5.0 out of 5 stars Searching for something
David Boring is searching for something. His father, that perfect girl, meaning. His meaningless sexual encounters, his collection of things (scrapbook, comic book), his life as a movie, his friends, his fear of his mother all culminating in a story that is anything but boring. David's life is like one of his old movies, which we are taken through from start to finish. As...
Published on Dec 18 2002 by Jim Richards
3.0 out of 5 stars SPOILERS: Well written, but supremely depressing
The story of "David Boring" is really great. It takes its characters through a roller-coaster ride of surprising plot twists, with all kinds of wonderful literary junk in there. But -- even though lots of stuff happens to the characters, I don't feel like they really grow or change by the time the book ends. All of David's quests come for naught. The ending...
Published on Oct. 27 2000 by Yakov Hadash
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4.0 out of 5 stars If this is your first exposure to Clowes...,
read Ghost World first, because it holds together a lot better than David Boring, even though this is a much more ambitious book.
This was actually the first Clowes that I read, and it was the first third of the book, about him courting and then losing Wanda, that had me absolutely hooked. I was completely with him during the second third, too, but I started losing it after he kept getting involved with woman after woman, indicating that the love story with Wanda - which had my complete attention and sympathy - was just part of a desire on his part to seek out women with big rears. It made some sort of thematic sense, but Clowes gave Wanda too much character to be just another pair of cheeks and, after she departs, the book seems to move hastily through a whole series of intricately conceived but largely arbitrary adventures, with little human interest.
I think if Clowes had committed more time and energy - maybe another forty or fifty pages - to the end of the book, it wouldn't seem like it was rushing towards an ending that sort of came out of nowhere. And although it lacks the emotional impact of Ghost World, the book still left me with an incredible feeling of loss, even as it seemed to be somewhat redemptive.
(The artwork here, incidentally, is probably his best ever, with every frame showing the marks of care and thought.)
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching for something,
David Boring is searching for something. His father, that perfect girl, meaning. His meaningless sexual encounters, his collection of things (scrapbook, comic book), his life as a movie, his friends, his fear of his mother all culminating in a story that is anything but boring. David's life is like one of his old movies, which we are taken through from start to finish. As the world slowly revolves without his noticing, much to annoyance of some of his friends, he can't seem to find what it is he wants.
This comic written as a whole story, rather than the vingettes of Ghost World provide a detailed narative that is quite satisfying. Every character is detailed, to the point of having a list of credits at the end (Daniel Clowes makes a cameo, but where I don't know.) The three acts give a clear path through which to solve the enigma of what David is searching for. I won't tell you if he finds an answer at the end, you'll have to read it for yourself.
Daniel shows us another excellent window into the lives of teenagers and young adults in the post-modern meaningless world that we all inhabit. Although some of the panels may shock you in their graphic nature, it is a real world, a real place that we live in and not a fake, cliche/angst ridden hell hole that some may have us believe.
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical Take of Apocalyptic Times,
The whole story is set against the year of 1999, leading to its end. The threat of a terrorist act and killings underscore the human follies of this funny, but sad story. The cataclysmic apocalypse of the world takes a secondary importance to being left over by love, in loneliness. A very lyrical and interesting juxtaposition.
Daniel Clowes has a tremendous gift as a storyteller, and in this comic book, he conscientiously chooses the 3-act screenplay form, both using it as a legitimate vehicle for his story and also as a deconstructive techinique. His characters are wonderfully three-dimensional, and the way they go in and out of love is always shown through a sympathetic, but detached view. The mistakes the characters make, the yearnings and losses... approximate the real human experience. The ending is a hopeful one - even as the end-time seems to be near, another possibility of love keeps David Boring afloat. Although Chris Ware seems to have caught the public and critical acclaim, when it comes to telling stories of modern alienation, there is no graphic artist to best Daniel Clowes. Not yet. Impressive.
5.0 out of 5 stars sublime, provocative, intelligent,
"Ghost World" is widely responsible for the recent gush of indy fanboys and girls who wouldn't otherwise be reading comics flocking towards Daniel Clowes' books, but 'David Boring' is one of, if not the most well-structured, cerebral and calculating collection in the Clowes oeuvre. I won't give a plot description because I think that the book's title and Clowes' overall style is telling enough, but I will say that the themes this book covers are expansive, as well as provocative and eloquently discussed. The story is charming in what seems ostensibly to be a meandering, misanthropic narrative about ennui and apathy, but manages to discuss so much more about the difference that mediums like film and comic books have on culture, as well the internal structure of their own realities. The book has such a curious pace that the ending seems like it can't possibly be satisfactory, and yet Clowes concludes this book in the most sublime and beautiful fashion, and in a way that I realized was a perfect and fitting ending for the story. David Boring's self-concious narrative quirks were performed so often and were overt enough to almost irritate me, but I feel in the end that Clowes allowed the story's self-concious tendencies to be tactful and done in a way that is pertinent to the subject matter. Also, if you are someone who does not normally purchase a hardcover book but often flirts with the idea, I would reccomend going with those desires on this occasion. The book feels so literary and authentic that it almost feels better to own a more prestigous print of it. Wonderfully detailed illustrations as well. If there were any doubts that Clowes is producing books that should remain a part of our literary canon for years to come, this book does away with them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Boring,
Falling halfway between the surrealism of "Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron" and the realism of "Ghostworld", David Boring is a story about a young man who, on the one hand, has an inability to adapt to change because of his obsessiveness, but who nevertheless remains stable no matter what is thrown at him because of his very faults (although that means remaining constantly dissatisfied with life). I don't believe that David Boring (whose name I assume is a nod to the great Superman artist of the 1950s Wayne Boring) is meant to be as interesting as the events around him, but is meant to illustrate a person stuck in a rut no matter what goes on around him. Instead of moving on to a new girlfriend, for example, he continues to obsess about the one who has just dumped him, and instead of living his own life, he obsesses about his father through his old Yellow Streak comics. What makes this story depressing is that many of us can see a little of ourselves in David Boring. But underneath it all, David Boring is, at least, a survivor. It is this sort of imposed self-examination that makes this an important and effecting work of literature and the accompanying artwork by Clowes is simple but moody and emotional.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...,
By A Customer
This is my first exposure to Clowes' work, and gladly, I was not disappointed.
