Tag Archives: daniel clowes

Patience by Daniel Clowes

patience-by-daniel-clowes

Title: Patience
Author: Daniel Clowes
Publisher: Jonathan Cape, Random House UK
ISBN: 978-1910702451
Genre: Graphic Novels, Sci-Fi
Pages: 180
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

The deal with graphic novels written by Clowes is that there is not one single moment of rest. You cannot keep it aside and mull over what you’ve read till it is over and done with. “Patience” is one such of his graphic novels. It is sci-fi, love, twisted and redemptive in so many ways, that you cannot help but love the writing and the illustrations.

What is it about though?

Before I tell you what this book is about, let me also tell you that this book is highly trippy – the graphics are 80s and fucking (pardon my French) fantastic. I mean, this one for sure has surpassed his earlier works in terms of the visuals. Having said that, Clowes’ books do tend to drift away from the regular – be it the story or the characters’ nature. Patience is definitely no different and on the money every single time.

Clowes explores the themes of loneliness and alienation as he has in most of his other books. What makes Patience so different then? It is also psychedelic and it is a sci-fi love story – which is destructive and tender. Jack’s pregnant wife Patience is killed and this leads to his downfall. He lives in misery for decades till he discovers a way to travel back in time and stop the murder from happening. Once he does travel in the past, he learns a lot about his wife which he wasn’t aware about. How will the book end? What will be the outcome of this story? There is really only one way to find out. Read this book. It is one of those rare gems.

Advertisements

Wilson by Daniel Clowes

wilson-by-daniel-clowes Title: Wilson
Author: Daniel Clowes
Publisher: Jonathan Cape, Random House
ISBN: 978-0224090612
Genre: Graphic Novel, Comic Strip
Pages: 80
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

Wilson is a strange character. I have never encountered someone like Wilson in graphic novels. He is not a happy person and he doesn’t like people. He is a sociopath. He is a loser. He is also not a romantic. He loves his dog. He doesn’t care about his ex-wife (or maybe he does) or for his daughter (maybe he does). All said and done, Wilson isn’t the sort of man you’d hang out with.

wilson-by-daniel-clowes-image-1

“Wilson” by Daniel Clowes is told in the form of cartoon strips. It is spread over 80 pages in this format and is a delight to read, with every turn of the page. He is an introvert and also an extrovert – basically confused which most of us really are, so it is okay. Daniel Clowes focuses on the ups and downs of one person’s life and surprisingly, there are portions you can very well relate to. My grumpiness for example – I could totally understand when Wilson was not being so nice (which is almost all the time in the book) and that kinda overwhelmed me.

Wilson might also be about the mundane and about loneliness and how each of us deals with it. The pages compliment Wilson’s mood – the colours, sometimes the fonts and the attitude as well. Wilson is a bastard and you can see that – but he has more shades to him than just black and white and that is what makes this graphic novel super interesting. His interactions with others are most unique and funny.

wilson-by-daniel-clowes-image-2

I would highly recommend everyone to read “Wilson” only because it is so bizarre and so satisfying at the same time. It might also make you contemplate a lot about your life, so be cautious about that. Make it a holiday read. You will not be disappointed for sure.

Book Review: The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes

Title: The Death-Ray
Author: Daniel Clowes
Publisher: Jonathan Cape, Random House UK
ISBN: 978-0224094115
Genre: Graphic Novel
Pages: 48
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

Daniel Clowes never ceases to amaze me with his graphic novels. He is brilliant and while I say that for most authors who I read, Mr. Clowes is truly the master of graphic storytelling. I remember reading, ‘Ghost Girl’ with such fascination when I first laid my hands on it and then I was marveled by, ‘Wilson’, only to be enthralled by his latest book, ‘The Death-Ray’.

‘The Death-Ray’ focuses on Andy, a lonely boy growing up in the 70s who has one friend and is being raised by his grandfather who is likely to develop Alzheimer’s. One day while smoking a cigarette by chance, Andy discovers that nicotine activates his super-powers where he gains super strength. Coupled with that is his father’s legacy – a handheld, “death ray” that can eliminate people. This turns Andy from being an awkward teen to having the power of life and death in his hand.

The book follows the story of Andy and his friend Louie as they try to find their place in the world. They go through their phases – of picking on bullies, on people who do wrong and people who according to them deserve the death-ray experience. The plot is simple, but things get complex and more difficult to understand when Andy grows up. There was a point in time when I felt bad for Andy and his way of life, however then I realized that some people are just made for this – to go through life, pass by and experience it.

There are no spoilers in the review as the book needs to be experienced by readers. The writing is strong and Daniel Clowes as always touches upon the themes of loneliness and angst in a surreal manner. The Death-Ray is one of the best Graphic novels I have read this year. Read it!

Affiliate Link:

Buy The Death Ray from Flipkart.com

Book Review: Mister Wonderful by Daniel Clowes

Title: Mister Wonderful
Author: Daniel Clowes
Publisher: Pantheon
Genre: Graphic Novel, Comic
ISBN: 978-0307378132
PP: 80 pages
Price: $19.95
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

Once again, Clowes has demonstrated his mastery of cartooning in “Mister Wonderful”, a book previously published in installments in The New York Times magazine. In this story, we follow Marshall (the story’s protagonist) on an eventful blind date that includes a late start, a purse-snatching, a trip to the hospital, a posh party and several punches being thrown. Through it all, Marshall might actually find a happy ending after such a peril-fraught evening.

The book moves along at a good clip, neither breezing through personal details nor miring in what might be called Marshall’s maudlin life. His preoccupation with making a good impression on Natalie (his blind date) is both scathing and sad… we are often privy to Marshall’s thoughts at the expense of Natalie’s dialogue. Yet this works beautifully, as Marshall’s observations and eccentricities are often hilarious. Although Marshall might be considered a “typical Clowes character”, he usually has an air of guarded optimism and hopefulness, which differentiates him from previous Clowes creations such as Wilson.

Although not as stylistically inventive as Clowes’ previous book “Wilson”, “Mister Wonderful” shows he is still in top form, letting the narrative do the talking, so to speak. Gone is the busy cross-hatching of early “Eightball” issues, in favor of a more simplistic, pared-down style that is in service to the story at hand. This is how a true cartoonist thinks, letting words and pictures work together to tell the story instead of one overpowering the other. This is one of those books that repeated reading rewards the reader, as subtle pieces of the story become clearer after revisiting.

The surprise for some will be the optimistic ending of “Mister Wonderful”… at least, optimistic for a Clowes story. Several reviewers/critics have often complained of Clowes’ stories being nihilistic or pessimistic. Although this might be somewhat true, isn’t this how life truly is? Rarely is the pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow. I think Clowes is fearless in depicting this in his stories. Even “Mister Wonderful” doesn’t give us a flowery, false-ringing happy ending we get so often from Hollywood or more mainstream comics. Clowes’ stories ring truer than 99% of the media out there, something most reviewers/critics easily forget.

The only complaint I might have is the size of the book… it’s a bit uncomfortable as it’s wider than it is tall. A very poor fit on the bookshelf. Yet this is a minor complaint. Ultimately, content is more important than packaging, and this book is a home run in that department. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Affiliate Link:

Buy Mister Wonderful : A Love Story from Flipkart.com