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Red Scharlach
If you've bought any reading matter lately, you may have noticed that many bookshops now house a specialist section devoted to true-life tales of people who had really appalling childhoods. The sign on the shelves is usually something like "Tragic Life Stories" or "Painful Lives", but I believe the genre is known in the trade as "misery lit" or "misery memoirs".

I haven't read any of these books, nor do I intend to, so I can't comment on their content. However, the aspect that grips me with a grim fascination is their graphic design, which could be summed up as Every Single One Looks Exactly The Same. Pale-coloured cover: check. Title in a squiggly handwritten-style font: check. Pastel image of a small child looking miserable (posed by models, naturally): check. Publishers apparently terrified that potential readers will somehow fail to notice one of these books if it deviates from the standard design template by even the tiniest amount: check, check, check.

Anyway, I began to ponder what would happen if fictional characters decided to cathartically expose their traumatic upbringings in the popular press, and how such things would be marketed, and the following items (containing mild SPOILERS for the latest Star Trek movie) popped out.

Kirk and Spock need YOU to buy their memoirs...Collapse )

Suggestions for other fandom figures whose angst-ridden confessions you'd like read would be gratefully received. Heaven knows, the bookshops will need quite a few to fill up a "Fictional Real-Life Misery" shelf..