Monday, May 9, 2011

Blue Pills - Brandon Pedersen

1. Character - Primary - Blue Pills is not, as the author might have you believe, strictly a love story. Rather it is the story of one man's transformation from selfishness to selflessness. Love factors in as the impetus, but, really, Blue Pills demonstrates Frederik Peeters' existentialist break down as he comes to terms with his relationship to a woman, and her son, who suffer from HIV. He comes to terms with the role he plays in their lives, that of lover, at times surrogate father, but really as an anchor point to normality for Caiti and her son, someone who allows this woman and her boy to define themselves by their relationships rather than their disease. By the end of this character exploration, the author even admits to this purpose at the end of the graphic novel, he is ready to stop defining, to stop worrying about who he is as defined by his involvement with a woman and child suffering from HIV and start, simply, living. To be a family, cognizant of their disease but not held back by it.

2. PG-13 for some non-sensual nudity and discussion of sexual involvement/ability, pgs. 96 and 105 respectively.

3. I assumed that those with HIV were limited in the relationships they would have. All romantic intercourse would have to be carefully planned, a minor cut/scrap could turn into a potential infection nightmare, one's guard could never completely come down. Reading through the Frederik Peeters' self discovery, learning to accept one's position to another person not based on singular defining characteristics but as a whole, complete individual, has opened my mind as to what the definition of a "family" is. It is not, as is most commonly believe, mother, father, and children, but rather a community of acceptance and love. Frederik and Caiti love each other, but readily acknowledge Fred is not her child's father. He, Caiti, her son, and her ex-husband together create a family. By lowering his guard, Fred allows Caiti, at times, to feel normal, unaffected by her condition.

4. Honestly, I don't see a way to apply this new found knowledge to my own story, except to take measures to ensure that my character's relationships to each other feel authentic. What makes Blue Pills as successful as it is, is the authenticity of relationship between Frederik and Caiti. They are not a couple for the sake of a story convention but are really, outside of the graphic novel, a real couple. Their interactions are colored not through fiction but through recollection. Striving towards this same authenticity between character interaction in a fictional world will lend legitimacy to whatever story I choose to tell.

1 comment:

  1. Its a great conversion story, so to speak, and a great lesson on integrating the illusion of life on more than just a visual level.