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3.7 out of 5 stars26
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on December 18, 2002
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.
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on July 2, 2002
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.
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on May 15, 2002
"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.
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on May 16, 2001
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.
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on September 12, 2000
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.
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on November 28, 2000
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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on October 10, 2000
"David Boring" is a strange work. It has its own logic, of course, but it is really the logic of a dream - the hero's strange obsession with a girl (really three girls), bizarre murders and assaults that everyone seems to take nonchalantly, mass holocaust lowering in the background.
What fascinated me the most about this book is that it seems to mirror the mood and consciousness of America behind its bright, shiny, Internet-happy façade: brooding, lonely, emotionally disconnected.
A striking and powerful work. I bought a copy of it in a bookstore I had gone into to get something else, but I'm glad it came into my hands.
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on October 18, 2000
I bought this title after reading a review in 'Time' magazine. I had read Clowes' '8-Ball' comic magazine before and found it interesting but too strange for my taste. This title was strange too, but as the review suggested, I found it so captivating and provocative that I couldn't it put down.
This is a sample of the comic medium at it's best - where the author renders a tale in such a way that couldn't be achieved in a novel or a film. Ursula Le Guin suggested that a novel is a thought experiment. This experiment is certainly a fascinating one.
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on May 18, 2003
Daniel Clowes has to be one of my favorite graphic novelists, based solely upon this book and on one of his other great works, Ghost World. Clowes has a stark, bold artistic style that catches the eyes, while the intriguing and involved stories that unfold before you keep your eyes glued to the book. Alternately intellectual, philosophical, sensual, funny, evocative, and sexy, this is definitely a must-read for any fan of graphic novels, or of Daniel Clowes.
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on December 3, 2002
I remember what it was like to be nineteen. This book captures it perfectly. David Boring is the best graphic novel I've ever read. This "pornographic epic" tells the tale of a dorky nineteen-year-old trying to get laid while the world is about to come to an end. He gets shot, then goes to a deserted island where he has sex with an older woman who then commits suicide. This book is very well written, I really enjoyed it.
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