Thursday, March 26, 2009
So last week was a landmark in geekdom: the end of 'Battlestar Galactica'. Personally, I wasn't pissed off by the ending. Far from it, but I've heard a wide spectrum of emotion on the subject. I won't go on about my thoughts, but I think the ending, though personally satisfying for me, was imperfect.
That's not intended as a harsh criticism. A great ending is tough to come by. From 'Watchmen' to 'Harry Potter', great stories often have endings that leave a lot to be desired. Sometimes, it sours the whole experience (see also: 'Identity Crisis').
But every so often, along comes that beautiful ending. The one that gives you that complex feeling... you know, the one where all you want is one more minute, one more panel, one more page... but at the same time you know that the story has taken you as far as it can. I call it the beautiful ending... the one that makes you want more but makes you understand why you can't have it. It's a rare thing, the beautiful ending.
How do you craft a beautiful ending? It's partly about not hanging on too long. But also about hanging on long enough... letting characters unfold themselves enough for you to care. Hell, there's no formula. You just know it when you see it. One of my favorite beautiful endings is 'Y: The Last Man'. It's funny because I thought during the penultimate arc, when they reveal the truth about what killed the men, that it was jumping the shark a bit. And then the last few issues, and the last issue in particular, were a masterpiece of wonder and heartbreak. As much as it literally brought tears to my eyes, I couldn't imagine it any other way.
So, Second Printers... I want recommendations... what are YOUR favorite beautiful endings? Try not to spoil too much in case I want to enjoy them myself :)