Daniel Clowes on the Internet

Do cultures go through fertile and fallow periods?

Sure, but I’m not sure where we are now. It feels like we should be in a fertile period, but I’m not sure we are — it feels pretty fallow to me, actually. There’s so much on the Internet for so many different audiences, but there’s actually too much information, and it has no weight. I remember the experience of seeing a little picture in the background of an image in a magazine or something, then hunting for it, and discovering it was impossible to find. You’d have to go through so much work to find it, then when you finally did, it would be like a door into an entirely new world, and you’d go on learning more and more. It becomes part of your personality to search for these things, whatever they are. Like I said, I got very interested in Jack Webb when I was a kid, and I went through this phase where I learned everything I could about him, and bought all kinds of stuff related to him. It’s very hard to find out information about a guy like that, because he’s not really an actor — he’s more like a character with a certain personality. And, in immersing myself in him, he became one of ‘my’ guys who inform who I am. Everything I learned about him during the years I was interested in him could now be learned in ten minutes on the Internet, but it wouldn’t have any weight, and the next day you’d be on to something else. Every day people post stuff, saing ‘Hey, check this out,’ and while there’s something great about being able to see all this stuff, it kills whatever power a thing might have when everything is sort of equalized. The only stuff that becomes really interesting is the stuff that’s so obscure it isn’t on the Internet.

Which, as I tend to agree with Mr. Clowes, probably means I should stop this blog now. Excerpt from the beautiful, new book  The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist, which is made of real paper and has a certain weight…


One Response to “Daniel Clowes on the Internet”

  1. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. I beg you, don’t.

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