Who is this handsome bunch? Just four of the greatest living cartoonists on Earth: Jaime Hernandez, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Gilbert Hernandez. They were interviewed simultaneously by Sean T. Collins in Rolling Stone. (Photo by Meredith Rizzo)
Gilbert: It's funny: When Ghost World came out and Dan was nominated for the Oscar, I could just picture someone like Gwyneth Paltrow saying, "Dan Clowes' comic book . . . "
Clowes: And she did!
Gilbert: It was the most bizarre prediction ever. I just picked her out of a hat – I bet you somebody like that's gonna say it.
Clowes: I was sure she was gonna pronounce my name wrong, but they must have coached her. I thought that would be the perfect thing, to have the cute girl in class pronounce your name wrong when you're in the Science Fair.
Ware: A defining moment.
Gilbert: And this is probably the first time she ever mentioned a comic book in her life, and a few years later she's in Iron Man.
Ware: And Scarlett Johansson went on from Ghost World to do another comic book movie.
Clowes: I have to say she had such disdain for comics. [Laughter] They were the lowest.
Ware: I find it amazing that the stuff that I got made fun of and jumped in the hallway for reading, and spat upon — literally, some guy spit in the coat pocket of my jacket — is now mainstream culture.
Clowes: I saw an attractive teenage couple on the subway saying "Should we see Thor?" When I was a teenager, if I'd said, "Hey, wanna come over to my mom's house and read my original Kirby issues of Thor?" I'd have been peppersprayed.