Via PR, Drawn & Quarterly will publish the next graphic novel by Dan Clowes, WILSON. While the move assures the book of having black diamond level production values, it does come as a bit of a surprise as Clowes had enjoyed a very long, successful publishing history with Fantagraphics. Perhaps the takeaway is that even in the world of literary graphic novels, authors are free to choose the best deal, as they should be.

Drawn & Quarterly has acquired world rights to the original graphic novel, WILSON, by award-winning cartoonist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and NEW YORKER illustrator Daniel Clowes. WILSON is the author’s first novel not to be originally serialized in his seminal comic book series, EIGHTBALL, and his first book with D+Q.“As a long-time fan of Eightball, it is thrilling to be able to publish Dan,” said Chris Oliveros, Drawn & Quarterly Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. “WILSON is signature Clowes as the cartooning is seamless. It is funny, poignant and leaves an indelible impression on the reader. Wilson will take his place right alongside Enid Coleslaw, David Boring, and Dan Pussey.”

One of the most important cartoonists of our time, Clowes has been hailed as a “bona-fide cult hero” by THE NEW YORKER and the “country’s premier underground cartoonist” by NEWSWEEK. In WILSON, Clowes creates a thoroughly engaging, complex and fascinating portrait of the modern egoist-outspoken and oblivious to those around him, but who sincerely wants to find his place in the world. Working in a single-page gag format and drawn in a spectrum of styles, the cartoonist of GHOST WORLD, ICE HAVEN and DAVID BORING gives us his funniest and most deeply affecting novel to date. The full color graphic novel will be published in North America by D+Q in May 2010 and distributed in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and in Canada by Raincoast Books. International rights will be represented by Samantha Haywood of the Transatlantic Literary Agency.