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Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth Hardcover – September 12, 2000
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“Jimmy Corrigan pushes the form of comics into unexpected formal and emotional territory.” —Chicago Tribune
“Graphically inventive, wonderfully realized . . . [Jimmy Corrigan] is wonderfully illustrated in full color, and Ware’s spare, iconic drawing style can render vivid architectural complexity or movingly capture the stark despondency of an unloved child.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Ware’s use of words is sparing, and at times maudlin. But the real joy is his art. It's stunning. In terms of attention to detail, graceful use of color, and overall design—Ware has no peer. And while each panel is relentlessly polished—never an errant line or lazily rendered image—his drawings, somehow, remain delicate and achingly lyrical.” —Dave Eggers, The New York Times Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
I came across this book after a brief EW mention of it, rating it very high. Intrigued, I purchased a copy, and attempted to delve into its layers. Instead of intrigue, I found frustration, mainly because I simply didn't know how to look at the book. I didn't know where my eyes were supposed to go, so many of the early pages were difficult to read. Plus, the characters constant and sudden lapses into their daydreams made for early confusion.
So, I returned it, happy of my decision. And then, I attended a live version of "This American Life" that prominently featured the work of Ware. His artwork captivated me, enough to rebuy the book and try again. What I found was an entralling, captivating tale, multi-layered, and worth all the work to learn the language of his drawings.
It's the story of Jimmy Corrigan, an everyman without much of a life at all, who is contacted by his long lost father for a Thanksgiving reunion. Jimmy agrees to attend, which leads him on a retrospective journey of his life and his family. The story is both moving and rich, full of layers upon layers. Once you learn Ware's language, and what he tries to communicate, the story begins to shine like a lighthouse beacon through the pages. I was surprised to find myself crying at certain parts of the book; my brain was telling me this is simply a comic story, but my heart was breaking along with the characters. That alone is impressive.
Ware's drawings are incredible.Read more ›
This work realizes the dream of Scott McCloud's literary graphic novel in a way that has no precedent that I have found. It is both accessible and intellectual. Its the story of an emotionally destitute and pitiful character named Jimmy Corrigan (actually a couple of them, if you want to get technical) and his search for a meaningful relationship with his/thier father(s). To tell any more than that (even that is too much) will destroy the story for you. Its a story that unwinds over the course of its reading, yet is present from the very first page.
Things to think about as your read: The lack of female faces actually shown in any given frame, the significance of misshapen and flawed objects, changes in text, the irony of the title, and the pervasive exploration of the father-son relationship as is stands in the late 20th-early 21st century. Notice, also, how these presentations could not have been made as effective in traditional all-text presentation.
Even more interesting is the presentation of the character(s) of Jimmy Corrigan. In Scott McCloud's first book, he talks about the popularity of cartooning, and how we relate to cartoon characters because their features are so simple. To put it another way, the more details a character has, the less it is us and the more it is someone else.Read more ›
The story opens depicting the title character, Jimmy Corrigan, as a young child living with his mother and already showing signs of an unhealthily introverted personality. His father is noticeably absent from the picture. A one-night-stand his mother brings home becomes a pivotal figure in the development of Corrigan's inner psyche. Moving forward to the present, Corrigan-now a middle-aged man living out a miserable existence still indelibly attached to his mother-is abruptly contacted one day by a man claiming to be his long-lost father.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was greatly looking forward to this book, as I have the Acme Novelty Library Vol. 1 comic of Jimmy Corrigan, and didn't know that stories of him were captured in a book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Shlomo Sinatra
Probably the best book I have ever read. Funny, heartfelt and original.Published 4 months ago by I. Mcalister
To be honest, about a fourth of the way in I wasn't sure that I wanted to continue reading, it was hard to latch on but i'm glad I did! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Chris
Absolutely brilliant. A work of genius. And profoundly depressing, especially if you have any life experiences that parallel those of Jimmy.Published 9 months ago by Kihm Winship