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Acme Novelty Library #18 (No. 18) Hardcover – December 10, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Underneath the story's typically apparent theme of alienation (with new characters in the Acme Library, if I'm not mistaken), there is much more at work. Amazingly, over just 56 pages, Ware's finely crafted drawings along with well considered dialogue and occasional stream-of-consciousness narration provide the reader an awful lot to ponder (a good prose writer would need hundreds if not thousands of pages and could still not fully convey the beauty in this slim volume). However, the mind is further boggled when Ware concludes his details-laden enterprise with one very... simple... tiny... wordless... panel. The effect is instant having read it, and I recommend all experience it.
The author describes this as part of an ongoing story, and that may well be. However like all good comics, this story is complete as is. Indeed within the book, certain single page, two page, and especially a few multi-page spreads also constitute complete satisfying stories. Should the reader approach the work with even some of the imagination Ware himself must employ, every single panel is itself can be a complete story. As an illustrator in the truest sense, that may be Ware's intent.
So the "Stunning Masterpiece" title given this review is not to indicate one should ever be surprised when Ware tops even his own earlier triumphs, but rather because the reader may actually be left stunned at the story's conclusion, fair warning given.
There are always great expectations placed on Mr. F.C. Ware, who here delivers devastating inspiration (inspired devastation?) in the calm and measured manner of a master at work. Wow.
That said, it's a valid criticism that Ware treads too much familiar territory, here and in all his post-Jimmy Corrigan work. Yes, he experiments in this book, but it's in the style he had already carved out by 1995. We see Ware experimenting with different artistic styles in his notebooks, so why never in his comics? Ware's layouts, lettering and unconventional use of panels in this issue are interesting as always, but it's hard to say his style has evolved or grown in the almost fifteen years he's been doing Acme. Artistically, we've seen this all from Ware before.
Thankfully, Ware *is* evolving as a storyteller. Jimmy Corrigan, although inventive, was a bit too much about being Chris Ware, and it's nice that here, in issue #18, Ware is exploring the world of a female protagonist. Certain scenes, particularly the sex scenes, have never been portrayed with this level of damning honesty and accuracy in any other medium. Ever.
Some people decry Ware's perennial exploration of loneliness and depression. The great comic book writer Grant Morrison once said, "I love Chris Ware's work and consider him a formal genius, but... I sometimes feel like slapping him upside the head and telling him to stop moaning about everything. Sorry, but I live in one of the poorest cities in Europe, and when I see privileged Americans whining about how awful everything is in their sunlit world, I have to gag into my porridge. Kill yourself or get over it, buddy." It's hard to disagree, but perhaps we can appreciate Ware as the best and most determined artist exploring a certain type of American...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i first read this book in 2009 at a time when some instances in the characters life mirrored my own life. needless to say, i read most of the book through weepy eyes. Read morePublished on June 14, 2013 by rock_salt
I'm a new fan of Ware's, having seen his work in a collection of fiction, "The book of other people" his work stood out amongst the lot. Read morePublished on January 3, 2011 by LMP784
I've always been a huge fan of Chris Ware, and this latest Acme installment doesn't disappoint. His themes don't often vary, but his richness of style makes up for his monotony of... Read morePublished on October 31, 2008 by Ian Gazarek