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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

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

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

"PHEW! I just met Matt Groening!"
Jim Medway

"...a place where aspiring graphic novelists get the chance to rub shoulders with established comic book artists..."
Valerie Pezeron

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

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

"...plenty to spark your interest here, even if your last comic experience involved cow pie."
Flavorpill

"...a very special conversation between two incredible artists."
Chris Thompson

"...the viewer's efforts were amply rewarded by the superb quality of nearly every comic in the exhibit."
Alison Frank

"Every time I go to these events I come back inspired to do more work."
Sylvia Libedinsky