Notables 2010: Theo Ellsworth’s Capacity

Theo Ellsworth, Capacity, 2008.

Theo Ellsworth’s Capacity is an idiosyncratic masterpiece. Beneath its surface level of animistic surrealism it is essentially a creative coming-of-age story which narrates the story of its own creation along with its creator’s struggles to learn how to channel his unusually direct connection to his dreamworld and fantasy life onto the page. It’s constantly surprising and full of charm. It’s not an easy or straightforward read, so be prepared to spend some time with this one, it’s worth your time.

Remember, too, that Theo’s hilarious, absurdist short story, “Norman Eight’s Left Arm,” appears in the current Best American Comics volume.

Age: teen and up. Older readers, like your dad, may have trouble reading this one, it’s got lots of small lettering and scrawly line art!


6 Comments to Notables 2010: Theo Ellsworth’s Capacity

  • by Tom Hart

    On February 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    One of my favorite books in recent years!

  • by Jessica Abel

    On February 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Me too. It’s pretty astounding, and to me, seemed to come out of nowhere. I had seen very little (none?) of Ellsworth’s work before this. Matt will of course correct me and remind me we’d seen it for years, but that’s how I remember it.

  • by Tom Hart

    On February 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Matt’s good that way!

  • by Matt Madden

    On February 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    No, we never saw the minicomics version of Capacity the book was the first time I saw or heard about him, too.

  • by Jessica Abel

    On February 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Ok, now I feel more secure.

  • by Doug Jennings

    On February 23, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for the review of this book. I found my local library has a copy and altho’ it’s checked out, I’ve put a request/hold for it so they can put it aside for me when it comes back. The book’s concepts and format are very intriguing. I look forward to reading the whole story.

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