Daniel Clowes, Wilson (2009, Drawn and Quarterly 2010)
One of my joys at Christmas these days is that my family give me comics. This year I received a grand total of six hefty hardbacks, all by people I haven’t read anything by. Wilson is the least daunting, appearing at first glance to be made up of 80 or so single-page strips about the unkempt, misanthropic Wilson. In one strip he asks a woman to help him out by estimating the weight of a small parcel he plans to post, and then tells her it’s full of fresh dog poop. In another he tries to start up a conversation in a cafe with a man who politely indicates that he’s working on a laptop, and eventually delivers the punchline, ‘Hey asshole, I’m talking to you!’
That sort of thing is amusing in its own depressive way, and then the apparently unrelated strips come together into a coherent story arc. There’s a satisfying payoff to both the dog poop and the laptop man, and in the end it’s a kind of love story.