Ware's graphically inventive, wonderfully realized novel-in-comics follows the sad fortunes of four generations of phlegmatic, defeated men while touching on themes of abandonment, social isolation and despair within the sweeping depiction of Chicago's urban transformation over the course of a century. Ware uses Chicago's World's Colombian Exposition of 1893, the great world's fair that signaled America's march into 20th-century modernity, as a symbolic anchor to the city's development and to the narrative arc of a melancholic family as haplessly connected as are Chicago's random sprawl of streets and neighborhoods. In 1893, nine-year-old Jimmy Corrigan is abandoned atop a magnificent fair building by his sullen, brutish father ("I just stood there, watching the sky and the people below, waiting for him to return. Of course he never did"). Nearly a century later, another Jimmy CorriganDthe absurdly ineffectual, friendless grandson of that abandoned childDreceives a letter from his own long-absent, feckless father, blithely and inexplicably requesting him to come and visit. Ware's surprisingly touching story recounts their strange and pathetically funny reunion, invoking the emotional legacy of the great-grandfather's original act of desertion while presenting a succession of Corrigan men far more comfortable fantasizing about life than living it. The book is wonderfully illustrated in full color, and Ware's spare, iconic drawing style can render vivid architectural complexity or movingly capture the stark despondency of an unloved child. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Ware's hero is a doughy, middle-aged loser who retreats into fantasies that he is "The Smartest Kid on Earth." The minimal plot involves Jimmy's tragicomic reunion with the father who abandoned him in childhood. In abruptly juxtaposed flashbacks, Ware depicts previous generations of Corrigan males, revealing how their similar histories of rejection and abandonment culminated in Jimmy's hapless state. What makes the slight story remarkable is Ware's command of the comics medium. His crisp, painstaking draftsmanship, which sets cartoonish figures in meticulously detailed architectural settings, is matched by his formal brilliance. Ware effectively uses tiny, repetitive panels to convey Jimmy's limited existence, then suddenly bursts a page open with expansive, breathtaking vistas. His complex, postmodern approach incorporates such antiquated influences as Windsor McCay's pioneering Little Nemo strips and turn-of-the-century advertising, transforming them into something new, evocative, and affecting. His daunting skill transforms a simple tale into a pocket epic and makes Jimmy's melancholy story the stuff of cartoon tragedy. Gordon Flagg
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Jimmy Corrigan is an awkward and drab character in his mid-thirties, who's social circle is limited to his mother. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2010 by S. Lavigne
Very strangely, there are similarities between this book's storyline and Barak Obama's «Dreams of my Father»: a short, not particularly fruitful meeting between a son and the... Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2009 by Pierre Gauthier
This has to be just about the worst book I have ever read -- and it takes a lot for me to say that.
I am certainly no stranger to the world of graphic novels, having... Read more
I had seen a bit of Chris Ware's Artwork in newyork and was impressed with his graphic skills. I decided to pick up this book, just to see some more of his drawings. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2004 by Christopher Magowan
quite simply put: buy this book. This is one of the most beautiful and heart breaking books i have ever read. This book will change your life if you open up and listen.Published on May 9 2004 by "motivationboy"
Years from now, people won't remember that the graphic novel was once a marginal format, consigned to hobby shops and newsstands. Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by C M Magee
Ware does an amazing job of creating one of the most moving graphic novels I have ever read. The painstakingly detailed drawings add an unparalleled scope to this novel following... Read morePublished on March 12 2004 by Naive Pegasus
There are just no characters you can relate to here. Jimmy is a cypher. His father is a crudely-drawn caricature of a working class man.Published on March 10 2004
This is not high art. What Ware does have however (and for some, myself included, this makes it worth the 20 bucks) is a great style, visually. This book looks great. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2004 by J. Russell