Book I’d Give a Theme Song To: Hero

So, technically this isn’t a book, but it is a story.  I found the webcomic Hero senior year in college and loved it immediately.  There is a beautiful, dreamlike quality to both the artwork and the storyline which completely enchants me.  I also discovered “Endless Dream” by Conjure One the weekend I found Hero; I even listened to it while reading the comic.  And now whenever I play the song, I think of this story.



Hero is the story of a young man named Lost who reads many, many books and dreams of faraway cities beyond the beach house where he lives with the Witch and her cat.  One day, he leaves to discover the world for himself.  At his first stop, a tower down the beach, he opens a mysterious door and meets a black-clad man named Valentine who rides a sentient motorcycle called Duck (which, delightfully, can transform into a mecha flying machine, and sometimes, indeed, a black-feathered duck which sits on his head).

Lost and Valentine travel together, and over the course of their journey, Lost learns that he is a golem, a being created by sorcery, to replace a dead golem named Eira who fought against Valentine in a war, yet was his friend.  As Lost learns more about Eira’s past, he wonders whether he truly can be the same person as Eira.  Yet nonetheless, he comes to care for Valentine, and the other friends he makes along his journey.

Valentine and Lost

I chose this song for this comic because Hero is about a character remembering, as if in a dream, who he might have been in a life when he was someone else, “when I was you and you were me.”  Lost is indeed on a journey of memory, and Eira “is just a trip” that Lost is on, having left the one place he believed he once belonged.  There literally is a scene “where you were falling from the world, as aimless as a shooting star.”  The artwork of the comic is filled with many lovely images of “changing clouds.”  And having dreamed Eira’s dream, Lost learns to love the people whom Eira had: “that is when I’ll dream a dream where I am you and you are me, and then I’ll know your love.”

I highly recommend that you check out this comic.  Unfortunately, it is not yet finished and updates are very slow.  Yet what has been written is fully worth a read.  Possibly the coolest thing about the comic is that the entire story (save one chapter) has no text within the frames; instead, text boxes appear as you move your cursor over the appropriate frames.  Thus, the text never interferes with the story being told through pictures, and you get a chance to guess the story from the images alone before reading the narration.  The art is beautiful–translucent and flowing–definitely deserving to be seen uncluttered by text.  And when you do read the narration, Lost’s voice is delightful.

Aaaaand just to be subversive…

Twilight and “Angels”

If I had lots of time on my hands and nothing better to do with myself (neither a likely proposition), I would rewrite the Twilight saga, with this song by Within Temptation as the inspiration.  Edward’s possessive, but still almost-romantic protectiveness for Bella?  Completely a cover for his evil ulterior motives.  And when he abandons her in the beginning of the second book, Bella transforms her broken heart into a resolve to hunt down the monsters who wronged her.  She becomes a kick-ass slayer in black leather, and teams up with werewolf Jake Black to purge Washington of blood-suckers.  It would be dark, violent, and decidedly not sparkly.



I almost linked one of the Twilight music videos (yes, they exist, some serious, at least one parodic) for this song, but I decided I wasn’t cruel enough to make you all stare at Eddie “Douchebag” Cullen for four minutes.  Besides, that way you can imagine my story, which is going to be way better, anyway.

Post Scriptus: I feel like I need to figure out a way to link all my meme entries thematically.  I mean, last week was Dream of the Endless, this week is a song called “Endless Dream” (which, incidentally, happens to be right next to “Mr. Sandman” in my iTunes library.  So much joy!).

26 thoughts on “Book I’d Give a Theme Song To: Hero

  1. Your ability to match song and story is impressive to me, as I have no such ability. Well… hm… that’s not quite true. My own characters constantly appropriate songs, but they are the exception.

    I will have to check out Hero.

    “I see the angels, I’ll lead them to your door.” Love that line. I do not like the concept of saccharine, passivle angels. Give me swords of flame.

    • Oh yeah, I match songs to my characters all the time. Sometimes it’s a song that inspires a story, and sometimes it’s a song that expresses something about the characters I’ve already created. I even have a pair of characters who kinda go with “Endless Dream,” though “their” song really is “Day of the Dreamer” by Renaissance, a really cool progressive rock band from the ’70s.

