Daniel Clowes (Name pronounced approximately "klowz
") was born in Chicago on Jayne Mansfield's 29th birthday' (April 14, 1961). A look at Clowes' early work should help explain why Clowes chooses to link his date of birth with the late Miss Mansfield. Clowes early on built his reputation by taking the look of '50s pop culture, movies, and advertising and turned them into a darkly humorous satire of middle class America.
Clowes' early artistic inspirations may have seemed normal enough ' Superman, MAD magazine, B-grade science fiction and horror movies ' but what was mere entertainment to most pre-adolescents affected young Dan quite differently. He describes his reaction to a cover from the comic book Strange Adventures: '... this typical family with a huge blazing sun in the background... and the family is sweating but for some reason all the water is frozen and the kids are trying to drink this frozen water out of a fountain. I can remember seeing that cover and then staring to cry and bashing by head against the wall because I was so unnerved by the situation. I thought, 'How can this be' It's so hot and yet the water is frozen,' ' bam, bam!'
Clowes studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, even though he considers himself to be largely self-taught. For him, formal college training was of little value, offering little technical information (but a treasure trove of anecdotes and grievances that would later serve as the basis of his second film). Upon graduation, Clowes spent an unsuccessful year seeking art-related work in New York, but ultimately returned to Chicago.
His first comic book series, Lloyd Llewellyn, began publishing by Fantagraphics Books in 1985 (after making its debut in issue #13 of the comic book Love & Rockets). He produced seven issues, borrowing heavily from such popular genres as science fiction/horror films of the '50s, superheroes, and detective novels. As Lloyd Llewellyn progressed, Clowes' artwork developed, suggesting the stark, atmospheric work of '50s EC crime and science fiction artists like Johnny Craig and Bernie Krigstein (which Clowes admired as a teenager). It was this progression which set the stage for Clowes' new Fantagraphics title, Eightball.
Eightball's consistent evolution and increasing maturity has been remarkable, continually setting new standards for comic art for 15 years. From the surreal early serial Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, to his savage satirical take on the comics industry itself in Pussey!, to the breakthrough hit Ghost World and the intricately plotted David Boring, Eightball has earned the artist a large following (and has spawned several graphic novel collections). Clowes has amassed multiple Harvey, Eisner and Ignatz Comics Awards through the years, in all the major categories.
In 2001, MGM Pictures, in conjunction with John Malkovich's Mr. Mudd production company, released the Ghost World motion picture. Directed by Terry Zwigoff, the man responsible for the critical and commercial documentary success Crumb, from a screenplay by Clowes and Zwigoff, the film starred Thora (American Beauty) Birch and Scarlett (Lost in Translation) Johansson as Enid and Rebecca, and also featured Steve Buscemi, Brad Renfro, Teri Garr, and Illeana Douglas. The film was one of the five most critically-acclaimed films of 2001, and received numerous film awards and nominations, including Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Clowes and Zwigoff for "Best Adapted Screenplay."
The second Clowes/Zwigoff collaboration, Art School Confidential, written by Clowes and directed by Zwigoff, has been completed and will be released this fall. It stars Max Minghella, John Malkovich, Anjelica Huston, Steve Buscemi, and Jim Broadbent. Clowes is currently working on a screenplay about the two teenagers who created a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Clowes's comics have appeared in Details, The New Yorker, Blab!, Cracked, and the Village Voice, to name but a few. In 1998, Clowes was commissioned by former Esquire Editor Dave Eggers to be the first cartoonist to contribute a comic story to the magazine's annual fiction issue. He has drawn album covers for bands such as the Supersuckers and Urge Overkill, and done illustration work for SubPop Records (he designed their mascot, Punky) and the infamous OK Soda from Coca-Cola. He did the animation for the little-seen but highly praised Ramones video 'I Don't Wanna Grow Up,' and the movie poster for Todd Solondz's acclaimed film Happiness.
Clowes' graphic novel collections include The Manly World of Lloyd Llewellyn, Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, Pussey!, Caricature, David Boring, Ghost World, Twentieth Century Eightball, and the most recent, Ice Haven. Ghost World, Clowes's most popular book, is the bestselling book in Fantagraphics' 29-year history history not involving beagles, with over 100,000 copies sold.
Clowes lives in Oakland, CA, with his wife Erika and son Charlie.
Date of Birth:
April 14th, 1961
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Website: http://danielclowes.comBlog: http://danielclowes.blogspot.com Favorite Creators:
Daniel Clowes - 'Stosh Gillespie' is a favorite creator of 30 usersAwards:
- 1993 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Nominee - Best Writer/Artist: (Eightball [Fantagraphics])
- 1996 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Nominee - Best Writer/Artist: (Eightball [Fantagraphics])
- 2000 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Winner - Best Writer/Artist: (Eightball [Fantagraphics])
- 2002 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Winner - Best Writer/Artist: (Eightball [Fantagraphics])
- 2005 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Nominee - Best Writer/Artist: (Eightball #23 [Fantagraphics])