INTERVIEWER: Why did you want to make a book with no beginning or end?

CHRIS WARE: When we meet someone for the first time, we don’t hear their entire life story. We learn bits and pieces and start to put together a sense of that person by mortaring in the cracks and holes around their anecdotes and personality quirks with our assumptions and guesses. Later, we’re able to think of that person more or less as an entity, from all sides and all times, and maybe even to imitate or make fun of them. But everything we think of as real is still always our own fiction. We’re all fiction writers.

The Paris Review 210, The Art of Comics No. 2

Unboxed Ware

boxed Wareunboxed Ware 1My copy of Chris Ware’s Building Stories has been sitting on a shelf—well, lying on the floor propped up against a shelf—for months, too pretty to unwrap. This afternoon I finally had some time to clear off the coffee table and take a few snaps of the unpackaging.

unboxed Ware 2Also solved today: I made horizontal space on a shelf where I can store the book once I’ve finished devouring it.

unboxed Ware 3I like big books and I cannot lie.

In the heart of the Gothamic metropolis

Some time ago, I made a note that a link to The Nation’s profile of Ben Katchor had gone missing, and I collected some new links to replace it with. Since then, the link has revived; but that shouldn’t stop me from sharing links to Robert Birnbaum’s interview for The Morning News—and Birnbaum’s earlier interview for Identity Theory. Hmm, maybe Birnbaum is as obsessed with Katchor as I am.

A sample of Katchor’s strips for Metropolis Magazine is available online.

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Very nice profile of sui generis cartoonist Lynda Barry by Christopher Borrelli for the Chicago Tribune. The richest praise is from fellow cartoonist Chris Ware:

“…just as Charles Schultz created the first sympathetic cartoon character in Charlie Brown, Lynda was the first cartoonist to write fiction from the inside out—she trusted herself to close her eyes and dive down within herself and see what she came up with. We’d still be trying to find ways into stories with pictures if she hadn’t.”

I read with dismay that Barry has discontinued her weekly Ernie Pook’s Comeek, but then again the local free weekly stopped running decent cartoons before that.