Jimmy Corrigan’s Art: Analysis with the Focus on the Images of Architecture and Detail

Many graphic novels rely on highly stylized, cartoonish images that are vivid, graphic, and bright to move the storyline along throughout the novel.Others use stark, black and white images that are one-dimensional and simple (Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi comes to mind).However, Ware’s work is very different, because of the detail he pubs into many of the images, but because of their precision, as well.For example, most of the architectural details of this book, from small houses to the massive Exposition, are created in great detail, with siding, windows, and roof-lines depicted in perfectly measured precision, with no “cartoonish” curved lines or lines that do not meet.They are more like architectural blueprints, ready to guide a builder in creating the buildings themselves.He saves most of this detail for the grandest buildings in Chicago at the Exposition, but even in houses like Grandma’s house, he offers precision and detail that makes it seem as if he had training in other disciplines besides the graphic arts.This comes out in other details of the book, as well, such as the trees in one section, and the Great Chicago Fire in another.
However, the buildings take on the greatest detail, and so, the greatest importance in this graphic novel.The building of the Exposition seem to jump off the pages of the book, and by using extremely small human figures in the illustrations, he captures the grandeur and immensity of the “White City,” and why is was such a momentous undertaking at the time.It also captures why it was such an important element of Jimmy’s ancestors’ lives, and why it helped shape generations of their personalities.However, the most amazing element of these images is their precision and attention to detail.They are drawn to perfect scale, with minute architectural details like moldings, columns, statues, decorations and embellishments, and interiors that help show the real magnitude of the fair….

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