Synopses & Reviews
Meet Marshall. Sitting alone in the local coffee place. He's been set up by his friend Tim on a blind date with someone named Natalie, and now he's just feeling set up. She's nine minutes late and counting. Who was he kidding anyway? Divorced, middle-aged, newly unemployed, with next to no prospects, Marshall isn't exactly what you'd call a catch. Twenty minutes pass.
A half hour. Marshall orders a scotch. (He wasn't going to drink!) Forty minutes.
Then, after nearly an hour, when he's long since given up hope, Natalie appears — breathless, apologizing profusely that she went to the wrong place. She takes a seat, to Marshall's utter amazement.
She's too good to be true: attractive, young, intelligent, and she seems to be seriously engaged with what Marshall has to say. There has to be a catch.
And, of course, there is.
During the extremely long night that follows, Marshall and Natalie are emotionally tested in ways that two people who just met really should not be. Not, at least, if they want the prospect of a second date.
A captivating, bittersweet, and hilarious look at the potential for human connection in an increasingly hopeless world, Mister Wonderful more than lives up to its name.
"Schlubby, broke, lonely divorcé Marshall only wants a partner, 'someone to read the parts of the paper I throw away (travel, garden).' He's been set up on a date with Natalie, who's more or less perfect for him operative phrase 'more or less.' She's got some damage of her own, but they do seem to have at least a touch of chemistry. Over the course of the evening, nearly everything that could go wrong with a tentative flirtation does, including a mugging and a really bad party. Expanded from a serial that ran in the New York Times magazine, this is a gorgeously staged graphic novella consistently playful and funny on a formal level there's a running joke involving Marshall's interior monologue covering up images or dialogue, and constant fantasy sequences signaled by drawing-style shifts. It's also the most tightly focused and sweet-tempered of Clowes's books so far, the closest thing he's done to a Woody Allen movie. Still, it wouldn't be Clowes if he didn't show at least a touch of contempt for all of his characters amid the tenderness; the story is a romantic comedy with almost but not quite enough caveats to sink any sense of hope. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Unassuming but accomplished." Booklist
"Entirely crafty…uber pretty." Sequential Tart
"Mister Wonderful is — okay, fine, I’ll say it — wonderful…this may be the most affirming and wistful work Clowes has ever done. Mister Wonderful is sly, genuine, and the mark of an artist who continues to innovate and thrive in the medium." Omnivoracious
"Outright spectacular." The Comics Journal
The fan-favorite Eisner Award-winning story, originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine, now collected and with forty pages of new material.
About the Author
Daniel Clowes is widely considered one of the best cartoonists of his generation; his adaptation of his own Ghost World graphic novel for the screen earned him an Oscar nomination. A regular contributor to The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and The Best American Comics, he lives in Oakland, California.