Happy Birthday, Chris Ware!

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The artist, who has described his own face as "an uncooked ham with glasses". (Via

Franklin Christenson Ware (December 28, 1967) is an American comic book artist and illustrator best known for his Acme Novelty Library series and the graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. Ware's style employs precise, geometric layouts but he almost exclusively employs manual tools and methods. His work explores themes of social isolation, depression, social commentary, and emotional struggle, and has been praised by fellow illustrators and authors alike, including Dave Eggers, David Sedaris, Matt Groening, Zadie Smith, and others.

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Superman Falls

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A selection from Quimby Mouse

As a student at the University of Texas at Austin, his early illustrations, including daily comic strips and a satirical science fiction series, appeared in the student newspaper, The Texan. As a sophomore, Ware was invited by renowned graphic novelist Art Spiegelman to contribute to RAW, the comics anthology edited by Spiegelman and his wife, Françoise Mouly.

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from Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth

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Since the 16th edition of Acme Novelty Library, Ware has self-published his work his work, although he maintains his relationship to Fantagraphics, and continues to edit and design new works. Ware has often done animations in collaboration with This American Life.

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Acme Novelty Library, 2010

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Ware designed the bird on the cover on Haruki Murakami's novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and was commissioned by author Dave Eggers to design the mural for the facade of San Francisco literacy project 826 Valencia. Ware said of the mural, "I really hoped whomever might happen to come across it would find something that showed a respect for their intelligence, and didn't force-feed them any 'message'."

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In 2011, Ware created the poster for the U.S. release of the 2010 Palme d'Or winning film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

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Ware's newest work, released on October 2, 2012, is called Building Stories, which imagines the lives of the inhabitants of a three-story apartment in Chicago. Building Stories is made up of fourteen printed works—cloth-bound books, newspapers, broadsheets and flip books—packaged in a boxed set. It is available on Amazon.

 

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Sunday, 28 December 2014
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