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Twentieth Century Eightball Paperback – September 17, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Trailing the success of the movie based on Clowes' graphic novel Ghost World (1997) comes this collection of shorter stories from his alternative comic book Eightball. Many of the pieces are tirades, albeit entertaining ones, about things Clowes despises (perhaps the comic should have been called Hateball). "On Sports" details his contempt for professional athletics, and "Art School Confidential" is an expose of pretentious, talentless poseurs. This approach is carried to its logical peak in "I Hate You Deeply," a litany of the "types" that annoy Clowes, from "fashion plates" to "crybabies, whiners, and sensitive people." Clowes puts his misanthropy in abeyance for slice-of-life stories in which he ruminates during a stroll around his neighborhood or fantasizes about his fellow passengers on a subway. Worthwhile enough, these earlier stories merely presage Clowes' far-more-impressive recent work in which cynicism is presented more subtly, leavened with sympathy, and voiced by well-developed characters. If these pieces lack the heft of Clowes' longer, more ambitious efforts, the best of them are still masterful miniatures. Gordon Flagg
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Review

A sometimes bleak, often hilarious collection. -- Book Magazine's "Best Graphic Novels of 2002," November/December 2002

For anyone who's looking for state of the art in comics and the cutting-edge of popular culture, this is the stuff. -- Booklist

So dense, thoughtful, and clever, that it's not a book you'll be able to finish in one sitting. -- Las Vegas City Life, 21 October 2002, Todd James Pierce

[Eightball is] the year's best regularly published comic book. -- Entertainment Weekly

[A] corrosively satirical vision of an America cracking apart...confirms Clowes as a worthy successor to the underground greats of the 1960s. -- Roger Sabin, author of Comics, Comix and Graphic Novels

[Clowes's] pictures are brilliant, but if he wanted to become just a writer, he could do it. -- Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (September 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560974362
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560974369
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel Clowes is the acclaimed cartoonist of the seminal comic book series EIGHTBALL, and the graphic novels GHOST WORLD, DAVID BORING, ICE HAVEN, WILSON, MR. WONDERFUL and THE DEATH-RAY as well as the subject of the monograph THE ART OF DANIEL CLOWES: MODERN CARTOONIST, published in conjunction with a major retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California. He is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, the recipient of numerous awards including the PEN Award for literature, Eisner, Harvey and Ignatz, and a frequent cover artist for the New Yorker. He is married and lives in Oakland, CA.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Interplanetary Funksmanship on January 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
But, so was Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum." Only time will tell if his work will be included amongst such august company, but for the time being, Daniel Clowes stands at the top of the heap of today's comic book artists.
Twentieth Century Eightball is an omnibus, "best of" collection of his comic panels from his Fantagraphic comic book series "Eightball" which was issued semiannually from the late 1980s through the 1990s.
Clowes' rapist (pun intended) wit is in overdrive here, as he expounds on his endless lists of things he hates, often in the guise of such stand-ins as the now-classic Lloyd Llewellyn. "I Hate You Deeply" and "I Love You Tenderly" will have you howling like a banshee, as you follow Lloyd through one of his ranting diatribes against sports figures, corporate greed, hippy sellouts and lowest-common-denominators.
And that's basically the whole book: Thinly-veiled attacks on all the things that bother the idosyncratic Daniel Clowes. But, so what: They deserve bashing! My favourite targets of his ire were post-modernist talentless art school poseurs, violently agressive hippy burnout peaceniks, "hip" people, Chicagoan "Jim Belushi" types, dumb jocks and pretentious Americans such as I who use the British spelling of words (e.g., "colour" instead of "color"; "kerb" rather than "curb").
Some of the material is just too bizarre to describe here -- I don't want to give away the weirdness, so find out for yourself about "On Sports," "Pogeybait," "The Happy Fisherman" and other such sundry freakishness.
But this book also reveals a soft-spot in Clowes' heart, particularly in the short "Ugly Girls," in which he questions society's norms of "beauty." Though he doesn't use the name "Enid," the reader can tell that Clowes has long been entranced and obsessed with the raven-haired, bookish, bespectacled wallflower type. I agree: She *is* much more stunning than those trophy blondes.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Modern Art Snob on June 16, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think I laughed more out loud while I read this than I have with my previous Clowes. While the Clowes I've read in the past is dark and haunting themes (Ghost World and Like a Velvet Glove), this is a filling dose of dark humor and venting of frustrations.

I might have given it five stars, but I'm not such a scraps-o-stories kinda gal. Lots of the stories had good starts, and either no endings or abrupt drop-offs.

And also, if I was fiendish about the way that my TPB's look, as in for resale value and such, I might have had a heart attack the way Amazon sent it. It looked like it might have been lying on a garage floor for a couple of years before they tossed it in the carton. The other comic I ordered arrived in mint condition and plastic-wrapped, so I dunno what the deal is.

I love Clowes more every time I read a new one, and this is no exception!
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This thing's a real charmer. Laugh-out-loud funny. I'm giving it five stars, IN SPITE OF these facts: it's juvenile, half the bits (which are four or five pages, maximum) peter out in a misdirected haze at least five panels before closing, at LEAST half are based on humor you probably perfected during your middle school days.... did I mention it's juvenile? Well, are you going to hold that against a book that's guaranteed to make you laugh every time you open it?
Art School Confidential is exactly what it should be, all snark and no plot. The bit about professional sports is my other fave. But there is a lot of good stuff here. Laughs. That's what funny books are for.
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By yrjoeyrammone on April 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Has drawings, some of which are in color. A good read. Comedic, but with another side. Recommended if you like comics.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "tape13" on September 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I love this book, it has 46 stories in all. If you goto fast you will miss something. it shows Mr. Clowes early work and most of it has him in it. Some of my favorer works are Art School Confidential, Why I Hate Christians, The Stroll and Hippypants and Peace Bear. I'm sorry to say that I haven't read them all yet, it just wouldn't seem right. The nice thing about these stories is that there all different and if you a fanatic like me you can find links with others comics by Clowes. Also if you got pulled in to comics from the movie Ghost World then you can find some of the faces in the movie were first seen in Eightball. This is an amazing collection and I'm sure you will be able to relate and feel connected to it. I wouldn't give it to a child because like most of Mr. Clowes work it has nudity, sex, drugs, and some language. Don't lit that get in the way of the dialog and always stay open minded when reading.
-Madalyn
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Ebrey on June 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Clowes' strengths are his sublime pacing, wonderful atmosphere, and realistic characters - none of which he displays in his short stories. He is just, as Spiegelman says, a "wiseass." Some people like the early Eightballs because they're more comic than his later works, but Clowes cannot compete with the classic humor comics like Howard the Duck and Cerebus: High Society. His longer works, on the other hand, are top rate stuff.

These stories aren't bad, but they're not good either. Certainly not worth buying.
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