Interrupting the ongoing saga of pathetic man-child Rusty Brown, subject of the previous two Acme Novelty Library volumes, Ware essays a gentler, bordering-on-sentimental tale about a lonely young woman with a prosthetic leg. In exhaustive, excruciating detail, Ware recounts her painful early adulthood: her sole love affair, which ended badly; her unfulfilling stint as a nanny; her failed attempts at becoming an artist or writer; her current dead-end job as a florist. Self-reflective to a fault, the nameless protagonist relates her story and reveals her character through extensive first-person voice-over narration, making this the most text-heavy of Ware’s works. Even if the prose does most of the heavy lifting, Ware’s characteristic graphic approach—icy-clear drawings, meticulous compositions, and geometrically varied panels—conjures the hard-edged atmosphere offsetting the story’s potential mawkishness. Applying the formal rigor of the landmark Jimmy Corrigan (2000) to a more naturalistic narrative, Ware creates a sympathetic heroine who, despite the slim book’s somewhat daunting denseness, may appeal to more readers than the off-puttingly doltish Jimmy and Rusty. --Gordon Flagg
About the Author
Chris Ware is the author of Jimmy Corrigan-the Smartest Kid on Earth, which received the Guardian First Book Award and was featured in the Whitney Biennial. A regular contributor to The New Yorker and the first cartoonist to be serialized weekly in The New York Times Magazine, he is the editor of the thirteenth issue of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern and the Gasoline Alley archival series Walt & Skeezix. Ware was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1967 and currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Marnie, and their daughter, Clara.