      I hope you enjoy Hero! Let me know what you think!

      • Totally legit. I always say you can’t make fun of a book for being bad unless you have experienced the badness firsthand.

      • Um, so that was kind of meant to be a joke. If it were *solely* for that reason, I could have stopped after book one. I will fully admit I enjoyed them when I read them, and also that they are terribly written. But fun if you suspend your brain, kind of like watching a soap opera. I couldn’t read them again, though. They’re far too bad. But I watch the movies with RiffTrax (I’m a big MST3K/RiffTrax fan). Those films are faaaar worse, in some ways, than the books, and only exist to be mocked.

      • Also, though, you are right about needing to read something before making fun of badness. Speaking of truly wretched books, this is my fav. It’s “the worst sc-fi book ever written,” The Eye of Argon. It’s a teenage boy’s attempt to write a pulp fiction style barbarian hero story, and it’s so bad it’s hilarious. People make a game of reading it aloud to see how long you can go before you burst out laughing. Then you have to trade the book off to someone else. Emily and Georgia and I read it together one night in college. It was a lot of fun. And then Em found me a hard copy of the book somewhere. It’s one of the gems of my sci-fi collection. XD

      • AWESOME. Do we know of any other such books?

        (all I can think of is “A dramatic reading of a REAL breakup letter”)

      • Okay, I got all the way to “Small rodents scampered about, occupying themselves in the daily accomplishments of their dismal lives” before spluttering.

      • “Prepare to embrace your creators in the stygian haunts of hell, barbarian,” gasped the first soldier.
        “Only after you have kissed the fleeting stead of death,
        wretch!” returned Grignr.

        I wish I were kidding about how much I love this. This shall be my new taunt and battlecry.

      • My favorite line is further in, some feature about an altar that is “protuberating the length of the grim orifice of death.” And also, “crimson fetish eyeballs.” Part of what is so funny about Eye of Argon is that there are plenty of phrases that could be really horrible sexual double entendres, but I don’t think they’re meant to be. Just makes it that much better.

      • Crimson Fetish Eyeballs would be a good name for a rock band.

        I…don’t even know what to make of the protuberance of death business. So awkward.

  2. >_< stupid computer being weird… to finish that sentence: I suspect my own wee vampire would go on strike if I dared to read Meyer. He is very opinionated and very vocal. …a pity that authors cannot get restraining orders against unruly characters in their brains.

    • Yes, I agree with that assessment of storytellers who write. Though I’m still more inclined to think Stephenie Meyer was just in the right place at the right time, rather than even being a very good storyteller. She’s just not actually good at plots (hers are waaay too linear) and I always felt let-down by the climaxes of her books: she promised danger and action, and all you get is a bunch of people talking and posturing for 20 pages. ARGH! There have to be dozens of equally poorly written, plus some better written teen vampire fiction out there, but for some reason, Twilight got the spotlight.

      (P.S. I don’t read much vampire fiction, but my very favorite is Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. It’s just objectively one of my favorite books.)

      My vampire story characters were actually more amused (and a little embarrassed) by Twilight. On my old blog here, I wrote a little scene of their reaction to finding Twilight.

      • Quite possibly. I only know the story secondhand through the hilarious medium of a formerly-obsessed reader relating it to me over the course of several days. That was probably the most entertament I had in library school.

        *chuckles* aw.
        If only Kee were that cute. What’s the point of having a 4-foot tall vampire who refuses to be cute? …though he does bake cookies. I guess that’s something, though it makes me wish I could eat imaginary cookies… I had better stop this train of thought before my brain bleeds out my ears.

      • I wish I could say he was a Dwarf, because a Vampire-Dwarf sounds fantastic. I want to write a story about a Vampire-Dwarf. Unfortunately, it is nothing so interesting. Keenan is eternally 11. He also claims to be tall for his physical age.

  3. Linking Hero to “Endless Dream” is an interesting choice; while I don’t find myself thinking of the comic when listening to the song, you do a great job of showing how their themes coincide. It really makes me eager to start my reread of the comic, even though it’s STILL not done after all these years.

    I initially read Jake Black as “werewolf Jack Black,” which frightened me.

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