Archive for July, 2010

Wilson: Drama, Pathos, Irony, Etc.

Introducing Wilson

“For the love of Christ, don’t you ever shut up?”

Such are Wilson’s closing remarks in “Fellowship,” the first of Daniel Clowes’ sequential-existential one-page gag strips found in Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly, 2010). Taken collectively, these 77 cartoons amount to Clowes’ first self-avowed “original graphic novel.” This, in spite of Clowes’ previously serialized works having been republished in bound editions, including $@&!: The Official Lloyd Llewellyn Collection (Fantagraphics, 1997), Ice Haven (Pantheon, 2005), David Boring (Pantheon, 2000) and Ghost World (Fantagraphics, 1997), all of which initially appeared in Eightball.

As for Wilson, I was hooked on page one.

The back cover of Wilson describes our protagonist as “…a big hearted slob, a lonesome bachelor, a devoted father and husband, an idiot, a sociopath, a delusional blowhard, a delicate flower, and 100% wilsonesque.” In essence, the beauty of Wilson is that contradictions abound. And in that very encapsulation, Wilson is the penultimate human being. Continue reading ‘Wilson: Drama, Pathos, Irony, Etc.’

Crumbtemporaries on the Comix

The Life and Times of R. Crumb: Comments from Contemporaries, edited by Monte Beauchamp


Let us consider Chris Ware’s contribution to The Life and Times of R. Crumb: Comments from Contemporaries (St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998), included among the “Accolades and Reflections on the Controversial R. Crumb,” on the back cover of the book:

I can think of no one more unqualified to say anything about Robert Crumb’s artwork than myself. In fact, it’s useless for most cartoonists of my generation to do so; without him, there wouldn’t be any cartoonists of my generation.

–Chris Ware, The Acme Novelty Library

Maybe he’s right. But we should expect Ware’s self-deprecating comments, in particular when mentioning them in the context of Crumb’s impact on cartooning. Were there no Crumb, certainly the next generation of cartoonists would have looked very different. In fact, were there no crumb, even the cartoonists of Crumb’s generation would have looked very different. Crumb’s “contemporaries” profiled in Beauchamp’s collection include cartoonists, publishers, editors, writers, filmmakers, and others. Below is a list of all the contributors to The Life and Times of R. Crumb, in order of their appearance. Continue reading ‘Crumbtemporaries on the Comix’

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