The Curse of Grim Leaper
Grim Leaper #4 came out a few weeks ago and it became immediately noticeable that the finale to the series left a lot of people disappointed. A lot of review sites and even readers, expressed their negative reaction to the series never explaining the curse in any sort of detail.
I can definitely understand the frustration if that was the expectation from the beginning. I suppose in some ways it was set up for the big reveal, and there was one but probably not in a way that people assumed it would happen.
Grim Leaper is a love story. It’s about the journey all of us go through when we experience life altering change and have to start over again from the beginning. It’s a road of redemption or doom, and, working with similar themes in Green Wake, we are ultimately responsible for our own progress to healthier, happier lives.
The curse was a very real aspect to the story, but it served as a metaphor for continual failure and education about who we really are. If we can learn from those mistakes, it allows us insight into pieces of ourselves we’d never seen before. Of course, how we deal with that information, that’s the real kicker. Do we accept it? Refuse to admit its truth? Carry it with us and let it fester or uproot it to become whole again, or at least, a better version of who we are?
In a lot of ways Grim Leaper was a silly little gore horror fest, but Lou’s journey mirrored mine in a lot ways. Coming off a long term relationship I had very little clue who I really was. I also immensely struggled with my self esteem and found myself becoming how others saw me. For a period of time, I was only a mirror version of myself, an image projected and not the true person I was still learning about. That kind of thinking can lead to repeating choices that got you into a bad situation to begin with because you aren’t the genuine self, but an adapting shade who becomes whatever is required to please and impress.
Those experiences directly carried over to Lou’s body transformations. He was still the same, rotten person inside who viewed the world with a sort of cynical apathy, but his new flesh allowed him to become even more shallow as there was never any consequence to his choices. Not in the short term, at any rate.
When you can accept yourself for who you are, when you finally put the pieces together about what makes you unique, despite all your shortcomings, it’s at that moment when you can really connect with another soul.
And that is what Grim Leaper was to me. It was never about the curse, but the journey Lou had to take in order to be with Ella. She, too, had a path of discovery to take and in the end, they could make the connection because the time was right. I don’t necessarily believe in fate, but I believe in the timing of everything. Perfect moments between two people. That is how life falls into place and we have incredible and terrifying experiences that make us who we are.
Lou said it best in issue #4.
“Can I be who I am now with this old face to remind me of all my fuck ups?”