Caricature by Daniel Clowes
'Caricature' (Eightball #15).

Daniel Clowes is part of the second generation of American underground comix artists.

Clowes was born in Chicago, and attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Among his graphic influences were Ernie Bushmiller, Al Capp, Robert CrumbHergéHarvey KurtzmanHarvey PekarAl WisemanJim Woodring and Basil Wolverton. He has also expressed admiration for "outsider artists" like Jack Chick and J.H. Koeleman jr.

He made his debut in the first issue of Psycho Comics in 1981, and throughout the decade, he has contributed to Look Mom Presents, Love & Rockets, Anything Goes, Doomsdag Squad, Twist, Judo Joe, Prime Cuts, Amazing Heroes, Village Voice, Weirdo, Young Lust and National Lampoon. He was a regular in Cracked magazine from 1985 to 1989 with features like 'The Uggly Family'. Between April 1986 and December 1988, Clowes published his own 'Lloyd Llewellyn' comic books with Fantagraphics, after having introduced the character in Love & Rockets in 1985.

Bill Trouble, by Daniel Clowes
'Bill Trouble' (The Previous Future #1, 1981).

In October of the following year, he came up with 'Eightball', in which he published most of his work from then on. This included short stories, starring characters like the frustrated comic artist Dan Pussey, but also serials like the nighmarish 'Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron', 'Ghost World' and 'The Further Adventures of David Boring'.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
'Ghost World'. 

Fantagraphics has published most of the short stories that were serialized in 'Eightball' in book collections like 'Orgy Bound' (1996), 'Caricature' (1998), 'Twentieth Century Eightball' (2002). The Dan Pussey stories were collected in the comics novella 'Pussey!', a funny who's-who-in-U.S.-comix, featuring Art Spiegelman and Harvey Kurtzman.

David Boring, by Daniel Clowes
'The Further Adventures of David Boring' (Eightball, 1999).

A recurring theme in Clowes' work is the feeling of isolation in a world replete with erotic stimuli and consumer goods that haunts his main characters. The artist's mastery of bringing comic characters to life is such that his best-seller 'Ghost World' features two completely convincing teenage girls - no small feat for a male artist in his forties. In 2001, Clowes participated in MGM's cinema adaptation of 'Ghost World', directed by Terry Zwigoff. In 2006, Zwigoff also adapted 'Art School Confidential' to film.

Our children and their friends by Daniel Clowes
From 'Eightball' #22.

The theme of alienation is also evident in his highly praised graphic novel 'David Boring', collected in book format by Pantheon Books in 2000. 'Wilson' is yet another story about a loner, released directly as a graphic novel by Drawn & Quarterly in 2010. This publisher also released his 2004 story 'The Death-Ray' as a graphic novel in October 2011. After a prolonged health crisis and undergoing open-heart surgery in 2006, Clowes serialized his romance graphic novel 'Mister Wonderful' in twenty installments in The New York Times between September 2007 and January 2008. A book collection was published by Pantheon Books in 2011.

Clowes wrote a personal homage to Robert Crumb in Monte Beauchamp's book 'The Life and Times of R. Crumb. Comments From Contemporaries (St. Martin's Griffin, New York, 1998).

Daniel Clowes influenced Charles Burns, Con Chrisoulis, Conz, Cosey, Sophie Crumb, Guido van Driel, Kim Duchateau, Tom GauldMike Gorman, Charles GuthrieSammy HarkhamErik KriekAaron Lange, Stewart Kenneth Moore, J. Personne, Ed PiskorRichard Sala, David Sanchez, Lae SchäferMaarten Vande Wiele and Barbara Stok. He received admiration from veteran artists such as Cosey and Jules Feiffer. Daniel Clowes was also an influence on Matt Groening, who placed 'Eightball' on nr. 62 in his personal list of '100 Favorite Things'. Clowes was also special guest voice in 'The Simpsons' episode 'Husbands and Knives' (2007). 

In the spring of 1998, Clowes did an impressive gallery show at Galerie Lambiek and a special silkscreen, 'Clowes in Space', was made for the occasion.

Duplex Planet, by Dan Clowes
'Duplex Planet'.

Series and books by Daniel Clowes you can order today:


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