Comic books authors are known for their artistic prowess for sometimes over-exaggerated depictions of characters. But these extravagant depictions of pictures, and use of graphic art are all the ways in which the author gets across a story about these characters to the reader, with limited use of words, and more use of color and graphics. Jimmy Corrigan the smartest kid on earth is a work of exposition, and there are many ideas and concepts that are touched on in this comic book. The outward look of the book is almost like that of a bible, or a dictionary, and in some sense it is entirely both of those wrapped into one. It is the reader’s dictionary on Jimmy’s life, and the history of his ancestors. With every event in this comic book, there is an image, which serves as the dictionary definition for its purpose. The other mode of exposition is the book as a bible, just as the original bible, Jimmy Corrigan reads like a history lesson, and as with the bible also the take-away is up to the reader’s interpretation. Chris Ware combines several artistic dimensions in order to make this comic book the wonderful book of opposition that it is. One of the most important skill-sets Chris Ware employs is his use of image, symbols and color to depict the significance of characters, themes and ideas. No color, image or symbol in this book is used without having menaing o an aspect of the story that is being told. Trying to decipher the meaning and significances of all the different uses of color and symbols could lead to several interpretations of Ware’s true intentions. But one thing that is apparent and clear in this comic is that the pictures, along with the words also tell a story. In fact it is almost possible to develop a story just by studying the graphics used by Ware. Paying attention to little details, and his use of repetition of images also help to tie up the loose ends to a book that seems to have many possible interpretations.
One of the main ideas and the one that will be focused on , which he exposes in this comic book, is a boys or mans constant search for a father figure. It must be noted that this topic is not just a coincidence; it is actually a fictional theme, one that applies directly to Chris Ware. He describes the length of this book to be the entire amount of time that he ever spent with his father. It is no surprise that this theme is one of the most explored in this book. By writing this book, it can be said that Chris Ware was able to deal with his own personal father issues. This is one of the few reasons why the pictures, symbols, and colors of this book, so meticulously chosen because every aspect of this book has a personal attachment to him. Wares use of imagery to depict Jimmy 3rd, 2nd, and 1st’s relation to the character of superman is one of the many occasions in the book, where an image tells a story even without reading the words on paper. We all have a prehistoric depiction of what Superman stands for in our head. Every child has their ideal image and qualities of what makes their favorite Superhero, and this is no different than Jimmy (III). We start off the book with this image of superman, and from the beginning it is very evident the admiration and love that Jimmy has towards Superman.
Even though as readers, we can tell that Superman may not be as heroic or genuine as Jimmy sees him. Ware depicts superman to the reader as nothing but a deceiving actor dressed in costume lying to a kid just to sleep with his Mother. Jimmy’s fascination with Superman is further tainted the morning after Superman sleeps with his mother and he gives him his mask as he tries to sneak out. This metaphoric blindfold can be related to the actual lack of sight of Jimmy into the realities about an ideal father figure. This blindfold is partly the reason why he ha such high expectations for Superman t fill his father figure image. Rather than seeing the clear truth about Superman he is blinded by his admiration for him once again. His innocent blindness due to the metaphoric blindfold that he has on prevents him from the realization of the truth about Superman. This blind admiration of a male heroic figure is the first evidence of his want for a strong male figure in his life. However we don’t go too far into the book before this almost godlike and untouchable image of Superman is stripped away from him. Ware strips superman of his heroic form in the eyes of Jimmy by bringing him down in the lowest form through suicide. In most literary works, the downfall of a character is usually seen when they act in ways that those looking up to them don’t find favorable. Suicide is one of those actions, it is the end of a life, not only yours, but a loss for those who care for you or in Jimmy’s case those who look up to you.