In keeping with his athletic goal of issuing a volume of his occasionally lauded ACME series once every new autumn, volume 18 finds cartoonist Chris Ware abandoning the engaging serialization of his "Rusty Brown" and instead focusing upon his ongoing and more experimentally grim narrative , "Building Stories."
Collecting pages unseen except in obscure alternative weekly periodicals and sophisticated expensive coffee table magazines, The ACME Novelty Library #18 re-introduces the characters which New York Times readers found "dry" and "deeply depressing" when one chapter of the work (not included here) was presented in its pages during 2005 and 2006. Set in a Chicago apartment building more or less in the year 2000, the stories move from the straightforward to the mnemonically complex, invading character's memories and personal ambitions with a text point size likely unreadable to human beings over the age of 45. Reformatted to accommodate this different material, readers will be pleased by the volume's vertical shape and tasteful design, which, unlike Ware's earlier volumes, should discreetly blend into any stack or shelf of real books.
56-page full-color 8" x 10.75" hardcover $18.95 Order Now!
Straggling behind the mild 2003 success of cartoonist Chris Ware's first facsimile collection of his miscellaneous sketches, notes, and adolescent fantasies arrives this second volume, updating weary readers with the last ten years of Ware's clichéd and outmoded insights.
Working directly in pen and ink, watercolor, and white-out whenever he makes a mistake, Ware has cannily edited out all legally sensitive and personally incriminating material from his private journals, carefully recomposing each page to simulate the appearance of an ordered mind and established aesthetic directive. All phone numbers, references to ex-girlfriends, "false starts," and embarrassing experiments with unfamiliar drawing media have been generously excised to present the reader with the most pleasant and colorful sketchbook reading experience available. Included are Ware's frustrated doodles for his book covers, angry personal assaults on friends, half-finished comic strips, lengthy and tiresome fulminations of personal disappointments both social and sexual, as well as his now-beloved drawings of the generally miserable inhabitants of the city of Chicago. All in all, a necessary volume for fans of fine art, water-based media, and personal diatribe. Hardcover, attractively designed, and easy to resell.
208-page 7" x 9.5" full-color hardcover $39.95 Order Now!
... regarding Chris Ware's recent output. From the aforementioned publications earlier this week, to the recent film poster for The Savages, and now to obscure midwestern literary journals, he continues to shame underachievers everywhere. More here. Tip 'o the Floghat to reader A.T.
In the last two or three weeks, I've acquired not one, not two, not three, but FOUR brand new Chris Ware books. WTF?!? First ACME 18, then the ACME 18.5 portfolio, then the second ACME Datebook. Then, yesterday I get the new issue of Virginia Review Quarterly, which features an all-new strip called "Jordan W. Lint," which continues the all-new Ware piece in the new Zadie Smith anthology that Jacob wrote about two posts back. How does he do it? Pact with the devil? Sweatshop? Computers? You know, when you have a child, your output is supposed to decrease, Chris. By my count, Ware is working on at least three graphic novels simultaneously these days: Rusty Brown, Building Stories, and Jordan W. Lint. And that doesn't even count all of the other shorter pieces he manages to put out. Anyway, right now is an embarrassment of riches for us Ware fans out there. Lap it up.
Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware contribute stories to this Zadie Smith anthology of new fiction, The Book of Other People. Charles Burns illustrates the covers. It also has prose from the likes of Dave Eggers, Jonathan Lethem, and George Saunders. All of this makes for yet another beautiful Penguin Books artifact. [Note: I originally found out about this book via the great Blog Flume which has some scans of the cartoonists' work.]
... one copyright infringement at a time. A friend just sent me this cellphone pic, and writes, "We had a meeting today going over 401K stuff, and the slideshow from Principal Financial Group included the attached slide. I asked the guy if he knew who put this together but he didn't know." Talk about random. What does this picture signify? Is the guy in the photo supposed to be Chris Ware? (He isn't.) If so, are we to think that Chris Ware likes to bring giant xeroxes of his work to his financial advisor's office and participate in photo shoots? It this like that Diff'rent Strokes episode where Gordon Jump takes pictures in his back office of Arnold and Dudley their tidy whities and safari hats? Do cartoonists even have 401Ks? I kind of didn't think so.
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