Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jimmy Corrigan: A Reflection

My first time reading through Jimmy Corrigan, I was struck by how uninterested I was by the plot. What intrigued me far more than the story itself was the sheer intricacy of the layout and colouring by Ware. Ware employs a style that is nearly foreign to the genre anymore: clean, direct lines. He does not attempt to employ overtly realistic depictions; rather, he allows the symbolic overtones of any given frame convey the descriptive message.

Jimmy Corrigan has won a multitude of awards for this particular style, but two are worth commenting on. The first is the Harvey Special Award for Excellence in Presentation. Ware's meticulous layouts and format allows readers to encompass themselves within the world of Jimmy Corrigan, rather than appear as an outside observer. Each page, including the copyright statements and other production notes, is drafted in a manner that casually or seriously links back to the main plot of the story. This rich linking system is one of the premiere uses of the graphical-literary connections seen before.

The second award worth mentioning was Ware's Guardian First Book Award. This was the first major British literary award given to a graphic novel, and there are very few pieces that could rightfully claim they were more deserving of that honour. What is particularly interesting about this award was that it was given to such an unorthodox piece; Alan Moore's Watchmen was a far more rewarding literary read, in terms of depth and pace of story. That being said, the Guardian's award illustrates a fondness and respect for Ware's ability to tailor the art to the story in an inextractable manner that I have yet to find a match for. The intricacy and attention to detail is superb and worthy of such praise.

What are your thoughts?

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