Here's a question: what is the point of a comic book that is just as boring and pointless as real life? Wouldn't such a comic book fail to provide the escape that most comic book readers are looking for?
The back cover of this thing is full of "raves" from the likes of Booklist, Time Magazine, and Kirkus Reviews, but I'm still wondering what it is that they're raving about. When the highlight of the first chapter is his girlfriend's unexpected pregnancy, well... exactly how is that interesting? Or compelling? Or deep?
Not that an unexpected pregnancy couldn't be used for dramatic effect. Of course it could. Yet when an artist has gone out of his way to make his work so crushingly ordinary, so devoid of symbolism, then this is just another event, no more or less remarkable than any other.
Where is the "ordinary victory" in making everything equally mundane? Wasn't the point to transcend the obvious, the normal, and the expected? To celebrate the fact that the extraordinary originates from the ordinary? This comic book only offers half of the equation, without pointing to the world of meaning beyond the arithmetical succession of everyday happenings that form its plot.
If you ask me, comic books like this are the worst of both worlds. Due to their nature as a graphic medium, all you get here is the surface of people, places, and things, without the deeper understanding that actual books are able to provide. At the same time, the author will never be able to narrate enough or provide enough dialogue to truly get inside his (or her) characters. What you are left with is a frustrating glimpse of someone else's life, without the perspective that a book might afford to the more imaginative reader.
I tried very hard to keep an open mind about this one, but I am left wondering how anyone could find this stuff interesting. Perhaps there really is a small circle of comic fans somewhere, hungrily devouring comics like this one. Or maybe all those blurbs on the back cover were just sound and fury, signifying nothing. All I know is that "Ordinary Victories" had me missing my superheroes.