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Comix Stars
September 27, 2012 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Rolling Stone talks to comic stars Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware and Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez
posted by Artw (40 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Needs more Jason Lutes.
posted by etc. at 7:18 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't you mean comix stars? (Biff! Pow!)
posted by mediated self at 7:29 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nice interview, of rather limited scope. But, then, it's Rolling Stone.

Also -- I had no idea what Chris Ware actually looked like. I was... not surprised.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:32 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I spent more time staring at Chris Ware's fivehead than I did reading the article.
posted by brand-gnu at 7:36 AM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


(FYI: rhymes with "cows".)
posted by ariel_caliban at 7:49 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome. I can honestly say with no exaggeration that 3 of these guys (sorry, Beto) have provided major life-altering inflection points for me. One appearance by Ware at the U of MN convinced me to switch my focus to an entirely new (to me) art form at age 30.
posted by COBRA! at 7:49 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


There was a great comix panel at Northwestern University a couple of years ago that my wife and I managed to find out about at the last minute-- Ivan Brunetti, Chris Ware, Jeffrey Brown and Anders Nilsen. We'd already met Jeffrey Brown a couple of times (back when he worked at the Lincoln Park Barnes & Noble) so we got to add to our Signed Comix! collection a handsome copy of Dogs and Water, Acme Novelty Library 16, and Jimmy Corrigan. I was talking to Anders Nilsen who spent what felt like about fifteen minutes drawing an elaborate panel in the front of my book and when I finally headed over to Ware he and my wife were deep in conversation about Rapidograph pens. The little Jimmy Corrigan he drew in the front of that book is probably the only one with a smile.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:53 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have never seen Chris Ware before. Chris Ware looks like a Chris Ware drawing. Look at that frown and that forehead!
posted by painquale at 7:53 AM on September 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also when we met Dan Clowes he asked if he should make the signature out to both of us because he didn't want to be responsible for extra tension during the inevitable divorce.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:56 AM on September 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm wondering if the Heavy Metal influenced stuff they mention is Brandon Graham. From his Twitter he seems to think so.
posted by Artw at 8:08 AM on September 27, 2012


sorry, Beto

I'm the same way, yet out of the four, Beto as a creator probably occupies the most brain-space in my head (Is it just me, or does Beto's bit in L&R:NS #5 feel very much like a Fuck You to people who say 'Meh, these movie comics are pretty self-indulgent, why doesn't he do more Palomar stories?') It's sort of interesting that he talks so much shit about younger cartoonists, since I think he shares a lot of qualities, not always good, with the alty/arty crowd coming up today.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:13 AM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is Chris Ware a 'star' outside stuffy critical circles? Jimmy Corrigan was certainly a star on remainders tables at fine indie bookstores the world 'round. And now that the Ghost World film has faded away, isn't Clowes back to selling a small number of comics to a loud group of hip 'thought leaders' who have not, in his case, managed to actually lead thought anywhere in his direction?

Los Bros I will speak no ill of.

Also, and please pardon the following vicious sexist bleat, but Jesus fucking Christ:
Meet the men who made comics worth caring about.
That sentence can suck my dick.
posted by waxbanks at 8:14 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd like to think that's good natured joking around. I hope.
posted by Artw at 8:15 AM on September 27, 2012


(In reference the Gilbert and younger artists)
posted by Artw at 8:16 AM on September 27, 2012


Is Chris Ware a 'star' outside stuffy critical circles?

He had the longest line at the Northwestern panel I was at, and that was a bunch of goofy college kids and middle-aged hippies.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:22 AM on September 27, 2012


And now that the Ghost World film has faded away, isn't Clowes back to selling a small number of comics to a loud group of hip 'thought leaders' who have not, in his case, managed to actually lead thought anywhere in his direction?

I'm sitting in a Barnes and Noble right now. Across from me, on the first table that a customer will see when entering the store, is a big stack of copies of Ghost World and Ice Haven. Pretty mainstream. I can't imagine them doing that if they didn't sell well.
posted by painquale at 8:23 AM on September 27, 2012


These four very talented guys are certainly stars in the English speaking world, but the art of the graphic novel has been alive and well in other languages for a very long time. Think 60s to now.

Specifically I'm thinking of artists like Fred, Claire Bretecher, Uderzo, Goscinni, Mandryka, and the incomparable Philippe Druillet... and many others... A monthly periodical, Pilote, launched the careers of many dessinateurs / graphic artists in France, Belgium and other areas. Metal Hurlant had its own place in the French BD pantheon. The artists traveled widely to meet their fans (there were conventions in Montreal in the 70s and 80s), and they are well known in their milieu.

I was rather disappointed that these four bros hardly mentioned the influences or reading that they did, of the European graphic novel artists - and not only the French examples above!
posted by seawallrunner at 8:42 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not sure if serious or Lloyd Llewellyn impersonation.
posted by fleacircus at 8:43 AM on September 27, 2012


Gosh, we're all old. When did that happen? I mean, I'm younger than those guys, but they were the sort of Established But Young set when I was in college.

The Death of Speedy is one of the best graphic novels ever. And the one all about Luba that starts during the repressive US-backed regime.

