Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Chris Ware  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Other

Born: 1967 in Omaha, Nebraska

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Ware attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1991-1993. He currently resides in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Chris Ware, is an American comic book artist and cartoonist, notable for his Acme Novelty Library series and the graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, he resides in the Chicago area. His works explore themes of social isolation, emotional torment and depression.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Quimby the Mouse: Or Comic Strips, 1990-1991
ISBN: 022407265X

Jonathan Cape. 2010

Cleverly appropriated old-fashioned animation imagery and advertising styles of the 1920s and 1930s are put to use in Quimby the Mouse at the service of modern vignettes of angst and existentialism. As this cartoon silhouette of a mouse ignominiously suffers at every turn, the spaces between the panels create despair and a Beckett-like rhythm of hope deceived and deferred (but never quite extinguished), buoying Quimby from page to page. Like Ware's first book, Jimmy Corrigan, Quimby is saturated with Ware's genius, including consistently amazing graphics, insanely perfectionist production values, cut-out-and-assemble paper projects, and the formal complexity of his narratives that have earned him the reputation as one of the most prodigious artists of his generation.

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Pantheon Graphic Novels)
ISBN: 0375714545

Pantheon. 2003

This first book from Chicago author Chris Ware is a pleasantly-decorated view at a lonely and emotionally-impaired "everyman" (Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth), who is provided, at age 36, the opportunity to meet his father for the first time. An improvisatory romance which gingerly deports itself between 1890's Chicago and 1980's small town Michigan, the reader is helped along by thousands of colored illustrations and diagrams, which, when read rapidly in sequence, provide a convincing illusion of life and movement. The bulk of the work is supported by fold-out instructions, an index, paper cut-outs, and a brief apology, all of which concrete to form a rich portrait of a man stunted by a paralyzing fear of being disliked.


From the Hardcover edition.

The Acme Novelty Library (Pantheon Graphic Novels)
ISBN: 0375422951

Pantheon. 2005

Utterly eschewing the general bonhomie surrounding the newly-minted contemporary regard for the comic strip medium as a language of complicated personal expression and artistic sophistication, professional colorist and award-winning letterer F. C. Ware returns to the book trade with “The ACME Novelty Library,” a hardcover distillation of all his surviving one-page cartoon jokes with which he tuckpointed the holes of his regular comic book periodical over the
past decade. Sometimes claimed to be his “best work” by those who really don’t know any better, this definitive congestion of stories of the future, the old west, and even of modern life nonetheless tries to stay interesting by including a luminescent map of the heavens, a chart of the general structure of the universe, assorted cut-out activitites,
and a complete history of The ACME Novelty Company itself, decorated by rare photographs, early business ventures, not to mention the smallest example of a Comic Strip ever before offered to the general public. All in all, it will likely prove a rather mild disappointment, but at least it catches the light in a nice way and may force a smile here and there
before being shelved for the next generation’s ultimate disregard and/or disposal.

Acme Novelty Datebook Volume Two: 1995 - 2002
ISBN: 1897299184

Drawn and Quarterly. 2007

Straggling behind the mild 2003 success of cartoonist Chris Ware's first facsimile collection of his miscellaneous sketches, notes, and adolescent fantasies arrives this second volume, updating weary readers with Ware's clichd and outmoded insights from the late twentieth century.

Working directly in pen and ink, watercolor, and white-out whenever he makes a mistake, Ware has cannily edited out all legally sensitive and personally incriminating material from his private journals, carefully recomposing each page to simulate the appearance of an ordered mind and established aesthetic directive. All phone numbers, references to ex-girlfriends, "false starts," and embarrassing experiments with unfamiliar drawing media have been generously excised to present the reader with the most pleasant and colorful sketchbook reading experience available. Included are Ware's frustrated doodles for his book covers, angry personal assaults on friends, half-finished comic strips, and lengthy and tiresome fulminations of personal disappointments both social and sexual, as well as his now-beloved drawings of the generally miserable inhabitants of the city of Chicago. All in all, a necessary volume for fans of fine art, water-based media, and personal diatribe. This hardcover is attractively designed and easy to resell.

Acme Novelty Library #18 (No. 18)
ISBN: 1897299176

Drawn & Quarterly. 2007

In keeping with his athletic goal of issuing a volume of his occasionally lauded ACME series once every new autumn, volume 18 finds cartoonist Chris Ware abandoning the engaging serialization of his "Rusty Brown" and instead focusing upon his ongoing and more experimentally grim narrative "Building Stories."

Collecting pages unseen except in obscure alternative weekly periodicals and sophisticated expensive coffee-table magazines, ACME Novelty Library #18 reintroduces the characters that New York Times readers found "dry" and "deeply depressing" when one chapter of the work (not included here) was presented in its pages during 2005 and 2006. Set in a Chicago apartment building more or less in the year 2000, the stories move from the straightforward to the mnemonically complex, invading characters' memories and personal ambitions with a text point size likely unreadable to human beings over the age of forty-five. Reformatted to accommodate this different material, readers will be pleased by the volume's vertical shape and tasteful design, which, unlike Ware's earlier volumes, should discreetly blend into any stack or shelf of real books.

