Jar of Fools: Part One and Two - Jason Lutes

Magician Ernie's obsession with his brother's (possible) suicide makes him incapable of maintaining a career or romance. Al, his mentor, has fled his nursing home--and reality as often as not. Petty con man Nathan longs for a better life for his daughter Claire and thinks magic is the means. Esther, on the run from the law and a boyfriend, may or may not wish to get back together with her true love Ernie. Together they hope to mutually solve each other's problems and come to terms with themselves. The art is strikingly beautiful and the characters are vivid in this comic. My problem is that the characters are saccharine in their willingness to care for one another. They lack the selfishness (conscious or not) needed to make them fully three-dimensional (and Esther's obstinate refusal to get back together with Ernie is more quixotic than ""well rounded"").