Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron

Daniel Clowes, Author Fantagraphics Books $19.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-56097-116-0
Clowes's ( The Official Lloyd Llewellyn Collection ) new book-length epic is eerily funny and just a bit disgusting. The title refers to a strikingly demented movie viewed by Clay, the story's hangdog, Clowes-like protagonist. No ordinary ``art'' film, its utter incomprehensibility sends our hero on a search to find out more about it. Every prosaic situation Clay encounters on his journey soon turns wildly fantastic. He meets a swami-like character dispensing wisdom from a men's room stall, is arrested by couple of sadistic but conscientious cops, and later still he meets Tina, a grotesque waitress with a heart of gold, whose mother tries to seduce him. Clowes's stream-of-warped-consciousness has produced a faux-existentialist, slapstick, sci-fi sitcom in comic book form. His drawings, a combination of skilled rendering and a campy 1950's graphic style, capture a risible procession of weirdos, aliens and conspiracy nuts and mark him as one of the most talented among the comics artists who emerged in the 1980s. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/18/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
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