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Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  4,896 ratings  ·  190 reviews
Like a Velvet Glove... collects all 10 chapters of the serialized story Eightball. As Clay Loudermilk attempts to unravel the mysteries behind a snuff film, he finds himself involved with an increasingly bizarre cast of characters, including a pair of sadistic cops who carve a strange symbol into the heel of Clay's foot; a horny over-the-hill suburban woman whose sexual en ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 17th 1993 by Fantagraphics (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gregsamsa
Have you seen your life destroy itself through an addiction to cocaine?

I haven't, but I understand your deal because there was a time I would have killed loved ones in order to get my hands on my next Eightball. Of course I adored the self-contained shorts of zesty social satire like I Love You Dearly (a gorgeously snide diatribe on stuff Clowes hates) or In the Future (where the worst of Now is trebled to an extreme Tomorrow), or the awful portrait of the comix world demonstrated in Dr. Infini
...more
Jacob J.
This book didn’t mean anything. Books that don’t mean anything have no right to exist. To exist is to possess meaning. Meaning cannot exist without existence. Existence is what gives meaning its meaning, and its existence. This book is meaningless, therefore nothing exists (especially not this book).

An Interesting Production:
A man undertakes a particularly futile meaningless endeavor to discover the origins of a fetish film. He encounters many eccentric meaningless characters with ponderous mea
...more
Amy
Reading this after having read his other, more famous, graphic novel Ghost World and it's sarcastic, funny and honest story about a pair of directionless teenagers, I was completely unprepared for the dream-like (perhaps "nightmare like" would be more accurate) world of Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron. I'm all for a little surrealism but I cannot take this much, quite simply. After reading the novel I had no idea what it was that I'd just read, had no clue regarding how all its seemingly dispar ...more
Jordan
If you’re looking for a sweet little story, full of puppies and rainbows, this is not it. Daniel Clowes’ Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron is like a fever-dream nightmare noir, that’s both simultaneously fucked-up and sorrowful, and although it’s highly surreal, it somehow manages to make sense, in a super-claustrophobi-expiali-chaotic sort of way. So, naturally, it is easily comparable to David Lynch’s more experimental works, however, unlike Mr. Lynch, Mr. Clowes does not need to include an ins ...more
amy
Jun 07, 2007 amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like to press on sore spots and bruises on their arms and legs.
this made my head feel fizzy.

and it is one of my favorite titles ever, tied with 'if it werent for venetian blinds, itd be curtains for us all.'
Andy
If Dan Clowes died after producing this warped masterpiece he would have gone down in history as some demented prophet. "Like A Velvet Glove" was produced mostly around 1990-1991 when companies like Something Weird Video were unearthing every disturbing B-movie ever created, and that's the vibe this book recalls.
A man watches a snuff film written by a pipe-smoking midget named "Precious". In pursuit to find out more about the movie he runs afoul of a Manson-type murder cult and a map hidden ins
...more
Jennifer
Daniel Clowes remains my favorite comic book artist. I've actually got the series as they were originally published in the individual Eightball comic books, as well as the bound collection. Velvet Glove is also my favorite of his various serials. In my early twenties this serial even inspired a brief pipe smoking stint. That's right I smoked a pipe for a few months! (and I do mean tobacco)

I'm sure that Clowes took the title from a line in the Russ Meyer's film "Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill" which
...more
Damien
I would have loved this when I was in high school, but I read it for the first time today when I am as jaded as I can possibly get. Well, I guess I am just being nice by saying that. This just seems like Clowes trying to be weird for the sake of being weird. It's like he smoked a lot of pot and watched one Jodorowsky film after another and this was the best he could do- and I LOVE the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Where it seems the intention was to be disturbing, I was mildly irritated. Where ...more
Emily Mittelmark
Whenever I take this book down from the shelf and open it to a random page, I am reminded that the characters and situations in it are what's not supposed to exist in the world. It's very dark. The dog, Laura, struck me as a very intense idea. Clowes used dogs who were born without any orifices in other stories too, and it's a very good example of how a strange, impossible occurance can make a reader feel like their life is pointless and gorgeous and incredibly confusing.
Charlie
Deeply, deeply disturbing.

