Generally speaking, I wouldn’t call myself an “out there” kind of person. But when I read books or watch films, my taste does drift to stories that are colorful and a little weird. So, when I first laid eyes on the cover image for Daniel Clowes‘ new book, Patience, my interest was piqued. A blond gal with green eyes and a laser stare set against a beautiful, trippy backdrop? Yes, please. Oh, and it’s by the writer/illustrator of Ghost World and Wilson? Sign me up.
You see, what I love about Clowes is that he’s a brilliant and zany cartoonist who also gets really gets specific about character. Reading Ghost World, you’d think it came from the brain of a real life teenage girl, navigating her way up and down the rollercoaster ride to adulthood. I’m pretty sure Clowes was never a teenage girl, but his observations and nuances fall so naturally on every page. They drive the story forward as much as the events themselves, which is one of the many reasons why the book was especially memorable for me. By the same token, Wilson is a very revealing character study, this time featuring a middle-aged divorced man who struggles ridiculously with everyday life.
Given all of this, I’m super excited for Patience. Word on the street is that it’s 180 pages of full color glory, so the read won’t be over too quickly. Now get this; in what might be my favorite description of a book ever, Fantagraphics describes it as an “indescribable science-fiction love story.” The deliberate vagueness is frustrating for sure, because what on Earth does that mean?! My guess is that it’s going to be as tender and intimate as Clowes’ previous graphic novels, with the exaggerated element of unpredictability and bizarre humor that he played with in his long-running Eightball comic series. Whatever happens, I’m bracing myself for this book to venture into those grey areas of life that are hard to visit, but ultimately the most rewarding because you come out the other side feeling something real. You’re uncomfortable, though in a strangely comfortable way.
Patience comes out in March, which gives you some time to get into Clowes’ other books if you haven’t already. If you’re up to speed on everything and you simply cannot wait to charge into your comics store with all the crowds when the time comes (I don’t blame you), pre-order Patience here, and consider it a belated Christmas present to yourself. Happy New Year!
Do you have the patience to wait for Patience? Are you excited? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Image credits: Fantagraphics/Daniel Clowes