Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It smells good, it feels good, and it's full of beauty..., 24 Aug 2004
This review is from: McSweeney's Quarterly Concern: Issue Number 13: Comics Issue No. 13 (Hardcover)
Edited by the talented Chris Ware and featuring contributions from a multitude of talented comic artists, past and present, 'McSweeney's 13' is a genuine treasure trove. It is also a genuine treasure; books as ornately designed and lavishly produced as this one are rare things indeed. Most importantly, from the perspective of the consumer, it is worth every penny of its price.
Pull yourself away from the heavy boards embossed in gold with delicate designs, steel yourself against the alluring smell of expensive paper stock and top quality inks, and only then begin working through this eye-wateringly good anthology of comics and comic history. There are recollections from John Updike, Glen David Gold, and Michael Chabon; essays by comic historians and cultural theorists; and selections of classic strip cartoons (and preliminary sketches for those cartoons) drawn from the archives.
Then there are comics themselves - over two hundred pages of them. Adriane Tomine, Jim Burns, Richard McGuire, and Seth each provide strong stories, which alone would justify the price of admission. These stories, along with the stories of many others, impress with their imaginative reach, emotional precision, and exquisite artwork. Once you've finished the book you've got two mini-comics to enjoy; the autobiographical musing on birds, parents, and life, generally, is by the far the better of the two.
Although much of the collection has an autobiographical feel, there is cross section of genres represented here. Chris Ware has brought together everything (apart, alas, from a few examples of the great mainstream work being done Marvel and DC) from Joe Sacco's searingly astute work of journalism 'The Fixer' (we get two extracts from the larger work) to the filthy comedy of Kaz's 'Underworld'.
It is a book I recommend you run out and buy, and experience in the full.
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