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Acme Novelty Library #20 Hardcover – Unabridged, November 9, 2010
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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?
Chris Ware is a storyteller. He is an artist in both his graphic preentation and in his storytelling. The use of the multi-color process as part of this american tragedy is effective.
I was not as emotionally attached to Lint as I have been with Jimmy Corrigan, but it is an excellent graphic novel on its own.
It is gorgeously illustrated, as all of Ware's books are. But the central story-telling device: each page represents a day in each year of Jordan Lint's life, really works quite well. The efficiency with which Ware has to convey the story over a small amount of pages really ends up propelling the story quite nicely.
I understand that this book ties in to the Rusty Brown series, which I have read parts of, but really: this book stands on its own very well. It feels much like most other Ware books. Bittersweet, thoughtful, full of regret, mistakes, memories (happy or sad), and struggling with the past.
This book could fall apart if it were much larger and denser, but as a short story, it is really a lovely one-off. As a supporting book to Rusty Brown, it's still quite good. The production of this book is in keeping with everything Ware. A handsome cloth-bound volume with really nice heavy paper (cardstock weight). There's a nice hour or so in reading this book, and the art slows you down enough to take it in.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was a huge Ware fan up until a few years ago when I finally grew weary of the predictability of his stories. Read morePublished 21 months ago by A Reader
We collect Chris Ware's works and he never fails to amuse. If you like this, I would definitely recommend the Joke Library. Read morePublished on October 8, 2013 by Bee C.
After reading these adventures of the Lint family, we want more of it! But then we get the "Buildinhgs Stories" funny box where the stories are printed in many different... Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by paul braffort
A trusted friend strongly endorsed this book. Both of us are enthusiasts of 20th century ephemera. She found this great. I was expecting, perhaps too much. Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by Tom Andersen
This is a brilliant biography of a cartoon character -- a high school bully -- which covers a moment from each year of Mr. Lint's life on each page of the book. Read morePublished on November 10, 2012 by David Lasky
This is art. It is greater than the sum of its parts...exponentially so....and yet, initially, seems so simple. It is only vignettes tied poignantly together. Read morePublished on June 21, 2012 by JRR Bookworks
to tell you...
Jimbo would very much like it, if it would be possible, to please to return his hands if you would be so kind.
This is a very odd book. I read good reviews on this so I picked it up. This is a good read, but you may have to re-read it once or twicePublished on November 8, 2011 by Rob H.