If David Lynch were to write a comic book, this would be it.
Kathleen
My first comment is: I read this book today, and was floored at some moments and kinda confused about what was going on at other moments, and I really feel like I'm going to need to read this again. I can see why this is a total classic, but I feel I will need a second reading to be able to digest all the scatter of events. They kinda explode at you.

I was delighted by the surprise surrealism, and by the way he handles it, by the way it comes out of the blue at you in the story, and by the bizar
...more
Scott Smith
Definitely a complex book. I haven’t read too much of his oeuvre, but a good chunk of what I have read is very dreamscape in nature. This one pretty much pulled it together in the end to be a full-fledged low-key world of wonder, eschaton-sated numb-locked publicity pamphlet where all the characters turn out performances welcoming you into the days of death cults reminiscent of the Manson family, weather underground days and feminist women’s liberation fronts turned bomb brigades, the great ocea ...more
Kirstie
Apr 03, 2011 Kirstie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kirstie by: Zachary
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is the first Daniel Clowes graphic novel I have read and it was recommended by my friend Zachary and a friend of his from college last time we were at Quimby's book store in Chicago together. This has a very fantastical nature to it and is dark and grim. It begins with a gritty film in an adult movie house, a toilet guru, and a dark adventure based around a historical symbol that appears innocent from the outset-like a pudgy face with a cute miniature hat on it...drunkards, commune feminist ...more
Jake
I get it. It's nonsense. It was like a fever-dream nightmare. It worked exactly like the subconscious process, sort of touching but not really. But I don't care. I didn't care about anything. Sure, it's meaningless, sure, that has an availability to the reader as something beautiful and unique. But it's too random to have motivation and compassion for any of its own value beyond the weird and surreal. This why they make a joke out of college student films in movies. It wasn't for me. I thought i ...more
Jeremy
This is the most clausterhobic, over-bearingly lynchian thing I've ever seen in the comic medium. A cast of freakish characters whose stories bump into each other without really interweaving. It's an intense, disorienting, noir-ish nightmare.
Chris
Weird, gloriously, dangerously weird. If you liked "David Boring" but disliked how traditional and restrained it was, "Velvet Glove" is the answer. It can't really be explained, only enjoyed.
Isabel G L
No sé, quizá debería leerlo otra vez, creo que no lo he entendido... ¿O es que no hay nada que entender? En cualquier caso demasiado David Lynch para mi gusto...
Variaciones Enrojo
Reseña de Paula González para Zona Negativa:
http://www.zonanegativa.com/como-un-g...

He perdido la cuenta de las veces que he dicho un “¿qué?”, observar de nuevo la viñeta y volver atrás e intentar comprender qué me quería decir Daniel Clowes con Como un Guante de Seda Forjado en Hierro. Y lo he intentado, pero todos mis esfuerzos parecen desmoronarse cuando uno de sus propios personajes me echa en cara que igual todo no tiene una respuesta. Así que… vale. Este cómic no tiene respuesta. O sí. Tod
...more
Steven Huynh
Unlike the straight-forward and realist nature of Daniel Clowes' more popular work Ghost World, the earlier Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron explores dark and absurd themes. The plot begins with the protagonist setting out in search of his lost-lost wife after seeing her in a snuff film. The plot then follows the protagonist's many tribulations on his way to find his wife, including an obsessive, sex-driven woman with a mutated daughter conceived through a one-night rendezvous with a sea creatur ...more
Vincent Powell
The title of this book describes its effect on you in a way that no review can: the transformation of something comforting into a cold and prickly shell, a hollow world of needles and infinitely small razor blades scraping past you every time you move. Each progression through the plot is studded with non sequiters, brief appearances, detours, dreams, visions. However, it is simultaneously insane and coherent, like the ravings of a madman understood by the madman himself, and you are lodged with ...more
Matt Kelland
"Incoherent but engrossing," says one of the reviews on the back. That's half-true, at least. It's certainly incoherent.

