Showing posts with label Daniel Clowes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daniel Clowes. Show all posts

Friday, March 24, 2017

Local papers on the Wilson movie, based on Clowes' graphic novel

Regarding Wilson, in 2010 I wrote a brief review of the book and interviewed Mr. Clowes, who at conventions is very personable and approachable, unlike his characters.  

 Wilson Is Only As Good As It's Narcissistic Protagonist's Warped Worldview

And Wilson's worldview isn't too appealing. [in print as Narcissist Sandwich].

Noah Gittell
Washington City Paper Mar 24, 2017
online at

'Wilson' fails to humanize its cartoonish title character [in print as Graphic novel's grouch better on page]

By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post March 24 2017, p. Weekend 29
online at

'Wilson,' With Woody Harrelson as a Misanthrope

A version of this review appears in print on March 24, 2017, on Page C6 of the New York edition with the headline: I'm Not O.K. You're Even Worse.

And in a similar vein, the Post ran online an AP article on Iron Fist...

Netflix/Marvel's 'Iron Fist' epic fail, say viewers, critics

Washington (March 23 2017):

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with LA Johnson

by Mike Rhode
L.A. Johnson is one of the organizers of this weekend's DC Art Book Fair. It will take place on Saturday, November 12 (here's its blog.) We caught up to NPR's Johnson before the show to find out more about her work.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do? -- Comics journalism, nonfiction, and absurdism.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination? -- trad and mod.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born? -- Ohio, 1980s.

Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in? -- Columbia Heights, this has been my home for the last 6 years!

What is your training and/or education in cartooning? -- I've always made comics, then I studied illustration at SCAD in Savannah, Ga.

Who are your influences? -- I love the storytelling from Guy Delisle, the freedom of Carol Tyler and the mind-fuck from Daniel Clowes. I also just got turned on to the Spanish site from Ana Galvan, and the work on there blows me away.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change? -- Nothing.

What work are you best-known for? -- Comics and illustration on

What work are you most proud of? -- A story I did about an amazing art teacher, Jimi Herd.

What would you like to do or work on in the future? -- I'm currently working on a comic book about my journey to find my birth mother and how adoption shapes us.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block? -- I try something completely different -- like pottery or rock climbing.

What do you think will be the future of your field? -- It's going to be amazing. Comics journalism is on the rise, and particularly for the work that I do. I believe it might just be the truest way to tell a radio story on the web. I have a personal goal to get newsrooms to notice and respect this form of storytelling.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them? -- I went to SPX for the first time this year as a reporter and got to interview some amazing cartoonists like Daniel Clowes and Lisa Hanawalt. You can read excerpts on my illustration blog

What's your favorite thing about DC? -- That the city is enthusiastically moldable. You can come here and do anything you want and you will find support for it. Sometimes it is overwhelming how much there is to do here.

Least favorite? -- That we don't have statehood and people outside think I'm from Colombia when I hand them my ID. Also that people think there is no culture here... Way wrong!

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to? -- I love the Botanical Gardens and the Air and  Space Museum the most... I like seeing weird shit out of place and think it wakes up the imagination. I also love sitting on the back steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

How about a favorite local restaurant? -- My friend Ben's wife just opened a little place you might have heard of... it's called Bad Saint... ;) I don't know if there are any awards out there that they haven't won. Well deserved. I also hold a dear spot in my heart for Comet Ping Pong. That's where I got my start doing show posters here in DC 6 years ago and their pizza and wings are the best in the city. I'll fight you on that.

Do you have a website or blog? -- and

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Minor bits by Arlingtonians in new books

Richard Thompson has a 1-page cartoon introduction to the new Barney Google book from Craig Yoe.

Meanwhile I'm thanked in Daniel Clowes: Conversations (Conversations With Comics Artists Series) by Ken Parille (Editor) and Isaac Cates (Editor), for suggesting to Isaac that he do a Conversations book. The book was already finished when I interviewed Clowes, so print out “Likable Characters Are for Weak-Minded Narcissists”: A Chat with Daniel Clowes" and glue it in the back of the book. In the book trade, they call that 'tipping-in' and I'll autograph it for you to increase the value.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recent Dan Clowes interviews and articles, as requested

Braganza, Chantal. 2010.
Don’t confuse Daniel Clowes with an opinionated, middle-aged loner
Ghost World author is back with Wilson, his first full-length comic in five years. But he’s not the protagonist.
Toronto Star (May 6):

Khosla, Abhay et al.  2010.

Savage Symposium: Wilson By Dan Clowes.

Savage Critics blog (May 10):


Levack, Chandler.  2010.

Comic timing: After six years, Daniel Clowes is returning to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival with Wilson, his first original graphic novel with Drawn & Quarterly. The only problem? He's more afraid of success than ever.

