Pride and prejudice and nerdrage
Turns out our break was well-timed, since Dawn ended up with a mild bout of RSI in her drawing hand. I recognized the symptoms from back when I was playing MMORPG’s such as City of Heroes/Villains or World of Warcraft obsessively. Fortunately a bit of rest and some ointment are doing wonders, and so we should be back on track making progress towards the print issue and then our new comics.
On my end, I’ve finally finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies after a couple months of trying. When I first heard about it I was very enthusiastic on the concept, but in actual experience it just didn’t work out for me. It’s odd because I absolutely devoured a much larger and longer novel in the Victorian style called Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, so I can’t say I was turned off by the style. Also, I usually love quirky parodies, but I just felt lukewarm about this one. Maybe it was just the way the whole zombie angle felt like a tacked-on afterthought. Actually, I suppose the whole point was that the zombie angle is a tacked-on afterthought, and so I found myself at an impasse, at times literally having to force myself to keep reading through large passages of boring Jane Austen romance.
I’m in the minority, though. Most folk seem to love the thing. It was #3 on the New York Times Best Seller List, there’s a feature film in the works, and a graphic novel already being previewed. I saw some of the graphic novel, and it might actually be much cooler than the book… mostly on account of getting rid of a lot of the text and focusing on the zombie mayhem. Call me uncultured if you must, but then again anyone truly wishing to be a literati should probably be reading the original Austen novel, anyhow.
Also, there’s one part of P&P&Z that’s a geek flub so blatant I can only hope Seth Grahame-Smith did it intentionally. He decided to make martial arts (or as termed by the upper class of the novel, “the deadly arts”) a fairly significant part of the book, and one particularly memorable scene has the heroine defending the honor of her Chinese style against the Japanese style (and ninjas!) of her hostess. This is very specifically set up as something to determine which of the two martial schools is superior.
The heroine’s choice of weapon to uphold the honor of China against Japan?
I mean, you might as well remake a movie called The Karate Kid and set it in China, having the protagonist learn Kung Fu instead. Oh wait, that’s happening.
Indictment of Victorian era ignorance towards the “Orient”? Intentional invocation of nerdrage? Those are my best two interpretations. My nerdrage was duly invoked. But it would have been a trivial issue had the rest of the book managed to keep my interest. As it is, I finished it for completeness’ sake, but in the end I was glad I had borrowed it from a friend rather than purchased it myself.
So there it is, a book with zombies and ninjas in it that left me bored. Go figure. But hey, if you enjoyed it, more power to you! As those Austen Brits might declare, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.