Bites of Bits – Wilson by Daniel Clowes

So… Daniel Clowes.  The man is pretty much a genius.  You may know his work without knowing you know it.  Wait a minute, I think I just blew a gasket… rewiring my brain so I can finish this…

Anyway, Clowes is best known outside of the comics world for Ghost World (the film) and best known within the comics world for Ghost World (the comic) and Death-Ray (the comic and maybe someday the movie).  Oh, and a little comic book called Eightball that was published intermittently between 1989 and 2004 (incidentally, Eightball contained a majority of Clowes’ published work, including Ghost World, Daniel Boring, and Death-Ray).

Daniel Clowes
80 Pages
Drawn and Quarterly

April 27, 2010

Wilson is a strange, strange little book.  When I first opened it at a comic shop, I read a few random pages and laughed.  I really enjoyed the varying artwork, the strange situations, and Wilson’s dialogue, delivered with an acerbic wit and brutal, biting sarcasm.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that each page (though housing a small, self-contained story) was a part of a larger story about a period in Wilson’s life.

So.  Wilson.

He’ll start conversations with some sort of long-winded  banter, and then insult his conversational partner when they attempt to reply in kind.

He calls up people who don’t have any idea who he is, or what he’s talking about and complains about their stupidity after they hang up.

He is the master of the backhanded compliment and isn’t above mailing a box full of shit to someone he doesn’t like.

In other words… he’s just about my favorite literary character of all time.

Yes, he’s an asshat.  A complete and utter douche.  But at the same time…well, I was going to say that his heart is in the right place, but… I’m not completely certain it is.

The book is definitely worth tracking down.  The humor is often awkward, sometimes to the point of pain, and there is a clever comeuppance that comes about 2/3s of the way through the story.  Of course, Wilson learns essentially nothing from his experiences and continues right where he left off… but despite his sociopathic tendencies, he’s… erm, well… he’s memorable, anyway.

If you’re looking for a snarky, sarcastic, balding jerk… Well… I’m married.  Sorry.  But Wilson is a hysterical read that will help take your mind off that fact.


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