Dan Clowes

Maybe, for a certain kind of reader, it took the presence of Scarlett Johansson in the movie version of Ghost World to bring the quiet, meditative art of Dan Clowes to a wider audience. Since then, he and director Terry Zwigoff collaborated on Art School Confidential, and now comes Ghost World: The Special Edition (Fantagraphics, $28.95). With his work on display through Oct. 7, Clowes will be signing his new collection at tonight’s reception, which includes a discussion with Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth. Clowes’ Ghost World series takes place in the overlooked, often ugly interstices of urban life. Sharp-eyed teens Enid and Rebecca, along with other recurring characters, bring an applied, unschooled intelligence to these empty zones. They are, in a way, critics of their own movie-in-process, wary of the feminine roles and stereotypes being offered them, suspicious of anything so corny as a plot. Still, there are grand themes of love and betrayal in Clowes’ world, but the drama is always rooted in mundane particulars—precisely drawn, acutely felt, and seldom expressed directly in words. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 1201 S. Vale St., 658-0110, www.fantagraphics.com. Free. 6–9 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Mondays-Sundays, 6 p.m. Starts: Aug. 29. Continues through Oct. 7, 2008

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