Saturday, September 17, 2005


The Acme Novelty Library

Pantheon continues an extraordinary streak in top-notch graphic novels with an upcoming hardcover release of the Charles Burns book Black Hole; next week sees its release of Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library, and I am champing at the bit for it to show up over at Prairie Lights Books.

In the meantime, the BBC magazine Collective has an interview with Ware, including this explanation of the sheer density of some of his drawings:

I just don’t want anyone to be disappointed or feel they’re not getting their money’s worth. It probably sounds pretentious, but my goal most of the time is to make pages that have the same or similar degree of density and texture that the natural world seems to have, with an overall composition that has an identity of its own, and an intricacy and patterning that’s something like one might find by picking up a leaf or a stone and looking at it intently. I realize that this level of detail might be also interpreted as a sort of abuse of the reader, though that’s certainly not my intention. Mostly, I dislike art and writing that seems tossed off or rushed, and so I end up making stuff where I try to use every bit of surface I have available to me.

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