Writer & Artist: Daniel Clowes

Pantheon, 2011

Daniel_Clowes_-_Mister_Wonderful_coverI had to take a break from the Cthulhu comics.  The madness was not coming from the concepts but the overwhelming monotony of it all.

So what better phase shift than Daniel Clowes?

MISTER WONDERFUL is a story about a blind date and the aftermath.  It is told virtually completely through the interior monologue of Marshall who has been set up on a blind date by a married couple he knows.  It begins with Marshall sitting in a coffee shop, waiting for his date to arrive, and scoping out many of the people around him including hoping that some are not his prospective date.

Once his date does arrive, the evening gets off to a painful start as Marshall examines everything he says and focuses so much on trying to make a good impression that he nearly bungles it.  What happens next takes the story to a different direction with, of course, Marshall’s unceasing inner critical monologue.

I haven’t read much Clowes before which is surprising as his work is very similar to themes I enjoy.  I’m told that he is fairly depressing and yet this book ends with a rather optimistic note for the future which, I suppose, says something about the theme of hope which runs throughout the book.  And, who among us can’t identify with Marshall?  We’ve all been in situations where we endlessly question everything we hear, say or do.

Clowes’ art is enjoyable and recognizably his own.  He’s reached the point where one can identify not only his style but those he influences.

Odd that I would like this book more than collections of Lovecraftian tales.

Rating (1-5):

4. A nice read.


2 thoughts on “#57–MISTER WONDERFUL

  1. trashfilmguru (Ryan C.)

    I enjoyed this well enough, as well. Not as essential as many of the other Clowes works like “David Boring,” “Ghost World,” “Ice Haven,” or “Wilson,” but nonetheless a well-constructed and involving story, superbly drawn.

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