Stephen King’s The Dark Tower
Graphic Novel: The Gunslinger Born (Marvel Comics)
(con’t from the last post)
As I pointed out in the last post, the graphic novels based on The Dark Tower go in a more linear fashion than the books. At the beginning we very briefly see the gunslinger chasing the man in black across the desert, but then go directly to the beginning of Roland’s tale. Specifically, how he becomes a gunslinger, and his story thereafter.
The graphic novel gives striking, beautiful, dark illustration to The Dark Tower and fans of the series should absolutely read them. Check them out at the library if you don’t want to pay for them. I look forward to owning them all though (not the individual comics but the hardback graphic novels).
We are introduced to Roland with the same sentence that starts the books:
“The Man in Black fled across the desert. And the gunslinger followed.”
“If the gunslinger looks familiar to you, well, that’s as may be.”
“Echoes of him have been seen in tales spun across many other places, in many other ways.
Just as stories of a great flood, for instance, cut across the consciousness of all mankind, so too does the gunslinger.
He is iconic and legend and your best friend, praise the man Jesus, and your worst enemy.
Your damnation or your salvation, and sometimes not even “or” but “and”, do ya kennit?
The only thing he shares with his quarry is that he is known by many names, if one such as he can be said to be “known” at all.”
Besides Clint Eastwood’s character in the spaghetti Westerns (with a twist of Dirty Harry), the names and images I think of are perhaps John Wayne’s cowboy character, or even going back further, maybe Homer’s Odysseus or Sir Galahad and his quest for the Holy Grail.
It then goes on to describe the smells of his world and you see him and his fellow gunslingers in all their youthful glory.
“There is no more powerful summary of memories than smell.
See the gunslinger now, in his youth, with the shades of young men who have little concept of their mortality. See him…see these…very well.
Smell the heady aroma of the tall grass, and the clean air unbefouled by pollution, and say thankee, sai, for being given a view of the extinct realm of Gilead…”
A beautiful, beautiful book. More to come in the next post.