The most ambitious, beautiful, moving 'comic book' ever produced- an astonishing tour de force that won the Guardian First Book Award 2001
Chris Ware was born in 1967 in Omaha, Nebraska, and currently lives in Chicago. He is the author and creator of the beloved 'Acme Novelty Library' series of children's guidebooks, game pamphlets and picnic song-sheets, irregular organs through which the bulk of this work passed.
This book collects the "Jimmy Corrigan" stories, published piecemeal over a seven-year period. Readers follow protagonist Jimmy as he learns of the existence of his absent father, watch his attempts to win independence from his domineering mother, and see his relationship with his stepsister grow as they await their father's recovery following a car accident. Ware's subtle, original dialog between words and pictures is arresting, thought-provoking, and ultimately meaningful. Clearly, Ware is one of today's premier cartoonists, whose work, both in style and content, argues that the comics form be considered a vehicle for sophisticated storytelling. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.ÄStephen Weiner, Maynard P.L., MA Art Instruction By Daniel Lombardo, Jones Library, Amherst, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Ware's graphically inventive, wonderfully realized novel-in-comics follows the sad fortunes of four generations of phlegmatic, defeated men while touching on themes of abandonment, social isolation and despair within the sweeping depiction of Chicago's urban transformation over the course of a century. Ware uses Chicago's World's Colombian Exposition of 1893, the great world's fair that signaled America's march into 20th-century modernity, as a symbolic anchor to the city's development and to the narrative arc of a melancholic family as haplessly connected as are Chicago's random sprawl of streets and neighborhoods. In 1893, nine-year-old Jimmy Corrigan is abandoned atop a magnificent fair building by his sullen, brutish father ("I just stood there, watching the sky and the people below, waiting for him to return. Of course he never did"). Nearly a century later, another Jimmy CorriganDthe absurdly ineffectual, friendless grandson of that abandoned childDreceives a letter from his own long-absent, feckless father, blithely and inexplicably requesting him to come and visit. Ware's surprisingly touching story recounts their strange and pathetically funny reunion, invoking the emotional legacy of the great-grandfather's original act of desertion while presenting a succession of Corrigan men far more comfortable fantasizing about life than living it. The book is wonderfully illustrated in full color, and Ware's spare, iconic drawing style can render vivid architectural complexity or movingly capture the stark despondency of an unloved child. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
A bona fide masterpiece. * Strong Words *
Jimmy Corrigan is certainly the greatest thing in strip cartoons since Krazy Kat and Little Nemo -- Raymond Briggs
Ware is the most versatile and innovative artist the medium has known - arguably the greatest achievement of the form ever -- Dave Eggers * New York Times Book Review *
This new book seems to be another milestone in the demonstration of what comics can be -- Art Spiegelman, author of Maus
Chris Ware has produced a book as beautiful as any published this year, but also one which challenges us to think again about what literature is and where it is going -- Claire Armitstead * Guardian *