Monday, May 16, 2005

Jimmy Corrigan

I finally managed to finish Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware. When I say "finally" I don't want you to think that the book, graphic novel, was horrible, it wasn't. It was--interesting--in a good way. I thought by the beginning, which includes funny snippets inside the front cover, that this book was going to be a hoot. It still had the potential even after "Superman" jumped off a building and went splat on the pavement. And Jimmy's sudden penchant for daydreaming had wild possibilities for humor. But this book was not funny. It was really sad. The story is about Jimmy Corrigan a lumpish and timid 30-something who gets a letter from his Dad who left his Mom and him when Jimmy was a baby. Jimmy decides to go meet his Dad. Dad it turns out had a horrible life as a child--his mother died giving birth to him and his Dad was no real winner. Jimmy's Dad, also named Jimmy, makes a concerted effort to befriend his lumpish son who can't seem to string a sentence together. Jimmy junior is also surprised to find out he has a sister who is adopted and African-American. It's a good story, just sad. It ends on an up note though, a bit of hope that maybe Jimmy junior can rise out of his lumpish-ness and become something more than a doormat. This is my third graphic novel. And it was time well spent. The art in this book is good and interesting and there are some strange little cut out and make your own pieces where you can build a space ship or a world's fair building. As fruitful as my foray into graphic novels has been, I will be taking a break for a month or two before I try another one. They can be a little overwhelming, at least for me who is used to nothing but words on a page. I'd also like to find a funny one to read. I'm open for suggestions.