Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

Reader 1

John Peavoy

Reader 2

Jonathan Lethem

Rights Information

© 2013 Carla Mokin

Abstract

The nearly 400-page graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth is widely recognized as the culmination of the comic medium on both an aesthetic and contextual level, as well as graphic artist, Chris Ware’s magnum opus. Ware is known for his intricate and multi-leveled narratives, often involving multiple time periods, which produce a level of realism that simultaneously portrays the complexity and mundanity of everyday life. Jimmy Corrigan is primarily about a thirty year old man, Jimmy, who was abandoned by his father when he was

very young, and grew up with his single mother in Chicago. As an adult, Jimmy is a painfully shy, quiet, and passive person. He has no friends, is afraid to talk to women, spends his days in a cubicle, and his nights at home alone. His mother calls him on the phone incessantly, which seems to be the extent of his human interaction. The combined effect of his behavior and lifestyle renders Jimmy a kind of ‘manchild,’ devoid of a clear identity or will.

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