Daniel Clowes - Mister Wonderful: A Love Story (4 stars)

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Daniel Clowes - Mister Wonderful: A Love Story

(Jonathan Cape)

Famed for titles like Ghost World and Art School Confidential (both adapted into films by director Terry Zwigoff), writer and artist Daniel Clowes’ real strength is the emotional realism he imbues his characters with. Mister Wonderful is a prime example, a gentle, meandering, almost-love story set over one night in Oakland.

Nothing quite goes to plan as Marshall waits nervously in a coffee shop for his blind date. He’s just about given up when Natalie arrives and their night twists and turns, taking as many ups as downs before blossoming into a relationship that might just be the start of something good.

Originally serialised in The New York Times Magazine and now republished with 40 pages of new material, Clowes’ full colour art is crisp, clear and wonderfully emotive. Mister Wonderful doesn’t pretend to be the chocolate box world of Hollywood romcoms, but a truthful take on loneliness, expectations, self-doubt and the desire for love or at the very least, a connection. While Marshall has serious anger issues and Natalie is still a mess from her last relationship, their flaws lead to a bittersweet romance.

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