First, EW has an exclusive look at the cover for Yen Press’ upcoming Twilight graphic novel, as well as a single sample page. The word floating around Twitter was “hideous” but I admit I think it’s kind of pretty. Not the cover so much (lifeless but inoffensive) as the interior artwork. I haven’t been looking forward to reading Twilight, despite my highly positive take on its announcement, but I gotta admit my inner teen is a tiny bit smitten with that sparkling vampire’s sensitive eyes. Oh, inner teen, must you humiliate me in this way? Must you??
Meanwhile, The Hooded Utilitarian continues their xxxHolic Roundtable with most participants not finding much besides the artwork to enjoy. Ng Suat Tong is probably the harshest on the series so far, though he links to some of my posts at the end of his entry (presumably to soften the blow) which I’ll admit gives me a case of the warm fuzzies. I’m not going to argue with anyone’s points except perhaps to say that I think it’s unfortunate that the roundtable only looks at volumes 1-3, which is well before the series really hits its stride.
It took me until the end of volume 6 (when the focus clearly shifts from its episodic origins into a complex, character-driven tale) to really become invested, and I wouldn’t say I was actually hooked until somewhere between volumes 7 and 8. Volume 10 takes the series to a whole new level, which happens again at volume 12 and then again (to some extent) at volume 14. The crossover with Tsubasa eventually becomes inextricable from the story, too, though xxxHolic has quite a bit of its own going on. It’s easier for me to appreciate the series’ early volumes now with the knowledge of what it’s grown into, so certainly I’m coming at it from a very different perspective. On the other hand, maybe I just like it more. :)
One thing I can say for sure. The reason I like the series, as discussed in my “Persuasion Post” (though it is an older, fairly immature piece of writing) as well as in my reviews (see vols. 12, 13, & 14), is that it resonates with me philosophically and, more importantly, emotionally. As Suat (very kindly) mentions when linking to my posts, I really do feel a strong connection with the story and its characters–one that is very meaningful to me. Whether others will connect as deeply with the series as I do is something I can’t know or control, but from my perspective the series as it currently stands represents much more than a piece of commercial entertainment. YMMV.
Continued thanks to everyone at the Hooded Utilitarian for providing compelling discussion and much food for thought!