AKA Daniel Gillespie Clowes
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Eightball, Ghost World, David Boring
Born on Jayne Mansfield's 29th birthday, Dan Clowes studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. This "formal" college training offered him little in the way of craft, design, or technique -- and his widely circulated minicomic expose, Art School Confidential, endeared him to peers in similar surroundings. After an unsuccessful year seeking art-related assignments in New York, he returned to Chicago.
In the early eighties, Clowes became synonymous with line drawings rendered in the style of kitschy, atmospheric 1950s architecture, advertising, and pop culture. His initial stab at the comic form produced Lloyd Llewellyn, six issues of gag-laden detective stories which borrowed heavily from the worlds of science fiction, voodoo, and tiki lounge. These stories were later folded into Eightball, his ongoing anthology series.
The evolution and emotional maturity of Eightball's content grew rapidly with the introduction of isolated teenagers like Enid and Rebecca in Ghost World, disenfranchised, sexually obsessed young men like David Boring, the surreal dreamscapes in Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron and the over-the-top portrayals of comic book fanboys like Dan Pussey.
In 1998, Clowes was commissioned by former Esquire Editor Dave Eggers to be the first cartoonist to contribute a comic story -- Green Eyeliner -- to the magazine's annual fiction issue. Over the years, Clowes has drawn album covers for now-defunct bands (Supersuckers, Urge Overkill), performed illustration work for SubPop Records, and single-handedly designed the labels for Coca-Cola's doomed beverage, OK Soda.
Clowes has amassed multiple Harvey Awards over the years, including its two most prestigious: Best Writer and Best Continuing Series. In July of 2000, he won his first Eisner Award in the coveted Best Writer/Artist category -- and in 2000, MGM Pictures (in conjunction with actor John Malkovich's Mr. Mudd production company) produced its adaptation of Ghost World starring Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson and Steve Buscemi. The film was directed by Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, American Splendor), and adapted for the screen by Zwigoff and Clowes.
Eightball #22 (Ice Haven), published by Fantagraphics in October of 2001, is considered by critics and consumers alike to be one of Clowes' premiere accomplishments. Twenty-nine individual stories involving divorce, child murder, teenage sorrow, kidnapping, poetry reading, procrastination and incest blend seamlessly together across thirty seven pages. Each plot thread is colored and illustrated in its own timeless and classical style, weaving in and out of neighboring pages with remarkable ease and restraint. The dense narrative structure periodically takes time out to riff on the theme of what "comic books" themselves are capable of, delivering framed punchlines and courageous emotional dramatics never before attempted.
Wife: Erika Clowes (1 son)
Son: Charlie (b. 2004)
University: BFA, Pratt Institute
John Kerry for President
Obama for America
Open Heart Surgery 2006
Author of books:
Lloyd Llewellyn (1986-87, comics)
Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron (1989-93, comics)
Ghost World (1993-97, comics)
Caricature (1998, comics)
David Boring (1998-2000, comics)
Ice Haven (2001, comics)
Twentieth Century Eightball (2002, comics, anthology)
Death Ray (2004, comics)
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