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Acme Novelty Library #20 Hardcover – November 9, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Acme Novelty Library (Book 20)
  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly; Ltd Col edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770460209
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770460201
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 9.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The latest entry in Ware’s roughly annual Acme Novelty Library is devoted to a heretofore peripheral figure in his ongoing “Rusty Bown” saga, Jordan Lint, who appeared briefly in earlier installments as a school bully. Here Ware chronicles nothing less than Lint’s entire life in a series of single-page vignettes, from a newborn who sees the world in the form of benday dots to his troubled childhood, stormy adolescence, and failures as husband, father, and businessman, right up to his eventual death. Ware uses a wide palette of graphic devices—isolated words, symbolic objects, and near-subliminal flashbacks—to convey Lint’s inner thoughts and hidden turmoil. The assertive Lint seems a departure from Ware’s typically hapless and passive protagonists, but he shares many of their traits, from a damaging early trauma to a near-spiritual attachment to a childhood home. And Ware’s formal mastery of the medium continues to astonish. While he uses his characteristic techniques—meticulous drawing; tiny, repetitive panels ingeniously juxtaposed; creative typography—to brilliant effect, here he adds to his arsenal with a powerful sequence depicting a harrowing experience that happened to Lint’s son, rendered in a primitive scrawl that’s all the more powerful for its radical break with Ware’s usual detached approach. --Gordon Flagg

About the Author

Chris Ware lives in Oak Park, Illinois, and is the author of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, which was recently selected as one of the hundred best books of the decade by the London Times. He is an irregular contributor to The New Yorker.

More About the Author

CHRIS WARE is the author of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and the annual progenitor of the amateur periodical the ACME Novelty Library. An irregular contributor to The New Yorker and The Virginia Quarterly Review,Ware was the first cartoonist chosen to regularly serialize an ongoing story in The New York Times Magazine, in 2005-2006. He edited the thirteenth issue of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern in 2004 as well as Houghton Mifflin's Best American Comics for 2007, and his work was the focus of an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2006. Ware lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with his wife, Marnie, a high-school science teacher, and their daughter, Clara.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
I would recommend this book to any thoughtful person.
The story is strong with a constantly moving narrative, and a variety of art styles and panel progressions perfectly fit the events without distraction.
trudy parsley
Chris Ware may be the best and most innovative cartoonist working today.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By read it for the words on November 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Like the wonderfully imaginative issue 19, Acme #20 -- a.k.a. LINT -- offers a powerful standalone story that will reward Chris Ware's veteran readers without frustrating newcomers. Do you know a literature lover who is (still) a comics skeptic? Acme #20 is yet another great Ware book to give to such a reader.

You don't have to love, like, or even be aware of Ware's ongoing "Rusty Brown" storyline to fall into this merciless volume, which vivisects the entire 65-year life of Jordan "Jason" Lint, who has appeared previously (and briefly) as Rusty Brown's school bully. In this book, he becomes a whole person: a poopy baby, a sensitive boy, a prickly teen, a callow fratboy, a cocky rocker, a crummy boyfriend, a lucky husband, a lecherous philanderer, an absentee (and possibly monstrous) father, a stingy landlord, and more.

Rusty appears here in just one brief panel sequence. And when he appears, he is silent. (We don't even see his face!) Yet Rusty's presence is keenly felt -- he hovers above Lint's narrative like a ghost -- and our knowledge of Rusty's toilsome existence, if we have it, only informs and deepens Lint's story's amazing complexity.

If Rusty Brown is the star of Ware's current creative concerns, Acme Novelty Library volumes 19 and 20 are brilliant planets orbiting that star. Like Mars and Earth respectively, Acmes #19 and #20 could hardly be more different on their story surfaces. But they are heavenly siblings, and each revolves magnificently around the surprisingly hot-burning and virile soul of Rusty Brown, clammy non-virile fanboy.

$16.29? Incredible. This book is a freaking godsend to the 21st-century Humanities... and to human beings! This review refers to a non-Kindle, non-eBook edition of this title.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Dake on November 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Bear in mind that I have been a follower of Ware's work for a rather long period of time now. The latest installment of the Acme Novelty Library is, in my humble opinion, the most provocative and interesting book in the ongoing Rusty Brown series. The previously innocuous character of Jason Lint is given a deeply moving and incredibly well thought-out testament to not only his own existence within the context of the series as whole, but also as a testament to the futility of the human existence as a whole. Not to say that this is a bleak work, on the contrary; this encapsulation of a life cycle in pictographic form practically screams at a decidedly American society to get it together.

Ware has been driving at this for quite some time, but never to this degree. For those familiar with his work, malaise and social isolation will come as no surprise. In this context, however, the typical "sad sack" protagonist has been replaced with an over-achieving, amoral, undeservedly successful, and somewhat narcissistic "man you love to hate" living his life exactly how he sees fit, reaching an existential climax unparalleled in the graphic medium. To say he gets his comeuppance is an understatement, and when the narrative resolves it is cathartic at worst and life-changing at best. Fans of Ware's previous work will undoubtedly be in absolute awe of this new installment.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cedarview on January 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
From a snot-nosed twenty something to a seasoned thirty something, I have grown as an adult with Chris Ware's comics. Available space, economics, and priorities have slowly winnowed away the comic titles I buy on a regular basis, but I will be with Chris until the end (either his or mine); his work is too crucial to ever give up. That being said, the first few issues of his current "Rusty Brown" series have left me a little cold. Not as cold as a Nebraska winter, mind you; the production design is great (I love the re-creation of a different style and packaging for each volume), the story has been intermittently engrossing, and the artwork beautiful as usual. However, while Rusty has historically been one of Chris' more whimsical creations, lampooning the obsessive, backwards misfit that lurks within so many of us, the series that bears his name has been cold, inward-looking, and kind of tangential. Of course any fans of Mr. Ware know that he certainly has somewhere in mind that he is taking us, and it is just a matter of being patient as he reveals his carefully crafted world piece by piece over these volumes. "Lint" is a quantum leap for this series. Instead of meandering through recollections of characters or tracing mundane "day in the life" travails, Chris shows you a life; an honest-to-God, fully realized life. It goes without saying that I could not put the book down and devoured it in one sitting. The artwork is superior; Chris has further developed a more detailed and naturalistic style that is becoming closer to the excellent work in his "date book" series and less like the stylized work in "Jimmy Corrigan".Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ViVi529 on January 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I'm not usually attracted to graphic novels and I'm somewhat new to Chris Ware. I discovered him through a magazine article and was blown away by how poignant the few frames included in the article were. Mr. Ware says so much through his pictures. The depth of feeling is palpable on each frame. "Lint" is the first book of his that I've "read" and I have to say I found it hopelessly sad. It was poignant, too, especially in the scenes with his mother. And he created such real depictions of feelings through all ages of the character. I could understand why the child turned into the man he did. Chris Ware beautifully created an extremely sad story.

I plan to "read" a few more of his works but I'm hoping the others will be more like what I saw in the magazine. I'm hoping that I find a spark of hope in the next ones. I am left with such a deep sadness and hopelessness and a lack of beauty. His pictures and his story create such a raw feeling.

So, do I rate the book based on how successfully he created these feelings or on how disappointed I was to not have found any hope in the book?
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