“Ghost World” Author Dan Clowes Dishes on Latest Book

Ghost World graphic novelist Daniel Clowes said his latest work about a character who is grieving the death of his father and resorts to fabricating his own family is at least partially autobiographical. 

"He is half very much like me and half the exact opposite of me,” Clowes said last night.

“My wife calls him my über-antagonist”

Speaking to a crowd at the Strand Bookstore on Broadway Wednesday night, the author dished on the details for his new book "Wilson" and said he used his father's recent death from cancer as a jumping off point.

"[The character] realizes, after his father dies, that he's completely alone in the world so he tries to fabricate a family like his life depends on it,” Clowes said.

The author, credited with being one of the most successful underground comic authors, also spoke about his inspiration for becoming an artist in the first place and churning out works such as "Art School Confidential" in 1991 and "Ghost World" in '93. Much of it had to do with comics drawn by artist Wally Wood.

“I discovered Wally Wood when I was 15, during my formative years,” he said. “[Wood's] stories were filled with rocket ships, dinosaurs, sexy space gals and all that stuff.”

Soon after college, Clowes landed a job with Cracked magazine -- “second fiddle” to the much more famous MAD Magazine.

“I think I've always related to second place,” he said. “Growing up in Chicago … you were constantly reminded that you're not New York.”

He embraced this self-depreciating, second-place style and used it to concoct the stories and characters in Ghost World.

Clowes also confessed that he tried his hand designing soda cans for the OK Soda brand in the mid-90s.“It winded up losing more money for the Coke corporation than any other product. So my anti-corporate cred is still solid!” he quipped.

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