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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

"It was fascinating and welcoming..."
Mike Leader

"...chat over beers with some of the UK's coolest comic types..."
Thomas Behe

"Yet another fabulous evening."
Martin Eden

"It was definitely worth the trip."
Garen Ewing

"Comica... continues to heap cultural credibility onto this once maligned art form."
BBC Online

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

"...packed out..."
Tony Venezia

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

"...a major new international festival devoted to sequential narratives."
Flux

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