Can a comic book have the depth and vision of literary giants like Carver, Beckett, Kafka? Better believe it. As emotionally powerful as Art Spiegelman's Maus, and as subtly clean as the work of acclaimed Euro-artists like Ever Meulen and Joost Swarte, is Chris Ware's graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth. Jimmy goes on a quest for the father he never knew, weighed down by what is, to him, a loveless, fearsome consumer society. Ware's surprising visual angles and his gorgeous hand-drawn typography make this a milestone in the genre.
Author: Chris Ware. Publisher: Pantheon, 2000. Price: $27.50