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by Daniel Clowes

Series: Eightball (13-18)

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450555,638 (3.85)5
From the author of Ghost World and Patience. Anchored by the title story, Caricature also includes eight other stories, including "Green Eyeliner," "MCMLXVI," the full-color "Gold Mommy," "Glue Destiny," "Gynecology," "Immortal, Invisible," "Blue Italian Shit," "Like a Weed, Joe," "Black Satin," and more.… (more)

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Showing 5 of 5
My husband gave me this book and about halfway through he noticed I was reading it and asked me if I liked it. I had to answer honestly—it really isn’t my cuppa. I usually enjoy graphics, but first of all this is a set of short pieces, and I generally don’t connect to short fiction as a genre. Secondly, these pieces ooze a masculinity that could be described as toxic if the characters didn’t seem so hangdog and pathetic. The narrator’s voice in my head (in every story, even the one where the protagonist is a woman) sounded like a kind of nasally monotone, droning on about the random nothingness of his life. I shouldn’t be surprised that all the stories touched on aspects of sexuality, some more graphic than others, but a frustrated or repressed or just fucked up sex life seems to be a central preoccupation for most of these men. All in all it was fairly dreary, and even though it is a slim volume, it took me a while to read because I had to intersperse the reading with other stuff to get through it. I did it because I love my husband and I’m touched when he buys books for me. ( )
  karenchase | Jun 14, 2023 |
No one draws alienated misanthropes better than Daniel Clowes, except maybe Adrian Tomine. The art quality of these nine stories of isolation is superb. Most of the writing is equally good, but some stories are a bit overblown. My favourite stories were the first few in the collection: Blue Italian Shit, The Gold Mommy and the eponymous Caricature. ( )
  questbird | Feb 3, 2017 |
Sad and weird as usual for Daniel Clowes. Excellent line work. ( )
  BenjaminHahn | Jul 8, 2014 |
No Ghost World, but pretty good. I enjoyed reading something else by Clowes. ( )
  raschneid | Mar 31, 2013 |

Caricatures bills itself as "nine stories", but in fact they are more extended character studies than actual narratives. I love the way Clowes takes us into his characters' worlds, and at the same time using the graphic medium, we can get an idea of how other people are reacting to them. Most of his viewpoint characters are male, though there is one sequence, "Green Eyeliner", with a female lead.

Almost all of the stories involve either experiencing or reliving an unhappy and isolated adolescence, and this could get old rather quickly, but I think he rings the changes on the theme with enough diversity to keep you engaged.

The one piece I found I had doubts about was the last, "Black Nylon", whose protagonist likes to dress up as a superhero; it wasn't obvious to me if he was a nutter in our world, where there are no costumed superheroes, or if he was a nutter in the standard comics setting where superheroes are a facet of daily life. I think it is probably the latter, in which case the piece jars with the naturalistic setting of the rest of the book. Playing such games with the reader is risky, but usually Clowes does pull it off, and the story (such as it is) often turns out to be about something different from what we first think it is going to be. ( )
1 vote nwhyte | Jan 21, 2007 |
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From the author of Ghost World and Patience. Anchored by the title story, Caricature also includes eight other stories, including "Green Eyeliner," "MCMLXVI," the full-color "Gold Mommy," "Glue Destiny," "Gynecology," "Immortal, Invisible," "Blue Italian Shit," "Like a Weed, Joe," "Black Satin," and more.

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Average: (3.85)
1 1
2 5
3 22
3.5 12
4 45
4.5 5
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