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That's not a critique of comic books, it's self-hatred. Nor, I think, is Wlison supposed to be an authorial surrogate for Clowes, or a reader surrogate: If Wilson is a surrogate, he's a very partial one, but I think that the book reads better as Wilson being an actual character. Rich Puchalsky Friday, 11 March at But in the movie at least Rebecca does get a job which requires her to be subject to annoying self-indulgent patrons the person obsessed with the coffee shop daily trivia , and this is presented as a sign of her being in certain ways more mature than Enid.

The Strange, Subdued Catharsis Of Kanye And Cudi's 'Kids See Ghosts'

NickS Friday, 11 March at Wow, I was in a bad mood when I posted in that Wilson thread. Not that I'd take back what I said. Dan Coyle Friday, 11 March at Rich, you're right; but I don't know how one stays patient with all the "author must be endorsing his characters' ethics" arguments one sees. I've been running into people who condemn Austen because Emma Woodhouse does terrible things. Josh Saturday, 12 March at Not really, but only because I'm giving Clowes his due: One benefit of adapting your own book, I suppose. Long time no see! That said, I think you're clearly wrong when you write "They, and Allen," because I don't think Clowes can conceive of a "They" than includes "and Allen.

I'm vexed by Clowes, have read everything of his I can get my hands on, and am identifying a pattern based on a recognizable voice. I'm not claiming that he endorses every word his protagonists utter, but there are moments -- and they're always associated with people his characters consider unsympathetic "losers," here, in David Boring , and in Wilson -- in which the judgment of characters slips beyond "ironic detachment" into "self-loathing and cruel. Nor, I think, is Wlison supposed to be an authorial surrogate for Clowes, or a reader surrogate[. Reading comics gives people a sense of specialness?

I follow you on the "self-hatred" line, but in terms of social standing, walking into a comics shop isn't that different from walking into a strip club in the eyes of society. That said, I think you and Josh need to realize that I'm not claiming that these characters are author surrogates Zwigof makes a concerted, albeit pedestrian, effort to rehabilitate Rebecca, as if she's the high tide that'll lift Enid too, which is why I prefer the fill to the book.

Dan, it didn't bother me, as you'd already been commenting here awhile It's just that, well, The Facebook, so it was like water off this duck's back. I don't know how one stays patient with all the "author must be endorsing his characters' ethics" arguments one sees. Josh, I really don't think I'm doing this. There's a reason for that formal analysis up there -- it's to avoid simply conflating the author with the characters.

Demonstrating that Clowes has a revealing formal tic isn't the same thing as claiming his characters speak for him. I know that you know that I know that we both know that I know this. SEK Saturday, 12 March at I've been waiting for, like, months—when did Iceland blow up? So I'm not going to be able to take part for a bit. You're going to say everything better than I would anyway. Like I said, I don't know if it's legit to make you suddenly fight a thread on multiple fronts, but I think that Hob and I both made points that were … well, I think they were correct , but at least they were strong—that didn't get responded to.

Specifically, that your position is circular we can tell Clowes is mean-spirited because of his characters; we can tell that his characters are mean-spirited because Clowes is , and so there's nothing Clowes can do that would convince you that that's not the case. Hob and I both, it seems, have also read everything or nearly everything Clowes has done, so "it just is, trust me" is not an adequate response. The problem is, that requires evidence, and I've only got scanned copies of Ghost World and Wilson. Given that my arguments rely on the interaction of text and picture, it makes sense that I couldn't answer your complaint about David Boring without referencing panels in the book As above, my arguments simply don't work if we're talking thematically.

In short, my "trust me" argument isn't asking you to agree with me about its conclusions, only acknowledge that I'm basing my interpretations of these particular panels on a familiarity of long-standing. Also, albeit implicitly, I'm vehemently arguing that libraries ought to stock the complete Clowes, if only to help louts like me argue on the internet. All that said, I'll revisit those arguments shortly, possibly by taking a digital camera to David Boring and editing the pictures so they're legible.

Not that I have any teaching responsibilities to attend to, mind you. Ahistoricality Saturday, 12 March at Wilson makes a specific argument to the cab driver in that page that you posted on last time.

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It's not a good argument, but it's an argument. Wilson says that liking comic books is like patriotism, or religion: Maybe Clowes should have avoided mentioning comics since he's a comic book writer, but to some extent that's like saying that he should have avoided having his character diss religion if he were a priest, since then his readers might think his character was speaking out of authorial self-hatred, or authorial scorn for the other people in the author's business.

