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A COMICA REVIEW BY:

TONY VENEZIA


Tony Venezia attended the Comica Conversation with Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware and Audrey Niffenegger on May 25, 2010.

Possibly the most laid back panel in the history of Comica, this event brought together David Clowes and Chris Ware in conversation with prose/graphic novelist Audrey Niffeneger. The evening at the Cochrane theatre in Holborn was packed out with an enthusiastic if noticeably slackerdemic audience. Although the conversation manage to cover a lot of ground (including some at times almost surreal riffing on the importance of the city of Chicago), the night was basically pegged on Clowes recent ‘Wilson’, his first ‘graphic novel’ (i.e. it wasn’t serialised in ‘Eightball’ first). ‘Wilson’ is a hilarious and thoroughly Beckettian piece, both in terms of its utterly unsympathetic, bitter, and anti-social eponymous character and in the narrative’s austere and repetitive structure. Clowes pointed out that whereas most of his characters are motivated by ego or superego, Wilson was pure id. Replying to a question by Niffenegger on ambiguity in stories, Clowes spoke about how he’d ended up with too much material which he kept cutting back leaving a pleasingly frustrating narrative full of omissions and ellipses (is Wilson a first name or surname? Why does he end up in prison? etc.).

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Reviews

"...hearing literary translators talk about their work reminded me of the immense difficulty, creativity and importance of the task."
The Financial Times

"...will be talked about by those who saw it for years to come."
Bart Beaty

"Comica normally comes up with some great talks and panels, but this was particularly memorable..."
Comix Influx

"Imagine one of the world's greatest cities hosting a series of events starring the world's greatest cartoonists, put together by one of the world's greatest comics scholars. That's London's Comica."
The Beat

"Featuring some of the most critically-acclaimed international comic book creators..."
Tripwire

"Paul Gravett Rules!"
Peggy Burns

"...i left the ica full of encouragement and positivity."
Maartje Schalkx

"...this was awesome."
FPI Blog

"...it's a great time to be a comics fan in London!"
Chris Thompson

"Gives the comic form the cultural representation the UK doesn't normally see."
David Greene