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on January 12, 2010
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2010
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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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 father he had never met, a black child brought up in a white family who ends up with a white sibling, Chicago as a set for major scenes.

The outcome is however completely different in that Jimmy Corrigan, certainly NOT the smartest kid on earth, is incapable all the way to the end of the book of any accomplishment whatsoever, neither personal nor professional. Overall, this makes for a very sad work, enlightened only with the author's occasional rye humour.

The graphics are pared down, except for buildings which are very realistically detailed. In particular, the images of the 1893 Chicago World Fair are breathtaking. This is a bonus for anyone interested in that city's architecture or urban design.

This however is not enough for me to recommend giving this book high priority on any reading list.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2008
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 and enjoyed such delights such as Neil Gaiman's Sandman, Watchmen, Maus and even Strangers in Paradise. All of these books had substance while this book has none at all.

This book is meant as a self-indulgent romp, made to show non-comic readers the possibilities of the medium by throwing every visual storytelling trick into one book. Even the cover shows traces of this by including a number of each book printed and a little comic strip making fun of the general public who regard comic books as reading material for retards.

The biggest problem with this book is that there is nothing to like about the main character, Jimmy Corrigan. It is a depressing book about a depressing man who reunites with his estranged father and befriends a coworker at the very end. Jimmy manages to make his pathetic life bearable by escaping into his imagination (which is true of most people) but makes the book annoying to read given that the lines of reality and imagination are constantly blurred.

The artwork isn't bad, but it isn't great either. Most of it is bland, boring and utterly forgettable. The panels aren't always easy to follow either due to the fact that Ware crams so many of them into one page, requiring little arrows to figure out which one goes next.

I will also say another thing, which is this: this story works ONLY because it is a graphic novel. Had this been done in prose this book and its storyline would have been forgotten. There is nothing special about it. In fact, it seems that the formula for a "great" graphic novel these days is to take a decent well-written story, turn it into a comic, and there you have it.

So, my verdict, is to avoid this book. It is simply not worth the paper it is printed on.
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on October 6, 2004
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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on May 9, 2004
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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on April 29, 2004
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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on March 12, 2004
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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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2004
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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 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. The panels are inventive beyond belief. Pictures in word baloons, arrows pointing to other pictures all so deatailed that a single page can tell the lives of three generations (if you've read it I am referring to the layout where the history of his adopted sister is presented), quite explicitly as well. Some of the techniques used in here definitely bring comics closer to high art but Ware can't tell a very good story.

The first thing to really anger me was the "please accept me as an artist" speech on the back of the book where he wines about finding his book in the comic section with super hero books and roleplaying games. The guy draws and writes for living, has critical success, and still I have to listen to him wine when I work a horrible day job. No, that was unneccessary. Secondly, he can't tell a consistent story. The characters are very quiet (good thing because the dialogue bites), they just sit around looking at each other, waiting for you to apply meaning that just isn't there.
If you are interested I would say that Daniel Clowes "ghost world", or "david boring" is probably a better time, at least it's funnier anyway.

Overall I still think it is worth a read ( or a library rental if possible ), but not as great as people claim. But, just to end on a positive note. The panel layouts are worth three stars alone.
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