The first issue of the Novelty Library focuses on Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid On Earth, though only two pages of this issue were later collected in the Jimmy Corrigan novel. In the main 24 page color story we see scenes from his life — as a young boy, as a young man, as middle-aged man, and as on old man. The time line skips back and forth, and it's left up to the reader to piece together a history from these glimpses into Jimmy's life.
An eight page inlay printed on news-print in black and white and a blue-grayish color has a six page nonsensical strip about Jimmy as a (for once) smart child. He builds rocket ships, shrinks himself, has an adventure and grows up. The ending of the strip is detailed on a full page of typeset text.
Also included is a one page Big Tex strip, a one page funny story about Jimmy fixing a new dad, one page of fake ads, and "A Splendid Toy Model" of Jimmy in his robot man persona on the back cover.
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