Acme Novelty Library #19 (No. 19)
ISBN: 1897299567

Drawn and Quarterly. 2008

The penultimate teen issue of the ACME Novelty Library appears this autumn with a new chapter from the electrifying experimental narrative "Rusty Brown," which examines the life, work, and teaching techniques of one of its central real-life protagonists, W. K. Brown. A previously marginal figure in the world of speculative fiction, Brown's widely anthologized first story, "The Seeing Eye Dogs of Mars," garnered him instant acclaim and the coveted White Dwarf Award for Best New Writer when it first appeared in the pages of Nebulous in the late 1950s, but his star was quickly eclipsed by the rise of such talents as Anton Jones, J. Sterling Imbroglio, and others of the so-called psychovisionary movement. (Modern scholarship concedes, however, that they now owe a not inconsequential aesthetic debt to Brown.) New surprises and discoveries concerning the now legendarily reclusive and increasingly influential writer mark this nineteenth number of the ACME Novelty Library, itself a regular award-winning periodical, lauded for its clear lettering and agreeable coloring, which, as any cultured reader knows, are cornerstones of any genuinely serious literary effort. Full color, seventy-eight pages, with hardbound covers, full indicia, and glue, the ACME Novelty Library offers its readers a satisfying, if not thrilling, rocket ride into the world of unkempt imagination and pulse-pounding excitement.

Acme Novelty Library #20
ISBN: 1770460209

Drawn and Quarterly. 2010

Jordan Wellington Lint, fifty-one, is chief executive officer of Lint Financial Products, a company he began serving in 1985 as assistant and adviser before working his way up its corporate ladder to record-setting innovation in the fields of finance and high-yield investment. In his seven years as the head of Lint, Jordan has grown the company from a business lender and real estate speculator to a leading provider of network financial infrastructure services, all the while positioning Lint as a model of corporate integrity and high-yield, low-risk product. Lint's vision has made him one of the most influential and widely sought-after leaders in the complex Omaha securities industry, and his fresh approach to an understanding of local problems, leadership, and determination have enabled Lint to outdistance and outpace its competitors.

Lint graduated from UNL in 1981 with a B.A. in business and briefly studied music and recording in Los Angeles before returning to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where he has continued his life journey ever since. In his ongoing role as chief executive officer and his dual roles as public servant and father, Lint continues to put his creative leadership and vision to work in a variety of challenging settings. He is married and the father of two boys.

The ACME Novelty Library #20 comprises a contributing chapter to cartoonist ChrisWare's gradual accretion of the ongoing graphic novel experiment "Rusty Brown".

Building Stories (Pantheon Graphic Novels)
ISBN: 0375424334

Pantheon. 2012

The New York Times Book Review, Top 10 Book of the Year
Time Magazine, Top Ten Fiction Book of the Year
Publishers Weekly, Best Book of the Year
2013 Lynd Ward Prize,
Best Graphic Novel of the Year
4-time 2013 Eisner Award Winner, including Best Publication, Best Writer/Artist and Best Graphic Album
Newsday, Top 10 Books of 2012
Entertainment Weekly, Gift Guide, A+
Washington Post, Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2012
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Best Books of the Year
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Top 10 Fiction Books of the Year
Amazon, Best Books of the Year/Comics
Boing Boing, Best Graphic Novel of the Year
Time Out New York, Best of 2012
Entertainment Weekly, Best Fiction of 2012


Everything you need to read the new graphic novel Building Stories: 14 distinctively discrete Books, Booklets, Magazines, Newspapers, and Pamphlets.


With the increasing electronic incorporeality of existence, sometimes it’s reassuring—perhaps even necessary—to have something to hold on to. Thus within this colorful keepsake box the purchaser will find a fully-apportioned variety of reading material ready to address virtually any imaginable artistic or poetic taste, from the corrosive sarcasm of youth to the sickening earnestness of maturity—while discovering a protagonist wondering if she’ll ever move from the rented close quarters of lonely young adulthood to the mortgaged expanse of love and marriage. Whether you’re feeling alone by yourself or alone with someone else, this book is sure to sympathize with the crushing sense of life wasted, opportunities missed and creative dreams dashed which afflict the middle- and upper-class literary public (and which can return to them in somewhat damaged form during REM sleep).


A pictographic listing of all 14 items (260 pages total) appears on the back, with suggestions made as to appropriate places to set down, forget or completely lose any number of its contents within the walls of an average well-appointed home. As seen in the pages of The New Yorker, The New York Times and McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Building Stories collects a decade’s worth of work, with dozens of “never-before-published” pages (i.e., those deemed too obtuse, filthy or just plain incoherent to offer to a respectable periodical).


Awards

-- Body of Work:

Harvey Award, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2013

Eisner Award, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013

National Cartoonists Society Award, 1999, 2013

Guardian First Book Award, 2001

Author of the Year, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 2012