Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Smartest Kid on Earth

The lovely Julia recently lent me Jimmy Corrigan : the smartest kid on earth by Chris Ware (2003). I'd always wanted to get into Chris Ware's work, but since I didn't own any and since his art is a little too detailed to really absorb while standing in a bookstore, I never really had. Now I want my own copy of this book so I can look at it again and again.

This is a rough and quiet story of multi-generational awkwardness, regret and abandonment. The drawings seem simple at first glance, but the detail and the movement through the panes is engrossing and complex. This is one of the only graphic novels I've read that really seems like a novel. It made me melancholy for days after reading it, and I think I'll keep flipping through it and re-reading certain sections until I have to give it back.

3 comments:

casual ninja said...

chris ware is one of my favorites. amazingly thoughtful artwork, shifting and overlapping styles and storylines, beautiful use of the page and panel, the quirky structure of the books themselves, heartbreaking storytelling. i saw one of his storyboards at the sheldon years ago and it was so satifying to see these panels large and hand-rendered (a bit of nebraska trivia: he was born in omaha.)

joel said...

have you seen the animated thing he did for this american life?
it's kind of cool to see his stuff in motion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbVeN13wGFc

Spacebeer said...

I did see that animated this american life thing and I agree that it is pretty awesome. I wonder how he feels about it -- making your still work move would be pretty strange, I would imagine.