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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

"...this was awesome."
FPI Blog

"The ICA treats comics the way they should be: as contemporary art."
Sci Fi London

"I was about to fall off my chair from overstimulation."
Sarah McIntyre

"With Comica, the ICA is doing what it does best: reaching out to culture's fringe."
Kulture Flash

"...a place where aspiring graphic novelists get the chance to rub shoulders with established comic book artists..."
Valerie Pezeron

"5 Stars... a superb exhibition."
Time Out

"British preconceptions of graphic novels are changing as exhibitions such as Comica expose the challenging work out there."
Design Week

"The Comica Festival's uniqueness resides in its selection of international comic artists [and] its presentation of cutting-edge themes..."
Dominique Le Duc

"The talk - to a full house - was pleasant, convivial and amusing."
Tim Pilcher

"When the event was over the audience was left wanting more."
Liban Diriye