Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

Chris Ware
This first book from Chicago author Chris Ware is a pleasantly-decorated view at a lonely and emotionally-impaired "everyman" (Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth), who is provided, at age 36, the opportunity to meet his father for the first time. An improvisatory romance which gingerly deports itself between 1890's Chicago and 1980's small town Michigan, the reader is helped along by thousands of colored illustrations and diagrams, which, when read rapidly in sequence, provide a convincing illusion of life and movement. The bulk of the work is supported by fold-out instructions, an index, paper cut-outs, and a brief apology, all of which concrete to form a rich portrait of a man stunted by a paralyzing fear of being disliked.From the Hardcover edition.


It became progressively more difficult to bring myself to read Jimmy Corrigan, as picking it up always brought about a feeling of numbess. I don't think I enjoyed myself at any point during this lengthy brick of a book which explores the failings of multiple generations of Corrigan men.Instead I alternately basked in the genius and ambition of the art and drafting, and stewed in frustration with every bumbling word out of Jimmy's stupid wordhole. I didn't like this book, but it demands (and deserves) respect.
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