Kill or Be Killed, Saga, Paper Girls, Black Hammer, Criminal, Astro City, Mockingbird & Beasts of Burden appear to be the nomination leaders. Details below Continue reading 2017 Eisner Award Nominees
In 2010 Drawn and Quarterly released Wilson, the first original graphic novel by the acclaimed writer/artist Daniel Clowes. Despite this distinction, Wilson possesses a serial vibe, often feeling more like a collection of episodic comic strips than a plot driven narrative. This impression is reinforced by Clowes’ decision to vary his art style throughout so that loose cartoons rest opposite pages of more naturalistic detail. What the book lacks in narrative or artistic unity, it gains in thematic cohesion. Wilson displays a biting, if loving, critique of its protagonist as he stumbles through the tribulations of life. The story and the visuals blend to create a very specific ambiance. This mix of comedy and drama was probably what appealed to director Craig Johnson whose previously film, The Skeleton Twins, was focused on a pair of suicidal twins. On paper, Johnson’s sensibility would appear to be a good match for Clowes’. Unfortunately the film Johnson and Clowes, who wrote the screenplay, have produced is an amusing one which fails to live up to its complete potential.
In non-superhero comic book adaptation news, today also brought the first trailer for Wilson, based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes. Terry Zwigoff’s film of Clowes’ Ghost World was one of the best movies of the 00’s, featuring a career best performance from Steve Buscemi while introducing many viewers to a young actress by the name of Scarlett Johansson. Will Wilson be as well praised or receive a more muted response along the lines of Zwigoff/Clowes’ followup Art School Confidential? We shall see in the spring.
Wilson stars Woody Harrelson & Laura Dern. Clowes wrote the screenplay. The film, directed by Craig Johnson, opens March 24th, 2017.
Marc Maron does an in depth podcast with Daniel Clowes about his upbringing, PTSD and the silver age creators that he read growing up, the underground comics scene, open heart surgery and his work as a whole. There’s also a fascinating discussion at the beggining with OJ: Made In America director Ezra Edelman. Take a long listen here
It’s that time of year where all the new comics haven’t come out yet and we can believe the book’s in our head will be the books we get. Some of them won’t meet expectations, some will exceed them. Regardless, these are the new comics series of 2016 that we can’t wait to read.
Daniel Clowes has remained among the most important comics creators for years from his 8Ball series and beyond as one of the most influential creators in small press & alt comics circles. Clowes DNA is ever present in modern comics in the same way as more well known peers like Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis while it could be argued that his contributions to the medium have been even more profound in expanding it’s influence outwardly to popular culture. His original graphic novel Patience is his first new comics work in years and it’s a mesmerizing time traveling, cosmic love story as only Clowes could create.
Patience is a complex story of a man from the future using time travel to save his ex-wife & unborn child from an unsolved murder in 2012. Part Looper in story telling concept and part Jack Kirby 2001 Space Odysey in execution, Clowes uses the conceit to explore the life of Patience, the women who the protagonist goes back in time to save and in doing so, touches on themes of fate, family, love, class and regret in harrowing detail. It’s a comic that feels unique to it’s creator while being completely singular to his style. The art takes much of Clowes surrealism from past work and goes next level in it’s execution for gorgeous surrealist visual story telling, spliced in between the cartoonist trademark concrete realism associated with his most famous work like Ghost World or Pussey. In that way, Patience feels very much in sync with Clowes past work while still representing an evolution for the illustrator in visual technique and the scope of his storytelling. Fan’s of Clowes past work and new readers should be able to enjoy this book in equal measure as the appeal of it’s execution and themes explore themes that are universal and vital to the human condition.
Having spent years without new material, Patience proves without a doubt that Clowes is still among the most uncanny & exceptional in the medium and that he still has so much left to contribute towards the art form. If you’ve loved previous Clowes comics, Patience should do more then exceed expectations and if this is your first experience with the creator, it’s as good a comic as any you’ll have to jump into the creator’s world. Unique, complicated, harrowing and heartfelt; Patience delivers Clowes at his best and most creative.