I think this is the follow up to Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware, but there might well be other books he’s written since. But this feels a lot like that book too. If you’ve not read that one, I don’t mean follow up in terms of a sequel, but in the sense of the next book he’s produced. His work is a bit of an acquired taste, and one that I am not convinced that I do have the taste.
This is the story of a single day happening at a small school in Nebraska in winter. We get the same day and the background and the context and in some cases the future of a handful of different characters who find and happened to have found themselves in this school on this given. Each chapter told through different storytelling techniques and in some cases differing art styles is through the perspective of the different characters, who are also introduced, in a curious way as almost actors playing characters on the page. For example, Chris Ware is playing an art teacher named Chris Ware. His section is also odd, since given the time frame of the story (late 70s) he’d be the age of the lead character Rusty Brown, not the art teacher. The art teacher is also a creep, peeking up the girls’ skirts and smoking weed with the dirtbag seniors, and I don’t think Ware is outing himself here.
Regardless there’s a LOT of emotional alienation and isolation in the book and some very very quiet desperation happening on the page.
It’s also apparently part one of two, but I think it works on it’s own too, not as a narrative but as a splash of time and place.