#90 - Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Read this if you like: Eightball, teen angst, lesbian undertones.

The second of Daniel Clowes entries into our top 100 graphic novels list, Ghost World is the haunted masterpiece that gives us an intimate look into the lives of Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca Dopplemeyer, two teenagers with a cynical view of the world. I know what you're thinking; with surnames like that, anyone would develop a touch of cynicism at the fairness of life.

Ghost World is a comic about adolescence that sits in the same park as Black Hole, Charles Burns' twelve issue work about isolation and being a teenage outsider. This is why it isn't a surprise that Ghost World is as popular a book as it is - teenagers love a piece of fiction they can relate to, and one that seems to understand them without being patronising.

The comic is made up of eight stories about the two teens, and it grows in sadness until it reaches it's climax, which many have described as ghost-like. Enid and Rebecca have been best friends as long as they can remember, and even entertain the idea, though with fear, that they could have more-than-friends feelings for each other. Through recounting the peaks and troughs of Enid and and Rebecca's lives, Daniel Clowes unleashes a scorching social commentary that divides readers. Some feel it distracts from the story on the page, while others believe the story was put on the page to serve the social commentary.

You've probably heard of Ghost World before now, because not only has it seen numerous reprints and inspired countless other great graphic novels, but it was also turned into an award winning film that was directed by Terry Zwigoff, starred Steve Buscemi, and was produced by John Malkovich. If you're going to buy the comic first and then watch the film, you'll get enough new things out of the film to make it worthwhile.

Now, a point I have to make here is that Ghost World was initially published in Eightball, one of Clowes' other graphic novels that appears down the list. I won't get mad at you if you think that precludes Ghost World from getting a listing of its own, but I'd have to disagree. The story of Ghost World is something wholly in itself, and it just doesn't feel right to lump it in with another book; it is a story that clearly deserves a book of its own. You can make up your own mind.

Check our Ghost World on Amazon: US Readers     UK Readers