Posts Tagged ‘melnibone’

An albino emperor and a giant soul-sucking sword

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I’m late to the party: the graphic novel Elric: The Making of a Sorceror came out in 2007, but I’m only just now getting around to reading it. Which is a shame, because it’s quite well-done. The art is gorgeous (apart from Yyrkoon being #$@# BALD), and the storyline is an interesting prequel to the events that start off the first Elric novel, centering around a ritual dream-battle between Elric and Yyrkoon over who is more worthy of being the next emperor of Melnibone. Best of all is that Moorcock himself wrote the damn thing; it’s nice to see that he’s not yet in the business of farming off pieces of the core franchise to hack writers.

Which doesn’t mean that this graphic novel doesn’t fall into some of the same traps the novels did. Every time Elric gets into some impossible situation, that ol’ chaos lord Arioch’s bailing him out, and carting off all the blood and souls in sight by way of recompense. But whatever. The Elric novels broke so much new ground—they were so alive and wonderful and WEIRD—that a little bit of deus ex machina never really bothered me.  Especially because it was part of Elric’s larger fate and ultimate damnation.

And of course now I’m back and rereading the rest of the series. Some of the prose from the Elric books feels a little stilted/dated now, but I can’t decide if that’s because I first read them in junior high or because Moorcock was the one who was inventing so many of the cliches that have since passed into modern fantasy. And I challenge anyone to come up with a better action/drama sequence than the sacking of the Dreaming City that opens Book Three.  (Though why the fuck the Melnibonean fleet waited till AFTER the reavers had sacked Immyr before burning them to the waterline is beyond me; it made for great drama but shit logic. But maybe I just answered my own question.)

And most intriguing of all, the rumors of an Elric movie continue to persist.  As, regrettably, do the rumors that the same team that brought us the Nutty Professor 2 and American Pie is involved. Meaning that (like Elric) we just can’t win:  either (a) there’ll be no movie or (b) we’ll have to watch Cymoril tell us all about band practice and that damn flute of hers. You have been warned.