Chris Ware, “Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth”

I’ve been told “Jimmy Corrigan” is the crown jewel of indie comics, and with good reason. It’s the sad tale of a sad man, and the generations of men before him, with the same name and same sad lives. That’s really simplifying it, of course. Chris Ware easily jumps between the lives of the younger Jimmy’s life and his grandfather’s very similar life. There are so many parallels and levels to this that I’m going to have to read it again just to feel like I get it.

Published: 2004 (reprint of 2000 hardback), 384 pp
Obtained via: Library
Date started: 2.18.07
Date finished: 2.21.07
What I liked: The realness of the strained conversation, lonliness and heartbreak. The incredibly intricate scenes and storylines.
What I didn’t like: The dang ending! (No spoilers, but Jimmy needs to grow a backbone.)
What I learned: In the epilogue Ware explains the origins of the story and how he drew on his own lack of a relationship with his father while creating the Jimmy Corrigan story as a comic strip in a weekly newspaper.
Unresolved question: Why is his mother’s face unobscured only once? Does Jimmy ever get it together?

One Comment

  1. Shaun

    Pretty good. It took me forever to figure out in what order i should read the, um, squares, though. I would see the unobscured faces as a good sign… I was paying attention because of your comment and almost _no_ faces are seen until later on in the book, except his dad’s. Then there’s a bunch of faces. Don’t know if that’s 100% postitive, but…

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