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Comic Book / Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron

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Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron is a graphic novel by author Daniel Clowes. The book is a haunting, surreal horror with a dreamlike storyline. It began life as a serial feature in the first ten issues of Eightball.

The plot concerns Clay Loudermilk, a young man who, upon seeing his ex-wife in a skin flick note  at the local porno theatre, sets off on a mission to find her in the big city. Along the way he learns a lot about life, love and loss. He also adopts a dog with no head and shacks up with an old waitress and her grotesque fish-daughter.

Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron contains examples of:

  • And I Must Scream / Downer Ending: The end, when Clay has his limbs ripped off and is forced to live an immobile life of painting portraiture with his mouth. As well as having occasional intercourse with the fish girl.
  • Creepy Child: Precious is the Waif Prophet for "Interesting Production". Whether or not she is having visions or is coming up with the ideas herself is never confirmed.
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  • Eye Scream: Clay borrows a car from a guy with shrimp in his eye sockets. It is a therapy for an eye infection in which the shellfish eat the bacteria.
  • Film Noir: The art's heavy use of shadows and close ups evokes this style.
  • The Grotesque: The daughter counts as this, as her fish-like appearance overshadows her very teenage girl-like longings.
  • Heroic BSoD: Clay after seeing the film of his ex-wife's rape and murder.
  • Mad Oracle: Clay is put on towards one who lives in the bathroom of a porno-theatre. Despite appearances, he's actually quite helpful.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Many of the stranger elements of the story are left open-ended as to their true nature; whether they're part of some Government Conspiracy, secret Nazis, secret aliens, mer-people, or a all of them at once, is all left up to the readers interpretation.
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  • Snuff Film: What "Interesting Productions" specializes in. Clay's wife was their most recent victim.
  • Surrealism: The book's attempt to present a living dream/nightmare means it relies heavily on random coincidence, unrelated moments, symbolic imagery, and open-ended ambiguity.
  • Troubling Un Childlike Behavior: Precious is left in a room alone in order to envision/make-up the plots for "Interesting Productions" films. Also she smokes.

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