Last night I went and saw Dan Clowes and Chris Ware in conversation with Paul Gravett at the Brighton Dome. The trio had just flown back from Copenhagen’s Komiks.dk festival (with Peter Stanbury) and had done a signing at Gosh before heading down to the South Coast. Or rather, they didn’t. Due to a “fatality on the line” the train was delayed by an hour or so.
|Garen Ewing, Patrice Aggs and her husband Chris|
The talk—to a full house—was pleasant, convivial and amusing. A selection of both creators work was shown on a massive screen and Paul kept the whole thing running mellifluously living up to Michael Caine’s mantra of being like a duck: look smooth and graceful on the surface, but paddle furiously underneath.
They talked about Clowes’ new book, Wilson, and examined both their entire oeuvres. Both creators touched personal issues and how they affected their work: Clowes’ open heart surgery and Ware’s coming to terms—or failure of coming to terms—with his absentee father. Clowes’ was definitely the better raconteur, but while Ware’s legendary self-depreciation and awkwardness was still present (sitting on his hands when talking) it was somewhat diminished.
|Left to right: Paul Gravett, Dan Clowes and Chris Ware|
|Dan Clowes and Chris Ware|