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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

"...a long-overdue celebration of graphic art and literature."
BBC Collective

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

"I arrived to find a queue for the sold-out event stretching out of the building."
Paul Tierney

"It was a real learning experience."
Tom Humberstone

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

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

"This event showcased some of the great variety of manga art styles and artists working across languages, continents and cultures in the world today."
Karl Pell

"After five years of attending Comica's Comikets, the event has finally come of age."
Francesca Cassavetti

"The epitome of geekchic, it's most definitely worth checking out."
The Rough Guide To Graphic Novels

"...a comprehensive, varied and exciting season that demonstrated the reach and diversity of the art form."
The Comics Journal