I'm kind of just posting for the sake of my new Xavier icon. 1602 was disappointing storywise (I finally bought the hardcover version a few weeks ago and read it all for the first time), but the art made up for it so much. I showed it to my artist mother, who hates comics, and even she loved the look of it.
The story was a shame because the situation held so much promise. I often find when I'm reading something that I prefer the beginning to the end, the mystery to the resolution. Almost all endings disappoint me in some way, if only because it means there's now an answer to the questions the story first posed. Alias Grace was like that, because in some ways the ending is perfect: it seems to come out of nowhere but is actually perfectly in keeping with the themes and background of the whole novel. But I didn't want Grace to get out of the Warden's living-room, for her sessions with Dr. Jordan to end. I wanted the story to stay stuck in the beginning, just after the first complication is introduced.
Even Hamlet, my favourite play, has that sort of disappointing ending. Nobody likes the last scene. Nobody likes the last act -- I think the audience is happiest during the scenes after the Ghost reveals the truth but before Hamlet takes off for England. You couldn't make a whole story out of that, but it's the most enjoyable part of the play, the part that people really think of when they think of Hamlet.
Sometimes I wonder if this isn't just some function of us being ordinary people: we don't lead heroic lives, so the part of stories that we most believe is the beginning, when the problems introduce themselves. We can easily imagine the monster attacking the redshirts in the beginning, shrouded in mystery, but Beowulf actually going out to face Grendel is a bit harder to swallow.
Anyway, as I'm writing and making decisions towards the end, I find it comforting to think that even Shakespeare had to write the duel scene, and even he couldn't quite make it satisfying, but it doesn't ruin anything. The audience just stays in the first few acts, with Hamlet feigning madness and Ophelia still alive.