#553 “Wilson”: the comic, the movie

Wilson

Daniel Clowes’ 2010 graphic novel Wilson tells the story of a guy who can’t help but tell you exactly how he feels about you, and the pain which that attitude hides. Earlier this year, a movie version of the book was released, starring Woody Harrelson. How do the book and film compare?

This week, two sets of DCP regulars approach “Wilson” from different angles. First, Tim and Mulele review the book; then, Kumar and Emmet discuss the movie.

Deconstructing Comics site

Comics Alternative, Episode 179: Reviews of Patience and Visual Storytelling: An Illustrated Reader

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Lesson Plans

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This week on the review show, Andy and Derek focus on two notable titles, one that has been greatly publicized and the other that has come in under the radar. The former is Daniel Clowes’s Patience (Fantagraphics), the creator’s long-awaited release and his first new book since 2010’s Wilson. (Mr. Wonderful and The Death-Ray, both published in 2011, had been previously published in different formats.) In fact, the guys begin by discussing the publicity and the excitement surrounding this event. While Andy tried to keep himself ignorant of the book’s details before its release, Derek admits that his reading experience was initially affected by all the hype, and not in a positive way. However, both guys conclude that this is a strong narrative and one well worth reading. While much of Patience bears the Dan Clowes stamp, parts of it seem more outside of the creator’s usual style. For example, even though the relationship between the protagonists is reminiscent of the interactions found in Ghost World, Daniel Boring, and Ice Haven, the fact that Clowes premises everything on time travel make this book stand out in his oeuvre. And although, as Andy points out, there’s nothing really new to the time-travel subgenre presented here, Clowes does use its basic components in a compelling way. Next, the Two Guys discuss a work that was designed specifically for the classroom, Visual Storytelling: An Illustrated Reader, Bennett-sampleedited by Todd James Pierce and Ryan G. Van Cleave (Oxford University Press). This book was released late in 2015 yet hasn’t received much publicity at all. While there have been other comics-related books that are designed for pedagogical use, this is the first to bring together a wide variety of primary texts specifically as a course reader. What’s more, it’s a book that could easily be used in rhetoric/composition and other non-comics-centric classes, as well. Pierce and Van Cleave divide their collection into seven thematic topics: identity, men and women, young adulthood, trauma, history, politics, and the arts. The comics that compose each segment, some complete short pieces and others excerpts, serve as illustrative examples of their particular theme, while at the same time potentially connecting with other thematic sections, thereby giving the collection a feeling of cohesion. The guys admire the diversity of the reader’s selections, arguing that this is a much more usable book than the comics anthologies already out there. At the same time, Derek questions the editors double dipping on some contributors — Peter Kuper and Derf Backderf each have two pieces in the collection, while Gabrielle Bell has three — while Andy questions Derek’s second guessing of Pierce and Van Cleave’s decisions. But this is a debate that the guys always seem to have with anthologies. The bottom line is that Visual Storytelling is an exciting anthology perfect for the classroom, but it is also a collection that can be enjoyed outside of any pedagogical context.

Patience-sample

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Deconstructing Comics #360: Two Trippy Audio Comics

Jim Woodring doing kids’ books!? That was apparently the thought behind Trosper, a 2001 release from Woodring that came with a Southwest Asia-influenced music CD by Bill Frisell. A baby elephant-like creature runs from things that go bump in the night. Maurice Sendak would be proud.

Going further back, Daniel Clowes’ early ’90s comedy/nightmare graphic novel Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron also has a musical soundtrack (sold separately), from Victor Banana. The book is a lesson in controlled chaos; the CD, a commentary on it. Tim and Kevin explore the audible and visual aspects of both these comics.

PLUS: Ritz Crackers! Jimmy Durante! The Brady Bunch! This one has it ALL! (including spoilers!)

Deconstructing Comics site

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Backroom Comics Pocast Episode 121 – The Battle Over Crossed

The Backroom Comics discuss what they have been reading, debate the merits of Crossed, and touch upon X-Men: First Class.

Questions? Comments? Stop by The Backroom website.

This episode can be played online via the flash player below or it can be downloaded from here. It is available on iTunes, Zune, and Stitcher.

Gutter Trash – Episode 92: David Boring

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David Boring. Music by Legbone, Black Wolf Fight, and Band of Horses

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