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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

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

"...far and away the best place to find a serious and eclectic showcase of world comics fare."
The First Post

"It was a real learning experience."
Tom Humberstone

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

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

"...another very successful event providing a wonderful voyage into the world of graphic literature."
Dominique Le Duc

"...Comica continues to be a must-visit destination each year..."
Joel Meadows

"...the Talking With Gods documentary didn't disappoint."
The Guardian

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

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