Daniel Clowes Goes Back to 'Art School'

Daniel Clowes and director Terry Zigoff at a preview of 'Art School Confidential.' i i

Daniel Clowes, right, with director Terry Zigoff at a premiere of their film collaboration. Mark Mainz/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Mainz/Getty Images
Daniel Clowes and director Terry Zigoff at a preview of 'Art School Confidential.'

Daniel Clowes, right, with director Terry Zigoff at a premiere of their film collaboration.

Mark Mainz/Getty Images

Jerome Platz wants merely to be the greatest artist of the 21st century. But the film Art School Confidential paints quite a different picture for those who, like Platz and his fictitious fellow freshmen at Strathmore Art Academy, remain full of hope.

"Only one student out of a hundred will find work in his chosen field," intones a teacher played by John Malkovich. "The rest of you are essentially wasting your time learning a useless 'hobby.'"

The man behind that deflating — if accurate — sentiment is Daniel Clowes, the comic artist and screenwriter. He tells Liane Hansen how he came to lampoon the art-school scene.

Page to Screen: The Inspiration for 'Art School'

Art School Confidential is artist and writer Daniel Clowes' second collaboration with director Terry Zwigoff. The two were nominated for an Academy Award in 2002 for their screenplay adaptation of Ghost World, based on Clowes' celebrated graphic novel of the same title.

In this latest project, a short comic from Clowes' series, Eightball, was a jumping off point. Inspired by the movie High School Confidential, about an undercover drug bust at a school, the characters are composites of people Clowes encountered as an art student at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. His vivid memories of life as a struggling artist were fertile ground for the darkly comic film.

Clowes' other graphic novel collections include The Manly World of Lloyd Llewellyn, Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron and most recently, Ice Haven. He is currently writing a screenplay based on the story of three youngsters who filmed a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark over the course of their adolescence.

Daniel Clowes' comic character, and Max Minghella, who plays the character in the film.

Daniel Clowes' concept of the art student at the center of the story, and Max Minghella, who plays the character in the film. hide caption

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Books Featured In This Story

Twentieth Century Eightball
Twentieth Century Eightball

by Daniel Clowes

Paperback, 101 pages | purchase

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