Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ghost World: Special Edition by Daniel Clowes (2008)

This next read is another fabulous selection from the St. Denis lending library: Ghost World: Special Edition by Daniel Clowes (2008).

Like many people, I had read the original collection of Ghost World comics right around the same time Terry Zwigoff's movie came out, in 2001, and really enjoyed them. This ultra deluxe edition brings together the original comics, the screen play from the movie, annotations and essays by Clowes and Zwigoff, and lots of extra material.

Reading the comics and then immediately reading the screenplay really highlights the differences between the two stories. I don't read many screenplays, so it was fun to throw my brain into that exercise and draw connections between my memories of the movie and the experience of reading the comics all in one go. I find movie Edith a lot more sympathetic, and the ending a little softer, but I'm not sure which way I like better. Both works (the comics and the movie) are pretty great, and this is an example of the rare occurrence of both a movie and book being great, but in different ways.

I'm not sure how Clowes gets the weirdness of being a teenage girl quite right (except that maybe the weirdness of being a teenage boy isn't all that different), but he really really does. Let's all use this review as an excuse to revisit one of my favorite Aimee Mann songs, "Ghost World" (which gets in my head every time I pick up this book), and really just dig into that lonely teenage melancholy:

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