Twentieth Century Eightball
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Twentieth Century Eightball

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  2,201 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Trailing the success of the movie based on Clowes' graphic novel Ghost World (1997) comes this collection of shorter stories from his alternative comic book Eightball. Many of the pieces are tirades, albeit entertaining ones, about things Clowes despises (perhaps the comic should have been called Hateball). "On Sports" details his contempt for professional athletics, and "...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 17th 2002 by Fantagraphics (first published August 2nd 2002)
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Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanFables, Vol. 1 by Bill WillinghamBone by Jeff Smith
Eisner Award Winners
54th out of 117 books — 73 voters
Ghost World by Daniel ClowesLike a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron by Daniel ClowesWilson by Daniel ClowesDavid Boring by Daniel ClowesCaricature by Daniel Clowes
The Best of Daniel Clowes
6th out of 9 books — 9 voters


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Emilia P
Aug 24, 2007 Emilia P rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: tough guys
Shelves: comic-books
well, 20th century eightball is totally totally crass, more crass than I remember Clowes other stuff being. There are people who have sex with insects and fish in it, a graphic discussion of the phallic symbols in sports, and multiple comics that could easily just be called (and I think one of them is) "People I Hate". I felt a little sad for him, actually, that he could be angry at so many things in so many ways. I know he's kind of kidding, but he's also kind of serious.

That said, it's in a lo...more
Edwin Arnaudin
Absolutely wonderful. Appeals to my loves and doubts, challenging and strengthening my stances on pet peeves, religion, the inevitability of certain things in life, and even (in conjunction with this year's terrible NBA Finals) makes me want to stop following/caring about certain sports. All of these messages are delivered in a self-aware, self-mocking manner with Clowes acknowledging the complexities of his role as an artist, wondering how he could possibly make a legit living by making stuff u...more
Christopher Roth
Brilliant. I was laughing so hard I cried. I remember living in Chicago in the early 1990s reading Clowes's Freudian analysis of American team sports in a free alternative paper called the Lumpen Times and I was Xeroxing it for friends and reading it over and over again, it was so wickedly good. I'm happy to see it here—I never made the connection that this was the same cartoonist responsible for Ghost World till I bought this volume—as well as other small masterpieces that were used as filler a...more
Steve Dziedziak
Regarding this collection, so far I've only gotten my hands on Art School Confidential, so my opinions are merely drawn from that strip:
The comic version is a humorous, honest and cynical depiction of art school, students, teachers, and possibly the art world in general. Attending art school myself (well, with a primary focus in graphic and multimedia design rather than specifically that of fine arts), I could wholeheartedly agree that both students and teachers bite into the typical stereotype...more
Andy
When the latest chapter of “Like A Velvet Glove” weighed heavily on me like a psych anvil Dan Clowes would restore the levity by following it up with short features that always raised a chuckle. This anthology collects all those funny stories in one volume, so no matter how heavy “Ghost World” or “David Boring” got these little zany bumpers kept you laughin’. The Harvey comics parody was the best!
Matt
So, to be honest, after reading the nine pretentious stories that were collected into Caricature, I wasn't sure I would read any more Clowes. For some inexplicable reason (that could possibly be the silly cartoon ghost on the cover) I choose to try this volume out, and am glad I did.

This collection of "filler" material from Eightball contains all the silliness and absurdity that's missing from Caricature and Ghost World, and more! In these pages, Clowes treats his experience at art school with h...more
Mike
May 28, 2007 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Clowes fans, disaffected youth
Shelves: comix
I know I'm supposed to like Daniel Clowes' work, I do. He obviously has the chops, both as a scripter and artist, but I just can't deal with him. In this collection (which, to be fair, is mostly old filler strips, so we're not seeing him operating at his full potential) he tends to resort to easy gross-out gags and non-narrative screwball fantasies, which gets a bit old. He does have moments of insight, or at least perceptive wit ("Art School Confidential," "Ugly Girls"), but mostly the collecti...more
Jeaniecance
basically the raw materials that were distilled into Wilson. Not nearly as good as Wilson, but funny, interesting, and - for all the smart-assery - there's the genuine feeling of someone who self-aware struggling with the insane difficulty of being genuine, and being smart enough to say, "no, I'm not genuinely this sensitive sap, that's just a persona I use to try to say what I'm feeling, but that's still not the 'authentic' me."
Dave Sippel
This book is cynical as hell. Don't let the fact that it is a comic book or a collection of short stories/comic strips fool you. Daniel Clowes is one bitter man. Take the two page story of a city dweller that deals with randomly violent, crass citizens and decides to never leave his apartment again. Then his roommate tells him that he found giant carnivorous worms under the sink. End Story.


Good reading for a bad day.

Amanda Conway
This is my favorite piece of work Clowes has produced and reading this really sparked my burning infatuation with underground comics and to this day, 8 years later, I consider myself just as infatuated with alternative/ indie/ underground comix as I was the day I picked this sucker up.

