I had a chance to interview Dan Clowes at TCAF over the weekend, a great pleasure for me. It’s a two part interview, part one is up at the books@torontoist site here. Here’s an excerpt:

Howard: Your work often makes me think of French Existentialism because there’s a lot of the absurd, and, especially with Ice Haven, there is no one final reality. With French Existentialism there is no overarching meaning, there is nothing to strive for—I see that when I’m reading Wilson.
Clowes: I go along with that up to a certain point. I think all the assumptions we make about the way things are should be examined, and just the very notion that people’s happiness is often based on things that are fragile or even…entirely fabricated. I can see people need a survival mechanism to plug in with their lives, but I still think that’s an unhealthy thing. And that if we can examine what we really know about what makes us happy, and what in life is actually meaningful, then I think that’s a better starting point than to just assume that some structure that we’ve been given is actually valid.