Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham, a love story

RAW: A Hannibal/Will Fanthology is a fan anthology tribute to the romantic relationship between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham from the award-winning television series Hannibal. It collects over 200 pages of fiction, art, and comics by 50 different creators, each of whom produced a new piece just for the book!

Can't add much else to that description of this amusing Kickstarter project. We are in the Golden Age of fan fic.

I'm not sure what the right word is for how I felt about Hannibal the TV show. “Enjoyed” isn't quite right because the show did seem overly preoccupied with its aesthetic sensibility to an almost absurd degree. By season three I started to roll my eyes with every slow motion shot of blood blooming like crimson cauliflower in water. The show threatened to turn every viewer's flatscreen television into an expensive lamp.

And yet the choice was understandable. The aesthetic obsessions of the show mirrored those of its ur-protagonist Hannibal Lecter in a way that helped us understand his attraction to death and transfiguration (by way of dismemberment and sometimes disembowelment). Our occasional disgust reassured us that we were human, granting us a hall pass to feel the allure of empathizing with an Epicurean serial killer.

“Fascinated” is the more accurate description of my feelings for the show. As the show was largely about Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham's deep fascination with each other, that feels appropriate. I mourn its relegation to TV limbo land, from which a few rumors of resurrection from OTT services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon have come and gone.

Still, the idea of Hannibal Lecter endures, an updated version of vampires and other eternal monsters who represent those who refuse to let the strictures of society get in the way of their personal pleasure.