Hillary Chute, University of Chicago professor, associate editor of Art Spiegelman's MetaMaus, and author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics is a superfan of:
The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist Modern Cartoonist is a lavish, large, full-on treatment of the work of one of the funniest, most charming men on the planet, cartoonist Dan Clowes. Clowes, sadly now a resident of California, is one of Chicago's own. He grew up in Hyde Park, where his grandfather was a professor at the University of Chicago, and he described that neighborhood once to me as "the weirdest neighborhood in the world—this sort of leftist wet dream." Compiled with his participation, Modern Cartoonist features interviews, photographs, and childhood ephemera along with numerous beautifully reproduced pages from Clowes's comics oeuvre, which includes such classics as Ghost World, David Boring, and Ice Haven (a story that features Leopold and Loeb along with other famous signifiers of Chicago). With the full-color comics and memorabilia, one comes away with a history of alternative publishing in the 80s and 90s—Clowes started off in the satire magazine Cracked and went on to found the comic book series Eightball. In 2013 a major Clowes retrospective will open at the MCA; for now, look for him at Quimby's on May 17, signing copies.