Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review Wilson by: Daniel Clowes

Title:Wilson
Author: Daniel Clowes
Publisher:  Drawn and Quarterly
Pages: 80
Format: Hardcover
Source: My sister's bookshelf

Description:


AN ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL FROM THE OSCAR-NOMINATED SCREENWRITER AND AWARD-WINNING CARTOONIST 

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 onesided 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. 

In the first all-new graphic novel from one of the leading cartoonists of our time, Daniel Clowes 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 spectrumof styles, the cartoonist of GhostWorldIce Haven, and David Boring gives us his funniest and most deeply affecting novel to date.


My thoughts:

Wilson, I've recently met. But I do know the Daniel Clowes from Ghost World and Art School Confidential. Just like these two, Wilson is also quite "bittersweet," but I think he needs less bitter and some more sugar. I wanted to slap Wilson, his ex-wife, his daughter, and everyone he gets involved with throughout the book. The only character I could tolerate was Wilson's puppy Pepper, and that's because he doesn't do much. Plus, animals are always better than humans.

Here's the story line in a nutshell: Wilson is a middle-aged man who doesn't like anyone except his dog. But that doesn't stop him from butting into people's business on the bus, etc. First, he strikes up a conversation with them, then the next thing you know he's insulting them right to their face. After his father passes away, Wilson realizes he's all alone (there's no surprise there, I must admit; you'll know what I mean when/if you read it). That's what makes him decide to look for his ex-wife-- the way he did this I really couldn't stand because he was going around asking people "have you seen a whore?" He does find her, eventually, and it turns out that they had a daughter together, but the ex-wife gave her up for adoption. Then they go find the daughter. And yes, it gets more and more downhill from there...

I must admit that even though he's pessimistic and someone I definitely wouldn't want anything do with, he does make quite a few valid observations. When he's sitting at this computer, he goes, "I can reach millions of people through here, yet why do I feel more alone than ever?"* There are more of these observations throughout the book, especially in relation to technology and social habits of today.

I must admit Wilson really wasn't for me. But I did like the Ghost World movie, and I would like to read the comic book as well.

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