Thanks, Clowes!
John Parkinson
Read most of these in the original comic releases some 15 years ago now. These short pieces have pretty much all held up for their grim humour and the often dark reflection of their author. If only i didnt identify with so much of what he relates.......
Jessca
Clowes may have a knack at making you feel uncomfortable with rudimentary jokes and thoughts, but it shouldn't overlook how dark and witty these comics can be. He shamelessly mocks the society we live in (as it should be) and shares, what I'd imagine to be, a viewpoint on the world that isn't often showcased correctly. People tend to censor themselves or dilute their thoughts the second that it begins to make them look weird, insane, vulgar, etc.. Alas, after reading this compilation of his work...more
Scot
Love the art. Love the lettering. Love the self-doubting voice of misanthropy. As a wrestler (high-school, not professional) friend once remarked, in reference to my misguided love of the motion picture "Almost Famous," "You liking this is like me watching a wrestling movie: I'd HAVE to like it." (I was a wannabe rock critic, then.)

Anyhows, this: Lotsa funny stuff, with no big (or muted) emotional moments in sight. Look to "Ghost World" for that; this one's all about the um er "yuks" and yes I'd...more
James
Daniel Clowes is one of my favourite comics writers, and as much as I enjoy his heavier longform stuff, this collection of shorter frivolous strips is a joy. Still rife with Clowes' frustration and irritation at life, there's some great stupid throwaway gags as well (a Peanuts reference in 'I Love You Tenderly' always catches me by surprise, and makes me giggle like an idiot). Probably not the best place to start with Clowes, but for fans, this collection provides great balance against his other...more
Tobey
Although I rated this Five Stars I must admit I have never read the compilation. I have read almost every issue of Eightball when they came out and I think that Daniel Clowes is a great writer of the mundane life. It is not like American Splendor (which is great as well) it is a little more off kilter but really nothing amazing happens in the books. I was a big fan of this book when it was in monthly format so I can only imagine that the compilation is great as well.

Dominick
This eclectic collection of shorts from Clowes includes some definite filler, but much of it is quite amusing and insightful. Interestingly, Clowes self-defines as an underground rather than alternative cartoonist, and the work here suggests that that's an apt appellation. Much more like Crumb in many respects than I'd have suspected, based on the other stuff by him I've read, though also definitely unique.
Barrie
Just couldn't get into this one. I'm not the biggest fan of Clowes quirky/obscene ways--and yet, that is exactly the type of comic style I love, just not in his way. There were some chuckle to myself highlights and if anything I'd go read more on the ones I took to, but because the comics skipped around all over the place I just couldn't focus.
Andy
This is a compilation of bits and pieces from Eightball, which is where I originally saw these comics. While Clowes is generally known for having a somewhat somber tone, in his short works, he lets loose his inner wildman/child. Consequently, these are some of his most perverse, juvenile, anarchic, and hilarious comics.
Kelly
Hard to rate this one for my own personal tastes. While I loved “Like A Velvet Glove” and would give it 5 stars since it tickled my sensibilities of Lynchian strangeness and Coen brothers bizarre dialog, some of the more artist-centric stories were less interesting for me.
Leah
I think I am going to have to read more issues before I can decide what I think... I think I have missed out on some character development in it. However, just for the cover artwork I would recommend this! Pity I couldn't find the cover to put up with my review.
Rocco Versaci
Dan Clowes's comic book series, Eightball, featured some of the funniest, acerbic satire and cultural criticism around. The best of these pieces have been collected in "Twentieth Century Eightball," a must for anyone who enjoys humor.
George Hamilton-jones
I really enjoyed a lot of these strips. Unlike his later fictional approach, most of these take the form of gag strips but the great linework, authoritative lettering and sophisticated social lampooning are all there.
Monica
Daniel Clowes manages to turn misanthropy and self-loathing into fun, hilarious comic strips. Even so, I prefer his longer comics ("Ghostworld"!) as his "Eightball" work can seem a little choppy and unfinished.
Jessica Robinson
Abrasive and darkly funny, this is Dan Clowes at his best. I read this for the first time when I was about 14, and thinking about art school...for lack of a better word, I'll say it was "eye-opening."
Tim
A collection of Clowes’ early comics, this is far less assured than the only other of his works I’ve read, Ghost World. It’s fun, but there’s little to hold together this collection of short strips.
Tiffany
I've read this compilation about 20 times over the last couple of years. There are certain stories I dislike, but 90% are hilarious and spot on. If you like dark and cynical humor, this is for you!!!
Maxwell
if you like daniel clowes, you will love eightball. 20th century eight ball is a collection of many of the stories in eight ball the comic book, and overall is very enjoyable. 4 stars says i.
Sara
Dan Clowes' gag comics are pretty dumb, but occasionally they're really endearingly dumb. Knowing that this side of his creative personality exists definitely makes me like him more.
Ben
Daniel Clowes is easily one of my favorite comic writers of all time. He has stated that he no longer writes Eightball and is strictly writing graphic novels (well and screenplays).
Nick
Much as this collection is hilarious, inventive and beautifully drawn the unrelenting cynicism got to be a little much even for me and prevented me from loving it wholeheartedly.
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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 Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron Wilson Ice Haven

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