I’ve drawn Daniel Clowes before, but felt I could do a better job. Decide for yourselves if I did. Clowes is one of my favourite comix artists, whose progress I’ve followed since the early 90’s when I was still trying to make my own way into the industry. Back then, around 94-95, Clowes’ Eightball series was just getting attention, and it really made me look at my own work which I’d started to feel vaguely dissatisfied with. My stuff was all surface flash, clearly influenced by action films, rock bands and raging hormones, whereas Clowes was bringing his twisted visions up from the very bottom of a deep well of bile and spewing them out with an pop culture saturated aesthetic that was all his own. I wanted to do that as well, but I had gone so far down a certain road I lacked the confidence to make a sudden u-turn, and in the end just gave up on drawing and writing comix altogether. I rarely read them now, but I still monitor what Clowes is up to, as it’s always interesting. When I finished this new drawing I wasn’t sure I’d captured his likeness, but what he did look like was a realist interpretation of his character Wilson:
I like Wilson. He says out loud what I think, which does him no favours but offers me, if not catharsis, then at least the feeling that I’m not alone. which is surely the purpose of all art? Wilson, with a screenplay by Clowes based on his original comic, has been filmed and will be released early next year. Who wants to go watch a middle-aged man moaning about the world? I do. though I’m all too aware that it will be like looking in the mirror for two hours.