Ice Haven

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Overview

At long last: Daniel Clowes is back at Pantheon, with a brilliant new graphic novel already hailed by Time as “another of his hilariously slightly off-center worlds that have a vague sense of dread about them. Kind of like where you live.”

Welcome to Ice Haven! “It’s not as cold here as it sounds,” declares Random Wilder, our reluctant guide to this sleepy Midwestern town. He’s also its would-be poet laureate. Would-be, that is, were it not ...
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Overview

At long last: Daniel Clowes is back at Pantheon, with a brilliant new graphic novel already hailed by Time as “another of his hilariously slightly off-center worlds that have a vague sense of dread about them. Kind of like where you live.”

Welcome to Ice Haven! “It’s not as cold here as it sounds,” declares Random Wilder, our reluctant guide to this sleepy Midwestern town. He’s also its would-be poet laureate. Would-be, that is, were it not for the "Florid banalities” of his archrival, Ida Wentz, published ad nauseam in the Ice Haven Daily Progress. Among Wilder’s other fellow Ice Havians are the lovelorn Violet Van der Plazt and Vida Wentz; the detective team of Mr. and Mrs. Ames; the adorable interracial moppets Carmichael and Paula; disaffected stationery salesgirl Julie Patheticstein; the Blue Bunny, newly sprung from prison and the bitterest rabbit in town; and poor little David Goldberg, missing for more than a week now…

While Dan Clowes has gotten a nod from the mainstream -- an Oscar nomination for the screen adaptation of Ghost World -- his work remains wonderfully idiosyncratic and imaginative. The lives of the men and women of Ice Haven are woven into a multi-layered tale that, while it owes a debt to Our Town, is ultimately based on and inspired by… Leopold and Loeb. No kidding.

Only Daniel Clowes could do it and, luckily for us, he has.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Welcome to the sleepy little town of Ice Haven, which wakes up under the watchful eye of would-be poet laureate Random Wilder. Ghost World impresario Daniel Clowes presents the intertwined stories of Ice Haven locals with frames that feature vivid coloring and careful, yet unforced linework. At the core of this multilayered tale is the disappearance of little David Goldberg, but it emerges from the interaction of a captivating cast of characters.
Joey Anuff
When I later marveled to my friend that, on first pass, I'd failed to crack the case of young David Goldberg's disappearance, I could tell that Clowes's misdirection had fooled him, too. Which is to say, don't be surprised if Ice Haven becomes your favorite comic long before you've solved its many mysteries.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Clowes (Ghost World) casts a harsh spotlight on the misfit dreamers who inhabit the small town of Ice Haven in this riveting graphic novel. Originally published in a somewhat different form as part of Clowes's occasional comic book Eightball, this piece finds Clowes moving beyond the withering satire of his earlier works to a more nuanced style. Readers will wince even as they feel sympathy for the self-deluded characters who reside in Ice Haven. Take narrator Random Wilder, writer of doggerel poetry. One would think it'd be easy to be the best poet in a place like Ice Haven, but Wilder has a rival: Ida Wentz, an old woman who likes to bake cookies. Wilder spends his spare time plotting against her. Ida's visiting granddaughter, Vida, also has literary yearnings, despite having sold zero copies of her fanzine. These and other oddballs play out their stories against the mysterious disappearance of a little boy named David Goldberg, whose possible murder recalls the Leopold and Loeb case. Clowes unfolds the multifaceted story as a series of brief comics, some drawn in a wildly cartoony style, others in his well-known mid-20th-century look. Masterfully blending fact and fiction, this is a funny, sad, chilling and absurd work. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In a deceptively simple style and format reminiscent of Sunday newspaper strips, Clowes unsparingly explores the lives of a small town's residents-a lovelorn teen girl, a boy genius, a failed poet, a comic book critic-and their reactions to the disappearance of a young boy. (LJ 11/15/05) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
Don’t be surprised if Ice Haven becomes your favorite comic long before you’ve solved its many mysteries.”
The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375423321
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/7/2005
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.13 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

DANIEL CLOWES is widely considered one of the best car­toonists of his generation; his adaptation of his own Ghost World graphic novel for the screen earned him an Oscar nomination. A regular contributor to The New Yorker, Mc­Sweeney’s, and The Best American Comics, he lives in Oak­land, California.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    His Best

    I'm a great fan of Clowes, but Ghost World was certainly my least favorite work of his.

    This I like much more. Dan finally developed a story which allows him to use his wide variety of stylistic flourishes all to tell one story. Clowes can do cartoonist work as well as he can do starkly realistic illustrations, and here we have a cohesive Little Epic told in a series of seemingly unconnected comic strips that would make the most amazing sunday comics page ever if they were laid out as such. A work of genius. Really.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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