Monday, August 11, 2003

Finally, after about eight years, I got around to reading Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens I was introduced to the book years ago, when I was an avid Pratchett fan. At that point, I had no idea who this Gaiman fellow was, and decided that I didn't want to read a book by one of my favourite authors if it had been watered down by mixing it up with the writing of some unknown.
Nowadays, of course, I know exactly who Neil Gaiman is, and in fact live not too far from him. I own a couple of his Sandman books, and while I appreciate the craft, they're not my thing. I read his new children's book The Wolves in the Walls the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it, thinking it perfect for a Jackanory reading. Alas, I haven't read a new Pratchett book for years now. He became just a little too prolific a writer for me, and so I decided not to try and keep up. Well, I did get the illustrated The Last Hero a couple of years ago, but I'm not sure that counts.
Good Omens is an odd little book. I've always been fascinated with how writers collaborate. In comics, it's pretty straightforward. In most cases, the writer does a script, and the artist draws it. Simple. How two writers collaborate, I don't know. Perhaps one writer plots it, and one fleshes it out. Anyway, it's interesting to see that certain sections very clearly indicate which author wrote them, although the second half of the book definitely shows a strong Pratchett influence. Sadly, this also means that like many of Pratchett's solo books, the second half trails off in a somewhat bland fashion after what is an excellent start.
Still, a very enjoyable book which has some brilliantly realised characters, although Aziraphale and Crowley do steal the show somewhat. There are some very funny jokes in there, and there are some really clever little throwaway touches in the writing. It's just a shame that the plot is so bland, and increasingly so towards the end. Oh well.

Comicbookresources features a news article that reveals that the diabolically bad Chuck Austen (why are Marvel letting him write all their books?) is to take over my favourite Marvel title, The Avengers. Sheesh. I'm trying to be optimistic, but faced with the overwhelming lack of quality in Austen's work thus far, I'm finding it hard.

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