Posts Tagged ‘Chris Ware’

Compare and Contrast


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


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Cover, Walt and Skeezix Volume 1, Chris Ware (after Frank King).

Top portion of Stumptown poser, by Brandon Graham (After Chris Ware after Frank King).

(Just so there is no misunderstanding, I want to make it clear that this post is not meant to be a criticism  of Brandon Graham. His poster is lovely and I’m gratified that the Walt and Skeexiz books are informing the sensibility of younger cartoonists. The full Stumptown poster can be seen here. Thanks to Tom Spurgeon for calling attention to this poster. Everyone should buy the Walt and Skeezix books!)

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THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (2/9/11 – Autobiography Strikes Back)


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Tuesday, February 8, 2011


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From "Mysterious Suspense" #1, Oct. 1968; art and story by Steve Ditko, dialogue credited to D.C. Glanzman

“Hello, this is Chris Ware, listen, I’m stuck in a Charlton comic… no, LISTEN, I am trapped inside a late 1960s Charlton comic book, ’67, ’68… the same way it happens every time! Every fucking time! It is absolute hell in here, the paper quality is garbage, the coloring is off-register… no, no I’m subsisting on onion gum and trick black soap. Yes, I’ve built mighty astronaut muscles in double quick time, can we just… Steve Ditko. D-I-T-K-O, I think it’s a superhero thing, everybody’s talking about ethics. Look, you’ve gotta hurry, I – I think I’m a self-portrait. Wha- yes, I’ll hold, thank you.” (more…)

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Pay Attention: David Collier’s Chimo


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


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Excerpt from David Collier's Chimo

If the past is prologue David Collier’s new book Chimo, which will be widely available in early 2011, will probably receive far less attention than it deserves. For me, the four great Canadian cartoonists are Chester Brown, Seth, Julie Doucet and David Collier. Of the four, Collier has received the least praise and press. So it’s worth inquiring what makes Collier’s work so special and also ask why his appeal, so far at least, has been limited.

Thanks to the Beguiling, I got an early look at Chimo and it has all the peculiar qualities that distinguish Collier’s output. The book is a free-ranging memoir that deals with Collier’s life-long relationship with the army. He joined up in the 1980s when he was in his 20s. He initially did only a few years and then became a full-time cartoonist. Launching his eponymous comic book series Collier’s was published by Fantagraphics in 1991.  But more recently Collier rejoined the army, in part to participate in the Canadian War Artists Program but also to work as a regular soldier.

Collier has already done a few stories about his soldiering career but Chimo offers the most extensive account yet, and is his longest sustained narrative, clocking in at over a hundred pages (with samples of Collier’s earlier military cartooning filling out the book). (more…)

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Tastes Change


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Saturday, December 4, 2010


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Evan Dorkin made an interesting comment about how when the Love and Rockets Sketchbook came out in the late ‘80s it was a minor bombshell. And it was. He also goes on to talk about major releases by some big name cartoonists which were basically noticed in passing by folks within comics. He said that he feels as if Wilson and The Book of Genesis garnered more mainstream press than discussion within comics circles. Let’s go to the videotape! (more…)

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THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (9/15/10 – SPX gave us ACME, Diamond gives us more.)


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Tuesday, September 14, 2010


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Amazing the things you can find at a comics show like SPX. I mean, I hadn’t expected Mark Millar’s comics magazine to be so well designed! Or distributed by Drawn and Quarterly! “I hope the little girl cuts someone,” I grinned to Tom Devlin, who looked slightly more than halfway toward the verge of tears, and maybe vomiting, which was understandable. I was pretty upset they’d moved the Miss Maryland Teen USA preliminaries to another weekend too, leaving the official SPX hotel neighbor slot to be filled by some sort of medical conference (which later became a wedding reception, perhaps spontaneously).

Much to my embarrassment, it was later explained to me that LINT is in fact the subtitle to ACME Novelty Library #20, while the Mark Millar comics magazine is titled CLiNT. This is so you might look at the title a certain way and mistakenly (hilariously) think the magazine is really titled CUNT. “But mom,” I said, “that’s an awful name for a magazine! And disrespectful to Rory Hayes! There really are no ideas left. Alan Moore was right.” I noticed then that she was softly weeping over the phone, as is her tendency. God, it’s not my fault the apple harvest festival isn’t until October!

(more…)

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Softly, now…


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Friday, July 2, 2010


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Hello!

Commercial interruption! We are doing a soft launch of the new PictureBox site… now! Over there you will find a whole mess of new stuff. Original artwork from Real Deal and Tales from Greenfuzz, drawings and paintings by Mat Brinkman and Milton Glaser. The new Jimbo comic by Gary Panter, a brand new Yokoyama book. The famed Garo catalog by Ryan Holmberg, a Japanese Jimmy Corrigan poster by Chris Ware, tons of vintage comics and more. The site is not perfect yet, but we’re working on it.

Besides all the “new shit” there’s a whole mess of new content, with much more on the way, to be announced shortly. For now I just wanted to do a quiet test with you, the CC faithful. Ease into it and enjoy.

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Chris Ware and the Comics Tradition


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Wednesday, June 16, 2010


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Essays on Chris Ware.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have an piece in a new collection of critical essays devoted to Chris Ware (The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking, edited by David Ball and Martha Kuhlman). Now, thanks to the wonders of Google Books, parts of that collection are now online, including the whole of my essay. You can look at the book here. The entire book is very much worth reading with many fine critical essays. You can buy a copy here.

My essay begins like this:

In 1990,Chris Ware, then a twenty-two-year-old student at the very beginning of his career, made a pilgrimage to Monument Valley, Arizona in order to investigate the life of George Herriman. Author of the classic comic strip Krazy Kat, which ran in variety of newspapers from 1913 until the cartoonist’s death in 1944, Herriman used  the other worldly desert landscape of the region as the ever-shifting backdrop to his comics. Along with the adjacent area of Coconino County, Monument Valley inspired the dream-like lunar landscape that made Krazy Kat a rare example of cartoon modernism. Eager to learn more about the sources of Herriman’s artistry, Ware felt he had to see landscape of jutting buttes and flat-topped mesas that the earlier cartoonist had so creatively incorporated into his work. This hajj to the Southwest was an early manifestation of Ware’s interest in the history of cartooning, a persistent fascination that has been much more than an antiquarian passion and has had a profound influence on Ware’s body of work.

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