Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mister Wonderful; Daniel Clowes

No spoilers following:

Mister Wonderful is a new graphic novel by Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Wilson), published by Patheon Books that will be gracing Alternate Reality Comics' shelves tomorrow (Wednesday, of course).

Mister Wonderful is wonderful, but not in a happy fluffy way. Mister Wonderful is subtitled: A Love Story, but while it is of sorts, it is a love story as only Mr. Cynical himself, cartoonist Daniel Clowes, could tell. While Mister Wonderful isn't as negative and nihilistic as Clowes' last graphic novel, Wilson, Mister Wilson's characters have his "trademark" self awareness and not bright outlook on their place in society or the state of the world around them.

Following is an example of Clowes' writing from Mister Wonderful for Ich Liebe Comics! readers who are unfamiliar with his prose (this scene is Mister Wonderful musing on what propelled him to agree to go on the blind date he's waiting for to show up):

"It was sort of like 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' except in this version, Holly Golightly is an unstable, crank - snorting sociopath. It wound up costing me $800, my grandmother's earrings and a laptop, but such is the price of transformative human events, I suppose. To be honest, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. It's only because of her intervention that I have the strength to be here right now."

As much as I enjoyed Clowes' last graphic novel, Wilson, I thought we weren't going to see any more long narratives from Daniel Clowes (Wilson was a series of one page vignettes that had a punch line of sorts at the end of each page, which did lead up to a greater whole, but it wasn't a conventional story - which doesn't mean it wasn't still highly entertaining). Mister Wonderful is a truly great alternative graphic novel (as well as being darkly humorous) and I'm elated to see that Daniel Clowes voice and cartooning prowess aren't fading with age!

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