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The Adventures of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Pantheon Graphic Novels) Paperback – 1 Mar 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Mar 2005
£5.50
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Product details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; Reprint edition (1 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375714545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375714542
  • Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 3.6 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,955,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This haunting and unshakable book will change the way you look at your world. Ware captures landscapes made to flatten emotion--a clinic shrouded in snow, a sterile apartment complex--and yet shows the reader the meaning and even beauty in every glimpse from a highway, every snippet of small talk." --"Time" magazine
""Jimmy Corrigan" pushes the form of comics into unexpected formal and emotional territory." --"Chicago Tribune
""Graphically inventive, wonderfully realized . . . ["Jimmy Corrigan"] is wonderfully illustrated in full color, and Ware's spare, iconic drawing style can render vivid architectural complexity or movingly capture the stark despondency of an unloved child." --"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
"
""Ware's use of words is sparing, and at times maudlin. But the real joy is his art. It's stunning. In terms of attention to detail, graceful use of color, and overall design--Ware has no peer. And while each panel is relentlessly polished--never an errant line or lazily rendered image--his drawings, somehow, remain delicate and achingly lyrical." --Dave Eggers, "The New York Times Book Review
"

"From the Hardcover edition."

This haunting and unshakable book will change the way you look at your world. Ware captures landscapes made to flatten emotion a clinic shrouded in snow, a sterile apartment complex and yet shows the reader the meaning and even beauty in every glimpse from a highway, every snippet of small talk. "Time" magazine
"Jimmy Corrigan"pushes the form of comics into unexpected formal and emotional territory. "Chicago Tribune
" Graphically inventive, wonderfully realized . . . ["Jimmy Corrigan"] is wonderfully illustrated in full color, and Ware s spare, iconic drawing style can render vivid architectural complexity or movingly capture the stark despondency of an unloved child. "Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
"
" Ware s use of words is sparing, and at times maudlin. But the real joy is his art. It's stunning. In terms of attention to detail, graceful use of color, and overall design Ware has no peer. And while each panel is relentlessly polished never an errant line or lazily rendered image his drawings, somehow, remain delicate and achingly lyrical. Dave Eggers, "The New York Times Book Review
"

"From the Hardcover edition.""

Book Description

The most ambitious, beautiful, moving 'comic book' ever produced: an astonishing tour de force that won the Guardian First Book Award 2001 and The American Book Award 2001. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jimmy Corrigan is an above-average comic but please, for god's sake, do not buy the paperback edition! As I'm reading it the first time, the book is falling apart. This is not cool, since the comic itself it great. I wish I'd thrown in those extra bucks and bought the hardcover.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a truly magnificent piece of work, a masterpiece of the medium to rank alongside Maus by Speigelman. Only the title is weak!

A study of alienation and lives shut down in childhood and for good. The format that the story takes is brilliant, fascinating and meaningful too.

This will be underrated by people who like to read comics that stay on the surface or those that only romanticise hard times or are by authors who don't have the perceptiveness to truly illuminate a comics` situations. Ware isn't exploitative though and doesn't delve into tough times in a cynical way. This comic will be marked down though far more than other inferior ones because it isn't superficial: great art pushes boundaries and by its very nature can rarely then be popular. Everyone who would rather stay where things are familiar and safe will be left behind and some of them write reviews on Amazon to justify themselves!

Especially great are the parts of the book that focus on events of more than 100 years ago. The first 300 pages of the book are wonderful after the first 10 or 20 to settle into Chris Ware`s style and his character`s fantasy life excerpts, which are also completely justified in the circumstances of the character`s life unlike how they are used in many other books. The final hundred pages are very good too.
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By A Customer on 14 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
Don't listen to those people who have badmouthed Jimmy Corrigan. Their criticisms are, to be honest, infantile at best. Indeed, this print of the book repeats the misgivings of Tom Paulin, ultra-pretentious critic (and poet) from the Newsnight review.
"Awful, bleak colours; disgusting to look at," he wails.
I'm having none of it; Jimmy Corrigan is one of the most heart rending pieces of literature that I have ever read. And it also manages to be extremely funny.
The story revolves around Jimmy Corrigan who meets up with his long-lost father. Don't be fooled by the simple premise. This is heavy stuff.
The story builds slowly but I found it incredibly compelling. For my money, anyone who describes the pacing as 'slow' or 'boring' is being incredibly churlish. This is about atmosphere and emotion, not car chases and explosions.
The artwork is sumptuous throughout and Mr. Ware achieves a marvellously cohesive look that complements his bleak outlook superbly. (And yes, Mr. Paulin, I think the colours are great.)
Jimmy Corrigan features an especially acidic view of childhood, and these moments provide the book with some of its bleakest scenes. Be warned; this book does not provide an easy ride. At times it is heartbreakingly cruel. But there is real humanity in this work and, if nothing else, it provides an unforgiving snapshot of modern society.
Brilliant.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth is the story of a lonely man living in Chicago who is contacted out of the blue by his long lost father. He visits his Father, but the whole encounter is fraught with anxiety and the kind of painful domestic awkwardness that comics rarely attempt to capture. What makes Chris Ware's semi-autobiographical tale unique is the way in which this apparently simple story is embroidered with Jimmy's daydreams and fantasies (many involving a paunchy 'Superman', and a disturbing, Kafka-esque dream where he becomes a tin robot) .
Ware also interrupts his tale to introduce episodes from the childhood of Jimmy's Grandfather. Anyone hoping for some light relief from the tragedy of Jimmy Corrigan's contemporary plight will be dissapointed; beloved Grandmothers die, youthful dreams are crushed, and a mishapen lead horse is lost in the snow.
There are also several diagrams showing the complex and fragile relationships that make up the Corrigan family tree. It's also manages to be very funny. In its serialised form, Jimmy Corrigan featured several parodies of the old 'Charles Atlas' type ads that used to pepper cheap American Comics. The beautifuly drawn and coloured illustrations knowingly suggest a more innocent era, and the reader is constantly reminded of the pathos of a brightly coloured comic that depicts such sad and loveless lives.
'Jimmy Corrigan' is a truly groundbreaking 'comic book' and demands the dusting off of such hackneyed phrases as 'masterpiece', even if its hero would blush at hearing it described as such.
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