Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Chris Ware is an American comic book artist and cartoonist, best-known for a series of comics called the Acme Novelty Library, and a graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. He currently resides in Oak Park, Illinois. Ware's art is extremely eclectic in its influence, largely reflecting his love of early-20th century American aesthetics in both cartooning and graphic design. He can go from one artistic style to another with little conspicuous effort. While a handful of critics have accused Ware's work of being cold and overly obsessed with technique, the majority have come away impressed with his command of the medium and seemingly limitless willingness to experiment.
Ware's earliest published strips appeared in the late 1980s on the comics page of The Daily Texan , the student newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to numerous daily strips under different titles, Ware also had a weekly satirical science fiction serial in the paper titled Floyd Farland: Citizen of the Future. This was eventually published in 1988 as a prestige-format comic book from Eclipse Publishing, and its publication even led to a brief correspondence between Ware and Timothy Leary. Now embarrassed by the book, which he considers amateurish and naive, Ware is reportedly purchasing and destroying all remaining copies.
Ware eventually attracted the attention of famed Manhattan cartoonist, publisher and designer Art Spiegelman, who invited Ware to contribute to Raw magazine . This led to greater acclaim, and Ware's eventual relationship with Fantagraphics Books. His Fantagraphics series Acme Novelty Library defied comics publishing conventions with every issue. The series featured a combination of new material as well as reprints of work Ware had done for the Texan (such as Quimby the Mouse) and the Chicago weekly paper New City. Ware was the first comics artist ever to be invited to exhibit in the prestigious Whitney Museum biennial exhibition, in 2002. Ware has also exhibited in Europe.
Later issues of Acme Novelty Library serialized Ware's semi-autobiographical novel Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. This was later published in book form to enormous acclaim from not only the comics press but the mainstream as well. The book won The Guardian First Book Award for 2001, the first time a graphic novel has won a major United Kingdom book award.
Ware is quite fond of meat loaf (the food, not the entertainer).
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