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Posted February 13, 2011
Don't listen to Chandlerswain, who is a dumbhead. Clowes is brilliant. Chandlerswain's own review is Wilsonian. I think freud referred to this behavior as transferrence or projection. I get the two confusedWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 7, 2010
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Daniel Clowes has created a number of graphic novels, most famously "Ghost World"; the material collected from his "mature audience" comic book "Eightball". With his latest graphic novel "Wilson", Clowes creates an entirely original, previously unpublished work. Fans of the writer/artist, however, may find little actually new in the book. "Wilson" concerns the existential crisis of a middle-aged character who seems to be not only unemployed (an evident career choice) but positively unaffected by the world around him or anyone in it. EVERYTHING ultimately annoys and disappoint Wilson, and after a few pointedly sharp moments of social observation, the book rather rapdily dissolves into an endless whiny howl against (again) EVERYTHING. Now, ceaseless misanthropy can be successfully employed in the service of satirical commentary (as has Mr. Clowes based the bulk of his career on), but in this instance Clowes hits the proverbial brick wall. In past works, Clowes has subversively used the misanthropy of his characters as a uniquely subtle springboard for a gonzo approach to social commentary, but here not only is his central character monotonously uninteresting (and abusive), but there is no supportive context to rationalize such a one-note approach. Wilson's angst concerning his dying father becomes a manic tirade, and when a gesture of kindness from an attending nurse reveals itself, Wilson uses that as an excuse for another bellow. In another episode, Wilson is walking his beloved dog down the street and enjoys the compliments greeting his canine companion, until one pedestrian walks by mutely and Wilson launches obscenities at the "offender". (This is sociopathy masquerading as wit.) This episode is actually quite revealing ( the book is told not in traditional linear narrative fashion, but in sequences of six panels, as if each page were an individual daily newspaper strip complete with punchline) as it aptly demonstrates that Mr. Clowes' creation exists for his own satisfaction and that everyone about him exists (in his mind) as a consoling bandage for his self-absorbed psyche, until he selfishly rejects any consolation and the mad carnival starts all over again. Supporting characters, such as Wilson's long abandoning/sought after wife Pippa is made to look physically foolish and mentally inert (even by Clowes' standards); there is no realistic rationalization that these two lumps would have ever gotten together except as a whim in Clowes' god-like conception of his own miserable universe. The pages alternate in artistic styles, not for any aesthetic purpose, but merely to staunch the flow of the book's monotony. "Wilson" is the graphic novel version of a screeching baby sitting behind you in an airplane, only in this case you can return the book to the shelf where it won't bother anyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2011
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