Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dan Clowes and Chris Ware Signing at Gosh! Comics – Tuesday 25th May 12 – 2pm

A rare and delicious treat is in store for indie comics fans this May! Of course there’s the usual late-May ritual of casting aside our cardigans and dreary Winter coats to look forward to – all full of old sweet wrappers and forgotten pennies to surprise ourselves with next year – but there’s also a Gosh! basement signing to bring joy to your freshly Spring-cleaned lives. Why not dampen a sunny Tuesday lunchtime by getting some classic graphic novels signed by two masters of misanthropic misery? I’ll be there. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Dan Clowes is an award-winning cartoonist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, New Yorker illustrator and all-round over-achiever most famous for his cult classic graphic novel Ghost World, a tale of two best friends just out of high school. Enid Coleslaw and Becky Doppelmeyer are two cynical, pseudo-intellectual and occasionally witty teenage girls who wander aimlessly in the urban sprawl of an unnamed American town criticising pop culture and pretty much everyone they encounter, wallowing in their angst like a latter day Catcher in the Rye.

(Panel from Ghost World. Points awarded for anyone who can spot the film quote.)

Clowes’ work is properly weird and absurd (I’m looking at you Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron) and everything he’s done – especially David Boring – fits snugly in the unwieldy bag of Gosh! favourites right next to those of the remarkable Chris Ware. Conveniently they’ll be right next to each other for their Gosh! signing too. How’s that for a segue?

If you’ve not read Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth yet, get thee to the Gosh! basement immediately and grab yourself a copy. Winner of The Guardian First Book Award in 2001, it’s a long, interconnected story about a boy’s relationship with his father but it’s about pretty much everything else too. It’s a gloriously innovative experiment in graphic design full of compacted plots, subplots and tiny, tiny panels; skim read it and you’ll miss a postage-stamp of genius.

From Jonathan Cape:

Chris Ware lives in Oak Park, Illinois, and is the author of Jimmy Corrigan – the Smartest Kid on Earth. He is currently serializing two new graphic novels in his ongoing periodical The ACME Novelty Library, the 20th issue of which will be released in fall 2010. He has guest-edited McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and Houghton-Mifflin’s Best American Comics, and was the first cartoonist chosen to regularly serialize an ongoing story in The New York Times Magazine. A semi-regular contributor to the New Yorker, his work was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, was favored with an exhibit of its own at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 2006, and will be exhibited at the Gävle Konstcentrum in Gävle, Sweden, in 2010.

His ongoing Acme Novelty Library collections are always quickly snapped up by fans hankering for more stuff on Rusty Brown, Chalky White and the life of a building somewhere in Chicago. It is entirely down to this man that I now need glasses, a fact I fully intend to make known to Mr Ware himself.

By the time these two chaps arrive on our doorstep Clowes’ brand new original graphic novel – the first in years – will be on our shelves. Wilson is about an opinionated, divorced middle-aged loner who loves his dog and quite possibly no one else. After repeated attempts to engage with life he invariably falls back into his own pessimistic hell. According to the Comics Reporter “It's Clowes being Clowes, and Wilson all by itself makes 2010 a pretty good year for comics no matter what happens from here on out.”

So if that sounds like your cup of tea make sure you’re in the Gosh! basement between 12pm and 2pm on Tuesday the 25th of May.

This would never have been possible were it not for the Comica Festival in association with Komiks.dk The Copenhagen Comics Festival, Offset 2010 Dublin, and Jonathan Cape so send your thanks their way! I should also mention that Comica have two events with the artists that are bound to sell out so get in fast while you still can. If you're in Brighton you can catch them at the Brighton Dome on the 25th (post Gosh! signing) and us London folk can see them in conversation on the 24th with the utterly lovely Audrey Niffenegger, writer of The Time Traveler's Wife and The Three Incestuous Sisters.

These logos are clickable so go say hello:

If you can’t make it on the day and would like a signed book let us know and we’ll see what we can do. We’ve only got Ware and Clowes for a very limited couple of hours before their publisher whisks them away so whether or not it happens depends entirely on how many people turn up on the day and how much time they’ll have spare at the end of it. But we’ll do our best.

Due to the phenomenal response we've had on this one and the strictly limited time we've got them for, it looks like we'll be unable to take signed book requests. Sorry!

See you there!

-- Hayley


joe list said...

Wow, two of the big hitters! I hope i can roll on down.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit. Daniel Clowes is like my hero. Unless I get some fatal disease there is no way I'm missing out on this.

get in here comics said...

I will be there! Too good.

Adrian Curcher said...

this is the most exciting news I've heard all year. would not miss this for the world.

cracrapain said...

Im very exited about this, two of the best in one place & in this country!!

Will there be any charge for the signing?

Gosh! said...

Nope, no charge. It's a free event. I'd advise you to get there early to avoid disappointment -- we're not sure how many people are going to turn up.

Hayley @ Gosh!

Silent Matt said...

I know it's like a year old, but...

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

I'd like my points, please :D