Most helpful positive review
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Floating Round My Tin Can
on November 1, 2008
Chris Ware's recent output of work is no doubt his most impressive. Sadly this won't be recognized for a few years. It won't be until these chunks of story that comprise the last few Acme Novelty installments are collected and released in their full form that it will be clear what he is up to. The two books on the horizon are "Building Stories" (a piece of which makes up Acme Novelty Library #18) and "Rusty Brown" which has had now three releases, numbers 16, 17 and now 19.
Rusty Brown himself makes nary an appearance in this volume as the focus is placed instead on Rusty Brown's father, minor science fiction writer W.K. Brown. The work is segmented into two halves, the first being an illustration of one of Brown's science fiction stories, a gripping piece called "The Seeing Eye-Dogs of Mars". There is something very satisfying about seeing Ware tackle science fiction. His art style isn't the most obvious for the genre but the two compliment each other surprisingly well. The novel then progresses into more traditional territory for Ware (which is not to say it isn't emotionally effecting, well observed, and masterfully composed, because it is) and it has the advantage of reflecting back on the opening section. As usual with Ware the book itself is beautifully assembled. Chris Ware is growing leaps and bounds as an artist because he has not lost anything that made his early work special yet has increased his scope as a writer and continues to invent with the form. With each release Ware's status as the best living cartoonist becomes more and more certain while his relative obscurity (considering the emotional power and formal importance of his work) becomes more and more disconcerting. At the very least, this new volume raises the bar for what we can expect from the complete "Rusty Brown."