About The Author
Born in Omaha and now living in Chicago, Chris Ware is a highly regarded comic book writer and graphic novelist.
His first cartoon strips were published in the student newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin in the late 1980s and brought him to the attention of Art Spiegelman, who invited him to contribute to alternative comic anthology RAW.
In 1993, he published the first in his series, the Acme Novelty Library, which now runs to twenty volumes, the most recent of which was published in 2010. Amongst other strips, this popularised Quimby the Mouse, Rusty Brown and, in serial form, perhaps his most famous creation, Jimmy Corrigan.
In 2001, Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, was published to widespread acclaim. This story of a lonely middle-aged man, with its diversions into alternative versions of his childhood, won numerous prizes, including the Guardian First Book Award; this remains the only occasion that a graphic novel has won a major British literary award.
This was followed by a collection of Quimby the Mouse strips. Ware was guest editor of Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern (commonly known as McSweeney's) in 2004. Other projects include TV animation and designs for book covers, records and film posters.
His new graphic novel is Building Stories, available in a stunning elaborate boxset containing fourteen different items - hardcover books, booklets, magazines, newspapers and pamphlets - that together make up a highly desirable, and no doubt highly collectable, package.
Together these stunning artefacts tell the story of three women in a Chicago apartment block: a lonely spinster, a young woman with a revolting boyfriend and a woman who dreams of escaping to the calm of suburbia.
You may have seen extracts already, dating back to 2005, which have appeared in publications as diverse as nest magazine, the New Yorker and the Guardian.
In her list of recent favourite reads selected exclusively for Foyles, Zadie Smith picked Building Stories, saying of Ware, "There's no writer alive whose work I love more than Chris Ware".
Below, exclusively for Foyles, Chris selects some of his favourite books, ones that moved and entertained and inpsired him, including classics such as Ulysses and Moby-Dick, recent books by Dave Eggers and Zadie Smith and, of course, some fine examples of graphic art.