'X-Men: Legacy' offers a very literal glimpse into the mind of a young man searching for his place in the world and trying to deal with his mental illness.
Jordan White wrote an extremely humbling piece about mental illness and fiction, with particular reference to XLeg, for Comics Alliance. Strong piece. Makes me very proud and a bit soppymotional.
I did a run on X-Men Legacy last year. It kind of flew under the radar. It wasn’t like other X-comics, it freaked a few people out and it struggled to get the attention it needed to make “different” transition from a handicap into a Good Thing.
It had its loyal fans throughout and I adore them forever, but the comics press seemed kinda mystified by its dissimilarity to what went before, and turned up their noses at the first issues. Then simply didn’t bother reviewing the rest. Only after it was gone did they start to reassess, and there followed an outpouring of praise and adoration from all quarters. It topped a lot of “Best of 2013” lists. Too little, too late.
Kotaku were lovely about it all the way through, so huzzah for them. They called it “a super-hero comic that never settles on a status quo. A story about David Haller, son of Professor X and a man with many personalities in his mind vying for control. Every issue of Si Spurrier’s series has at least one fantastic surprise and at least one thing you haven’t read in an X-Men comic before. The product of fresh thinking and arguably a better Marvel comic than even the lauded Hawkeye and Daredevil." (I’d never make that claim myself of course - I fucking love those books - but still. Warming words.)
I poured my heart and soul into my first Marvel ongoing book, and - whether early or late - in the end people really seemed to respond. I’ll be proud of it forever.
Today Comixology has a two-day sale on the first 12 issues. It is, I assure you, Well Worth A Squirt.
“I don’t have a Tumbler account, because I am not creative enough to post anything there, so I try to submit a question here instead of asking.
I loved your run on X-Men Legacy, and noticed that the end really reminds the 5-th series finale of the new Doctor Who. While reading the final pages of David’s monologue I was actually chanting “ And if something can be remembered, it can come back.”
So… Was this similarity intentional? And do you have plans for a Blindfold (with David) cameo anywhere? I was hoping the 300 issue of X-Men Legacy would be about Ruth living with the DID David became.”
First up: “not creative enough to post anything there” - let’s stop that sort of thing straight away. For one thing if you can ask a question, make a statement, express an opinion or communicate with other people in any meaningful way, which you manifestly can, then you’re automatically As Creative as anyone who presumes to claim “creativity” as a talent. Self included.
For another thing, life’s not always about creating stuff (in fact in my more wretched states of mind I’d argue all “creation” is really just imperfect mimicry and/or appropriation and/or distortion and/or conflation of existing information - we haven’t collectively “created” anything truly new since someone threaded a rod through a disc and invented the wheel, and even that’s just lateral conflation - but I’m being pedantic). As with life, so with tumblr! (Which is a thing I never thought I’d be writing). In fact a lot of the best tumblr feeds I follow are pure curation: smart people taking good things and collecting them together. I guess the best analogy is this: you find yourself alone with a guy in a pub on a rainy afternoon. He’s the only means you have of avoiding boredom and insanity. Which would you rather? That he knows endless stories, myriad facts, and can articulately acquaint you with wonders? Or that he can make fake stuff up on the spot?
Start a tumblr. Be the first guy.
(And arguably, by the delightful smartassery of words, curation is secretly a creative art in its own right.)
ANYway. Thanks for the kind words on XML. Similarities to DW not intentional, no - I’m a Who-tourist at best, though I’m trying to get more absorbed. I think there’s a slight but critical distinction between the Whovian aphorism you cite and David’s bittersweet coda in XML (I’d argue that having left an impression - having done something beautiful and incredible before bowing out - is splendidly important whether or not there’s any sneaky hope of a curtain call), but still.
No current plans for a Blindfold cameo, alas. As I’ve waffled elsewhere - in particular here - I think the story deserves the respect of being left alone, rather than clarified and fiddled-with like an unhealed scab. If I ever have new, valuable ideas for stories involving Ruth then I’m all for it, but not just for the sake of it. (As per this week’s X-Force, I have various other characters I can enjoy cameoing to my crusty little heart’s content.)
Thanks for the question!
I was approached by an interviewer not long ago with some questions about the end of my run on X-Men Legacy. It was the nature of the story I chose to tell that there were certain ambiguities and uncertainties programmed into the closing of the tale. It’s arguably the nature of many (most?)…
Do me a favour — don’t spoil it for those who haven’t yet read it? I love that so many people have been so moved, but payoff < anticipation < agony. Splurging the details will only make it less resonant for those who haven’t yet got there.
There will be thoughts on XML in these parts soon enough….
A little off topic but…
Since you love when people give your work praise I am gonna bite. I have been with David’s and Your story since Issue 1 and was hooked. Yours was the first story that featured Legion in any way, shape, or form I had ever read and I have never once regretted or questioned purchasing the entire series. The characters, the plots, the witty if occasionally wordy dialogue, Huat and Davidson’s art, all of it was drawing me in like a moth to the flame. While it saddens me that the end is in sight, I look back on your previous posts, interviews, quick bits, ect. and It makes me unable to wait for this conclusion and the end of a wonderful story.
With all of that said however, what’s the fate of your work-blog here?
Wow, am I that rampantly and famously narcissistic? Yes. Yes, I suppose I am. Thanks for the soulchow.
No big shakeup plans for the XML tumblr. I’m not going to delete it, but nor shall I be pouring huge effort into keeping it fed. I’ll keep an eye on it, I expect, to curate questions and fan art (which has been of a very high standard since I started this book).
Frankly I’ve found tumblr works a lot better when you can set stuff out in a more centralised way anyway, so I’ll be using my main blog - http://sispurrier.tumblr.com/ - as the hub for thoughts on my replacement gig with Marvel, X-Force, as well as my other projects.
Q:Si, you did great with Pixie. It's probably asking a bit much to include her in your new X-Force endeavor, but here's hoping you get to write her again very soon. Thanks.
Thanks very much. As you will have gathered - and I know I’m addressing a similarly-discerning mind here - I’ve got a big soft spot for the young Taff. You’re probably right about the X-Force starring role, at least for now, but don’t rule out the odd cameo if I get me way.