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Saturday, 15 October 2011

Hel-lo The Death-Ray!


There are few things in this world that make me happier than a new Daniel Clowes book. Okay, okay, so The Death-Ray isn't totally new. It was first put out in 2004 as an issue of Eightball. A tabloid-sized comic, floppy and stapled, that's how I first experienced The Death-Ray. The new Drawn & Quarterly edition of The Death-Ray comes in a glossy hardcover, matched to last year's hit Wilson, and has reaffirmed my belief in the power of the book; I swear just the weight of the cover makes you read it differently. Of course, Daniel Clowes does especially good book design. Much of the pleasure of the text comes from the details of this design— just look at that inside cover, the hand-drawn contents page... 

Yeah.
That's right.
All this to say The Death-Ray (2011) is worth a read even if you've got the now collector's edition 2004 version of it. And it's definitely worth a read if you haven't had a chance to meet Andy and Louis and Dusty yet because Daniel Clowes is like the most important comics artist of the last quarter century (bias [ˈbīəs] : a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice) and The Death-Ray exemplifies everything that he does best (That Colour Palette). 

About the book: A 48-page (let's call it) graphic novella, The Death-Ray is an alternative take on the superhero mythos; an ordinary guy gets extraordinary powers and exploits them in ordinary, or at least less than heroic, ways. The protagonist is Andy, a despondent teen living in 1970's Chicago who finds himself endowed with new powers after lighting up his first cigarette.


One thing that does make me happier than a new Daniel Clowes book is Daniel Clowes launching a new book in person! This coming Wednesday, October 19th Daniel Clowes and Seth will be in conversation at the Ukrainian Federation. Advance tickets are $5, and tickets at the door are $6. Buy tickets HERE or at Librairie D+Q, 211 Bernard O., 514-279-2224.

Need more? NPR on The Death-Ray! Dan Clowes in conversation in The Gazette! 

"I really identified with the girls in Ghost World. They made me feel like I wasn't so alone." -me and Lisa Simpson

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