May 6, 2011 | Graphic novels
Marshall is a loser.
He’s divorced, balding, bespectacled and definitely past his prime and is such a dead-end that he is the punch line in his own interior monologue.
He’s even enough of a loser to wait around for an hour to see if the blind date he’s been set up with will actually show at all.
And then she does.
And, for once in his life, it’s magic.
Daniel Clowes, who has proved himself master of the loveable loser with past classics such as Ghost World and Pussey, treads somewhat familiar ground in his latest effort, Mister Wonderful (Pantheon Books, 80 pages, $22.95).
In an effort originally serialized in The New York Times Magazine in 20 parts from 2007-2008, that is economical in the way of the best short stories, we follow Marshall on the night of his life as he attempts to woo the lovely, if equally flawed, Natalie.
While regular readers of Clowes’ work wait patiently for the other shoe to drop, and it does, there is a surprisingly low level of cynicism for one of his books and even the possibility of, dare it be said, a happy ending.
(This review first appeared at www.thestar.com)