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2.5 6
by Daniel Clowes

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Now a feature film with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern

A new paperback edition of the modern classic timed to the release of the Alexander Payneproduced film version.

Meet Wilson, an opinionated middle-aged loner who loves his dog and quite possibly no one else. In an ongoing quest to find human connection, he


Now a feature film with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern

A new paperback edition of the modern classic timed to the release of the Alexander Payneproduced film version.

Meet Wilson, an opinionated middle-aged loner who loves his dog and quite possibly no one else. In an ongoing quest to find human connection, he badgers friend and stranger alike into a series of one-sided conversations, punctuating his own lofty discursions with a brutally honest, self-negating sense of humor. After his father dies, Wilson, now irrevocably alone, sets out to find his ex-wife with the hope of rekindling their long-dead relationship, and discovers he has a teenage daughter, born after the marriage ended and given up for adoption. Wilson eventually forces all three to reconnect as a family--a doomed mission that will surely, inevitably backfire.

Daniel Clowes, one of the leading cartoonists of our time creates a thoroughly engaging, complex, and fascinating portrait of the modern egoist--outspoken and oblivious to the world around him. Working in a single-page gag format and drawing in a spectrum of styles, the cartoonist of Ghost World, Ice Haven, and The Death-Ray gives us Wilson, his funniest and most deeply affecting novel to date.

Editorial Reviews

Michael Dirda
This is a book about life's passages and disappointments, and will be most appreciated by those who know something of quiet desperation. It's not a pretty book, and even its language is so vulgar that it's difficult to quote from. But this descent into a man's soul is certainly a long way from what my mother used to call "your funny books."
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Clowes (Ghost World) takes his particular brand of misanthropic misery to new levels of brilliance in this book, a series of one-page gags that show the divorced and lonely main character repeatedly attempting to engage with life, and then falling back into his hell of pessimism. Clowes uses a variety of drawing styles to depict Wilson and his world; sometimes he's highly realistic, other times he's an Andy Capp-style cartoon, but he's always the same downbeat guy. In one sketch titled “FL 1282,” Wilson asks the kid seated next to him on a plane about his line of work. When the kid answers that he does “I.T. stuff,” Wilson comes back at him with a mockingly satirical description of his own supposed work, using only initials. The last panel shows Wilson looking at a Spirit magazine and asking, “Christ, do you realize how ridiculous you sound?” Clearly, the comment is directed as much at himself as to the I.T. kid. This attitude of solipsistic despair is expressed incisively and cleverly, taking Wilson through a search for his ex-wife, Pippi, who has become a prostitute since leaving him, and their daughter, put up for adoption years earlier. Clowes offers another beautifully drawn slice of piercing social commentary. (Apr.)

Product Details

Drawn & Quarterly
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Clowes is the acclaimed cartoonist of the seminal comic book series Eightball and the graphic novelsGhost World, David Boring, Ice Haven, Mr. Wonderful, and The Death-Ray. He is the subject of the monographThe Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist, published in conjunction with a major retrospective exhibit. He is the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Ghost World, Art School Confidential, and Wilson. Clowes is the recipient of numerous awards, including the PEN Award for literature, an Eisner, a Harvey, and an Ignatz, and a frequent cover artist for The New Yorker. He is married and lives in Oakland, California.

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Wilson 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
brianfizzy More than 1 year ago
Genuis. Wilson is a cynical self obsessed insensitive idiot who is hilarious. This graphic novel changes style every page and is beautifully drawn and written by Clowes. One of his best... and that's saying a lot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 confused
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ChandlerSwain More than 1 year ago
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.