Top positive review
If this is your first exposure to Clowes...
on June 28, 2003
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.)