In my student days, I read a lot of trippy indie comics from the 60s & 70s, such as the Freak Brothers, Luther Arkwright, Fritz the Cat and so on. I think that says more about my state of mind back then than it does about the quality of the books - reading them felt like we were being rebellious, artistic, and independent, and half the fun was in finding them and showing o
...more
Chris
Originally serialized in "Eight Ball," "Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron" is a long, nauseous tickle of a nightmare. A man is in a porn theater and sees an eerie fetish film...starring his estranged wife. He goes on a mission to find her and runs afoul of a Manson-esque cult and an underground network of men obsessed with a happy-faced advertising icon from the 1930s.

The story does not always make sense, but it doesn't need to. It feels like a dream, where things don't have to be explained to b
...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
An absurd (in every sense of the word) yarn, in the manner of David Lynch, beginning from a naive man's curiosity to find the origins of a snuff film, leading to bizarre characters and stupid, verbose theories about universe and everything, not to forget a mysterious entity referred only a "Mr. Johns" and the people who spend lives finding it.

Buddha said that the "path is more important than the destination" or something like that. I wonder whether surrealism leans more towards that saying than
...more
Jason Bradshaw
About a guy who becomes intrigued by the mysteries of a snuff film and sets out on a journey to try and solve them encountering a kooky bunch of characters along the way.

I didn’t like this book. The biggest problem I felt is that there was nothing to care about in it. The main character, Clay Loudermilk, is completely flat. He appears to be there just because, well, we need somebody to bounce all of the weird that he encounters off of. About halfway through I tired of the absurdity and there was
...more
Laura
Aug 22, 2014 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Chris
I reread this book today. I can't believe I even vaguely understood this when I first read it in high school, when I was really stupid. . . or that I was even exposed to something so cool and different! I can't be sure, but I'm relatively confident that I'm not just being sentimental, and I'd still enjoy this nugget of weirdness if I'd first read it as an adult.
Kieran Healy
A dadaist comic populated by characters from a David Lynch and/or Terry Gilliam movie, this is one of the more unsettling things I have read. It can't be characterized as "good" or "bad" because it follows dream logic in a way that is still accessible. It just kind of "is." Take the trip or don't. Written by the same fellow who brought us "Ghost World." But unlike the clear storytelling of that comic, this is more of an experience. NOT THE SAME BOOK, so don't go in expecting the same thing. I di ...more
Eric T. Voigt Voigt
Whooooa. Started out hilarious, then got real fucked up, then was hilarious and fucked up, then was sad. And fucked up. Cool to see some bizarro malformation conspiracy theory nutballness from Clowes, although I prefer him more in the mundane. Still: A.
Emm
Wonderfully fucked up. This comic-noire is David Lynch meets My Pal Foot-Foot with a dash of pulp / snuff / and an orificeless dog. Basically, a must-read.
Jason
The book that first asked the burning question: "What's the frequency, Kenneth?"
Alexandra
WTF?????? What did i read???? It felt like i was in the worst - best nightmare and couldn't wake up. It had the feeling of a David Lynch kind of movie, where nothing makes sense and in the end you are left with a black hole inside you... A love story, a twisted and sick dream, a trip to the it-doesn't - make - sense land. Surreal, dark, nightmarish, perfect.
A dog without holes, a man with fishes in his eye sockets, a mystery cartoon character, a snuff movie, a girl soooo horribly deformed that s
...more
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Daniel Gillespie Clowes is an Academy Award-nominated American author, screenwriter and cartoonist of alternative comic books. Most of Clowes' work appears first in his ongoing anthology Eightball (1989-present), a collection of self-contained narratives and serialized graphic novels. Several of these narratives have been collected published separately as graphic novels, most notably Ghost World. ...more
More about Daniel Clowes...
Ghost World David Boring Wilson Ice Haven Twentieth Century Eightball

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