praise who do something interesting I think deserves more attention. We all know I like Joss Whedon, everybody likes Joss Whedon I don’t need to write 10000 words on it. Again. This week.

But I can’t quite decide if I talk about Ryan North as one of my favorite writers way too much or not nearly enough. We all know dinosaur comics so I can kinda skip over that except to say that it’s the first example of what I really admire in Ryan North’s work: he’s always willing to experiment.

If he has an idea his first impulse isn’t to interrogate everything that could go wrong it’s to just do the thing and see what happens. Sometimes the projects are super successful sometimes they are not so successful sometimes they are kinda successful at first but I haven’t really heard about them for a while and so now I’m not that sure anymore. Whatever. Who cares? Point is he’s trying stuff.

And lately he’s been trying bigger and bigger things which should spell disaster but instead has just shown that throwing things at the wall SCALES when you know what you’re doing.

First there was the kickstarter for his Choose Your Own Adventure Hamlet which was financially successful and I would argue successful as a pretty great book. Try it yourself and see, you can just buy it like a regular ol’ book now without crowdfunding anything.

Then he started his super successful run on the Adventure Time comic which not only won him a prestigious Eisner Award, it also won the even more prestigious “I read it on the plane on the way back from Hawaii and it was really really good” award from me.

It’s not that North’s writing is without flaws (some of the character relationships in his new original comic, Midas Flesh, for instance, are…confusingly cordial during a life or death struggle for the fate of the Galaxy) it’s that it’s always adventurous. Could this be why he’s the perfect writer for ADVENTURE time? (BRB, killing myself for that joke.)

There’s a sense whenever you read a Ryan North jam that he’s as excited as you are to figure out what’s going on and what’s going to happen next which I’m surprised and super happy to learn works as well when he’s writing 3 issue arcs about Finn and Jake breaking a time machine and traveling to an apocalyptic future where evil robots are destroying everything as it does for six panels.

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