Being: the second of three posts on Carla Speed McNeil’s “aboriginal science fiction” comic Finder…

He did not want to compose another Quixote —which is easy— but the Quixote itself. Needless to say, he never contemplated a mechanical transcription of the original; he did not propose to copy it. His admirable intention was to produce a few pages which would coincide—word for word and line for line—with those of Miguel de Cervantes.

“My intent is no more than astonishing,” he wrote me the 30th of September, 1934, from Bayonne. “The final term in a theological or metaphysical demonstration—the objective world, God, causality, the forms of the universe—is no less previous and common than my famed novel. The only difference is that the philosophers publish the intermediary stages of their labor in pleasant volumes and I have resolved to do away with those stages.” In truth, not one worksheet remains to bear witness to his years of effort.

(J.L. Borges – ‘Pierre Menard Author of the Quixote’)

You find yourself bored and lost in your local comics shop on a crisp Thursday afternoon.  You’ve exhausted all your usual favourites, or at least, you’re pretty sure that you’re not paying that amount for that hardcover collection today.  Thankfully whoever does the ordering for your local shop has anticipated your boredom, and has made sure that one of Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder comics is waiting there on the shelf for you.

You’ve read a lot about Finder and — your friend Cat’s admonition that you “like music that’s fun to read about instead of music that’s fun to listen to” still fresh in your ears — you have to admit that this counts for a lot for you.

The specific Finder comic that’s in front of you is Talisman:

You seem to remember that this is a particularly well-regarded volume. What was it Douglas Wolk said about it in his Reading Comics? Ah yes:

McNeil didn’t entirely hit her stride until the fourth Finder volume, Talisman, and it’s not a coincidence that it’s her most tightly focused story: it’s about a girl who falls in love with a book, loses it, and becomes a writer in her attempts to find it again.

Well, imagine that–a storyteller inspired by other people’s stories!

Click here to watch me struggle to escape from the confines of language as only a comics blogger can!