David Boring and The Avengers

My quest to absorb every cultural artifact which piques my interest will occasionally lead to strange convergences. Like the first incredibly depressing night I ever had in Los Angeles, when reading the final chapters of Watchmen coincided with Netflix sending me Requiem for a Dream.

I never want to even REMEMBER that night again.

Most recently, on an enlightening and far more positive note, I watched Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.

(This is not going to be a review of The Avengers. There is not much to say regarding the picture except that any group or individual expectations for the film were met or surpassed. One could not have asked for a more perfect extravaganza, 21st-century style.)

The night before going to the cinema, I finished Daniel Clowes’s 2000 graphic novel David Boring. Written and drawn immediately after his much-revered Ghost World, David Boring is a shorter but denser, more ambitious story, taking on Ghost World’s themes of alienation, aimlessness, and the human desire for emotional commitment from a very different angle. In its medium, it is as much an aesthetic success as The Avengers.

Despite the vast dissimilarity of their works, Clowes and Whedon surprisingly use very similar plot elements, and when considering the novel and film in tandem, a single conclusion is reached.

[Read more…]