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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

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

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

"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

"...a two-week celebration of the art form..."
The London Paper

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

"...fascinating..."
Redrawn

"Comica Comiket at the ICA was buzzing with invention and ideas."
The Guardian

"...will be talked about by those who saw it for years to come."
Bart Beaty