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The Acme Novelty Libraryby Chris Ware
Synopses & Reviews
This newest edition of The ACME Novelty Library features the first serial installment of Rusty Brown, Ware's first major lengthy narrative indulgence since his Jimmy Corrigan graphic novel. The ACME Novelty Library is Chris Ware's ongoing comic book/art object series, which he has been creating for Fantagraphics since 1993. It is also where Corrigan was serialized to great acclaim and success before going supernova when collected by Pantheon in 2000, selling over 70,000 copies in four hardcover printings.
Rusty Brown will be serialized in ACME over the course of several issues (and Pantheon will similarly collect the story in hardcover sometime upon completion, several years from now). The first installment begins with young Rusty, an outcast in his suburban Chicago elementary school, befriended solely by his Supergirl action figure until he meets new kid on the block and fellow comic nerd, Chalky White. Rusty's story is an uncomfortably vivid and uncompromising look into the life of a social outcast. Ultimately, Rusty Brown will run longer than Jimmy Corrigan, tracing Brown's life through adulthood, along with every excruciating moment of failure it brings.
The ACME Novelty Library series has been the most acclaimed comic book series of the last ten years, as well as one of the bestselling contemporary comics on the racks. This is only the second issue, however, that has been available to the book trade, enabling booksellers to satisfy demand for Ware's work post-Jimmy Corrigan while Ware builds toward the next collection. The format also allows Ware to indulge us with many surprises as well, from Ware's faux-advertising sections and elaborate three-dimensional cut-outdesigns.
"With all his literary accolades and awards, it's easy to forget Ware (Jimmy Corrigan) is one of the warmest, funniest cartoonists in America. The Acme Novelty Library collects a few issues of Ware's comic book series by the same name and adds plenty of new pages and visual delights. It is, like all of his work, an utterly immersive experience. You're not just reading his comics, you're inhabiting his world: from fake ads to diagrams for paper models to a lengthy and very funny fictional history of the Acme Novelty Company. These strips combine complex and beautiful visuals with the humor of hapless, often sad characters in ridiculous predicaments. 'Rusty Brown', a series of strips based around an obsessive collector who will be the subject of Ware's next graphic novel, is particularly strong. These comics showcase Ware's unusual sensitivity towards his characters, building an incisive, multi-dimensional portrait of Brown and his friend Chalky White. On top of all of these riches there is Ware's own personal 'history of art' in cartoon form, and a multi-page story about a naked superhero. Combining surreal humor, cutting satire, stunning visuals, and empathic characters, Ware's latest is a wondrous journey into the universe of a master cartoonist in peak form. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This newest edition features the first serial installment of "Rusty Brown, " Ware's first major lengthy "narrative indulgence" since his Jimmy Corrigan graphic novel. Full color.
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.
This new edition features the first serial installment of "Rusty Brown," Chris Ware's first major "narrative indulgence" since his "Jimmy Corrigan" graphic novel. This definitive collection of stories of the future, the Old West, and even of modern life includes a luminiscent map of the heavens, a chart of the universe, and rare photographs.Pantheon Books
About the Author
Chris Ware lives in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife, Marnie. He is the author of Jimmy Corrigan — the Smartest Kid on Earth, which received the Guardian First Book Award in 2001 and was also included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial of American Art. He most recently edited the 13th issue of “McSweeneys Quarterly Concern,” and continues work on two upcoming genuinely serious graphic novels. The 16th issue of his regular periodical, not uncoincidentally titled “The ACME Novelty Library,” will be released this fall.
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