Page 45 Review by Publisher Blurb
Originally published early in 2011 when we made this Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month, in the days before we had access to interior art to show you, I set the scene thus.
Wilson accosting a stranger trying to type diligently on his laptop in a cafe:
"Hey brother - mind if I sit here?"
"It looks like there's plenty of empty tables..."
"I know, but I like to sit by the window. You working?"
"Good man. Wife? Kids?"
"That's beautiful. Living the Dream..."
[TAP TAP TAP]
"Hey, shit-head - I'm talking to you!"
That's Wilson: philosopher, philanthropist, bon viveur...
Actually he's a case study in self-centred misanthropy and deluded hypocrisy, constantly craving an ear yet too self-involved to lend anyone his own; paying lip-service to self-awareness and comprehending the world around him, but the first to give up if any thought or empathy is required. He's a man who values a decent day's work but has never done one himself; a family man without a family.
"I keep forgetting that my father is still alive."
One of the funniest books I have read in a very long time, it's composed of 71 single-page gags, their final lines beautifully undercutting the panels that precede them as Wilson begins to pine for an ex-wife he never really loved and, tracking her down, discovers she had a daughter sixteen years ago whom she gave up for fostering. Don't skip ahead because on attempting to establish contact with his daughter, the whole thing goes monumentally tits up in a way that only Wilson could manage.
Clowes cleverly lays down elements early on that later turn into punchlines, circles back round to characters you thought long-abandoned, and he uses a variety of styles and colour schemes for each fresh page depending upon its contents.
Radically different from any of his previous books (GHOST WORLD, DAVID BORING, THE DEATH-RAY etc. - all in stock), it's the first graphic novel not culled from the periodical EIGHTBALL, more of which I really don't think we'll be seeing under this industry's current trends.
... I wrote in 2011. Hey, I can do prescience.
Daniel Clowes' most recent graphic novel was PATIENCE, I mention that because you may have missed it.