([identity profile] wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2009-08-21 08:39 pm

Astro City 0.5 - "The Nearness of You"

Just because I wanted to, a few pages from one of my favorite bittersweet stories ever. This one gets me choked up no matter how many times I read it.

Michael Tenicek is being plagued by dreams of a woman that he knows everything about, yet has never seen in person. As the dreams take over more of his thoughts, he loses focus on work or dating, and wonders if he's going mad after he's chased down every lead from his past he can think of and has come up with nothing.

Debating possibly overdosing on his sleep medication, he is visited by The Hanged Man, who reveals to him an attempt by the Timekeeper to take control of the very fabric of time and the fallout that happened as a result of both that and the attempts to repair the damage.

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
Fantastic story.

Considering that Kurt Busiek allowed this story to be posted for free on Wildstorm's website (before an overhaul got rid of most of their online comics), he probably wouldn't mind if more than one-third were posted too. Just sayin'...

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 06:16 am (UTC)(link)
Mods! Moooods! THIIIIS!

[identity profile] 2009-08-23 11:56 am (UTC)(link)
Just a quick comment, nothing official. Back when scans_daily 1.0 was shutting down, Kurt Busiek participated on a thread on CBR about scans_daily, we got talking about whether or not "The Nearness of You" had been published in its entirety before. I was under the impression that at some point (before the 1/3 rule) it had gotten posted in its entirety. There was a minor argument about it, then Kurt responded:

So, like he says, if it was up to him it would still be online in its entirety. But he must not have full control over it, since it's not.

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 02:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Not a mod, but...

All we know is that Wildstorm took it down. There may have been a request to remove it. had Alan Moore's Supreme "The Story of the Year" up for quite a while. Since it's been pulled, I don't imagine the want it republished everywhere...

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 02:36 am (UTC)(link)
Yes. This my personal fave as well. There is a scene in CoIE where a man and a woman see what looks like their long dead daughter in the over lap zone of the earths. Narration explains that it is the Earth2 version of her that did not die in the accident.

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 04:29 am (UTC)(link)
This story always, without fail, wells up some strong emotions in me. I defy anyone to read this and not feel just a little heartbroken. And people think that storytelling can't affect you.

I liked Astro City before I read this. Afterwards, I loved it.

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
*wiping away tears* God, this makes me cry every time. In a good way, of course. Thanks for posting it.

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 07:05 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I remember this tale from SD 1.0. It always makes me wibble.

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 08:20 am (UTC)(link)
Beautiful, just beautiful.

Now excuse me, I think I have something in my eye..

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 01:57 pm (UTC)(link)
To take something as cheesy and quintessentially comic-booky as a "cosmic reboot", and wring genuine emotional resonance out of it... well played, sir.

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 02:08 pm (UTC)(link)
*long sigh*

I still love this one.

(Anonymous) 2009-08-22 05:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I had Kurt Busiek sign this issue at Comic-Con a few years ago and told him it was my favorite comic book story that I'd ever read. He replied that he thought it was probably the best thing he had ever written. He hopes to surpass it someday, but, if he doesn't, he's okay with it as a high point.

I know that my own enjoyment of a particular piece of art shouldn't depend on what other people think of the same piece, but I still can't help but find his response to be very validating.


[identity profile] 2009-08-22 07:26 pm (UTC)(link)
This story always makes me...not quite cry, but let out sad hiccupy noises. Because I'm a sucker for almost-love stories.

[identity profile] 2009-08-23 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
The love story here was moving, and I still tear up when reading it, but what impresses me the most about the story is that Busiek manages to summarise what would be like a six-to-twelve issue Crisis crossover series with tie-ins in a single line of panels spread across two pages and you know exactly what happened in that series.

Very few people can play with established tropes as well as Kurt does.