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4.4 out of 5 stars15
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 17 August 2005
I may be a little hasty writing this review (I only finished the first reading twenty minutes or so ago), but I simply cannot contain myself. This really is a truly fantastic graphic novel (or 'comic book' as Clowes states on the cover, presumably to avoid the common euphemism). When I ripped it from its Amazon packaging this morning I was peculiarly less-than-optimistic of Clowes' cold, realistic cartoon style which reminded me all too much of the mainstream '60s comics that our eponymous (anti-) hero's absent father authored. Thankfully, these feelings were quickly shattered.
To avoid ruining it, David Boring is a young man who pursues a number of doomed sexual encounters in pursuit of his ideal woman (in a nutshell, big-bottomed). This leads him to the mysterious Wanda, his relationship which whom results in a near-fatal shooting, and isolation and murder-mystery on a secluded island while the world is in danger of apocalypse. All the characters in this story are doomed and pathetic, but the story is an interesting exploration into sexual obsession and the nature of love and attraction - as well as being a suspenseful whodunit.
Where I would stray from saying this about any other comic book, 'David Boring' is filmic (in the conventional "3-act structure" David attempts in this unwritten screenplay) in the way that presumably gave 'Ghost World' the potential to make the adaptation such a cult status (the book or film of which I am still yet to have experienced). While I would love to see 'David Boring' made into film more so than any other comic I've read in quite a while, like every great work of this medium it could only possibly have been fully realised in the static pictorial narrative form.
There may only be 116 pages of actual narrative, but you will be immensely surprised by how succinctly Clowes executes so richly complex a tale in such limited constraints. You'll finish it in an hour, but you'll no doubt be drawn back. I'm just about to re-read it now.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 September 2009
Art is definitely nothing to do with comics, the paper kind, drawn by nerdy young men with unhealthy obsessions, right? Well - not quite. Daniel Clowes is an artist of shadows, planes, interlocking bodies, but above all of comics. He does not allow the form to limit him, and what you get is a novel in miniature, with the strange, sad and sexy story of David Boring.

Woven within this story is the parallel comic format story of Yellow Streak, a superhero for our age who, apart from being able to transport himself into the past and future, seems to have no relation to the `straight' superheroes of the past. He was drawn by, and symbolises, David's father - his mother is there in the flesh and seems to dislike, or at any rate, actively oppose David, in his endeavours.

"Endeavours" seems to posit a raison d'etre, but David doesn't really have one, other than wondering feebly who killed his friend from the past (who he didn't really like anyway), and where his girlfriend Wanda disappeared to. David is popular with women - and why wouldn't he be? A lonely, gentle, malleable figure, he has no shortage of replacements for Wanda, and prior to her he spends his time cataloguing his conquests in a book of photographs.

David Boring is seriously funny - I was deeply enthralled and engaged by its events, and at the same time, I was smiling idiotically to myself at its wry wit, its subversion of social attitudes, the disaster scenarios and personal relationships it depicts. This is brilliant creative and sardonic humour.

A tour de force, feeding and building into the angst of its time.
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on 30 September 2011
I'm not going to labour the point here, because I can see from the other reviews that people much more eloquent than me have already put praise for this book into prettier words than I could manage. I will say though, that David Boring has been a firm favourite of mine for many years. Clowes' style of drawing is not the usual style that I am drawn to (pardon the pun!) but it compliments perfectly the withdrawn, almost nihilistic tone of the story. David feels like a breathing, rounded character without ever stepping into cliche territory.
Also, I adore the scrapbook. Something about that idea really speaks to me.
In short, this book is most certainly worth your money. I felt totally absorbed into this world and when it was over I wanted to go back.
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on 2 May 2013
Without giving the plot away, David boring is a graphic novel that centres around the incidents and musings of a young film maker called... David Boring. If like myself, you enjoy Clowes' humour and unique approach to story telling this will be a hit with you. There are noticable parallels with Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' and Bergman's 'Persona' both in terms of theme and character developement. 'David Boring' is not Clowes' best in my opinion, but it was an entertaining read.
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on 20 May 2015
I bought this after reading 'Ghost World', which I thoroughly enjoyed. David Boring is very funny, the characters were quirky and complex and I loved the storyline. I was left wanting more after I finished the novel. I am looking forward to reading more of Dan Clowes' work.
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on 25 October 2009
I've never read anything by Daniel Clowes (nor have I seen the adaption of Ghost World that is so critically acclaimed) so I wasn't sure what to expect really, especially since there was no brief description blurb on the back of book. David Boring is about David Boring, a 20-something part time film student and expert pick-up artist. The story chronicles his meeting of a woman called Wanda, someone he eventually becomes infatuated with. David Boring is a unique story to say the least, with a 3-act structure, no act is similar (by much) to the previous, and there are plenty of twists and turns. But it's also a hard comic to get into.

While the story is unique in itself, it's also pretty aimless and has this annoying tendancy (like every piece of media aiming for indie cred) for the characters to fall prey to a severe amount ignorance when it comes to extraordinary events. For instance, David finds himself in some pretty extraordinary situations, especially one or two which are pretty life threatening, but at no point does he wonder, question or even go out of his way to figure out why these things are happening. Often, the story looks as if it's going to a very interesting place only to fizzle out to nothing at all. There are a number of interesting story beats here (David tries to figure out more about his late father through a comic book his Dad drew years ago, or the World War nuclear apocalypse backdrop that is kept at arms length) that ultimately lead to nowhere. It gives the impression that the author, while obviously gifted in terms of characterisation, writing and artwork, wanted to make an incredibly layered and complex story that ends up being quite shallow in parts.

But it is not a terrible comic, in fact after I had finished I was inclined to read it again thinking it'd maybe read better the second time around, like how sitcoms become more funny the more you know the characters. I feel the book would benefit from re-reading in order to fully "get it" (what there is to get however, I don't know, nor do I think there is anything to "get".) That said, it cannot be denied the comic has a number of problems, and although no piece of work is ever perfect, nor does it deserve the unanimous praise it seems to be getting here.

I would recommend it, if only to read such a unique story, but I doubt you'll be heralding it as the greatest work you've ever read.
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on 20 October 2015
Brilliant art, wonderful narrative, makes for a largely unusual and original graphic piece.
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on 5 February 2008
I'm fairly unusual in not liking Ghost World, but was recommended this so highly I gave it a shot. And I was very impressed. There are subtle themes running through a comic that has an involving twisting plot and well drawn characters. Dead good
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on 6 August 2007
Yes, I think this is the best comic ever made. It's even better than "Watchmen" etc. If you're only going to read one comic in your life, get this one.

No super heroes and not a lot of action, but amazing nevertheless.

For fans of red wine. Oh, I mean, for fans of good comics. I seriously doubt Daniel Clowes will ever put his name to anything as good as this ever again.
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on 12 January 2016
Gift - Well received.
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