An excerpt from “Widening Horizon” by Matt Sheean and I. The whole story is in the first issue of NOW from Fantagraphics, which just hit stores. It includes new work from a bunch of great cartoonists, including Gabrielle Bell, Sammy Harkham, Antoine Cossé, Eleanor Davis, and Noah Van Sciver.

Hmm . . .

The cover for The Peace and The Panic, a new record by the band Neck Deep, has been making its way ‘round the internet: 

Some folks wonder if the illustration is by Daniel Clowes, while others call it out as a knockoff, as, in their words, “Fake Clowes” and the work of a “blatantly shitty ripoff artist.” A few have noted its heavy debt to late-1980s Clowes on the left and late-’80s Charles Burns on the right, with a very Clowesian backward-facing man (a figure the artist has drawn dozens, perhaps hundreds, of times) in the center. Here’s a detail from the record cover followed by one from a 1988 Clowes comic:

The cover followed by a panel from Clowes’s Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron (1993):

The Neck Deep cover art is by Ryan Besch. For your consideration of what’s known as “the problematics of influence,” here is some of his recent art side-by-side with Clowes’s work, from 1990-96.

Besch’s Weird Sin followed by Clowes’s Misfit Lit cover (1991) and a panel from Clowes’s comic Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron (1993):

A detail from the Besch cover followed by Clowes:

Besch followed by two images of a familiar Clowes type c.1987-1996, the “tough woman looking over shoulder at viewer” (Eightball #13 cover, 1994; Orgy Bound title page, 1996):

The same image followed by a detail from Clowes’s “Ink Studs” (Eightball #9, 1992) with the Clowes panel flipped:

Besch’s “Life Form”:

A detail from Clowes’s Misfit Lit cover followed by part of the above image:

A detail from Clowes’s Eightball #9 cover (1992) followed by a detail from ”Life Form”:

Note the watch.