Monday, August 6, 2012

Mister Wonderful, by Daniel Clowes

Mister Wonderful : a love story
by Daniel Clowes
80 pages
New York: Pantheon
ISBN 9780307378132

After 6 dateless years, socially-awkward Marshall meets up for a blind date arranged by his friends, and proceeds to embarrass himself.

Although this graphic novel was intended for an adult audience, there's not much objectionable material that would rule it out for older teens. The characters are in their late thirties, but the awkwardness of dating is certainly comparable to adolescence, and I think many teenagers would recognize themselves in Marshall's self-castigating inner monologue (lettered in yellow boxes, often intentionally obscuring the conversation bubbles that are taking place simultaneously). There are hints that Natalie -- his attractive blonde date -- ALSO has such a monologue running, but to Marshall she is amazing and wonderful and obviously too good to be interested in him. Inked in primary colors like a 1980s or 90s comic strip, the story is pathetic in the literal definition: affecting or moving the tender emotions. Mister Wonderful is a very human story, so I would recommend it to the more sensitive of 11th- and 12th-graders.
Media: pen and ink

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