Author Topic: Chris Ware  (Read 15731 times)

Chris Ware
« on: January 21, 2018, 08:59:23 PM »
Where's the place to go next for someone that's read Jimmy Corrigan and Building Stories?

Monograph seems like it would make more sense for people more familiar with his work but the various Acme Novelty Library collections that are available don't have an obvious entry point, so I'm curious to get people's recommendations and suggestions.


Also what's the exact story with his connection to that Soft City- Pushwagner thing, looked intriguing was he just instrumental in restoring and republishing is these works?

Z

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 09:34:31 PM »
I haven't actually delved deeper, but if you remove the ACME Novelty Library issues that are just parts of Jimmy Corrigan or Building Stories, they're a lot more digestible. Even more so if you make the assumption he's probably gonna combine the Rusty Brown stories into some cohesive whole at some point (so they may be worth avoiding for the moment).

Serge

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 10:25:05 PM »
Funnily enough, I'm halfway through Monograph at the moment, and I'm only familiar with Jimmy Corrigan, to be honest - I own Building Stories, but have yet to get around to it. I had a vague idea of stuff he'd done - I remember seeing the Quimby The Mouse book a few years ago - but Monograph is doing a brilliant job of filling in the gaps. It's an amazing book, the care that's gone into it goes well beyond the call of duty. The only downside is that it is such an unwieldy thing to read because of its size. It's interesting to see his development over the years, and which themes recur throughout his work.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 09:23:08 AM »
Quimby the Mouse is great.  Overall I think I've realised Chris Ware is a godlike genius that I don't actually enjoy reading all that much.  Craft-wise he's probably one of the most talented people on the face of the planet, but it got to the point where if I saw another speech bubble with (ha ha) written in it I felt like chucking the book out of the window.  Around Building Stories it all just got so drab and depressing in such an American comix way...stories about nervous people with miserable lives steeped in failure and self-doubt, drawn by an undisuputed mega-success who regularly gets his work on the front cover of the New Yorker.

DISCLAIMER:  I was probably also suffering from massive inferiority complex about my own work when I read his comix.  Should probably read them again.  Not really kept up with much he's done for the last 5-8 years.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 10:37:37 AM »
I saw some review of Monograph somewhere that mentioned Chris Ware "trolling printers" which made me laugh.

I recommend The Last Saturday which was serialised by The Guardian a few years back. It's still available online.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/ng-interactive/2014/sep/13/-sp-chris-ware-the-last-saturday-graphic-novel

Some of the Acmes are great. I'm trying to complete my collection but still need 3 or 4 of the earlier ones. The hardback ones - #16 onwards - are easier to get hold of but are mostly out of print now.

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 08:23:06 PM »
stories about nervous people with miserable lives steeped in failure and self-doubt, drawn by an undisuputed mega-success who regularly gets his work on the front cover of the New Yorker.

To be fair, mega-success isn't something that's going to stop someone who appears to be crippled with self-doubt from still thinking that everything they do is sub-par and a waste of time. Although in Monograph he does try to present his neurosis as joshingly self-deprecating, it's obvious that he still doesn't feel that he's living up to whatever standards he thinks he ought to in his mind, and that everybody else is better at everything than he is.

Some of the Acmes are great. I'm trying to complete my collection but still need 3 or 4 of the earlier ones. The hardback ones - #16 onwards - are easier to get hold of but are mostly out of print now.

Yeah, I have to say that reading about them has made me decide to try and track them down. Nothing like a project that's bound to drive me bonkers if I take it too seriously, is there?

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 10:43:06 AM »
To be fair, mega-success isn't something that's going to stop someone who appears to be crippled with self-doubt from still thinking that everything they do is sub-par and a waste of time. Although in Monograph he does try to present his neurosis as joshingly self-deprecating, it's obvious that he still doesn't feel that he's living up to whatever standards he thinks he ought to in his mind, and that everybody else is better at everything than he is.

You're right of course.  As someone who is also crippled with self-doubt though, I find the way he talks about it as being pitiful rather than having anything to say.  It's almost like CaB inverse favourite Neil Gaiman.

Here's what Chris Ware said about receiving the first book prize from The Guardian:

Quote
In 2001 I was nominated for, and inexplicably received, the Guardian First Book Prize for the UK edition of Jimmy Corrigan, which Zadie Smith had won for White Teeth the year before…  Anyway, Zadie and I have remained friendly ever since and to this day I don’t understand why a writer of her caliber, intelligence and humanity would even bother to give me the time of day.

