My daughter has been reading Terry Moore's brilliant graphic novel Strangers in Paradise for a while now. Just this year the final issue was released and we waited for the combined volume, Ever After, to be made available.
She moved out before that happened. Ironically, she moved out but the package for her pre-ordered copy arrived here. I was tempted to open the package and read it. After all, I am very easy on books and she would never have known. Okay. She would have seen the package was open. And if there was any shrink wrap involved then that would not have been there. I guess she would have known. Anyway, I managed to resist temptation, especially after I text messaged my confession to her that I was tempted and she clearly texted me back: Thou shalt not.
I am getting old. That is the only explanation for it. I rarely cried over books before. I could number the books on one hand for ages. The last story in The House at Pooh Corner. The Little Prince. And The Once and Future King. That was it. Not an impressive list at all. Then Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows had me bawling. More than once, no less! And now this . . . I'm crying over a graphic novel! It was bad enough to admit that a children's book made me cry but a graphic novel?
Yes. A graphic novel. A ridiculously unrealistic story about some beautifully created and realized characters. In the end, it is the characters with whom I fell in love--Francine, David, and, of course, Katchoo. But what Moore does is so brilliant. He weaves lyrics to songs into the story. He has panels of images that are clearly inspired by classic art masterpieces and artists. There are side stories that have nothing to do with the Strangers in Paradise plot and yet complement the theme of the main story brilliantly.
So my daughter happened to be reading these books and I asked her if I could read them because I am that mother. Annoyingly wanting to be a part of my children's lives. I watch their anime. I read the manga. And I hope to someday grow up to be as incredibly well rounded and fascinating as they are. In the meantime, I'll just have to hope that reading what they read and watching what they watch will help me be a better mother if not a better person.
Oh and please don't tell her that most of the time I was reading the books I kept humming the song Strangers in Paradise from the Broadway musical Kismet. I don't think she'd understand or appreciate knowing these things.