Clowes: Eightball 22
Like most of the characters in the anti-schulz style of Dan Clowes, these two childhood characters, reveal the artists own personal views on that issue (Figuracion, 2005). At the onset it must be pointed out that while the work is basically a comic book, the themes and the views that it presents are more adult and mature, which in this case deals with the main issue of what happens to a kidnapped young boy (Arnold, 2002). Dan Clowes does not sugar coat nor present what people think the reality should be but rather presents an unadulterated image of his perception of reality, a sample of which can be clearly seen as manifested in these two characters.
This first character to be discussed is Charles in the story entitled “Mosquito” who basically over analyzes everything. The line of Charles, “If only you could understand, George — but how could you? How could anyone know the depth of my frustration, my longing, my guilt?” sums up Dan Clowes’ perception of childhood. While no one has ever disputed that children do know about the world, the understanding of children and how they understand the world has never been as exaggerated and as true as how it has been portrayed here. The awareness and frustration that a child feels: awareness of his surroundings and the frustration from trying to reach out and communicate that awareness.
The second character is the insecure, love-lorn teenage girl, Violet Van der Platz. This character actually shows the criticisms that Dan Clowes has for present day society and how it has cultivated the growth of teenage girls into insecure and love-lorn girls who have a poor grasp of the direction that they want to take in life. Dan Clowes also reveals his take on the budding sexuality and awareness that interplays in the relationship between Charles and Violet.
These themes on adulthood and childhood are all part of the marvelous tapestry representing society which Dan Clowes weaves in what is often called one of the most powerful issues in this critically acclaimed comic book series.
Arnold, A. Dan Clowes Returns to Form Retrieved on November 2, 2006 from, http://www.time.com/time/columnist/arnold/article/0,9565,191033,00.html
Figuracion, N. (2005) Ice Haven Retrieved on November 2, 2006 from, http://www.brokenfrontier.com/reviews/details.php?id=330