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The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist Hardcover – April 1, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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About the Author

Alvin Buenaventura recently started the publishing company Pigeon Press. He previously published artistic and insightful graphic novels, books, and prints under the imprint Buenaventura Press from 2003 to 2009. Buenaventura also edits the monthly comics section for McSweeney’s literary magazine, The Believer. He lives in Oakland, California.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419702084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419702082
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.9 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Went to Barnes and Noble and decided to see if they had the new Love and Rockets...after wading past the ubiquitous half dozen teenagers lounging on the floor reading Manga and X-Men, my eyes fell on this gem. This book is long overdue. Clowes is probably the greatest cartoonist of our time, and I'm proud to have been a follower from the beginning. I have to say that I've fallen away the past several years...Mr. Wonderful and Wilson kind of left me cold, seemed like he's trying too hard to be the comic equivalent of the low key Wes Anderson type indie films, which I love, but I miss Clowes earlier, quirkier, pop and trash culture tinged work. That being said, this book is full of that kind of stuff. Being a big fan of 50s comics, his Uggly Family caught my eye back in the 80s...it reminded me of Krigstein meets the Munsters. Soon after he started doing Lloyd Llewellyn, and then 8ball. This book is chock full of art and ephemera from that period...unused ideas, original art, unseen art, and photos of the actual knick nacks and gee-gaws that inspired stuff like the Worry Bird, pipe smoking girl and the Laughin' Spittin Man (stuff I still keep my eyes peeled for when shopping thrift and antique stores). I'm sure Clowes has grown as an artist and his new work has a lot more cultural relevance, and not to sound like an old crank...I do appreciate what he's doing now, I just think this book is awesome because it has so many treasures from his early period which I miss. There are even a lot of photos and reproductions of his childhood art and inspirations. Clowes artwork and stories are so amazingly haunting...Velvet Glove and Ghost World were masterpieces, and the Llewellyn film-noirish story Hound's Blood is one of my favorite comics of all time.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This should have been great, an amazing overview of the man's career. And for about 20% of the book, it *IS* great. The D.Clowes interview itself is almost worth the purchase price - although short, it is full of brutally honest observation and insight into both his career and the world around us.
Thereafter, things get disappointing VERY quickly. Where is all the unreleased artwork? Other than the odd sketch and a few greeting-cards (created for his wife), we're left wanting. What the book DOES provide is plenty of cover reprints, strip reprints, panel details.... items that fans are already familiar-with and items that are still readily available for purchase in their original form.
The original/unreleased/rare artwork we *are* treated to is scant and - when we are treated to a genuine rarity - it is often so very tiny that detail is totally lost. Ever wanted to see one of the rare "girly-ties" that Clowes would paint you for $100 back in the early 90's? Well get your your magnifying glass because there's a picture of one here. Barely. I am lucky enough to have very good vision, and even still felt I was straining just to make-out any level of detail on most of the "rare" artwork we're treated to here.
I won't elaborate on the disappointing nature of the writing - another reviewer here has done a much better job than I ever could. To sum up - I would have GLADLY seen an exchange whereby these 'articles' were substituted with rarely seen Artwork. The "Cracked" art. The National Lampoon "Pogeybait" strips. Unreleased sketches. ANYTHING!!
This is just such a wasted opportunity and - as has been eloquently mentioned by another reviewer - we're not likely to see such an overview again anytime soon. If this book had been released with the option to also buy "DANEIL CLOWES: UNSEEN WORKS" or any other such volume, then I would be more than pleased with this slight overview. But as it stands, it's seriously lacking and, frankly, kind of upsetting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 2:36 Mins
Modern Cartoonist is a book filled with Daniel Clowes' work, a good amount of which has never been published before, as well as a great interview that covers in detail his personal life from the beginning until now. For those two points alone, it's absolutely worth buying. If you're a fan of Clowes, there's no reason why you shouldn't own this book. That said, the book isn't perfect. In many ways it's actually quite disappointing and occasionally it's unforgivably poor. For the most part, for me at least, it feels like a hugely wasted opportunity.

Before receiving this book I had many ideas about what it might contain. Even as I flicked through it I was still not quite sure of what it came to. Having read it now though, I would describe the book like so: images are scattered throughout in a seemingly random order and with no commentary. If you're a fan of Clowes to the point that you've done a Google Image Search and looked at the results you will have seen most of these images before. Some though, certainly, you wont have seen before. With the written content there's a great interview that will raise your hopes as to what the rest of the book might be. And then there's five articles, all of which were written without Clowes' involvement. Excluding Chris Ware's piece, these fall on the side of either utterly forgettable or complete drivel. There's also a short introduction, a one-page summation of `Eightball' and a sketchy timeline spread over two pages that doesn't list when each issue of Eightball was released, only the first issue, but does find the space to list the year when each book collection was released. And that's the whole book. That's The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist.
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