The world of David Boring is actually the world of the author's mind--it's totally unrealistic. Contrived situations, miracles and unbelievable plot twists seem to enforce the "surrealist" nature of the book. This is all quite self-referential, and one gets the feeling that the presense of Clowes is very evident in the story; he is, in fact, the "God" in Boring's world. And while the book is thrilling and suspenseful and thrusts forward at a breakneck pace, it has a very loopy storytelling sense, and these are all examples of the kind of stuff that goes on in demented mind of Daniel Clowes.
One reader mentioned that the characters don't grow. This is true, but that's not the point. David is essentially a boring (no pun intended) character who is made readable because of a sardonic sense of humour. He is not the star of the book, but Clowes (playing God) tries his best to make him one. So you get all these wondeful loopy subplots going around him and David's just there to react to it. In a sense, it's just Clowes having fun. In another sense, one could say that Clowes is showing us how to make a story with a dull character interesting. It also shows us that you can't make a boring character change into an interesting one, no matter what you do. But you can certainly do great things with his world, and that's why this book is good.
3.0 out of 5 stars SPOILERS: Well written, but supremely depressing,
The story of "David Boring" is really great. It takes its characters through a roller-coaster ride of surprising plot twists, with all kinds of wonderful literary junk in there. But -- even though lots of stuff happens to the characters, I don't feel like they really grow or change by the time the book ends. All of David's quests come for naught. The ending doesn't feel like the ending of a novel; it feels more like the ending of a short story.
And maybe this book wouldn't depress me so much if Dan Clowes had the ability or desire to draw anyone honestly smiling or -- heavens! -- laughing. Based on this book and "Sleeping Beauty" in LITTLE LIT, it becomes clear to me that Clowes himself is a very depressed person. This comes through in his art....
But, overall, DAVID BORING is a well-constructed graphic novel that gives a glimpse into the full-scale renaissance of comics literature that could be just around the corner. (As it says on the second page of JIMMY CORRIGAN, "It is expected that the earliest examples of such literature will appear in target economic regions later in the year, with a general release in the fall.")...
5.0 out of 5 stars The Thrilling world of Boring,
Daniel Clowes has outdone himself in this volume,collecting and improving upon the three part story David Boring.This is a challenging saga of a young man's attempt to organize his reality into a sort of personal movie,with himself as the protagonist.He deals obsessively with love and lust,and other human relationships with confusion.The focus on David and his love life is framed with a description of a violent and unpredictable world,complete with murder,intrigue,and war.The meticulous drawings merit close scrutiny for the detail they contain.This is a comic that tells as much without words as it does with them.The improvements in this book (it was previously serialized in pamphlet form) include the addition of color in certain panels,and overall an excellently designed package,including dust cover,spine,endpapers,and chapter headings.This is a book that will stand up to the many readings you're sure to want to give it.If you have any doubts as to the richness and depth available in the comics medium,this book with put them to rest.
4.0 out of 5 stars Like A Bullet in the Head......,
His last name may be Boring, but his story sure isn't.....When his "Friend" is mysteriously murdered (The wound that killed him apparently looks like a giant thumb-print in his forehead), David's life takes a turn towards the surreal: His dream girl mysteriously disappears, he is shot in the head for (Seemingly...) no reason, and when he is taken to a deserted island to recuperate, World War III seems to break out, complete with germ-warfare.
Writer/Illustrator Dan Clowes continues to deliver books that are impossible to encapsulate, yet impossible to put down. I literally had no idea where the story (And characters) would end up, but I couldn't wait to see them arrive. Murder, infidelity, terrorism....It's all a part of the mix, and Clowes does a wonderful job of making all of the pieces fit. If Clowes is capable of producing work that ISN'T groundbreaking, it'd be news to me. Highly recommended!
5.0 out of 5 stars a david lynchian world,
this is a tour de force in the way that eraserhead or blue velvet is--a romp on the wild surreal side, though grounded in hyperrealism of sad sack lives, prurience, lust, obsession, crime, madness, war--you know the good things in life that keep the NRA in business and scared folks at home behind gated windows and locked doors. the focus of this bizarre yet well-told tale is a sex-obsessed slacker in some make-believe dystopia who has a lesbian roommate, the hots for a stranger, and a tortured relationship with his mother. so many themes swirl about here, and adding to the confusion are the jumpcuts in time and narrative panels. the most touching and heart-felt panels are those involving a comic book--yellow streak-- that his long-gone father had drawn. a great gift for all david lynch fans and those who endured the film "pi"; the drawing and graphic appeal here are top-drawer.
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David Boring by Daniel Clowes (Paperback - Sept. 24 2002)
CDN$ 25.95 CDN$ 16.26