The Acme Novelty Library by Chris Ware

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Utterly eschewing the general bonhomie surrounding the newly-minted contemporary regard for the comic strip medium as a language of complicated personal expression and artistic sophistication, professional colorist and award-winning letterer F. C. Ware returns to the book trade with “The ACME Novelty Library,” a hardcover distillation of all his surviving one-page cartoon jokes with which he tuckpointed the holes of his regular comic book periodical over the past decade.

Sometimes claimed to be his “best work” by those who really don’t know any better, this definitive congestion of stories of the future, the old west, and even of modern life nonetheless tries to stay interesting by including a luminescent map of the heavens, a chart of the general structure of the universe, assorted cut-out activitites, and a complete history of The ACME Novelty Company itself, decorated by rare photographs, early business ventures, not to mention the smallest example of a Comic Strip ever before offered to the general public. All in all, it will likely prove a rather mild disappointment, but at least it catches the light in a nice way and may force a smile here and there before being shelved for the next generation’s ultimate disregard and/or disposal.

About Chris Ware

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Chris Ware lives in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife, Marnie. He is the author of Jimmy Corrigan - the Smartest Kid on Earth, which received the Guardian First Book Award in 2001 and was also included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial of American Art. He most recently edited the 13th issue of "McSweeney's Quarterly Concern," and continues work on two upcoming genuinely serious graphic novels. The 16th issue of his regular periodical, not uncoincidentally titled "The ACME Novelty Library," will be released this fall.
Published September 15, 2005 by Jonathan Cape Ltd. 108 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Acme Novelty Library

Kirkus Reviews

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Ware elsewhere employs plenty of small-type language to subversive advantage through a series of comic-book advertisements that suggest the cultural imperialism of America-the-theme-park, and the quick-fix, self-help capitalism that puts a price on everything from creativity to sexual/spiritual f...

Jul 15 2005 | Read Full Review of The Acme Novelty Library

The Guardian

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The Acme Novelty Library by Chris Ware Jonathan Cape £16.99, pp112 Since its first appearance in 1993, Chris Ware's eccentric periodical, The Acme Novelty Library, has taken many forms, from pocket books to objects larger than most bookcases can accommodate.

Oct 16 2005 | Read Full Review of The Acme Novelty Library

Publishers Weekly

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With all his literary accolades and awards, it's easy to forget Ware (Jimmy Corrigan) is one of the warmest, funniest cartoonists in America.

Aug 22 2005 | Read Full Review of The Acme Novelty Library

AV Club

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Along the long edge of each of the two thin covers of Chris Ware's latest collection, The Acme Novelty Library, runs the world's smallest comic strip, an anti-heroic journey from conception through reproduction to interment.

Oct 12 2005 | Read Full Review of The Acme Novelty Library

Entertainment Weekly

Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth) takes in the tired, the poor, the struggling 'toons that have peppered his ACME Novelty Library periodicals and gives them a home here.

Sep 16 2005 | Read Full Review of The Acme Novelty Library

Comic Book Resources

Ware seems to draw easy lines between Lint’s ugly, guilty behavior and the death of his mother, his father’s indifference and an early adolescent tragedy.I think there’s the chance that some readers will think Ware is being a bit too simplistic in laying out the case for how Lint ends up where he...

Oct 08 2010 | Read Full Review of The Acme Novelty Library

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