I have enjoyed the graphic novels of Daniel Clowes for 10+ years, which isn’t saying much as he was first published in 1989, but for a creator to keep making things I liked as teenager and still enjoy as an adult is quite a feat. My first introduction to his work came after seeing the 2001 movie Ghost World which he wrote along with director Terry Zwigoff (who spoke recently at Film Scene as part of the Mission Creek Festival). The movie, which is fantastic BTW, is based on the graphic novel of the same name and has all of the quirkiness and themes common to Clowes’ oeuvre.
Patience, Clowes’ latest is no different. Blending storytelling whimsy, colorful artwork, and digging into human thought and emotion this graphic novel is a treat for fans. It starts off like most other of Clowes’ work in that it just seems like a story of one person’s internal conflicts, but then plot twists! And genre blending! What starts off as a seemingly narcissistic not particularly compelling story turns into a time traveling tale of revenge!
However it is not your average time traveling adventure, after all it is still written by Daniel Clowes. He does a great job with addressing typical time travel problems, think Marty McFly’s disappearing siblings in Back to the Future, but also sticking with tried and true themes of loneliness and the very personal nature of memory. While I prefer Clowes’ earlier works that are more character studies of outsiders, his recent venture into stronger storytelling is a welcome maturation in my opinion.
Anywho, if you like Daniel Clowes, you’ll like Patience. If you’re not familiar, or you’ve never tried his stuff, pick it up!