Hey. Ever read My Immortal?

For the "no"s in the audience, let me explain. My Immortal was the single greatest piece of Harry Potter fan fiction ever to roam freely online. Freewheeling, horny, a truly superb unleashing of id, It was a perfect portrait of "indignant Alternative fourteen year old diarist" --- a writer's profile appallingly neglected by society at large.

Ostensibly written as self-insert fiction --- belief in author Tara Gillespie as girl or troll is up to the individual --- it combined enjoyment of J.K. Rowling's Hogwarts with an intense lust for My Chemical Romance and being Gothic. It's a long, long piece that abandons correct or careful typing early on and gets better and better from there. You've probably seen the memes.


Dumbledore Motherfucker My Immortal meme


In 2013, writer Brian McLellan and his team made a web series based on Gillespie's My Immortal. A resounding success --- a fan adaptation of a fan fiction that now has its own fan fiction --- and a notable early example of Hermione Granger being played by a black woman, Jennah Foster-Catlack, My Immortal the Web Series saw a second season on YouTube in 2015. Now the team behind the show is releasing a 16-page digital comic as well... to help fund a feature-length My Immortal film.

The comic book version of My Immortal is all about being the very best Goth you can be, which obviously means challenging your old enemy to a basketball match and hanging out with your best girl, and complaining about everything. Duh.


My Immortal the web series the comic, McLellan & Lizsewski, 2016


Ebony and Hermione are spending time together in the school grounds when --- oh no. Ebony's scene nemesis from back home has turned back up... and she's transferring to Hogwarts. If you want to see a bad-girl protagonist straight-manned (cough cough) by dry-humor Hermione, and who wouldn't, this comic is a grabber.

In addition to scriptwriter Brian McLellan, the comic is by artist Nick Liszewski, making this a thoroughly Canadian affair. Liszewski's draughting is much looser than the bulk of his portfolio; this is not exactly in contrast with the subject (Enoby Darkness Dementia Raven Way cries out to look crumpled and throwaway) and doesn't mean that there's no flair to his illustration. Facial close-ups and reaction shots especially have an animated, emotional content that suits the source material. The halftone texturing is a welcome addition to a digital-only comic, adding the nubby depth that a paper book (like Harry Potter and the Whatever) has by default.


Portfolio, Nick Lizsewski, 2016
From Lizsewski's portfolio


McLellan doesn't attempt to remove My Immortal from its roots, which are obvious and have pretty deep "what-is-fandom" context: Enoby/Ebony's story is a story about girlhood. While Tara Gillespie wrote from the perspective she lived, McLellan's version of the character and his adaptation of her adapted world move the narrative to male-driven status, but also increases the presence of girls in his scripts. With his post-My Immortal web series, No Boys Dorm (" a romantic dramedy about identity, class, counter-culture and punk rock"), McLellan shows a reassuring confidence in stories about girls growing up.

Like any great post-fic rumination on tropes and memes from fandom culture, McLellan is well-educated in his subject. So when said nemesis arrives, she's got pastel purple hair, and red eyes, and is from America. Is Snape secretly her uncle or her daddy? Stay tuned, perhaps we'll find out.


My Immortal the web series the comic, McLellan & Lizsewski, 2016


Retaining all the sparkle of the series, My Immortal the Web Series the Comic alsoo has Draco/Harry, of course, and season two of the web series introduced Hermione/Ebony to the mix. It's got puns, and nostalgia, and vomiting.

My Immortal the Web Series the Comic is out now on a pay what you can basis, available here, and well worth checking out. After all, who among us cannot say, "I read a Harry Potter fan fiction once?" Get with the culture --- meta-publishing is for everyone.



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