Monday, September 5, 2011

Matt Fraction, superheros, and the Houdini theory

Bookslut has an interesting interview with comic book author Matt Fraction, who writes several Marvel Universe titles including Iron Man, Uncanny X-Men, and their current "event" book Fear Itself. Matt has a theory about how superheros in comics can die and "reset", and it involves Houdini:

"Fear Itself is kind of all I have to say about the illusion of death in comics. It’s my Houdini theory: that nobody went to see Houdini because they wanted to see Houdini die. People went to see Houdini because they wanted to see Houdini almost die. But they wanted to see him get out of it; they wanted to see the escape. Comics are escape fiction -- not escapist fiction, but escape fiction. We want to see how our ideal selves get out of messes that we find ourselves in, literally or metaphorically. It’s never about the death. The death is never real in comics. It’s always about the return, the escape. That’s why we read them. And that it’s been turned into a marketing ploy is a gag! Houdini always has the key under his tongue. That’s the joke."

You can read the full interview at

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