Fans of Daniel Clowes' erratically published comic book Eightball have been reading installments of his longform story Ghost World since 1993. Now, finally completed, this hardcover edition collects all eight installments of the funny, moving work. Read together, the comics work even better than when read sequentially, their depth and complexity becoming all the more apparent. Ghost World is something extremely rare: a coming-of-age story that actually rings true. Set during the summer following the high-school graduation of protagonists Enid and Rebecca, Ghost World follows the course of their friendship during a summer in limbo. One of the book's strongest points among many strong points—with Clowes, you pretty much expect sharp humor and thoughtful art—is its sense of time and place. The girls' almost aimless drift from childhood to whatever comes next, hitting diners, second-hand shops, childhood vacation spots, and other friends' bedrooms along the way, feels right. Clowes understands that the loss of innocence doesn't happen quickly or even noticeably. It's something that creeps, and by the time the chilling last line arrives, he has made the loss tangible. If there was ever a comic-book story meant to be examined by non-comics fans, it's this, a classic in any medium.
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