cover image Patience


Daniel Clowes. Fantagraphics, $29.99 (180p) ISBN 978-1-60699-905-9

Clowes (Ghost World) plumbs the depths of science fiction in this intriguingly bizarre love story. Jack, torn apart by the mysterious murder of his wife, Patience, flings himself back and forth through time to discover and punish the real culprit. Not everything is at it seems, however—not even his beloved wife. This is a fascinating collage, repurposing elements from action thrillers, psychological horror, and romantic drama. Clowes skillfully anchors each psychedelic turn in human emotion. The SF elements here, as in his earlier The Death-Ray, are just vehicles for the dead-eyed cast to continue roaming through time for a happiness their own obsessions ensure they will never reach, and the future is no refuge from the cycles of abuse that Jack and Patience try to break out of. Patience herself is a wonderfully complicated character and the unraveling of her psyche is key to the story, as is the web of time travel that ensnares her husband. Another strong entry in an already stunning body of work, and one that will surely be hailed as one of the best releases of 2016. (Mar.)