Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wherein I Become a Comic Book Geek

Those of you who know me know that The Dark Tower by Stephen King is one of my obsessions. The series consists of seven books, published between 1982 (as a novel) and 2004:

The Gunslinger
The Drawing of the Three
The Waste Lands
Wizard and Glass
Wolves of the Calla
Song of Susannah
The Dark Tower

I started reading this series in 1992, right after The Waste Lands came out in paperback. I remember it vividly. I was eleven years old, and I picked up all of the first three books at Otto's, a bookstore in downtown Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I sat myself down on Grandma Fargus's couch for four or five days and just plowed through all three books, and from there I was hooked. Unfortunately, the fourth book didn't come out until 1997, so I had a lot of reading and re-reading to do during those five years. Thankfully, a lot of King's other books tie into The Dark Tower, so there was a wealth of information for me to incorporate.

After Wizard and Glass came out in 1997, at the beginning of my senior year in high school, there was another dry spell. A six-year dry spell. By the time the summer of 2003 came around, only one book had come out in my favorite series over the course of eleven years. But the news was good: not only was the next Dark Tower book coming out; the last three books were coming out within the next year!!! By September, 2004, the series was done.

There was a lot of consternation in the fan community about the ending of the series, and I can absolutely see why. For my money, though, it was about as fitting as it could have been. My favorite book of the series is still easily the fourth, Wizard and Glass, but I enjoyed the rest of it as well.

So why the title of this post? What gives with the comic books? This gives:

NEW YORK – World Fantasy Award-winning writer Stephen King, long acknowledged as the master of modern horror, and Marvel Comics join forces this spring to launch a ground-breaking new comic book series adapted from King's magnum opus, The Dark Tower.

I've never been a big fan of comic books in general. I like a lot of the movies based on them, and I've been a closet fan of Smallville since its inception, but I've just never been able to force myself to get into the format of comic books.

Well, that's about to change.

See, while I wasn't disappointed with the ending of the series, there's still a part of me that aches for Dark Tower information. To know more about that universe and the people who populate it. To know more about what motivated its characters, and what happened in the shadowy reaches of their past. So I'm guessing I'll be able to get by the issues that I've historically had with comic books, in the name of getting more Dark Tower story.

That doesn't really make me a comic book geek, I guess, but the fact that I'm most likely going to go get the inaugural issue next Wednesday at its midnight release...I think that clinches it.