Monday, November 2, 2015

Melancholoy in the comics

© Michael Chevy Castranova 2015

I’ve always been struck by how sad — intentionally, I’ve assumed — the comics of Chris Ware, Bill Griffith and Art Spiegelman are. Or maybe it’s just me.
I remember not being able to finish Ware’s “Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth” because the main character was so grieved and depressed. There’s a segment in which Jimmy makes a model horse that the instructor praises but, later, the other boys mock for its true, crude appearance. Corrigan, angry and feeling betrayed, flings the horse away — into a pile snow, if I recall correctly.
But then, in anguished remorse, he jumps into the snow to retrieve the tiny model, crying, “I’m sorry.”
It’s just heart-breaking.
Griffith’s new memoir, “Invisible Ink,” about his parents, also has an underlying tone of melancholy. And Spiegelman’s masterpiece, “Maus,” isn’t exactly a barrel of monkeys, either.
And yet … and yet I’ve seen Spiegelman speak three or four times now, and on each occasion he has appeared chipper and, frankly, pretty darned happy. There’s probably some deep meaning here.
Meanwhile, speaking of snow, chapter 354 of “Slipped” finds some of our resourceful protagonists in the far north, deep into a new adventure. Their goal is to make contact with an as-yet-unidentified group that supposedly will aid them in defeating les Rongeur.
That’s assuming, of course, Delacroix told them the truth.
Take a look at this link.

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