GRAHIC NOVEL REVIEW: PATIENCE (BY DANIEL CLOWES)

Patience

Synopsis
Our protagonist is Jack Barlow – a bit of a loser character. Jack’s pregnant wife – Patience – is murdered in 2016 and that event traumatises him for life. Thirteen years later, he comes across a time travel device which provides him with the opportunity to prevent Patience’s murder. Naturally, things don’t quite pan out as planned.

Strengths
Touted as a “psychedelic scifi” story, Patience is Clowes’ attempt at a fairly straight-forward narrative with the time travel providing the moments of patented weirdness. Jack Barlow and Patience are well fleshed out characters – lovers separated by tragedy – like Romeo and Juliet. The elder Barlow is a bad-ass compared to his younger self, a Bruce Willis type trying to achieve the impossible because of love. Clowes handles the time paradox issues well and keeps the reader guessing.

Bottom Line
Probably one of Clowes’ more accessible books – one can easily imagine Patience being adapted on film or TV, save perhaps that its premise is similar to Stephen King’s 11-22-63, now currently airing. Patience is superior for Clowes’ quirkiness and keen insight into the human psyche.

Information
Official Website: http://www.fantagraphics.com/patience/