Wilson is cartoonist Daniel Clowes' first graphic novel (that is, it's not an anthology of a serial comic book strip). It's about a lonely, unemployed, self-loathing, passive-aggressive sad-sack who goes through life making himself and the people around him miserable. In the beginning, the pages seem to be unconnected, but about a third-of-the way in I had been swept up in the plot, which involves the highly-opinionated Wilson coming to terms with various relatives that he has deeply flawed relationships with.
Like all of Clowes' work, Wilson is darkly funny and moving, and the art is outstanding. He's in top form here. Clowes uses many different cartooning styles to tell the story, which is masterfully presented in a series of 70 one-page vignettes. For the last 10 years or so, Clowes has been writing screenplays, which has sharpened his storytelling and character development skills. The Wilson character is repulsive, but at the same time he is sensitive, intelligent, and insightful about the human condition. I cared about what happened to him.
If you live in or near Los Angeles, Clowes will be at Skylight Books on Friday, May 14, 2010, at 7:30 pm.
In 2012, Kim Stanley Robinson published 2312, imagining how the world and its neighbors might look in 300 years, loosely coupled with the seminal Red Mars books, a futuristically pastoral novel about the way that technology can celebrate the glories of nature; in 2015, Robinson followed it up with Aurora, the best book I read that year, which used 2312’s futures to demolish the idea that we can treat space colonization (and other muscular technological projects) as Plan B for climate change — a belief that is very comforting to those who don’t or can’t imagine transforming capitalism into a political system that doesn’t demolish the planet. Now, with New York 2140, Robinson starts to connect the dots between these different futures with a bold, exhilarating story of life in a permanent climate crisis, where most people come together in adversity, but where a small rump of greedy, powerful people get in their way.
Last December, I published my review of Andrew “bunnie” Huang’s astoundingly great book The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware — without realizing that the book’s release had been delayed because the published decided to do some very fancy and cool stuff with the printing process.
It’s been fifteen years since the first edition of educator Rosalind Wiseman’s Queen Bees and Wannabes was published; now in its third edition — updated with current, timely material about social media and other fast-moving subjects, as well as reflections from girls who were raised on the techniques in the previous editions — the book is a compassionate, aware, and intensely practical guide to navigating the toxic, gendered lives of young girls in a diverse, politicized world.
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]