January 27, 2005 12:35 AM   Subscribe

Where does he get those wonderful toys? The paper toys of Chris Ware.
posted by Dreamghost (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:05 AM on January 27, 2005

So... Do they explode?
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:34 AM on January 27, 2005

Great stuff! You can easily find all the comics those are in. there are a few here, also.
posted by maya at 1:37 AM on January 27, 2005

posted by dg at 2:31 AM on January 27, 2005

Fantastic post - thanks!
posted by iconomy at 3:32 AM on January 27, 2005

When I was in college, a friend of mine collected many of the "Acme Library" comic books that those are cut out from. He bought two copies of each, so that he could cut one out and leave the other intact; and when he moved, I got his doubles.

They were very amusing at first, especially the first few, which were very early-- 1993 and 4, I believe. But as time went on, and I had read them all, every time I went back to them, I was more depressed. It got to the point where I only got them out to laugh at how melancholy they were. When they finally collected "Jimmy Corrigan" in hardback, I read it and hated it immensely: all that sadness seemed useless to me. Last week, I found somebody who wanted them, and gave all those old comic books away.

I hear that Chris Ware is doing a "Rusty Brown" series now. That character is more obnoxious and depressing than Jimmy Corrigan ever was-- more power to him, I guess. The artwork is so good: and all of it used to such sadness. There seemed to be such potential, and still a spark of goodness, in the early work.

Anyhow: thanks for this link! I've never actually seen these things assembled. They're really beautiful.
posted by koeselitz at 3:49 AM on January 27, 2005

Those are gorgeous; thanks.
posted by ITheCosmos at 4:53 AM on January 27, 2005

And Chris Ware is the guy who publishes the Ragtime Epehemeralist. From his profession and the and not htis I suspect a bet that he's a member of the The Ephemera Society of America would pay off. The Stranger runs his strips now and then, so I had been vaguely aware of him as a comics artist and admired his work such as I knew of it. And after checking out the Acme Novelty Archive - An Unofficial Chris Ware Reference, I'm staggered by the amount of work he's done. Considering koeselitz's comment above, here's a telling quote from the Archive concerning a contribution he made to McSweeney's:

McSweeney's #6

"Mr. Ware was asked to contribute to the first issue of 'Little Lit,' an anthology of comics for kids edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly. Mr. Ware sent the editors sketches, but these sketches were duly deemed, by all parties involved, inappropriate for kids, and were rejected on the basis of this inappropriateness. And so, Mr. Ware created another comic, a less brutally sad comic, and it was accepted and published. Because we have very few children reading our journal, we present to you Mr. Ware's sketches..."

[Rejected version of frog prince story from 'Little Lit.' (Pgs. 131-135)]

Consider this interview from Pantheon, his publisher. And he's a big time Peanuts collector. A cliche like singular artistic vision hardly does him justice. Boy, I've learned a great deal about him this month and paln to learn more--he is a fascinating person.
posted by y2karl at 6:45 AM on January 27, 2005

This is great stuff, thanks, Dreamghost.

I only saw scattered Chris Ware strips in odd collections until Jimmy Corrigan came out, and I read it. I think I can say without qualification that it's the most disturbing book I've ever read, as well as the one that moved me the most deeply. I hadn't come to that conclusion until I clicked through to this, and just the image alone brought a visceral rush of conflicting emotions.

So while I can see koeselitz's point about the good artwork used to generate such sadness, I don't find it useless. Ware manages in that book to convey excruciating insights father-son relationships that have never quite been covered by anyone else. It's painful, perhaps more painful than it needs to be, but even aside from the incredible craft, there is a redeeming positive value in there. Somewhere.
posted by soyjoy at 6:57 AM on January 27, 2005

Once again, I will post the amazing flash animated version of the Jimmy Corrigan Dust-jacket . . .


Animated by John Kuramoto
posted by JBennett at 7:38 AM on January 27, 2005 [1 favorite]

Fantastic links!
I've always wanted to see these things put together, but of course never wanted to cut up my books!
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:01 AM on January 27, 2005

soyjoy: His art really isn't useless. I've known so many who've loved it. Just not for me, I guess.

And he's so... inventive! All other comic book artists out there could learn something from him.
posted by koeselitz at 8:46 AM on January 27, 2005

I went to UT with Chris Ware. He and my SO at the time were in some of the same art classes. He had some wonderful displays in the main art building. Quimby Mouse was one of the greatest college newspaper comics ever.
My favorite display he had was a wooden box with a glass front--sort of a tall rectangle on end and if you put in a key, like a house key, and turned the knob, it dispensed a wee little Quimby comic book. I still have mine in my treasure box.

Chris made the New York Times magazine last year in a cover story about comic art. Who knew? But this site is great.
posted by PuppyCat at 9:19 AM on January 27, 2005

There was a monograph of his work published late last year. Good stuff.
posted by Vidiot at 9:50 AM on January 27, 2005

I'm glad to see that someone is putting those things together.
posted by fungible at 9:54 AM on January 27, 2005

Amazing. I always wondered if you could actually build those things.
posted by sklero at 10:29 AM on January 27, 2005

One of the interesting things about Chris Ware's work, for me, is that his layouts are realy unconventional. When I first read Jimmy Corrigan, I almost had to relearn how to read a comic book.
posted by drezdn at 10:31 AM on January 27, 2005

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