Thursday, June 28, 2012
The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes
Clowes (Ghost World; Wilson; Mr. Wonderful) writes about people that seem boring at first glance - average joes living nondescript lives - and then right away you get inside their heads and even the grumpy, bitter and jaded become sympathetic. Andy in The Death-Ray is just that sort of lonely middle-aged guy when we meet him in 2004. He has a chip on his shoulder about his two ex-wives: "Neither one of them was worth a damn. Just a couple of whores out to drain a man of his money and vigor. Too bad for them, I don't have much of either. Tough shit, ladies." Based on his boring present life, who would guess about Andy's exciting youthful misadventures?
The comics panels are in cheerful primary colours: bright yellow vomit; bright red blood. The Death-Ray is over-the-top and tongue in cheek. It's thought-provoking, tragic and absolutely brilliant.