[Matt Tauber] CLOWES-MANIA!

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Matt Tauber

May 31, 2014, 10:57:39 PM5/31/14
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After reading books by Daniel Clowes and seeing this -

and this -

one thing came to mind - I have to know what makes this guy tick!  Fortunately for Daniel Clowes fans, an exhibit of his work just opened at the Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University in Columbus.  The Wex is the next door neighbor of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.  It's a feast for comic fans in Columbus, with comic art exhibits at both the Ireland and the Wex.

There are two Clowes-centric exhibits: "Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes" and "Eye of the Cartoonist: Daniel Clowes' Selections from Comics History."

"Modern Cartoonist"features original pages and covers by Clowes from throughout his career of 25+ years.  Viewers see not only the development of his art, but also the variety of comics styles he's explored over the years.  Cinephiles take note that it includes pages from his comics-turned-movies "Ghost World" and "Art School Confidential."  An interesting immersion in the work of this compelling cartoonist.

In the companion exhibit - "Eye of the Cartoonist" - Clowes was given free reign to explore the holdings of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.  He picked out examples of art from 22 cartoonists he considers influences and inspirations.  One of those he chose was Milton Caniff, represented by two "Terry and the Pirates" Sunday pages.

On May 17th, I attended a conversation between Dan Clowes and Hillary Chute, a college professor and author of two books examining comics as a narrative form.  Clowes spoke thoughtfully of his work and humorously of his artistic trials.  I also learned that his name rhymes with "cows" and not "hose" as I've been pronouncing it all this time.  I think it's too late for my brain to switch.

In this photo, they're discussing the font he created for the "Art School Confidential" movie, for which he also wrote the screenplay.  There was a Q&A as part of the program.  I asked him how he picked the Caniff pieces.  He said he laid several out on a table and squinted to see which had the greatest contrast of black and white, which he feels is Caniff's strength.  He said looking at Caniff art gives him that visceral feeling of wanting to put ink to paper.

Both Clowes exhibits run through August 3rd.  Click here for the hours.


To learn more about Dan Clowes, the Library of Matt recommends these books to our readers 18 and over:

Wilson by Daniel Clowes (2010, Drawn and Quarterly)

The Daniel Clowes Reader (2013, Fantagraphics)

These and many other interesting books are available at your local library and comic book store.  Visit them.  They'll be happy to help you read more about it.

Posted By Matt Tauber to Matt Tauber at 5/31/2014 10:57:00 PM
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