I took a quick break today from reading A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius to become initiated into the graphic novel club, with Ghost World, by Daniel Clowes. I’m pretty sure DJ Cayenne has posted in the past on this genre, but I had yet to check it out. Mrs. Shaft had given me Ghost World as a Christmas present (based on advice given by Aimee Mann in a magazine article), but I hadn’t gotten to it until today.
Initial thoughts: pretty cool, definitely different, and right up the alley of a guy who has a short attention span like me. What I found most intriguing was the fact that, without even trying, I was able to read the dialogue and absorb the graphics without missing a beat. I had expected that I would need to stop after reading each caption and scan the accompanying picture, but it really happened organically and with no incremental effort (again, a huge plus for a guy who doesn’t like to try too hard when reading).
This particular work centers on two high school girls and their views on their own social lives (or lack thereof) and their ongoing critical commentary on the people around them. In the midst of this commentary, an actual plot develops (unlike in my last read, Independence Day). The cover of the book says that it was made into a major motion picture, which my research (thank you, imdb.com) tells me starred Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson as the two girls. However, my research indicates that the plot of the movie veered off from what was featured in the book. Neither here nor there, I suppose, except I think it means that if you’ve partaken in one, you probably haven’t spoiled the other.