Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World) capped his comics film trilogy with this underrated adaption of Daniel Clowes’ "Art School Confidential".
Clowes’s original was a four-page throwaway satirizing his art school experience that took on huge life with a fandom that shared that background. Clowes expanded it out as a screenplay that cuts all comers with glib glee. Perhaps it was this acidic tone that cost it success, or the fact that the oddball comedy is quietly a murder mystery, but somehow viewers and crits missed out on a sharp and taut comedy.
This is unfortunate, because Zwigoff almost single-handedly brought underground and indie comix into mainstream film, and set the stage for (literally) related successful adaptions like American Splendor and The Diary of a Teenage Girl, as well as the stage musical of Fun Home. (And the protagonist’s artwork, ghosted by famed instructor Caitlin Mitchell-Dayton, is especially terrific.)