Eye Weekly (May 5):


 Del Signore, John.  2010.

Daniel Clowes, Cartoonist.

Gothamist (May 5):


Rudick, Nicole.  2010.

Daniel Clowes [Cartoonist].

Believer (May).

Partially online at


Miliard, Mike.  2010.

Interview: Daniel Clowes: On going from Enid to Wilson.

Boston Phoenix (April 27):


Brooks, Allen.  2010.

DCist Interview: Daniel Clowes.

DCist (April 30):


Kois, Dan.  2010.

Panel Discussion Daniel Clowes covers cartoon history in one graphic novel. (May 2):


Deusner, Stephen M.  2010.

Stick Figure: Daniel Clowes, 'Wilson'.

Express (May 3):


Chute, Hillary.  2010.

Off-page with... Dan Clowes: With Wilson, the graphic novelist has more fun being bleak.

Time Out New York (761; April 29–May 5).

Online at


Howard, Dave.  2010.

Dan Clowes' new Graphic Novel, Wilson,

Torontoist (April 14):


Mercier, Jean-Pierre.  2009.

“ Je crois que je me suis toujours senti à part”: entretien avec Dan Clowes.
Ninth Art:

Rhode, Mike.  2010.

International Ink: Clowes, Kids, Crackers and Hellboy [reviews].

Washington City Paper Arts Desk blog (April 29):


Rhode, Mike.  2010.

“Likable Characters Are for Weak-Minded Narcissists”: A Chat with Daniel Clowes.

Washington City Paper Arts Desk blog (May 3):



Sunday, May 09, 2010

Dan Clowes at Politics and Prose highlights


As requested by at least one reader, here's some notes from Clowes' appearance at Politics and Prose. Unfortunately the store's cd recorder failed so they're not offering the recording for sale - and this was one of the best cartoonist events I've seen.

Dan Kois of the Washington Post was the interviewer. The slide set was provided by Clowes and covered his career, which began with Wally Wood being his favorite cartoonist, discovering his story "Welcome to My World," and realizing that cartoonists were in fact real people. Although he wanted to work for MAD, his first published work was for Cracked. Fantagraphics and he agreed to do a comic book based on his character Lloyd Lewellyn - when he got bored with that, he began Eightball which let him run many of his graphic novels as serials. Eightball and Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron both came from lines in the odd movie Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill! when the criminal women are at the gas station.

Clowes feels like the strangest job he ever got was for Coca-Cola's "OK" Beverage where the advertising company gave him carte blanche to design the can and he ended up having to see this drawing he did of a man based on Charles Manson on billboards.

Wilson, his new book, arose when he was waiting at his father's deathbed and began writing comic strips to keep his mind occupied. He and Kois concurred that reading the whole book at once was a bit much and laughingly settled on a suggested 1 strip per hour. The book is intended to look like a 1950s cartoon book such as VIP's Big George, where a viewer can clearly tell that this is both a comic collection book and Big George is a jerk.

During the questions, he recommended Tim Hensley's Wally Gropius several times. He said he was bored with 1990s animation until Persepolis came out and thought the best film in ten years was Fears of the Dark especially Richard Maguire's segment which he called on par with Hitchcock.

He's done with Eightball probably because comic books don't really make sense anymore when you have to sell them for $7-8. He's working on a screenplay - "I'm working on something I can't talk about."

He doesn't use computers except to color - "Every line in every book is drawn by hand." Coloring is done in an architect's program, Vector, which is a pain, but gives perfect precision every time.

Is Wilson's monologue internal? "I'm not sure." The good thing about comics is that it doesn't matter. In a film, he'd look insane talking to himself, but comics lets you play around with what's actually happening.

Eightball 23, The Death Ray, will be reprinted as a book at some point - he's just had too much to do and the comic needed to sell out first, but now he's got too much new product coming out. The New York Times strip Mr. Wonderful in an expanded version will be out from Pantheon next February.

Francois Mouley approached him about doing New Yorker covers. He had been doing spot illos for the magazine, but that's a different department. He'd been asked years ago to do them, but hadn't figured out how to approach them. Noting that they're supposed to be wry proto-cartoons, he reflected, "If you actually make someone laugh, you've failed." Now he's got it down and can immediately think how to design one.

Did he enjoy collaborating on movies? "I did enjoy it. You can get very stuck in your own head drawing comics every day... I wouldn't want to do that [ie moviemaking] full time at all."

Were the NY Times strips edited? "They were very good except for certain words. I needed the guy to go to "Jesus" for his word" - after a letter, the NYT told him he couldn't use it anymore. "They wouldn't let me use the word 'schmuck.' He quoted their own columnist William Safire on the widespread acceptance of the word now, but they still wouldn't let him use it. (Incidentally, it appeared in the Arts section just this past week).

