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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take it all in
I'll start off by saying that I read about 40 pages of this book before getting slightly confused and even bored at times. I have read many graphic novels, but this style in particular was just not something that I was used to. I think many people would be in the same boat.

To quote another reviewer, the story is very "unilaterally single-minded - about the...
Published on Jan. 6 2010 by thirteen

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Truth In Advertising
In the lower right-hand corner of the cover, Chris Ware calls this book "A bold experiment in reader tolerance", and he ain't kidding.....This was one of the most hard-to-follow, dragged-out affairs I've ever read.
The book follows three generations of men (All named Jimmy Corrigan)...They're Father, Son, and Grandson, but Ware draws them all exactly the...
Published on June 24 2002 by Daniel V. Reilly


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take it all in, Jan. 6 2010
This review is from: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Hardcover)
I'll start off by saying that I read about 40 pages of this book before getting slightly confused and even bored at times. I have read many graphic novels, but this style in particular was just not something that I was used to. I think many people would be in the same boat.

To quote another reviewer, the story is very "unilaterally single-minded - about the pathology and sadness of being a Corrigan." So that tends to get tiring sometimes when you're reading the book and you may want more depth about a different character in the story.

After visiting this site and reading other reviews, I decided that this story wasn't something I should miss. So I gave it another go and continued where I had left off. What I discovered is that each panel should be taken in slowly. Most are profound in their message, whether you are making it up in your head or not. even if you read it quickly the first time, go back and really look at some of those images over again. I'm not even sure I would read this over again for a while, since the sadness seems to seep into every part of the book and reader, but I imagine it's just as thoughtful the second time around. The characters are tragic, yet fascinating. I can't say it's the most uplifting or revolutionary story ever, but it's definitely worth sticking with.

Whether or not one enjoys the story, it's nearly indisputable that the illustrations are some of the best from a novel of this nature. The information graphics are beautifully drawn and laid out. They can be very complex, so re-reading and re-visualizing them helps. I would recommend this book solely for that even if the story wasn't great as well (luckily for us, it is).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The smartest kid, Nov. 26 2002
This review is from: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Hardcover)
In the first few pages of JIMMY CORRIGAN, the reader is introduced to the Super-Man, dressed in a red and yellow suit and wearing a cheap costume mask. He tells bad jokes and ends up seducing Jimmy's mother. The stage is set for a comic without heroes (or with only pathetic ones), confused children with lonely parents, and a humor that fails to conceal the underlying sadness.
There's a strange two dimensionality to the images, which makes it more illustration than drawing. Buildings tend to be drawn in elevation, interiors are in orthographic views, and simple shapes predominate. The effect is an abstraction of the environment that crosses temporal bounds, enters fantasies and nightmares, and recollects cruel memories.
Like Spiegelman and Clowes, Chris Ware takes his comic into areas that are usually considered to be the territory of literature, but it would require immense effort to imagine JIMMY CORRIGAN in novel form. The content and the form are inseparable. The story may be a downer, but ultimately it isn't depressing because it is well-told, well-illustrated, and somewhere within it is an awful truth about misogyny, race, childhood trauma, and isolation that we'd just rather not face.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, Jan. 12 2010
By 
S. Lavigne (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Jimmy Corrigan is an awkward and drab character in his mid-thirties, who's social circle is limited to his mother. His life changes when he receive an invitation from his father - who he has never met - to join him for Thanksgiving. The novel uses numerous flashback scenes, mostly related to the childhood of Jimmy's paternal grandfather.

The recurrent theme of this graphic novel is flawed fatherhood. The author portrays it with his linear yet complex drawing style, which is very efficient. I could really feel Jimmy's sadness and weirdness. I highly recommend it; this is the kind of book you will never forget.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wowie Zowie, Oct. 7 2004
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This review is from: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Hardcover)
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. I did, but also, i found my new favourite book! There is somthing so beautifully simple about this while at the same time not a boring plot at all. I suggest this book to anyone and everyone who can read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the loneliest man on earth, May 10 2004
By 
"motivationboy" (Detroit what, MI) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Hardcover)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Achievement, April 29 2004
By 
C M Magee (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Years from now, people won't remember that the graphic novel was once a marginal format, consigned to hobby shops and newsstands. Literary historians, however, will point to Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan as the book that brought graphic novels out of the dark and into the cultural spotlight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, lifting, and magnificent, March 12 2004
By 
Naive Pegasus "bobawedge" (Oak Park, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Hardcover)
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 the meek Jimmy Corrigan, as well as the 1893 story arc following his equally downtrodden grandfather of the same name. The dream tangents are vivid and beautiful, and only occasionally introduced before hand ("I allowed myself to luxoriate in one of my favorite semi-conscious conceits"). Do yourselves a favor and READ THIS NOVEL RIGHT NOW!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly beautiful, Jan. 16 2004
This review is from: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Hardcover)
Chris Ware deserves a lot of admiration for writing and illustrating this graphic novel. It took him years to finish this 400-page tale of an unhappy, withdrawn man. The story wanders a bit, forcing you to really pay attention. (Honestly, you'll like it better the second time.) At first, his artwork seems to contradict the mood of the story --- everything is drawn with the color and lines of logos, street signs, and architectural diagrams. Everything is rendered in flat pastels. But as you continue, the panels start to look empty, with a false cheer to it. It's a style that underscores the plot.
Chris Ware could have spent years writing a big graphic novel about superheroes, wizards, or vampires --- you know, something easy. But he didn't. Instead, he stuck his neck out and created this, one of the best graphic novels ever written, but also one that challenges the reader. Chris Ware makes it clear what a real graphic novel is. It's an expert use of the comic book medium that deserves a much larger audience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Melancholy Tale of Jimmy Corrigan, Nov. 8 2003
By 
"masonic5000" (Las Vegas, NV United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Hardcover)
Wow, Chris Ware did a great job with this book. Let me start out by stating how deceptively simple the art is. At first, you start out thinking this'll be a cute and fun read, but as you read further into it, things get much darker and more depressing.
The story revolves around 37 year-old James Corrigan who we find out is a lonely, emotionally-impaired, human castaway. All the sudden his father, whom he's never met, decides he wants to spend time with Jimmy. Throughout the entire book, we go through not so seamless transitions into his fantasies and daydreams. At times, it can get confusing as to where they begin or end, but that's the whole point sometimes. We also go through other generations of Jimmy's family to take a look at their tribulations.
The story can get really depressing at times. Throughout the book, you're hoping for something good to happen to the protaginist. But just because of the overall depressing elements in the book doesn't mean there isn't any humor in it. There are some funny moments, but they tend to be subtle.
If you're into graphic novels, or even if you're not, I urge anyone who's in for a decent story to read this. Just don't expect the feel-good story of the year.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Ware, Smartest Graphic Novelist on Earth, July 30 2003
This review is from: Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Hardcover)
Ware's masterpiece. (So far, at least.) The story follows three generations in the hapless Corrigan family of Chicago. Hilarious, heartbreaking, beatifully-drawn, it's serious art and compelling fiction at the same time. With Art Spiegelman's MAUS, Chris Ware's book seems to me the one that lets graphic novelist's out of the garage and into the art house. He reinvents the genre or cartoon-writing and opens our eyes to the possibilities of the drawn papge.
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Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware (Hardcover - Sept. 12 2000)
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