In recent years, we’ve seen a boatload of comic books and graphic novels make their way to the silver screen, from Big Two stalwarts like Spider-Man and Batman to independent titles like Scott Pilgrim and 30 Days Of Night. Among the various adaptations, though, some creators have emerged as magnets for Hollywood types — and unlikely and under-recognized one is Daniel Clowes.
Clowes was one of the driving forces of alternative comics in the ’80s and ’90s, and was identified as one of the earliest “literary” cartoonists — that is, cartoonists whose storytelling goes above the level of stereotyped “traditional comics” and into the level of literature. His work was quickly embraced by the younger generation, and Clowes illustrated over 20 album covers, several skateboard decks and even a soda brand. Crumb director Terry Zwigoff picked up the story of Ghost World, which appeared in several issues of Clowes’ anthology Eightball. After the success of Ghost World, Zwigoff and Clowes followed it up with 2006’s Art School Confidential, also based on stories found in Eightball. Clowes has also worked on several movies not based on his work, including a project with Michel Gondry.
With those two alt-films released and successful, here’s a look at some other Clowes stories and ideas for adaptation: