Of course Chris Ware's "Monograph" is HUGE

Originally published at: Of course Chris Ware's "Monograph" is HUGE | Boing Boing


There was a time, starting maybe 25 years ago, that I bought everything Ware came out with. Doted on those gigantic Acme Novelty Company books and looked forward to the next iteration of Rusty Brown. Went to exhibitions.

I’m not sure what happened, but I haven’t looked at them in years. I bought that gigantic Building Stories boxed collection but haven’t done more than look at the covers. I don’t know what happened. Did the world get cynical and mean enough that I didn’t need more Big Tex?


Chris Ware’s output is incredible. Like on the level that I can’t understand how any human has the time to create that much. Every single bit of copy in his books is written by him and there’s an astonishing amount of it even in the slimmest volumes. He also does everything with ink and brush, iirc.


One of the giant ANC books has a bunch of classified ads in teeny tiny print. I needed a magnifying glass to read them. I remember laughing so hard I was crying. Like, almost hurting myself.


Oh you should! I loved it, including the idea that sort of as in a real building, you can start poking into the characters’ lives pretty much anywhere. The different formats for various stories and scenes are also intriguing for how the format itself affects one’s sense of what you’re reading.

But OTOH, yes, there’s something . . . exhausting about his work. Like he’s trying too hard to impress or something, with so many forms of imaginative formatting and styles and such. It can distract from the characters and stories. I also loved Jimmy Corrigan, including the story, but there too, the design wizardry got more distracting sometimes than I prefer.


Answer to the great theological question “Can Chris Ware design a book so big that he himself can’t lift it?”

I think emotional damage from Jimmy Corrigan was too much, despite the magnificent art.

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One like button doesn’t actually express how you covered exactly what I think in that. I love Chris Ware but… struggle to get around to actually reading his work.The format of building stories doesn’t actually feel like a gimmick. And the detail in the ads etc. as other people have pointed out is actually great but… So much. So very much.

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Chris Ware is fantastic on multiple levels, his books are beautiful and the fine print is comedy gold. I used to have every issue (damn river). Definitely getting this.

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I have had this for a while and it is completely wonderful and huge. Gonna get it off the shelf this weekend and have some laughs.

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