‘Black Nylon’ by Daniel Clowes

Originally published in the back half of Clowes’ comic, Eightball, the structure of ‘Black Nylon’ has always been an obsession of mine. Clowes wrote and drew the short comic as an inconclusive puzzle. Or maybe he didn’t? I’ve never been able to put all the parts together. And I’m not sure I want to because the fragmentation of the story has always left me with a feeling of loss without knowing exactly the meaning of the loss. The nameless superhero? actor? deadbeat dad? dressed as an old-style superhero, wanders through the comic trying to decipher the clues of his life. He meets his ex-ladyfriend. His arch nemesis, Hero Boy. He gets no answers. We get no answers.

First published in Eightball #18, Fantagraphics March 1997. Republished in Caricature, Fantagraphics, 1999