Fall 2013 Connectedness: Networks in a Complex World
Lecture: Cartoonist Chris Ware talks about his award-winning work, "Building Stories"
Chris Ware, Graphic Artist
Award-winning Cartoonist and Author of Building Stories
and Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
Chris Ware will discuss his work and his ideas about graphic novels. Ware’s medium brings up the question of new modes of making connection in today’s multi-mediated world. Both cutting-edge and oddly backward-looking, Ware’s Building Stories, in particular, invites reflection on human connection. It is series of wordless stories—each in a different format, and each indeterminately related to all the others (the stories come in a box with no instructions about order of reading)—about a cast of characters who inhabit a single building over time. There IS connectedness, in other words, but that connection is hard for the characters to experience. Likewise, our own sense of connection to these stories is unusually open-ended: having to choose our own path through the linked stories, the question of how the connections work is entirely up to us. It’s a moving work of art.
Chris Ware is one of the most important graphic artists working today. His graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan — the Smartest Kid on Earth (Pantheon, 2000) received an American Book Award in 2000, the Guardian First Book Award in 2001, and the French comics award "L'Alph Art" in 2003. In 2009 Jimmy Corrigan was named as one of the “100 Best Books of the Decade” by The Times (London). Ware is also the author of The Acme Novelty Datebook Volumes 1 and 2 (Drawn & Quarterly, 2003, 2007), Quimby the Mouse (Fantagraphics, 2003), was the editor of the 13th issue of McSweeney’s (2005), and was the guest editor of Houghton-Mifflin's Best American Comics 2007. He is a contributor to The New Yorker, and was the cartoonist chosen to inaugurate the New York Times Magazine’s “Funny Pages” section in late 2005. He is currently at work on a long-form graphic novel, Rusty Brown. His book Building Stories was released in October 2012. In December 2012 Building Stories was named one of the New York Times "10 Best Books of 2012."