”Dan did almost all the girls’ dialogue, and when I asked him how he was able to write such great dialogue for teenage girls, he said it was because they represent two different parts of him,“ says Zwigoff. ”On some deep psychological level, the comic is him exploring his own psyche.“
”To write a teenage girl is a feat, and Dan wrote these characters with uncanny accuracy for a guy -- he just nailed it,“ adds Meyer. ”There‘s a certain richness to the comic that had to be trimmed for the movie, but every book that’s made into a movie has to be honed. On the other hand, there are fantastic things in the movie that go beyond what‘s in the comic, and they’ve succeeded in creating a subtle, original movie that toys with audience expectations in a way I think will be really influential.“
When the dust settles from the opening of Ghost World -- which also stars Steve Buscemi, Illeana Douglas and Brad Renfro -- Zwigoff and Clowes hope to begin work on a feature based on ”Art School Confidential,“ a 1991 strip that incorporates many of Clowes‘ experiences at Pratt. For the time being, however, Clowes is preoccupied with putting the finishing touches on Eightball #22, which is slated for publication in September, will be the first all-color issue, and includes 29 stories. Ultimately, of course, it’s all one story -- the story of Dan Clowes.
There‘s a scene in ”The Stroll,“ from 1990, that could easily be played out by Ghost World’s Enid Coleslaw, whose name is an anagram for Daniel Clowes. A young man walks through the city where he lives, making mental notes on the passing parade of aggressive drivers, hostile panhandlers and marauding teenagers. Arriving back home, he stops at the door and addresses the reader: ”I wish I was more of a humanitarian . . . unfortunately, most people seem like mean-spirited rodents to me . . . or ants or something.“ With that, he shrugs and goes inside.