Novelty Library (Acme Novelty Library) Hardcover – Illustrated, 2 Oct 2008
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"Ware's genius lies in the detail...beautifully drawn." (Esquire Magazine)
"Belongs as much to an art gallery as to a bookshelf. Produced with the kind of attention, love, care and copiousness of detail that one finds in a Rennaissance masterpiece, it is a sort of cartoon miscellany." (Neel Mukherjee The Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
The genius behind Jimmy Corrigan is back in a big way - literally - with a stunning tabloid-sized collection of single-page cartoons. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is no story book, but really is a joy to dip into or alternatively to devour in several hours of absorbed reading. It is humourous and evocative and will take a proud place on my bookshelf. Or if you're not a keen comic-book fan, I'm sure it will be equally treasured as the best book you've kept next to the toilet, ever.
Overall, the ACME Novelty Library #16 delivers more of what you would expect from Ware. In this short hardback (64 pages), he delivers intertwining stories by pulling them together uniquely on the page for the first section, then intersecting the strips as the characters finally converge in the same place. As always, the drawing and design is amazing, and he gives us a small insight into his process (including what seems to be an ongoing, almost debilitating case of self-doubt) of creation.
I have just about everything that Ware has done to date, and the only reason that I'm giving this book 4 stars is because his always dreary stories are on the cusp of starting to get to me. Jimmy Corrigan was beautiful and sprawling masterwork that had a small sense of redemption at the end, but in the time since then (including The Acme Novelty Library and this new piece), his downer storylines have felt more and more claustrophobic. It's probably just a personal preference, and I know I'll keep buying his work since he's such a unique and talented artist, but I felt I had to explain my less than 5 star rating. As mentioned above, if you're a fan of his work, you're not going to go wrong with this one. You almost feel guilty getting such an exquisitely designed and printed book for such a cheap price (considering some of the poorly-conceived rags that are foisted upon the literary world).
Essentially, this book is a collection of the individual Acme Novelty books that have been published through the years. Individually, these are hard (and expensive) to come by, so having them all re-printed in one book is a great idea.
The book includes many of his comic strips and sketches, his brilliant and hilarious fake adverts and the famous cut-out models. Sadly, the mechanical cat one seems to be missing, which otherwise would have made this book the ultimate Chris Ware book.
Chris Ware's style is dark and pretty depressing, but very funny and incredibly well executed. I could spend all day looking at this book. For those that already own the award-winning Jimmy Corrigan and/or the Acme Novelty Note book, this book does offer something different so is well worth the purchase. More so considering its amazing price!!
I like the Quimby the Mouse strips (as I expected to, being a fan of Ware's larger collection of Quimby strips "Quimby the Mouse") but was pleasantly surprised by the Rusty Brown and Milky White strips, about a pair of boys who collect toys, getting increasingly obsessive about them as they grow up. By adulthood, Rusty Brown is still living with his parents obsessing about the toys, while Chalky White has started a family and decelerated his interest in toys, caring less about action figures and more about being happy with his wife. It's a brilliant series of strips, which I could really relate to as a collector of items myself and someone who knows many people who take such collections too seriously.
However, the text-dense pages of fake advertisements and articles are not only difficult to read but, I felt, not actually very amusing. They constitute maybe 10% of the book and certainly oughtn't to be skipped over completely (there are still a few comedy gems in there) but did let the book down as a whole. Part of the joke in these sections is the prolix use of language, emphasised by the tiny font allowing more space for all those extraneous words. Unfortunately this can feel like a one-shot gag as you read yet another 2 inch square text box absolutely rammed with words that really don't say anything that the previous one didn't.
This contrast between decadent, large comics and dense, witty prose is definitely a deliberate tonal choice though and the collection overall works magnificently as a dip into book of wet Sunday afternoon entertainment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another incredible comic from the Novelty Library series, the nineteen and lovely as the first !!!!!!!!!!!Published 14 months ago by Mariano López-Ibor
Bloody hell! This isn’t your usual comic that provides entertainment or escapism. This is an alternative comic, an art comic, a muse on the human condition, a work of pictorial... Read morePublished on 23 Aug. 2014 by 365 Graphic Novels
Now on number 19, chris ware keeps churning out new and amazing books in his trademark styles and themes. Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2011 by O. Vainamo
this is one of the best comic's ive read. great story line with an abstract approach to it. highest quality graphic detail and high quality colour. just amazingly set out too. Read morePublished on 21 May 2008 by Mr. Daniel J. Keeling
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