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The Rise of the American Comics ArtistCreators and Contexts$
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Paul Williams and James Lyons

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737929

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737929.001.0001

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“A Purely American Tale”: The Tragedy of Racism and Jimmy Corrigan: the smartest Kid on earth as Great American Novel

“A Purely American Tale”: The Tragedy of Racism and Jimmy Corrigan: the smartest Kid on earth as Great American Novel

Chapter:
(p.194) Chapter Twelve “A Purely American Tale”: The Tragedy of Racism and Jimmy Corrigan: the smartest Kid on earth as Great American Novel
Source:
The Rise of the American Comics Artist
Author(s):

Paul Williams

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604737929.003.0014

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth is a graphic novel by Chris Ware that has generated enthusiastic attention from critics and reviewers over the last ten years. Published in 2000, it has been hailed by the media for representing “the Great American novel in comic book form.” This chapter analyzes Jimmy Corrigan’s projection of racism in America as a personal and national tragedy, and its success in relation to the creation of comics as graphic novels by critics and reviewers. It discusses the model proposed by Francophone scholars André Gaudreault and Philippe Marion for situating Jimmy Corrigan’s reception in the history of North American comics and argues that the novel has been aligned with the Great American Novel.

Keywords:   graphic novels, Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan, racism, comics, André Gaudreault, Philippe Marion, Great American Novel, America

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