Come on, mate. 

When I was a student, I looked through a collection of his sketchbooks - absolutely mind-blowing quality of drawing and inventiveness, coupled with humour and little comics dashed off seemingly on the spur of the moment.  What does he do next to all of his excellent life drawings and observational sketches?  Writes next to each one comments like "Terrible drawing", "Hands are too big", "What is wrong with you??" "Shitty effort." etc etc.

So, of course, dissatisfied with my own sketchbooks and my work in general, I started doing the same thing.  Draw something, immediately slag it off in the margins.  Not actively try to fix it, or move on and improve my skills in the next drawing, but leave a snide little comment next to it making myself feel like shit, because that's what Chris Ware did, as a little pre-emptive defense in case a tutor or friend looked at a drawing and thought it wasn't very good.  Probably one small part of a whole that ended up with me having a breakdown in my final term!

Lots of oversharing about self-worth here in a Chris Ware thread, where I'm hypocritically accusing him of doing thes same, I realise.

Like I said though - I truly think Chris Ware is an actual, literal genius, in terms of the actual craft of what he does.  It's just that paradoxically, I find the openness and frequency with which he talks about how he thinks he's a "failure" to be pretentious.  In my opinion, the mark of an artist truly crippled by self-doubt, is that they don't make any art.  Nothing. They just slowly give up.  Speaking from experience of course.

Serge

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 01:18:10 PM »
Fair enough. I think it is a default setting for most artists (and I'm including musicians and writers in this) to be self-deprecating and make out that what they do is not as good as others say, almost certainly in an effort to make themselves look modest and humble. Well, except for Ricky Gervais, obviously. So I suppose I just see his self-loathing in the same way. Though I agree, as I get further into Monograph that it can get a little wearing, especially when juxtaposed with artwork which I would give my right arm to be able to draw.

The Zadie Smith bit did stand out to me, though as I think Smith is a terrible, over-rated writer, I did wonder what he was going on about. I am curious to know which shop allegedly didn't sell 'Jimmy Corrigan' and dismissed it with the line, "we don't sell children's books." Eh??? A bookshop that doesn't sell childrens books? I mean, ok, some art bookshops probably don't, but the context made it sound like it was a general bookshop that sold fiction.
 

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 01:41:43 PM »
I am curious to know which shop allegedly didn't sell 'Jimmy Corrigan' and dismissed it with the line, "we don't sell children's books." Eh??? A bookshop that doesn't sell childrens books? I mean, ok, some art bookshops probably don't, but the context made it sound like it was a general bookshop that sold fiction.

Yeah that is odd...I'm thinking somewhere wanky like Magma.

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 02:51:52 PM »
Well, I thought of that or something along the same lines, but surely stuff like Jimmy Corrigan would be right up their street?

Actually, I've just looked it up again in the book, and it says that it had 'all of the nominees on display' except his, which would include Glen David Gold and Rachel Seiffert as well as a couple of non-fiction titles, which would imply that it's a general bookshop. I suppose the 'not stocking children's titles' thing might not have been meant literally, though it's still a bit of a cuntish thing to say - a bit like the story of Geoff Davies of Probe Records sneering at a customer for asking for Wishbone Ash in the late '70s, which is held up as a 'Legend Geoff' story, but which just makes me think I'd give a shop with a snotty twat like that behind the counter a miss in future.


Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 03:30:22 PM »
I find it quite amusing how self-deprecating he is. Here's quite an entertaining recent interview and you can tell that he genuinely struggles to deal with any praise: https://charlierose.com/videos/31167

My recommendation of a Chris Ware book to get next would definitely be this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Novelty-Library-Acme/dp/0375422951/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1516720908&sr=8-2&keywords=novelty+library

It's mainly a compilation of a lot of his single page strips, fake adverts and sarcastic news articles from the out of print acme novelty library issues. It's also quite large but not as heavy and bulky as Monograph and I think the jumbo size is necessary to appreciate a lot of the detail and for the text to be legible. I think a lot of little written pieces are hilarious, certainly a lot funnier than any of his actual comics.



Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 02:39:59 PM »
I find it quite amusing how self-deprecating he is. Here's quite an entertaining recent interview and you can tell that he genuinely struggles to deal with any praise: https://charlierose.com/videos/31167

He's like a super-talented cartoonist version of Kif from Futurama.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2018, 02:58:44 PM »
Acme Novelty Library #19 is my favourite Ware as it balances deadpan cruelty against deadpan compassion expertly. It has the most gorgeous colours of all his work (I don't quite  hold with Tom Paulin infamous review of Jimmy Corrigan that "The colours are dreadful, it's like looking at a bottle of Domestos or Harpic or Ajax. Awful bleak colours, revolting to look at, it's on it's way to the Oxfam shop") but I am glad that he's ever more willing to introduce moments of natural beauty into his work. #19 is less stuck in suburbia than many of the other Acme editions. Plus, it's a genuinely good sci-fi story wrapped within a tricksy meta-narrative, which is plain enjoyable to me.

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2018, 05:45:59 PM »
Some years ago I went to a Chris Ware book signing and the artist spent several minutes autographing my copy of Acme Novelty Library Book 19 as we chatted. I thanked him, went home and put it on the shelf to read later. When I did eventually pick it up, I proudly went to look for my personalised message he had considered so lovingly but I couldn't find anything on any page. Invisible ink? Did I dream meeting him?

I finally spotted it. Who else would have a signature like that other than Chris Ware?



Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2018, 07:53:32 PM »
Ha! That's great. I ordered a copy of his magazine once and that came with the address hand written by him. Definitely my most precious envelope.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2018, 10:50:36 AM »
hah, I'm surprised that signature's not even smaller.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2018, 02:26:24 PM »
I find it quite amusing how self-deprecating he is. Here's quite an entertaining recent interview and you can tell that he genuinely struggles to deal with any praise: https://charlierose.com/videos/31167

My recommendation of a Chris Ware book to get next would definitely be this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Novelty-Library-Acme/dp/0375422951/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1516720908&sr=8-2&keywords=novelty+library



This arrived today. I think for now I'm just marvelling out how nice it all looks and feels. The little strap comic introduction as well. God I love this stuff.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2019, 01:40:11 AM »

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2019, 01:11:45 PM »

icehaven

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2019, 07:11:32 PM »
New book out Thursday...



https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/185704/rusty-brown-by-chris-ware/

It's times like this I'm so glad I'm a library manager with a budget.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2019, 07:25:53 PM »
Do the prisoners like Chris Ware?

You should start a thread about books in prison. I had an interview at Strangeways library once and it was quite interesting. I thought certain types of books would be 'banned' but they said the only thing they weren't allowed to stock was chemistry textbooks. The most coveted item in the library was apparently that day's copy of the Sun to the extent that inmates would wrap the cover around a Metro and smuggle the rest out down the back of their trousers.

chveik

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2019, 07:28:12 PM »
there are days when I wish I wasn't a unemployed cunt, and this is one of them!

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kalowski

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2019, 08:41:42 PM »
My recommendation of a Chris Ware book to get next would definitely be this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Novelty-Library-Acme/dp/0375422951/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1516720908&sr=8-2&keywords=novelty+library
I have that, and it is marvellous. I think Jimmy Corrigan is a work of incredible art and I love Building Stories too. I have Monograph but I haven't dared open it.

kalowski

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Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2019, 08:45:08 PM »
New book out Thursday...



https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/185704/rusty-brown-by-chris-ware/
I love the Rusty Brown strips. He's such a self-centred misanthrope it's quite shocking, especially his continued desire to somehow trick Chalky into giving away some doll or other, such as his unboxed Supergirl, or the loopy lemon that goes on the end of a pencil. Whilst I'm looking forward to this book, it won't be a happy read.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2019, 08:46:42 PM »
there are days when I wish I wasn't a unemployed cunt, and this is one of them!

I'm off poorly today and am extremely tempted to extend the sicky until the end of the week because of this.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2019, 10:02:56 PM »
I have that, and it is marvellous. I think Jimmy Corrigan is a work of incredible art and I love Building Stories too. I have Monograph but I haven't dared open it.

haha snap! yes, had it for a year now... it's kinda imposing

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2019, 10:03:29 PM »
I love the Rusty Brown strips. He's such a self-centred misanthrope it's quite shocking, especially his continued desire to somehow trick Chalky into giving away some doll or other, such as his unboxed Supergirl, or the loopy lemon that goes on the end of a pencil. Whilst I'm looking forward to this book, it won't be a happy read.

I love that loopy lemon! worth fighting for

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2019, 02:00:43 PM »
Anyone got this yet? Waterstones haven't received it yet.

Re: Chris Ware
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2019, 10:20:58 PM »
Amazon #1 Best Seller in 'Dystopian Graphic Novels' XD

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