That's all the notes I took - I'm really sorry the recording failed. Clowes has been doing tons of interviews besides in DC, and I'm compiling them for my next bibliography - if there's any interest I can post links here.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Dan Clowes at Politics and Prose pictures


I forgot my notes for this at work today - perhaps tomorrow I can put up some of the highlights. In the meantime, here are my pictures. I'd especially like to note that Daniel stayed from 7 - 10:40 pm - he made sure everyone on line got a sketch in a book.

And apparently everyone in DC interviewed him too - I like my interview best of course, but here's another -

DCist Interview: Daniel Clowes
Written by DCist Contributor Allen Brooks
April 30 2010

and another by the Post freelancer who did an excellent job interviewing him at P&P -

Panel Discussion: Daniel Clowes covers cartoon history in one graphic novel, By Dan Kois, published May 2, 2010.

There was a somewhat atypical crowd this time - I saw Martha Kennedy of the Library of Congress' cartoon collection, Larry Rodman the former Comics Journal reporter, Michael Wenthe an American University professor, Hank Stuever the Washington Post's Style reporter, Randy Tischler this blog's co-writer and publicity man for the Baltimore Comic-Con, book collector and Herblock specialist Warren Bernard and a cartoonist for the Times of India whom I didn't get to meet.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Express website also interviewed Clowes

Stick Figure: Daniel Clowes, 'Wilson', by Express contributor Stephen M. Deusner, May 3, 2010. Online only - I heard about it at the signing.

Clowes was a really interesting interview and a nice guy - if you're later on the book tour, go see this. If you missed him in DC, call Politics and Prose and order the recording of the talk.

Pictures coming soon.

Clowes interview up at City Paper - he's at Politics and Prose tonight

“Likable Characters Are for Weak-Minded Narcissists”: A Chat with Daniel Clowes
Monday, May 3rd, 2010 is short email interview that he did with me - he's very funny. Go read it now, and then see him tonight at Politics and Prose at 7 pm.

Here's the PR from his publisher:

Dan Clowes On Tour! WILSON in stores!

All of our North American distributors have shipped the most anticipated book of the year to stores -- WILSON by Daniel Clowes, the cartoonist of David Boring, Ghost World and Ice Haven and the legendary Eightball comic book series. Today, WILSON is available everywhere in North America, at a finer store near you. In the next year, foreign language editions will also come out in the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Netherlands and Denmark.

Dan Clowes embarks on his tour next week in support of his first ever original graphic novel. In each city, Dan will be talking with a special guest moderator complete with slide show. (and it's a great slide show) And in Boston you get to see Ghost World after the event, with an introduction by Dan himself.

05/03/10 | 7 PM Washington DC POLITICS & PROSE With Dan Kois
05/04/10 | 6 PM Cambridge BRATTLE THEATER & HARVARD BOOKSTORE With Hillary Chute
05/05/10 | 7 PM NYC THE STRAND With David Hajdu
05/07/10 | 7 PM Toronto TCAF & TPL With Mark Medley
05/08/10-05/09/10 Toronto TCAF & TPL
05/13/10 | 7:30 PM San Francisco THE BOOKSMITH With Glen David Gold
05/14/10 | 7:30 PM Los Angeles SKYLIGHT BOOKS With Dana Gould
05/16/10 | 7:30 PM Portland POWELLS With Greg Netzer, Director of Wordstock
06/03/10 | 7 PM Oakland DIESEL With Eli Horowitz
06/12/10 | 7 PM Chicago QUIMBY'S (signing only)
06/13/10 | TBA Chicago PRINTERS ROW With Ray Pride

ABOUT WILSON: Meet Wilson, an opinionated middle-aged loner who loves his dog and quite possibly no one else. In an ongoing quest to find human connection, he badgers friend and stranger alike into a series of one-sided conversations, punctuating his own lofty discursions with a brutally honest, self-negating sense of humor. After his father dies, Wilson, now irrevocably alone, sets out to find his ex-wife with the hope of rekindling their long-dead relationship, and discovers he has a teenage daughter, born after the marriage ended and given up for adoption. Wilson eventually forces all three to reconnect as a family - a doomed mission that will surely, inevitably backfire.

Full Color, 80 pages, 8 1/4 by 11 1/2 inches ISBN: 9781770460072 $21.95 US / $22.95 CDN
For more information visit

Thursday, April 29, 2010

May 3: Daniel Clowes at Politics and Prose

I'll have a brief review of the book up at the City Paper this week, and an amusing interview with him posted there on Monday morning.

Daniel Clowes - Wilson

Start: May 3, 2010 - 7:00pm
End: May 3, 2010 - 8:00pm
The latest graphic novel by Clowes, the author of David Boring and Ghost World is his first not to be serialized. A sequence of single-page vignettes, it’s drawn in different styles and dramatizes the life of a lonely, bitter man searching for human connection.