From Publishers Weekly
With all his literary accolades and awards, it's easy to forget Ware (Jimmy Corrigan)
is one of the warmest, funniest cartoonists in America. The Acme Novelty Library
collects a few issues of Ware's comic book series by the same name and adds plenty of new pages and visual delights. It is, like all of his work, an utterly immersive experience. You're not just reading his comics, you're inhabiting his world: from fake ads to diagrams for paper models to a lengthy and very funny fictional history of the Acme Novelty Company. These strips combine complex and beautiful visuals with the humor of hapless, often sad characters in ridiculous predicaments. "Rusty Brown", a series of strips based around an obsessive collector who will be the subject of Ware's next graphic novel, is particularly strong. These comics showcase Ware's unusual sensitivity towards his characters, building an incisive, multi-dimensional portrait of Brown and his friend Chalky White. On top of all of these riches there is Ware's own personal "history of art" in cartoon form, and a multi-page story about a naked superhero. Combining surreal humor, cutting satire, stunning visuals, and empathic characters, Ware's latest is a wondrous journey into the universe of a master cartoonist in peak form. (Sept.)
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The latest from comics artist extraordinaire Ware is rather a hodgepodge. It consists largely of individual, full-page strips that originally appeared in an alternative weekly. But what it lacks in cohesiveness it makes up for in virtuosity, demonstrating why Ware is at the forefront of the medium. The tabloid-sized collection samples all Ware's recurring characters: forlorn spaceman Rocket Sam, nebbishy rodent Quimby the Mouse (eponymous star of Ware's previous collection, 2003), bovine cowboy Big Tex, the futuristic consumer from Tales of
Tomorrow, a silently arrogant superhero who is either Superman or God, and even the eponymous protagonist of Ware's breakthrough graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan
(2000)--all of them limned in Ware's formally complex narrative manner. More straightforward are strips featuring obsessive toy collector and social outcast Rusty Brown, portrayed with little of the sympathy Ware extends to his other creations, including Rusty's boyhood pal, Chucky White. The volume also features some of Ware's meticulous, nostalgia-fueled renditions of vintage advertisements and an eyestraining faux history of the Acme Novelty Company. Everything impressively attests Ware's mastery. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved