By Daniel Clowes. Published by Pantheon.
Hardcover, 106 pages, Colour, 2023.
This long-awaited new graphic novel from Daniel Clowes ( Ghost World and Patience ) is a genre-bending thriller from one of the most assured storytellers of all time.
Monica is a series of interconnected narratives that collectively tell the life story — actually, stories — of its title character. Clowes calls upon a lifetime of inspiration to create the most complex and per - sonal graphic novel of his distinguished career. Rich with visual detail, an impeccable ear for language and dialogue, and thrilling twists, Monica is a multilayered masterpiece in comics form that alludes to many of the genres that have defined the medium — war, romance, horror, crime, the supernatural, etc. — but in a mysterious, uncategorizable, and quintessentially Clowesian way that rewards multiple readings.
Five years in the making, Monica marks the apex of creativity from one of the defining voices of the graphic novel boom over the past quarter-century. A new book from Clowes is always a huge event in comics and literary circles; Monica will be the biggest literary event of 2023.
"Chilly and remote his sympathies might be, they are nevertheless deep and affecting. It is precisely Clowes's lower-frequency sensitivities toward the suffering of his characters that power what many consider his greatest works — Ghost World, for one — and elevate his latest graphic novel, Monica, to the status of a masterpiece." — Junot Diaz - New York Times Book Review
"Clowes has long been considered one of the finest cartoonists of his generation, grouped with the likes of Chris Ware and Adrian Tomine, but in Monica, he reaches a new artistic peak. Each chapter has its own distinct feel and calls back to genres that were popular when Clowes started reading comics but have all but disappeared today, like war, romance, and horror. The shifts suit the story but also allow the cartoonist to show off his love for the art form. Each section has a beautifully rendered drawing—whether it be a soldier lighting a cigarette or Monica wiping the steam from a bathroom mirror—that can be held up among the best of his career." — Vanity Fair
"Clowes's formal ingenuity, meticulous attention to psychological and visual detail, and masterful sense of narrative and tone combine to create an emotionally resonant and unforgettable opus, reaffirming his place among the greatest storytellers of our time." — Library Journal, starred review
"Clowes' latest graphic novel weaves nine interrelated stories into a tale of curiosity, corruption, and humanity's addiction to significance. ...A timeless nugget of polished pulp." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"In classic fashion, Clowes offers another devastating, surreal examination of human nature... A hauntingly precise and compellingly strange study of the human struggle to reconcile a decentered past with a path forward." — Booklist, starred review