Clowes I can take or leave; frankly I think Ghost World is kind of dumb about gender even though it gets talked up a lot. But oh, remember Ok Cola, test-markted in Minneapolis with Clowes-designed cans? God, I miss the nineties.

I do wish someone would, you know, interview some of the awesome women cartoonists who were doing work at the same time. Of course, women's work has less traction because fewer objectified hot chicks. (The Hernandez brothers are just about the only people who manage to square the circle and draw ridiculously hot women who are none the less plausible and seem to exist as full characters. I'm not exactly sure why this is - even their skeevier storylines (Poor Ray Dominguez; he has turned into a creeper...sympathetic, but a creeper) don't bother me. )
posted by Frowner at 8:44 AM on September 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Chris Ware drew my favorite New Yorker cover.
posted by stltony at 8:51 AM on September 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


(Prompted by the "biff! pow!" comment above, which is pretty irrelevant to these four cartoonists: Dylan Meconis' great recent essay How Not to Write Comics Criticism.)
posted by lisa g at 9:22 AM on September 27, 2012


I think the biff!pow! comment directly in reference to that essay since it was on the blue very recently.
posted by Falconetti at 9:29 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Falconetti: ah, I missed that -- sorry, mediated self.

stltony: What was extra-great about that New Yorker cover was that it could stand alone as a typical cover, but could also be read as the first panel of Ware's story published inside that issue. (Since New Yorker covers are typically pretty independent of the interior content, except for vague themes like "Fashion Week" or "The Food Issue," that was an interesting twist.)
posted by lisa g at 9:31 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think of that New Yorker cover every time I try not to be an asshole patent on a phone at kids events.

(not claiming a 100% success rate here)
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


seawallrunner,

I would, of course, add Moebius to your list; and, more recently, artists like Jacques Tardi or Joost Swarte.

However, few comics have spoken to me in the way that Love & Rockets, particularly Jaime's work, has done. At this point, he is using narrative and memory in ways that, in my mind, put him on a level with Proust.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:42 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chris Ware has also drawn my favorite New Yorker covers.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:01 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chris Ware drew my favorite New Yorker cover.

Daniel Clowes drew one of my favorite New Yorker covers. :)

There was a great retrospective of Clowes' work here at the Oakland Museum of California. Seeing things large format and being able to get up close to his lovely pen and ink drawings was fantastic. Plus it's always cool to recognize your town in an artist's work.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:07 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seconding the amazingness of seeing Ware's original art in person.
posted by Artw at 11:09 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Er, actually Clowes art is not too shabby either... :-)

(but if you do get a chance to see Ware's pen and ink stuff in person do - its incredibly neat and precise. No idea if he's gone to tablet now.)
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on September 27, 2012


Meet the men who made comics worth caring about at the rate of about one panel per month.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:19 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


My Biff! Pow! comment was indeed in reference to the comics criticism article recently posted by Artw, and also intended as commentary on the Rolling Stone headline referring to the artists as "comix stars," but is comix an accepted term in the comics community? I noticed it is one of the tags in this FPP.
posted by mediated self at 12:53 PM on September 27, 2012


I dunno. It's a bit 90s but I don't think anyone activly hates it. I would, TBH, usually be thinking of an earlier generation of indie comics types if you just threw out the term - Crumb, Speigelman, etc...
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on September 27, 2012


And really Crumb is a generation before that. Crumb is eternal, like Moebius.
posted by Artw at 12:55 PM on September 27, 2012


Ah, ok. I wasn't sure, 'cause the tone of the article is certainly "these are the most important men in the medium" but the comix stylization in the headline seemed to me like "Comix aren't just for kids anymore!"
posted by mediated self at 12:57 PM on September 27, 2012


Upon further review: I guess comix has come to be synonymous with underground comics?
posted by mediated self at 1:06 PM on September 27, 2012


I saw Chris Ware and Ira Glass do a public appearance once. Ware must be the most obivously uncomfortable in front of an audience person I've ever seen put himself in front of an audience.
posted by Zed at 1:06 PM on September 27, 2012


Upon further review: I guess comix has come to be synonymous with underground comics?

Well, it pretty much came from there... Zap Comix.
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw Chris Ware and Ira Glass do a public appearance once. Ware must be the most obivously uncomfortable in front of an audience person I've ever seen put himself in front of an audience.

I met him in person, and he was extremely uncomfortable then. He is basically Jimmy Corrigan, or the dude from the future.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:53 PM on September 27, 2012


That's what was missing from alternative comics after us: The art got less and less good.

Lisa Hanawalt
Jillian Tamaki
Aiden Koch
Vanessa Davis
Hellen Jo

A few young alt comix artists off the top of my head who draw better and more interesting stuff than Beto ever will.
posted by milk white peacock at 9:19 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


is comix an accepted term in the comics community?

Although it preceded his formal use of it, for me Comix:Art Spiegelman::Graphic Novels:Will Eisner. Both are ways - silly, defensive, and obsolete ways - of saying 'comics' while trying to avoid the stigma and connotations the word had. So the 'Not just for kids anymore!' thing sort of fits.

I'd like to think that's good natured joking around. I hope.

There's probably a lot more tongue in cheek than I'm allowing for, but Beto's always exhibited a strong streak of punk bravado in his interviews. And that Kubert dismissal really irked me.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:31 PM on September 27, 2012


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