At any rate, if Wilson is an authorial surrogate, the book flatly doesn't work, because Wilson is a comically malevolent person in ways that Clowes pretty clearly isn't, and then the book just becomes a massive authorial self-indulgence. If Wilson is a reader surrogate, the book similarly doesn't work, because then it becomes a sort of inverse Gary Stu -- the character who is specially, projectively bad. Luckily Clowes puts reader surrogates all over the book. They're the people that Wilson is talking to, the puzzled and ever-polite cab drivers and people sitting at coffee shops and next to him in airports.

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If Wilson is those people, he's those people gone wrong. They know how to cope, more or less, and he doesn't. The book works if you recognize that Wilson is more or less a real, possible person, and if you reflect on the actual differences between the reader projection and him.

I think it's critique of this kind of "I'm-horrible" projection, or at least can be read that way. For this panel, I just don't see any way in which Clowes isn't loading the dice to make Allen as sympathetic as possible. His little "I imagine so! I can certainly see not liking Clowes because mocker and mockee in his works all live in a depressing neverending aura of mockingness. But I don't see that he's being particularly authorially cruel to any of his characters here.

They're bored and directionless girls being as cruel as they know how to be, which isn't very, to a waiter. Rich Puchalsky Saturday, 12 March at My comment wandered all over the place, and I didn't explain the part I should have explained:. What gives Wilson his sense of specialness?

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His father's a professor in comp lit, and Wilson desperately tries to live up to that and confronts everyone with a knowing attitude, as if he is a thinker who sees through the illusions that they don't. But Wilson has pretty clearly never studied any of the things that he alludes to in any serious way. There's an airport scene where Wilson asks someone what physical activities their job actually involves, and you think he's going to go off on one of the various work critiques, but he comically doesn't know anything about it.

He doesn't know that I. His intellectuality, the thing that he's confronting the cab driver with, is his own thing that gives him, a failure, his false sense of specialness. That's what I meant by it being self-hatred -- it's in-character self-hatred, not necessarily authorial. I don't see why comic panels are necessary for every discussion of a comic. They certainly help, but a lot of the conversation has to do with character and dialogue, for which panels aren't always necessary--plus, your interlocutors are never going to have panels to present anyway. But we can certainly restrict the conversation to Ghost World ; that might make more sense than a Clowes's Entire Oeuvre thread anyway.

I agree with Rich that Allen is shown to be a nice guy with a goofy haircut doing his best. I also think that, before we look at this exchange in the context of Clowes's entire arc, we should look at it in the context of the chapter: On the last page here panels would be useful , Josh is furious, Rebecca uncomfortable, Enid guilt-stricken I don't see why Clowes would linger on Allen if he wanted to portray or couldn't keep himself from portraying him as a meaningless tip drone.

For that matter, I don't know why he would necessarily be agreeing with Enid in a chapter where he portrays her cavalierly dashing a guy's expectations and then feeling terrible about it.

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Enid is not saying "Whatever! Enid tried to keep the exchange going, but "the car wash" is not a convincing 50's icon, and when Rebecca calls her on this Enid has to pretend like she doesn't think any of it matters. Like I said, a quibble, but important only because it is one of the many places where Enid's confident cynicism is shown to be an inch deep, with an ocean of insecurity below. Not to interrupt the other arguments, but the tone of this seems wrong. I think one of the strengths of the movie and I've already stated my position as a fan is the way in which it shows how "small victories" can in fact be victories.

The scene in which Seymour breaks up with the woman that he was dating is a good example -- you can see that this represents a significant step forward for him in terms of self-knowledge, and willingness to act on that knowledge, while still being a pretty modest achievement he manages to break up with somebody in a moderately excruciating way. Similarly I think the juxtaposition of Enid and Rebecca's job experiences show that Rebecca is displaying meaningful maturity in being willing to put up with a shitty job.

Again it isn't the sort of accomplishment that anybody would take pride in, but it is nevertheless won at some cost. In that case it creates a division between her and Enid, and you can see why they would both be a little frustrated with each other at that point. NickS Saturday, 12 March at Here's the problem with this whole reading: Clowes thinks Al IS a loser, but he thinks Enid is a giant dick for saying so and that Rebecca is spineless for just going along with Rebecca.

