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Animators Survival Kit

Chris  Ware

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.

Buiding Stories by Chris WareHis 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.

 

 

 

 

Author Picks

Joseph Cornell: Shadowplay, Eterniday
(Hardback)
Lynda Roscoe Hartigan; Walter Hopps;...
 
The finest monograph on any artist I've yet read, it provides a thorough overview of the work and the man who kept poetry and the beauty of the ineffable alive in the visual arts during its blunter and decidedly more "effable" periods. Including a DVD of his experimental films, a facsimile digital collection of his record and book collections, and three-dimensional digital models of his better known boxes, this book is a fittingly great assessment of the man who I think was the greatest and most original artist of the 20th century.
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Stores - out of stock

Rabbit Angstrom: A Tetralogy -...
(Hardback)
John Updike
 
Everybody's always complaining about how the Great American Novel has yet to be written, but here it is, and it won't likely ever be bettered; four decades of all-American male wrought with the finest, most forgiving brush that words can ferulle together, synaesthetically limning a sense of a person, a generation, and a lifetime so vividly that sometimes I forget that the events herein didn't actually happen to me. It's sort of as if the clarity of Tolstoy and the flat trueness of Chekhov were applied to the 20th century, with surprisingly hilarious results. Thank goodness Updike gave up on cartooning early and moved on to prose.
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£22.50
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The Ingmar Bergman Archives
(Books & other media combined)
Paul Duncan; Bengt Wanselius; Erland...
 
Second in line from the better-selling Stanley Kubrick Archives, I actually prefer this volume because the filmmaker's life's work is so much messier, complicated, unstrung and confusing -- while his art is just as precise and masterful. Why Taschen decided to stick with the Kubrickian cover lettering is a little confusing, though easily overlooked for the treasure trove of material within, which
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MetaMAUS
(Hardback)
Art Spiegelman
 
I thought that my generation was doing pretty well following Art's example of how to make serious comic books for adults, but this book demonstrates just how pale and paltry our efforts have been; via interviews, documents, photographs and preparatory sketches (and an interactive DVD) it's clear that Art not only created the graphic novel, but that graphic novel may also never be bettered.
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Great Northern Brotherhood of ...
(Hardback)
Seth
 
Whenever I think I'm trying hard at what I do, I think of Seth and realized that I'm not. Usually devoting himself to somber works of graphic fiction, this extremely fun book mixes his memories and research into real cartoonists with complete nonsense, all revolving around a fictional fraternal order with a distinctly Canadian (and British) tone of camaraderie, gentlemanly competition and arcane knowledge, all somehow coming out strangely moving and warmhearted, not unlike the artist himself.
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Moby-Dick
(Paperback)
Herman Melville
It's not really about whales or whaling, it's about how the inexperience of youth deifies the doings of the old. In a way, it could be considered the first "fan fiction," if it wasn't already fiction itself. At the same time, it will get you really, really interested in whales and whaling. The Great American Novel, but the 19th century version.
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An Anthology of Graphic Fiction,...
(Hardback)
Ivan Brunetti
 
The best collection of serious comics ever collected by one of its most serious cartoonists (who also happens to be one of my best friends.) The word "curated" is very overused these days, but Ivan very sensitively did just that here, balancing the funny against the tragic and the literary versus the esthetic, with everything in between. If one wanted to make an argument for comics as a viable medium for self-expression, one couldn't do any better than these two books (minus the selection of my own "Jimmy Corrigan" in the book, which Yale refused to run as anything but sideways, and so looks absolutely terrible.)
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Ethel and Ernest
(Paperback)
Raymond Briggs; Raymond Briggs
 
I don't think I've ever read this book without my eyes tearing up. How Briggs manages to impart such feeling and generosity towards his parents in this deeply moving and heartfelt yet never overly sentimental memoir amazes me. It reminds me a little in its after-effects of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town," though the two works are otherwise completely different. It will make you care more deeply about life and the people you live it with, which is about the best one can say about anything.
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Ulysses
(Paperback)
James Joyce; Hans Walter Gabler
What can I say about what is probably the greatest book ever written in English, other than when I first made my way it I'd frequently stop at the end of the page and have no idea what I'd just read, but would find that my mind had been filled with vivid impressions and sensations that added up, if I thought about it for a second, to a very specific image. Has any other writer ever even come close to this direct transplantation of sense data via language, let along created art with it? It may be the greatest work of art ever created, next to Beethoven's 9th Symphony (which seems to share some of its same transmogrifying, transplant-ifying qualities).
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The Pale King
(Paperback)
David Foster Wallace
 
The first great novel of the 21st century uses the sinister beauty of the American Tax Code as a springboard from which to launch into a genuinely serious discussion of the origins and importance of civic responsibility amidst the hazy, blurred stupidity of a country in quick decline. Contrary to many reviews, I don't think it's about boredom, and it's certainly not boring. Another posthumous editor-to-manuscript resuscitation, the book hangs heavy with the clotted spectre of Wallace's suicide, which makes the writing glow all the more painfully through it.
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An Anthology of Graphic Fiction,...
(Hardback)
Ivan Brunetti
 
Volume Two of the above
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Available Titles By This Author

Building Stories
(Hardback)
Chris Ware
£30.00
£30.00
 
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on...
(Hardback)
Chris Ware; Chris Ware
 
£20.00
£14.00
30%
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on...
(Paperback)
Chris Ware; Chris Ware
 
£16.99
£11.89
30%
The Acme Novelty Library: No. 20
(Hardback)
Chris Ware
 
£15.99
£11.67
27%

Past Events for this Author

Latest Blog
The best fiction of 2014
15/12/2014

Many at Foyles feel that 2014 been a very good year for fiction and our customers seem to agree, with big leaps in sales in all our branches. Our web editor, Jonathan Ruppin, looks at why this might be, selects his top titles and explains why Dutch novelist Peter Buwalda's Bonita Avenue is his book of the year.

Making failure into an art
09/12/2014

You've probably heard of the writer Franz Kafka; but what about Hans Kafka? No? Well, there's a reason for that...

The noir prophet returns
01/12/2014

George Hamilton-Jones, from our Charing Cross Road shop, celebrates the return of William Gibson with The Peripheral, which should delight fans of his early futuristic works, such as Neuromancer.

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