iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #179 – Indie Giants: Chris Ware, Peter Bagge, & Daniel Clowes

Show Notes

When the subject of indie comics arises, there are certain names that rise above they others. In the 1990’s, Chris Ware, Peter Bagge, and Daniel Clowes were at the forefront of the underground or indie comics movements, and their work is held to the highest esteem. Josh Flanagan, Ron Richards, and Conor Kilpatrick each picked one creator, and one piece of work, and try to understand and explain what it is that is so special about each of their unique takes on the comic book form.

Chris Ware and Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth

If there was a graphic novel that garnered more acclaim than Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth in the last decade, we’d love to hear about it. Ware combines his adept skills of graphic design, and grasp on the uncomfortable to tell the story of Jimmy Corrigan, fresh from the pages of Acme Novelty Library.

Peter Bagge and Hate

Peter Bagge’s artistic style doesn’t look like anyone else’s, but when you see it, you think “indie comix” almost instantly. His seminal series, Hate, was an institution, and Buddy Bradley is a character who will be remembered for a very long time. We talk about the way Bagge draws and how he uses his wit to skewer the ridiculous things he sees through his stories.

Daniel Clowes and Wilson

Daniel Clowes is fairly well known for his Ghost World and Eightball books, but he recently released his first actual Graphic Novel, with Wilson. Clowes worldview is alive and well in the pages of Wilson, and it might make you uncomfortable, but it will also make you laugh. Plus, Clowes shows off his varied artistic styles on every page.


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  1. Them’s is the same cloths as last time’s was.  Yous guys is gettin sloppy.


    All jokes aside, wonderful show.  I just might read Jimmy Corrigan tonight.  The part with the silver horse always makes me cry… 

  2. Yes, Ron wore the same t-shirt. Often in the winter we’ll wear the same hoodies week after week becasue it’s cold and we like them.

    Can I tell you how much I enjoy jokes about us being sloppy as I work until 4am?

  3. I demand to know where ron found the morton salt jawbreaker shirt

  4. Chirs Ware was just featured on a segment of This American Life. Actually, the whole episode (#178) was about superpowers. I would give it a listen: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/178/superpowers . They also talk about a real life Wonder Woman/Batman.

  5. Great show.  Indies take away, consume them must you will.  (My best Yado imiataion.) 

    I’d add:  Harvey Pekar–American Splendor

    Chester Brown–Ed the Happy Clown

    Joe Matt–Peepshow

    Seth–Clyde Fans, others

    Dave Sims–Cerebus

    Adrian Tomine–Optic Nerve

    Re: Wilson–they should make a movie of this too.  I’d vote for Louie the comedian from the FX channel for the role, boy they look similar and have the same tone.


  6. Great show. I’d prefer Los Bros Hermanos and Adrian Tomine to the artists listed but that’s just a personal thing.

    If you like the content in Bagge’s stuff you’ll like Los Bros. Tomine (especially his later stuff) is like Clowes but with what I think is more focused ideas and storytelling and more relatable characters.

  7. I think iFanboy once said they would never do a Love and Rockets show because A) It would take forever to read/reread(understandable) and B) They weren’t all crazy about it(but recognized its importance).


    Adrian Tomine is great but these three were the big guys of the 90s and sort of paved the way for Adrian Tomine. 


    Great show. Love Clowes! 

  8. This was interesting, but I dont think these books are for me unfortunately. I’m not a big fan of the art styles of these books. The closest I can enjoy are Rob Quillory and Daryne Cook.

  9. Also, Have you guys read David Boring? It’s probably my favorite story Clowes ever did. It’s really dark, even darker than Wilson with a sort of sci fi like tinge to it. Really eerie but dark, funny story. Check it out! Probably him at the top his game. The art in it is fantastic.

  10. Is it just me or does conner look like he’s really tired at the beginning lol.

  11. Since bffnut made a referral to another show (This American Life), I will too. There was an enjoyable interview on The Sound of Young America with Dan Clowes about "Wilson".


  12. I’ve read a lot of Clowes’ stuff, and although I did enjoy ghost world, I just can’t get int any of his other works, but I think I’ll try out Wilson if my library gets it

  13. Everyone here seems eager to show respect for Chris Ware’s work, but it sounds like it wasn’t enjoyed.  I know its grim (certainly not a laugh a minute) but did you guys actually enjoy this book?

  14. Enjoy might not be the right word. I was glad for having read it.

  15. Great show. I hope you do more of these type of shows that focus on independent works. Thanks.

  16. @Josh "Glad for having" that is the kind of passive voice that hides a deep sadness, or a Russian ancestry. 

  17. words, i have troublewith them two

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