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Panel Discussion

Daniel Clowes covers cartoon history in one graphic novel.

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In Daniel Clowes’s funny-sad new graphic novel, Wilson, the creator of Ghost World tells the story of his eponymous anti-hero through a series of one-page comic strips, each drawn in a wildly different style. Going from a very grim and serious panel to one as colorful as a Bazooka Joe cartoon can be disconcerting at first, but over the course of the book, such variation, oddly enough, amplifies the hapless misanthrope’s crises and deepens the emotional wallop. It probably goes without saying that such an approach also illuminates the artist’s formidable talent. We asked Clowes to discuss his influences and choices, using these panels from four strips.


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