Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth

It’s a familiar story: Boy grows up without dad, dad enters boy’s life once more, boy must figure out what he thinks about it.

This time, though, the story is told by comics. Chris Ware takes nearly 400 pages to tell the story with comics. I’ll be honest, this is really an exciting example of a new way to tell a story. Pictures can say things, repeat things, that words cannot do.

I mean, how many times can you write the word ‘pathetic’ in a story? Ware seems to write it all over every page, but without the redundancy. You can use the same image, when you can’t use the same word. And this gives a weight to the story, the sadness of the little boy and the depths of his loserishness, that made it almost repellent.

Except, I wanted to flip the pages and see what the next page had.

In the same way that Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury was initially impenetrable, Jimmy Corrigan is hard to figure out.

‘what?’ i felt like asking. “what just happened here? Who’s that?” It becomes more clear as the book progresses, but not so much that all my questions are answered.

I am really thinking, now, about how different mediums communicate different ways.