- Álbum: 80 páginas
- Editor: Jonathan Cape (14 de abril de 2011)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0224085344
- ISBN-13: 978-0224085342
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº274.978 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
Mister Wonderful: A Love Story (Inglés) Álbum – 14 abr 2011
Descripción del producto
"Unassuming but accomplished." -"Booklist"
Reseña del editor
Shortlisted in the 2012 Angoulême Official Selection
Meet Marshall. Sitting alone in the local coffee place. He's been set up by his friend Tim on a blind date with someone named Natalie, and now he's just feeling set up. She's nine minutes late and counting. Who was he kidding anyway? Divorced, middle-aged, newly unemployed, with next to no prospects, Marshall isn't exactly what you'd call a catch. Twenty minutes pass. A half hour. Marshall orders a scotch. (He wasn't going to drink!) Forty minutes. Then, after nearly an hour, when he's long since given up hope, Natalie appears - breathless, apologising profusely that she went to the wrong place. She takes a seat, to Marshall's utter amazement.
She's too good to be true: attractive, young, intelligent, and she seems to be seriously engaged with what Marshall has to say. There has to be a catch. And, of course, there is.
During the extremely long night that follows, Marshall and Natalie are emotionally tested in ways that two people who just met really should not be. Not, at least, if they want the prospect of a second date. A captivating, bittersweet, and hilarious look at the potential for human connection in an increasingly hopeless world, Mister Wonderful more than lives up to its name.
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Marshall and Natalie, a couple approaching middle age, meet on a blind date and stumble through an awkward, embarrassing, stressful evening together. Secrets are revealed, past relationships snap at their heels, strained affections are formed, and despite the shrapnel of forced companionship flying through the story, the couple manages to find common ground, and--dare I say it?--a chance at love.
Clowes' typically exquisite art and book production, his unique sensibility and approach to story are as strong as ever. He has an uncanny, expert use of the comic medium as a vehicle for disarming personal stories. His characters are still self-centered as always. Marshall's internal monologue word balloons often overlay and hide Natalie's words like discount stickers in a clearance sale, cleverly illustrating how Marshall seldom pays full attention to what his date--or anyone else--is saying. The effect reveals his desperation and self-doubt, unlike previous Clowes "heroes" who seem oblivious to their sins.
I came away from Mr. Wonderfull feeling positive and sympathetic, unlike Clowes' last novella, Wilson, which left a scummy ring around the tub. Even if I'm fooling myself, I'm sticking to it.
At 77 pages it barely takes an hour to read Mr. Wonderful in its entirety, and I found the hardcover price just not worth it. Daniel Clowes is an excellent graphic novelist, and this book is beautifully drawn, but it almost feels like an artistic exercise or a quickie afterthought despite the fact that the last page indicates Clowes worked on it from the years 2007-2011. Surely this was a part time endeavor. If the volume came out in paperback at a much reduced price I might think it a better value, but I still don't think it is one of Daniel Clowes' better offerings.
The book moves along at a good clip, neither breezing through personal details nor miring in what might be called Marshall's maudlin life. His preoccupation with making a good impression on Natalie (his blind date) is both scathing and sad... we are often privy to Marshall's thoughts at the expense of Natalie's dialogue. Yet this works beautifully, as Marshall's observations and eccentricities are often hilarious. Although Marshall might be considered a "typical Clowes character", he usually has an air of guarded optimism and hopefulness, which differentiates him from previous Clowes creations such as Wilson.
Although not as stylistically inventive as Clowes' previous book "Wilson", "Mister Wonderful" shows he is still in top form, letting the narrative do the talking, so to speak. Gone is the busy cross-hatching of early "Eightball" issues, in favor of a more simplistic, pared-down style that is in service to the story at hand. This is how a true cartoonist thinks, letting words and pictures work together to tell the story instead of one overpowering the other. This is one of those books that repeated reading rewards the reader, as subtle pieces of the story become clearer after revisiting.
The surprise for some will be the optimistic ending of "Mister Wonderful"... at least, optimistic for a Clowes story. Several reviewers/critics have often complained of Clowes' stories being nihilistic or pessimistic. Although this might be somewhat true, isn't this how life truly is? Rarely is the pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow. I think Clowes is fearless in depicting this in his stories. Even "Mister Wonderful" doesn't give us a flowery, false-ringing happy ending we get so often from Hollywood or more mainstream comics. Clowes' stories ring truer than 99% of the media out there, something most reviewers/critics easily forget.
The only complaint I might have is the size of the book... it's a bit uncomfortable as it's wider than it is tall. A very poor fit on the bookshelf. Yet this is a minor complaint. Ultimately, content is more important than packaging, and this book is a home run in that department. I can't recommend it highly enough.
The story has been reworked slightly -- each large NYT page has been broken into two shorter, wider pages, to pad the length up to something that can be called a book -- and there are some other changes as well, but it's still the same, just told in a slightly different form. (And it's also a story very similar to Clowes's last standalone graphic novel, Wilson.)
Marshall is a middle-aged sad sack, divorced, lonely, nearly broke and with no real hopes of getting any better. He narrates this story -- intensively narrates it, in a caption-filled style very out of fashion in most of mainstream comics, which shoves us directly into his head and holds us there, hostage perhaps, until the end of the book. Marshall isn't great company, unfortunately -- he's obsessive about his own shortcomings, and self-flagellation is only interesting for so long.
MISTER WONDERFUL is the story of one day in Marshall's life -- one night, really -- starting with a blind date, and continuing on from there. Marshall's been set up with Natalie by mutual friends, and Natalie is probably just as damaged as Marshall is, in her own ways -- but we only see her through Marshall's eyes, and only see her when Marshall gets out of the way, which is hardly ever. So MISTER WONDERFUL is primarily a tour through Marshall's psyche, with short stops along the way to take in some real-life events that illustrate that his poor self-image is well rooted in his actual competencies.
It doesn't have the satirical edge of Clowes's earlier work -- Clowes wants us to identify with Marshall and care about him. (MISTER WONDERFUL is most like a work by a slightly more friendly, and less formalist, Chris Ware.) But Marshall is undeniably tedious and suffocating -- though he is nowhere near as horrible as the "hero" of Clowes's WILSON was, so he does have that to (very slightly) recommend him. Clowes can create characters that are damaged, self-obsessed, and fascinating -- recall Enid and Rebecca from Ghost World -- but, these days, he's tending to leave off "fascinating," which is unfortunate.