Sunday, August 09, 2015

Mister Wonderful: A Love Story by Daniel Clowes (2011)

Mister Wonderful: A Love Story by Daniel Clowes (2011) was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine and then reworked for publication in 2011. It tells the story of our isolated and neurotic leads, Marshall and Natalie, who are set up on a blind date by mutual friends. Both of them are coming out of rough break ups of long term relationships, the back story of which is revealed through the course of the book. Marshall is our narrator and his frequent interior monologues bump on top of Natalie's dialogue in a perfect Peep Show-esque neurotic dude manner. His anger and Natalie's odd fragility set the stage for some awkward and sometimes humorous (in a very dark way) action that leads to a rather satisfying conclusion.

If you like Clowes (and what asshole doesn't?) this will not disappoint. The characterization and drawing are excellent, and he really takes advantage of the unusual horizontal shape of the page. As is often the case with Clowes, the characters are a perfect combination of the uncomfortably familiar (I'm just like that!) and the weirdly exotic (no one is really like that!) that leaves you feeling both squirmy and relieved. And, as is often the case with Clowes, I loved every frame.

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