Jimmy Corrigan
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Jimmy Corrigan : The Smartest Kid on Earth

By (author) Chris Ware , Illustrated by Chris Ware

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Jimmy Corrigan has rightly been hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever to be published. It won the Guardian First Book Award 2001, the first graphic novel to win a major British literary prize. It is the tragic autobiography of an office dogsbody in Chicago who one day meets the father who abandoned him as a child. With a subtle, complex and moving story and the drawings that are as simple and original as they are strikingly beautiful, Jimmy Corrigan is a book unlike any other and certainly not to be missed.

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  • Hardback | 380 pages
  • 170 x 210 x 40mm | 979.77g
  • 14 Jun 2001
  • VINTAGE
  • Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • colour illustrations
  • 0224062107
  • 9780224062107
  • 13,263

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Author Information

Chris Ware is the author of Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, which won the Guardian First Book Award in 2001; Quimby the Mouse (2003); and, most recently, the publishing sensation Buidling Stories. Winner of countless awards, he is widely acknowledged as the most gifted cartoonist of his generation.

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Review text

Jimmy Corrigan is, as the author describes it, an improvisatory romance. A very odd yet distinctive entry into the comic world, Jimmy Corrigan started life as a weekly comic strip in a Chicago newspaper and was originally intended purely as an semi-autobiographical setting in which to work out some of the authors more embarrasing emotional problems. The problem with such truth exercises, as Chris Ware now realizes, is that they are apt to sprawl out and become a much larger and significant body of work than was ever intended. Jimmy Corrigan is no exception. Everything about this book is both surprising and delightful: the dust cover folds out into an elaborate double-sided diagrammatical poster that is part mind map and partly mind-boggling. The detail between the covers is in turn awesome and inspiring. Not an inch of space is wasted and metric measurements fair no better. Every available piece of the page is beautifully and obsessively filled with what, at first glance, appears to be an oversimplified cartoon style that's sole object is to confuse, but on closer inspection reveals itself to be much more rewarding, complex and, possibly, disturbing. Panels are orientated at many varied and crazy angles, forcing excited eyes to manoeuvre and bend around the page in ways for which they probably weren't designed. The plot, for I am determined that there is one, is as completely unexplainable as is any one of our lives, but revolves around common themes such as hope, neglectful parents, overbearing parents, love, life, death, despair and dreams. A totally unique book. (Kirkus UK)

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