The pages of comic books are most often thought of as places for superheroes and evildoers. But over the course of his career as a cartoonist and screenwriter, Daniel Clowes has turned those familiar panels into windows on the complex challenges of everyday loneliness, alienation and despair. Oakland-based Clowes joins us to discuss the retrospective of his work currently showing at the Oakland Museum of California.
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Daniel Clowes and Seth talk about their work as cartoonists and illustrators. Clowes created the iconic comic book series Eightball and of the graphic novels Wilson, Ghost World, David Boring, and Ice Haven; and his latest book is The Death-Ray. Seth is the cartoonist of is the cartoonist of Clyde Fans; Wimbledon Green; George Sprott; and Vernacular Drawings; among others, and his latest is The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists, the companion to Wimbledon Green.
Susan Miller, curator of Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes, engages Clowes in a conversation about his practice and genesis of the exhibition.
Daniel Clowes, born in Chicago in 1961, is an internationally celebrated comic book artist and graphic novelist. To date, he has published nearly 50 comic books and graphic novels including Ghost World, Art School Confidential, Lloyd Llewellyn, David Boring, Ice Haven, The Death-Ray, Wilson, Mister Wonderful, and in 1989, the groundbreaking comic book series Eightball. Clowes gained wide recognition in 2001 with the release of Ghost World, the Terry Zwigoff-directed, Academy Award-nominated film for which he wrote the screenplay. Clowes is also a highly acclaimed magazine illustrator with work appearing in Time, Newsweek, GQ, and many other magazines. Beginning in 2007, Clowes became a regular cover artist for The New Yorker and created the twenty-episode series Mister Wonderful for the New York Times Magazine.
Susan Miller is an independent curator and producer with a career focus on regional art and culture. She has organized surveys and books on Bay Area artists including Daniel Clowes, Tony Labat, Jim Pomeroy, and Jeanne Finley. From 1993 to 2005, she was the executive director of San Francisco’s New Langton Arts. She is currently organizing a touring exhibition and book on media artist Doug Hall as well as developing the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research, a new research unit for UC Berkeley.
Comic artist Daniel Clowes never expected to see his cranky, rebellious characters in a museum â in fact, he often uses them to poke fun at the world of fine art. But that didn’t deter the Oakland Museum of California, which is now hosting an exhibition of Clowes’ work.