Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Death-Ray. Daniel Clowes


A rushed note on Daniel Clowes.

A great discovery for me this year in my reading has been the graphic novel art of Daniel Clowes. One of my favourite books of the year was the brilliant, funny, depressing and shocking character portrait of Wilson.  I've just read Clowes’ The Death Ray. It’s a short, powerful comic which re-works a number of conventional comic book elements: the superhero vigilante, the 'secret identity', the enacting of revenge.  What’s different here is the absolute believability of the story--all of which shows the brutality, injustice and feeling of inadequacy at work in the superhero myth.  Make no mistake: this very short work explores the psychology of the superhero with more conviction that Alan Moore’s Watchmen.  I can't say too much without spoiling the story but this book asks you to consider what you would do if you had the ability to zap people out of existence. It’s scary, creepy, brilliant. Daniel Clowes is my must read author of the year.

There's an interview with Daniel Clowes over at The A.V Club.

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