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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

"...one of the most interesting and high quality celebrations of comics the country has ever seen."
Ninthart

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

"A Comica event - but at the V&A?!"
Jinty

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

"Thank you, Paul Gravett, for another wonderful season of Comica!"
Sarah McIntyre

"It was a real learning experience."
Tom Humberstone

"Guibert turned out to be a captivating speaker."
Sarah McIntyre

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

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

"...all [24 hour comic day] participants felt a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction by the end."
Jim Medway