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Daniel Clowes' Long Overdue Career Retrospective "Modern Cartoonist" Opens At OMCA This Weekend

Posted by Billyjam, April 12, 2012 09:20pm | Post a Comment
Despite his deep resume and extensive, impressive body of work, revered & highly accomplished Chicago born, Oakland based graphic novelist Daniel Clowes, whose work is defined by its dark humored focus on the underdog, is finally getting the kind of exposure he has long deserved but for some reason eluded - until now.

That successful & prolific career spans two-plus decades in the alternative comic book arts world racking up such accolades as several prestigious Harvey Awards for his pioneering comic Eightball, his work appearing in the New Yorker, a 2011 PEN career achievement award for the darkly fun The Death-Ray (about an orphaned teen named Andy who discovers that, when he smokes cigarettes, he morphs into a superhero with special powers), plus the 2001 Oscar nomination for the film adaptation of his book Ghost World.

Six years ago his Art School Confidential was adapted to film and reportedly a film version of his book Wilson is currently in the works. But it is only now in 2012 that Daniel Clowes is finally getting his due with a large scale retrospective of his life's work at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) that opens this weekend and runs there for four months.

With the exception of a (smaller scale compared to OMCA) solo show that Los Angeles' Richard Heller Gallery hosted for Clowes nine years ago, this OMCA retrospective will be Clowes first large scale, major museum exhibition focusing solely on his art and in great depth. Titled Modern Cartoonist, it opens this Saturday (April 14th) and runs through August 12th and will exhibit one hundred different pieces of the artist's work spanning the past 23 years.

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Ghost World - Walking Amongst the Living Dead

Posted by Miss Ess, May 11, 2010 04:01pm | Post a Comment
I had completely forgotten how good a movie Ghost World is, and I also can't believe it's been almost 10 years since it first came out in 2001!

ghost world

I don't think I had seen it again since then, and watching this film again with 9 years more life experience under my belt was enlightening in a way. I kinda can't believe this film ever got made, with its explicitly outsider view of the world and brash bitterness.
ghost world steve buscemi
That said, Ghost World, based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes, is hilarious and accurate when it comes to commentary on our ever-more conglomerated modern world and the rough task of even attempting to remain an individual within it. Enid (Thora Birch) and her best friend Becky (Scarlett Johansson) have just graduated from high school -- free at last to blossom further into the budding creative types they already are! But is it possible to grow up and not sell out? I love Enid and Becky's dry, honest take on the people and places that surround them, and how the film portrays adolescent boredom and minutiae in all its pathetic, short-sighted and unabashedly self-assured glory.

When they meet 78 collector Seymour (fully embodied by Steve Buscemi), Enid's world opens up further. She learns about integrity and idiosyncrasy in a way that the surrounding city itself can't teach, with its hip hop jukeboxed "50's" diners and "sell up" policy-laden multiplexes...

My favorite character in the film is Enid's caftan-ensconced, spiky haired art teacher, who has aghost world ileana douglas background in performance art (of course!), played to consummate perfection by Illeana Douglas. In fact, anyone who has sat through a high school art class will no doubt twitter in recognition of and amusement with its particular players, portrayed flawlessly here.

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Ghost Blogging: Ghost World Roundtable

Posted by Charles Reece, December 27, 2009 08:48am | Post a Comment
ghost world hard back

I guess I should've posted a link to the entertaining Ghost World roundtable that I participated in over at Noah Berlatsky's Hooded Utilitarian. A fun time was had by most, if not all. It begins here.

Paranoia, They Destroy Ya: Death Sentence vs. The Brave One, or Jodie Foster's Continuing Relevance to the Presidency

Posted by Charles Reece, February 8, 2008 12:50pm | Post a Comment
Given Hillary Clinton’s history of backing neo-liberal economic policies and war-making by the United States and its allies, her advocacy of women’s rights overseas within what is widely seen outside this country as an imperialist context could actually set back indigenous feminist movements in the same a way that the Bush administration’s “democracy-promotion” agenda has been a serious setback to popular struggles for freedom and democracy.  -- Stephen Zunes, Sexism, the Women’s Vote and Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy
These promises of morality, protection, and recognition of harm are false promises. The criminal justice apparatus is about order and its reproduction, and about maintaining the existing hierarchy of status and privilege, and only incidentally about crime or morality or the safety of individual citizens and their communities. It operates most effectively at
the level of the symbolic, by naming individual offenders as morally defective, and using them as scapegoats, and only incidentally as a useful tool for community security, although at times it is the only and the most appropriate social institution available. -- Diane L. Martin, Retributivism Revisited: A Reconsideration of Feminist Criminal Law Reform Strategies

At a time when Spider-Man still had some aesthetic worth, being drawn by the great Steve Ditko, New York was on its way to becoming a dangerous city, giving the super-powered vigilante something to do, presumedly on a daily basis.  However, looking at the crime stats for NYC in 1965, one finds that only 3% of its inhabitants experienced any sort of crime for that year.  With a population of 18 million, it's no wonder that there was rarely a cop around as the Vulture was flying off with his ill-gotten loot.  Now, if you're one lone webslinger, even with the aid of your trusty spider-sense, it ain't very likely that you'll be fortunate enough to come across a crime as it's occurring even on a monthly basis, much less a daily one.  Thus, we have one of the central absurd conceits of the vigilante sub-genre (with radiated powers or merely a stock of ammo): always being in the right place at the right time.

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