A handful of artists are responsible for developing comics into serious literary art, and chief among them is Daniel Clowes.
Eightball, Wilson, and the film Ghost World defined a generation of pop culture, and Clowes's work continues to set the bar of what can be achieved through an adept combination of text and image.
Cult cartoonist R. Crumb called Eightball a "masterpiece" and devotee Chris Ware writes that Clowes's influence is such that a "rectal contraction" crosses the industry every time a new project is released.
Clowes lives in Oakland, and OMCA's "Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes" is the first major survey of his work. The exhibition opens April 14, 2012. Clowes created new drawings for the installation, which was designed by the architect Nicholas de Monchaux.
This 1992 comic from Eightball is reproduced in the exhibition catalog, The Art of Daniel Clowes, Modern Cartoonist, edited by Alvin Buenaventura of Pigeon Press fame. (The book went into a second edition before the exhibition even opened; your copy is waiting for you in the OMCA Store.)
The catalog has hundreds of images, including this timeline of Clowes' prodigious career.
In putting the book together, Buenaventura issued a call for Clowes tattoos. There's a lot of them out there! Here's Sarah Underhill's tat from Ghost World and David Boring on Sheila Marcello's arm.
Check out this video about Clowes, produced by the New York Times.
"Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes" is a traveling show. See it again and again, at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Corcoran Gallery.