The Acme Novelty Library
Number 18Graphic Novel - 2007
In keeping with his athletic goal of issuing a volume of his occasionally lauded ACME series once every new autumn, volume 18 finds cartoonist Chris Ware abandoning the engaging serialization of his "Rusty Brown" and instead focusing upon his ongoing and more experimentally grim narrative "Building Stories."
Collecting pages unseen except in obscure alternative weekly periodicals and sophisticated expensive coffee-table magazines, ACME Novelty Library #18 reintroduces the characters that New York Times readers found "dry" and "deeply depressing" when one chapter of the work (not included here) was presented in its pages during 2005 and 2006. Set in a Chicago apartment building more or less in the year 2000, the stories move from the straightforward to the mnemonically complex, invading characters' memories and personal ambitions with a text point size likely unreadable to human beings over the age of forty-five. Reformatted to accommodate this different material, readers will be pleased by the volume's vertical shape and tasteful design, which, unlike Ware's earlier volumes, should discreetly blend into any stack or shelf of real books.
From the critics
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THAT GIRL sure attracted a lot of attention... She was crying uncontrollably... her face pink, shining with tears... Seeing her reminded me how emotionally RAW I used to be, how the whole world seemed to ending whenever something bad happened to me... How no one else could possibly 'understand' how awful it all was for me... Everybody else was sneaking looks at her, too... One woman even leaned over to the boyfriend and said something to him... I couldn't hear her exactly, but it was something like "She's just so darling". It was wierd, but there WAS something almost CHARMING about the girl... Something reassuring about her naive misery... Was it insensitive to think so? Why, instead of trying to comfort her, to tell her everything would be okay, did we all just smile to yourselves? At the security gate, she looked back for one last blubbery farewell, and then was swallowed up forever... We were all so deeply envious of her.”
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