I should probably have bought this book, but borrowed it from the library instead. I'd picked it up a few times in bookshops but always put it back. Something about it was just off putting. Now I have read it, I realise I need to buy a copy to read again next year. And the year after and the year after.
The story is nothing much, really. Jimmy Corrigan, a middle aged, desperately unhappy man, travels to meet the father he never knew, and meets the sister he never knew he had. His mother remains behind, with her unceasing demands upon him. At the same time, his ancestor is growing up at the end of the nineteenth century, as they are building the Worlds Fair.
The drawings are fine, the story is fine. Three stars, no problem.
But something about it grabs hold and doesn't let go. It's the loneliness, the desperation and the search for something meaningful to cling onto that makes this stand out from the crowd. The visual style is sparse and minimal, which just fits the subject matter.
It's not something that is incredibly enjoyable as such, but it is powerful, strangely affecting and lingers long in the mind.
Well, well worth a look.