Saturday, February 16, 2008

Jimmy Corrigan : The Smartest Kid on Earth - by Chris Ware

Took this out from the library yesterday on a whim, and finished it this morning. I have to say, this is one big work (and I'm not just talking about page numbers here - although the book could be used as a booster seat for a small person - not that I'm suggesting that.

Ware does different things with frames. Some go this way, some that. Some have LOTS of text (which is really, really small), and some fill the page with image.

The story was tough for me to follow until I was halfway in. In fact, I still am not sure who Jimmy is - so many characters are named Jimmy. The time track is also confusing, jumping in between memories of different characters, etc.

Picture every embarrassing, awkward moment you've had, and roll that into a daily existence. That's the main character(s). The book is overwhelmingly despondent and bleak, but seems to end with the promise of hope and good things tomorrow (it ends on Thanksgiving night with two of these "outcasts" meeting each other).

I don't feel the worse for reading it, but I do feel like I missed a lot due to the scope of Ware's mind. Oh, you must read the inner flap - the history of comics is priceless.

Finished: 2/16/08
Pages: 380
Running page count: 3,179