A Comic You Used to Love But Now Dislike
I read Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth exactly once. It is very well-written and drawn with extreme technical precision. But it’s also an extremely depressing read, at least for me. I remember being impressed with the book upon reading it, expecting that I would sing its glories for years to come. Ultimately, I grew to dislike the way I feel when I read the book. For that reason, I now dislike it. I can’t imagine reading it again.
Maybe the narrative hits too close to home. The main character, Jimmie, is a bland and somber figure. His only pleasures are flights of fantasy. He imagines himself as “the smartest kid on earth,” having amazing adventures. These scenes are intercut with the tragic events of Jimmy’s real childhood, as well as mundane scenes from the present day. All in all, it paints a cold and cruel picture of life.
It’s very easy for me to go there on my own, without any art to facilitate the process. What’s more challenging is staying inspired, holding onto feelings of joy and hope. So I tend to surround myself with art and entertainment that will support me rather than drain me emotionally. And in my own art, I try to point to a larger, grander view of reality than meets the eye in ordinary life.
Tomorrow: Comic That Makes Me Want to Make Out