There are places in our hearts we don't often visit, dark corners that wall us in during the early morning hours. You've been there, just as I have. You snap awake and the room that should be familiar is strange and you're unsure of yourself, shrouded in twilight memory, slipping into blackness. The void calls to all of us.
I bought The Crow graphic novel again. This will be the seventh copy I've either worn out or given to a friend. Maybe I'll hold on to this one awhile. It has been too long out of print. It's back now, like an old flame you haven't seen in a long time. Someone who shares secret things with you, things that you keep locked away in the dark corners of your heart, tucked deep within the places you don't like to go. Everybody knows tragedy of some form. The void calls to all of us.
I can't tell you much of anything about James O'Barr's masterpiece that you don't already know. After the movie came out, everybody read it. Everybody reviewed it, dissected it, and reinterpreted it. The Crow captured the hearts and minds of everyone it touched, leading us up from the dark places in our souls by giving us revenge and more importantly release.
The movie, Brandon Lee's tragic death, and the endless sequels have all become grist for the mill of public consciousness, the comics likewise. There is no point in giving you yet another review of a story you know. Tonight, I offer instead a story told in snapshots. I offer a bit of tragedy locked away within a dark corner of my own heart, which, in the final analysis, illustrates perfectly why we are all so touched by The Crow.
It's early morning, about three by my clock radio. Green neon numbers stare impassively at me, admonishing me. I should be asleep. The room is cold and abuzz with the quiet hum of our air conditioner, the purring of our three cats, and the soft snoring of my girlfriend and our dog. Tonight I draw no comfort from these familiar sensations. I'm awake, dancing with the ghosts of my past. Eric Draven's cold raging eyes stare up at me from my nightstand, and I pick up my new graphic novel. Twice in my life, this story has helped me when I needed a hand up from the depths.
Tonight I'm thinking about Katie. It's not something I do much any more. She's been gone for a long time and her ghost has faded from my life. But tonight, a flickering of memory brings her back to me, and I hear the sound of wings.