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And Clowes is completely right. Al is in fact a loser. What else can you call an adult who submits to such a job? But the difference between Clowes calling that guy a loser and Enid calling him a loser is that Clowes sense of the term is not pejorative. It's like a realist type versus a stereotype. Clowes deals with losers, and he treats them as real people who exist in the world. Fancy writer types call them grotesques. There are those who "win" at life and those who "lose. Seymour loses at life, and Clowes shows quite well that this is very much his choice and his fault.

We see Enid making similar choices with similar faults. Now, we might like a socially conscious Clowes who would show supreme sympathy to Al by highlighting the economic forces that have created 50s Theme Restaurants and that have pressured grown men to work at such restaurants and look like Al. But that's not Clowes.

Ghost World (2001) - Enid Visits Rebecca at Work Scene (7/11)

Matt Merlino Sunday, 13 March at Matt is basically right, I think, but his reading depends on authorial intention a bit more than I'd like in this case. Clowes is showing a scene in which all three characters are losers, in a fairly ordinary descriptive sense. I don't think he's authorially condemning any of them for being losers, and I don't think that he's authorially elevating any of them either -- I don't think that Enid's a superior loser to Allen because she's articulate and younger and one of the main characters.

The difference between Matt's reading and mine is that I'm not really sure that Clowes is calling Al a loser. The term is Enid's, and seems completely in character for Enid to use. Clowes highlights it with the three of them arranged around Al. But that doesn't mean that it's his authorial term, as if he's setting out to document the lives of losers.

On the contrary, people in Ghost World make choices, they move up and down and around in various gradations of loser-dom -- it doesn't work very well as a descriptive category for the characters since they're all losers yet are not undifferentiated.

The Ghost Drum

Is Clowes socially conscious? In a certain way I think he is. At any rate, I think that Al, even in the brief look at him in this scene, is drawn basically sympathetically. Unfortunately, what transpired between then and now — a reignited rap beef thanks to DAYTONA and a chaotic spectacle in Wyoming for Kanye's equally chaotic spectacle of a solo album — nearly made fans lose sight of the hip-hop sanctity of Kids See Ghosts.

In the aftermath of ye , an album currently atop the Billboard but also a mid-year front runner for most polarizing project of , Kids See Ghosts acts as a bewildered fan's contextual roadmap, providing some clarity for ye and giving an update on Cudi's mental state. The album's third song, "4th Dimension," samples gospel singer Shirley Ann Lee's " Someday " also sampled on ye 's "Ghost Town" , featuring Lee's producer stating that no song should be over three minutes long "You only want two and a half minutes, three minutes maximum" , a nod to the 'all killer no filler' seven-song structure Kanye's forcing on the five albums announced in April, of which two remain.

D Music's latest signees, bellows about burning her hand on a stove, connecting her visceral pain to a sense of self-controlled freedom. Chop circa , but reminiscent of fuzzed-out psychedelic rock of the '70s. That freedom is central; both Cudi and West discuss their journeys with depression and drug use throughout, and there are moments where Kanye's recently revealed bipolar diagnosis is put into words: Alongside confessions, another road to both liberation and protection for both — religion — is woven into six of the project's seven tracks the only exception being "Feel The Love".

Heaven is referenced six times, Kanye describes having a Bible on his nightstand, and 'God' and 'Lord' are mentioned a combined 32 times: The clear highlight of the album's 23 minutes is "Reborn," a mantric spiritual session about pushing through life's darkest moments. Despite the clear connections between ye and Kids See Ghosts , the latter is the far superior project in terms of sequencing, lyrical content and intent. Where ye felt thrown together again, in real time — jumping from fears of his daughter hitting puberty to praying for Russell Simmons because he got " MeToo'd " to reminding listeners of his "slavery is a choice" moment — Cudi's verses ensure Kids See Ghosts maintains a clear vision, documenting his crawling and clawing out of depression's depths.

The ghost of old Kanye still lingers in the production, but where Cudi's words, and his signature lower-register humming, possess an air of genuine emotional purge, Ye's corresponding verses come off as phoned-in and at times unnecessary; on "Feel The Love" elementary gun noises for nearly two minutes straight or "4th Dimension" rapping about accidental anal sex are distractions.

Kanye's verse on gun violence and mass incarceration in "Cudi Montage" is probably the most socially aware piece of lyricism, but still manages to come off as didactic. Kids See Ghosts is many things — most notably, the best album in Kanye's summer series so far.