Updates & miscellaneous musings!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Every article (like this one) in the mainstream press about comics always mentions Chris Ware as the pinnacle of comics acheivement. Chris Ware did Jimmy Corrigan and Acme Novelty Library and a lot of other very visually intricate, elaborately composed, extremely hard to read books.

Off the top of my head, I can think of two people I've actually talked to who liked Chris Ware--my first boss at Barnes & Noble, and Dan Clowes, who mentioned Ware when I saw him at Bookshop Santa Cruz.
I like him fine; I bought Jimmy Corrigan in 12th grade and somewhat enjoyed reading it.

But unlike David Boring or Sandman or Watchmen or Blankets or From Hell, everyone I've shown it to has started at it for awhile before dismissing it as unreadable.

Obviously popularity isn't the best judge of something's merit, and I'm glad that Chris Ware's work is out there.

But I think that comics are a medium, like film, which is so fundamentally accessible that it seems wrong to pride someone who seems to devote themselves to being hard to read as its champion. It's one thing to present complicated ideas, or a complicated story, but actually just making the thing hard to read is, in my opinion, a serious impediment to greatness.


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Location: Oakland, CA, United States