Acme Novelty Library #16

by Chris Ware
ACME #16

Chris Ware sez: After four years of almost exclusively repackaging his sophomoric early work for the book trade, the children's entertainer and award-winning calligrapher F. C. Ware returns to his groundbreaking 1990s cartoon series "The ACME Novelty Library," a nearly decade-long publishing experiment which more or less singlehandedly demonstrated the redemptive power a fancy paper stock or a little gold foil might exert over an otherwise dull, dry visual narrative. Ware rejoins the proud, vital esthetic forum of the American comic book with his ongoing serial "Rusty Brown," a love story concerning the ambitions and mistakes of seven consciousnesses at a private school in Omaha, Nebraska, all revolving around a universally reviled child - and absolutely certain to be a favorite with readers of all tastes and biases. As told through the eyes of someone absentmindedly watching a television sitcom circa 1975, this first installment begins one January morning of that same year and describes everything of importance right up to and including the ring of the first period bell before eventually spiraling off into 1955, 2004, and toward the planet Mars, amongst other interesting and exotic time periods and locales. Though originally released by alternative comics vanguard Fantagraphics Books, this new sixteenth issue  is the first to be entirely produced, printed and published by Mr. Ware alone; limited to a single press  run, once it is sold out, pulped, and/or burned, neither of these narratives will be available again until  "Rusty Brown" and "Building Stories" are eventually edited, collected and remaindered as hardcover books.

We say:  This swellegant hardcover volume, the first produced solely under the auspices of Mr. Ware, is not to be missed.  Through its pages, you can experience the 1970s childhoods of "Rusty" Brown and "Chalky" White, in all their pain filled and angst ridden glory.  Produced in Ware's trademarked obsessive manner, this issue sees hints of new stylistic ironies as well as further classically based experimentation with the form. 

64-page full color 9" x 7" hardcover graphic novel

retail price - $15.95
copacetic price - $15.95

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prices and availability current as of 25 June 2007