In September 1999, as Jimmy Corrigan was nearing completion, Ware visited the preserved apartment of the outsider artist Henry Darger. Darger had lived an isolated existence, working feverishly on thousands upon thousands of pages of eccentric fiction and drawings. "The whole room," Ware wrote in his sketchbook journal, "was set up entirely in the sole service of the maintenance of aching loneliness—it was strangely uplifting, though, and an apt yet strange condensed metaphor for the way we all go through life." Within the year, Ware had begun work on Building Stories, which takes that metaphor, and that mingling of pervasive loneliness and unexpected uplift, as its starting point.Nice informative 15-minute Chris Ware interview on WNYC
I do think that when it comes to art, books offer a sort of reassuring physical certainty for the ineffable uncertainties of life, but then again I'm 44 and don't tweet or have a Facebook page or participate in most of the things that blunt the textures of experience in favor of delivering them up more quickly to your friends, so maybe that's just me. I find it very telling that the regular selling point of this or that new version of technology is that it's "higher resolution." What does that mean, exactly? It's like admitting the inherent superiority of life while still trying to sell some sort of living death instead. I am absolutely convinced that sitting in front of a screen for long periods of time damages the brain and alters one's brain chemistry. You can feel it happening — you start surrendering more and more of yourself until, eventually, you recoil and think, "Ugh. I feel gross." I think it's colloquially known as "Swearing off Facebook for a While.”The Fantagraphics essays are from contributors to this 2010 book about Ware.
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