Sunday, August 29, 2010

Daniel Clowes: Conversations Is Here!

I think I've only hinted about it on the blog so far, but this week I am excited to say that I have in my hands a copy of the University Press of Mississippi's new book Daniel Clowes: Conversations.

It's great to see this in print. It collects a number of extensive and obscure interviews with Dan Clowes, reaching back to his first interview ever to see print (conducted back in 1988). A couple of these pieces have never been published in the United States before, and a couple of others appeared in small-press zines that not many people have seen.

The collection isn't copiously illustrated, but this is the sort of rare comics-related artifact where the text is really the selling point. Clowes is an articulate and interesting person, with a sharp wit and broad interests in pop (and high) culture. Looking through this book's index gives you a sense of how broadly the conversations in the collection can range: Thor, thought balloons, Howlin' Thurston, Adrian Tomine, John Travolta...

The collection concludes with a 24-page interview conducted by Ken Parille, one of the editors, that Clowes gave specifically for the book. This is the place where Clowes basically says that Eightball is finished, and that complete works like Wilson are going to be his main format henceforth. He also has the chance to reflect on (and amend) points raised in the earlier interviews.

If you're interested in Clowes's work, or if you're a student of the "alternative" comics scene, this is a good book to have on your shelf, and a nice collection to read gradually over a span of a couple of weeks.

And I should know, because I'm the other editor of the book.

Why don't you pop on over to Amazon and order up a copy of Daniel Clowes: Conversations?


Mike said...

Sir, yet again: I *BOW* to you.

I'm so proud to have been a witness at the onset of your career as a comics scholar, when you gave a paper on Daniel Clowes while seated at a table *with Daniel Clowes himself.* If that weren't an early acknowledgment of the greatness to come, well, you could have fooled me!

And when I say "greatness to come," I know that there's more on the way. If 2010 has looked like a Banner year for you (chapter on Ware, book on Clowes), I have high hopes that 2011 will be the year when your comics scholarship Hulks out!

Your humble occasional co-cartoonist and -blogger,

Tom K said...

Looking forward to getting a copy!

Isaac said...

I'll have a few copies on hand when I'm at SPX, and should be able to sell them cheaper than the Amazon price while I'm there.

Ben Towle said...

Well, damn... I've not even *started* the collection of Ware essays, and now there's this. Looking forward to adding it to my ever-growing "to read" stack.