Daniel Clowes has been working on his latest book, Patience, for five years. At 180 pages, it’s his longest work to date, more than twice as long as Wilson, his graphic novel about an abrasive loner in Oakland who claims to be a people person but actually can’t stand most of them (nor they him), and Ghost World, the artist’s most popular work, about the disintegrating relationship between two teen girls in an unnamed American suburb. From the time Clowes began the book in 2010 until its completion last October, he didn’t show a single page of it to anyone, not to Erika, his wife of 20 years, nor to his publishers at Fantagraphics, who will release the book this March, nor to his closest friends.
Clowes is in an upstairs room of his Piedmont home, a lovely two-story 1912 Craftsman set along an equally lovely tree-lined street of this East Bay suburb, talking about how the book came to be. Six feet tall and slim, Clowes has a salt-and-pepper beard and sharp blue eyes. Despite possessing the most sardonic of wits on paper, he laughs easily and often in person, at his jokes and others’. This afternoon, he’s taking care of his beloved beagle, Ella, who has dementia and barks every 20 minutes or so because she forgets that Clowes is at home. Along one wall of the room, which doubles as artist studio and comics archive, collections of Peanuts and Nancy and Gasoline Alley share shelf space with Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library and the complete works of R. Crumb. An old-timey paperback carousel is stocked with Mad magazine reprints; in a nearby cabinet there’s a tin-toy knockoff of Fred Flintstone, his 5 o’clock shadow an eerie blue. Read the rest of the article here: https://story.californiasunday.com/daniel-clowes-patience
Illustrations by Rutu Modan, Anders Nilsen, Richard Sala, Isabel Seliger, Seth, and Anuj Shrestha