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‘Monograph’ by Chris Ware (review)

Monograph by Chris Ware
Written and illustrated by Chris Ware
Preface by Ira Glass
Introductions by Francoise Mouly
and Art Spiegelman

Published by Rizzoli
ISBN-13: 978-0847860883
Released 10/17/17 / $60.00


Chris Ware is one of those creators who is in a league of his own.

Very few people can make me buy an expensive book just on their name alone.

Charles Burns is one. Daniel Clowes is another. Seth. Joe Matt. Chester Brown.

And of course, Chris Ware.

This book is all about Chris Ware as written by Chris Ware. Yet, I’m hesitant to call it an autobiography.

It’s so much more that that.

Ware recounts his artistic rise here from his early beginnings growing up in Omaha to where he is presently.

He combines pictures with words and in doing so, he tells us the significance of them.

What he does though through this method is give the reader the newest Chris Ware book. Every page goes deeper than just the surface of what we see. Look closer and you’ll find yourself digging and exploring. That’s the best part of any book by Ware and part of the joy of experiencing him.

If you’ve never read anything by him before, don’t start here. This is where you should end up.

Start at the beginning. Read the Acme Novelty Library or Building Stories or track down the Jimmy Corrigan collection. Go find his New Yorker pieces. Either way, work up to this.

If you love superheroes, great. I do too and they are enjoyable to me. If you want a different experience altogether, start reading Ware (or any of the cartoonists or artists mentioned).

Ware has a unique and sometimes confounding way of looking at the world. It’s amazing to me what he does. This book starts only to scratch the surface of him. I’ll be re-reading this again and enjoying the experience on another level. You should jump aboard. It’s something you’ve never seen before in print and that’s a promise.



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