From left: Popsies figurines from the personal collection of Daniel Clowes; original cover drawing for Eightball #8, 1992. Photo: Henrik Kam

From left: Popsies figurines from the personal collection of Daniel Clowes; original cover drawing for Eightball #8, 1992. Photo: Henrik Kam

Talks & Panels

Gallery Sessions: Daniel Clowes

Daniel Clowes takes visitors through his personal collection of Popsies figurines and their impact on his seminal comic book series Eightball.

Cartoonist, author, and illustrator Daniel Clowes discusses his personal collection of Popsies figurines on display in What is an edition, anyway?, as examples of editions that have influenced his creative practice and their impact on his illustrative style, as pictured in an original cover drawing for “Eightball #8,” also on view.

Mass-produced in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s and distributed in the United States, Popsies are small, sculptural greetings with spring-loaded messages in the characters’ heads that are as grotesque and bizarre as any in Clowes’ pantheon of misfits. In a 2006 interview in The New York Times, Clowes characterized the Popsies as having “some kind of distorted screwed-up anger, some post-atomic angst that got blunted over the years, like the artist was trying his best to be cute, but underneath something crawls out that’s inappropriate and angry and truthful in some way.”

MFA’s free Gallery Sessions invite artists and curators to explore and contemplate their works on view with visitors in an intimate setting.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Daniel Clowes (b. 1961) is a cartoonist, illustrator, and screenwriter whose works include the comic book series Eightball and the graphic novels David Boring, The Death-Ray, Ghost World, Ice Haven, Mr. Wonderful, Patience, and Wilson. He is the screenwriter of Art School Confidential, Wilson, and Ghost World, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination along with the film’s co-writer and director Terry Zwigoff. Clowes is the subject of the monograph The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist (Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2012), published in conjunction with a major retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Oakland Museum of California. He is the recipient of many awards, including the PEN Literary Award and numerous Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz comics industry awards. Clowes received his BFA from the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. He lives and works in Oakland, California.