Only a comics artist as brilliant as Daniel Clowes (probably best known for Ghost World) could also be as eloquently ambivalent about his chosen medium, and his self-loathing characters reflect this tension, hilariously. Clowes is here to show and tell things about his new book, Mister Wonderful: A Love Story, an expanded version of a 2008 New York Times Magazine strip in which a blind date takes some strange, violent, and unexpectedly optimistic twists. Even better is the new paperback edition of 2008's Ice Haven, a "narraglyphic picto-assemblage" told in 29 different styles (such as takeoff on "Peanuts") that was first published in his Eightball comic. Told around the abduction and possible murder of a little boy, Clowes's blackly bemusing concoction lends him the opportunity to skewer the town's eccentric and annoying citizenry, in particular a pair of rival poets.
Thu., May 5, 7 p.m., 2011