Writers at Wright presents Daniel Clowes and Seth at Unity Temple

Event date: 

Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 7:00pm


Join us for an evening with Daniel Clowes and Seth in conversation. We will be celebrating the publication of Clowes' newest book, The Death-Ray, and Seth's newest book, The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists.

The Death-Ray is a postmodern comic of a nicotine-fueled teenage vigilante that won the Eisner, Harvey and Ignatz Awards. Teen outcast Andy is an orphaned nobody with only one friend, the obnoxious--but loyal--Louie. They roam school halls and city streets, invisible to everyone but bullies and tormentors, until the glorious day when Andy takes his first puff on a cigarette. That night he wakes, heart pounding, soaked in sweat, and finds himself suddenly overcome with the peculiar notion that he can do anything. Indeed, he can, and as he learns the extent of his new powers, he discovers a terrible and seductive gadget--a hideous compliment to his seething rage--that forever changes everything. The Death-Ray utilizes the classic staples of the superhero genre--origin, costume, ray gun, sidekick, fight scene--and reconfigures them in a story that is anything but morally simplistic. With subtle comedy, deft mastery, and an obvious affection for the bold pop-art exuberance of comic book design, Daniel Clowes delivers a contemporary meditation on the darkness of the human psyche.

The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists is the companion graphic novel to Wimbledon Green. "Whenever you're in Dominion, on Milverton Street you will stumble across an arresting array of handsome old buildings. The one with the pink stone facade and the familiar Canadian cartoon characters over the doorway is the Dominion branch of the Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists, erected in 1935 and the last standing building of the once prestigious members-only organization. For years, this building, filled with art deco lamps, simple handcrafted wood furniture, and halls and halls of black-and-white portraits of Canada's best cartoonists, was where the professionals of the Great White North's active comics community met--so active that there were outposts in Montreal and Winnipeg, with headquarters in Toronto. Everyone from all branches of the industry--newspaper strips, gag cartoons, nickel-backs, comic books, political art, accordion books, graphic novels--gathered in their dark green blazers to drink cocktails, eat, dance, and discuss all things cartooning. Seth opens up his sketchbook to an unseen world of Canadian comics, sometimes fictional and sometimes not, sometimes humorous and sometimes bittersweet, but always fascinating in its creative exploration of Canadian comics history. Whereas Wimbledon Green celebrated the comics collectors, The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists celebrates the cartoonists the comic collectors love. 


Daniel Clowes, a multi-Harvey, Eisner and Ignatz Award-winner, is a Chicago native living in Oakland, CA, with his wife Erika, son Charles and their beagle Ella. His many books include David Boring, Ghost World, Wilson, Ice Haven, Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, Caricature. and 2011's Mister Wonderful. With filmmaker Terry Zwigoff, Clowes adapted Ghost World into the 2000 film of the same name which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and won the Independent Spirit Award. Their second collaboration, Art School Confidential, written by Clowes and starring John Malkovich and Jim Broadbent was released in 2006. Clowes was the first cartoonist to be selected for Esquire’s annual fiction issue in 1998. In 1995 he created the much-praised animated video for the Ramones' “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.” 

Gregory Gallant (Seth) lives today in Prince Edward Island, where the stories in this book take place. Seth was born in 1962 in a rural Ontario town. Seth lives in Guelph, Ontario with five cats, a gigantic collection of vintage records, comic books, and 20th century Canadiana, and his very patient wife. In 2007, Seth serialized the story George Sprott (1894-1975) in The New York Times Magazine in 25 installments, and has expanded the story to appear as a standalone book in Spring 2009. He regularly contributes illustrations to The New Yorker and The National Post and recently provided the entire album artwork for Sony records singer-songwriter, Aimee Mann. As a book designer, Seth has worked on a variety of projects including the recent Penguin Classics reedition of The Portable Dorothy Parker. He is the designer of the 25 volume series The Complete Peanuts and the upcoming two volume series on Canadian master cartoonist Doug Wright.

Chicago Tribune's cultrual critic, Julia Keller, on Dan Clowes and Seth.  


This will be a ticketed event. ADMISSION $10. Each ticket can be redeemed for $10 off the cover price off EITHER The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists OR The Death-Ray at the event OR buy both titles and you get $15 off the total.

10% of all book sales at this event will be donated to The Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.

Writers at Wright is a partnership between The Book Table, Friends of the Oak Park Public Library, Midwest Media and The Unity Temple Restoration Foundation dedicated to bringing the finest authors to speak at Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpiece, Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL.

Select "Event Ticket Postage" upon checkout to have tickets mailed to you. Otherwise, select "In Store Pickup" which will allow to either pick up your tickets in advance or at will-call the night of the event.

Please note: "Pay at Store" will only reserve your space for a 24-hour period. To complete your reservation, you must pay in advance.

Event address: 

Unity Temple
875 Lake Street
60301 Oak Park