A one-mouse theater of the absurd. Quimby the Mouse is the second book from Chris Ware; his first book, Jimmy Corrigan (Pantheon, 2000), has been widely acclaimed as one of the medium's finest graphic novels in history and is currently in a fourth hardcover printing.
Cleverly appropriated old-fashioned animation imagery and advertising styles of the 1920s and 1930s are put to use in Quimby at the service of modern vignettes of angst and existentialism. As this cartoon silhouette of a mouse ignominiously suffers at every turn, the spaces between the panels create despair and a Beckett-like rhythm of hope deceived and deferred (but never quite extinguished), buoying Quimby from page to page.
Like Ware's first book, Quimby is saturated with Ware's genius, including consistently amazing graphics, insanely perfectionist production values, cut-out-and-assemble paper projects, and the formal complexity of his narratives that have earned him the reputation as one of the most prodigious artists of his generation.
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Chris Ware is the creator of the ongoing comic book series The ACME Novelty Library. He is the only cartoonist in history to garner all four major cartooning awards (the Harvey, Eisner, Ignatz and Reuben), and Jimmy Corrigan, his previous book, won The Guardian newspaper's 2001 First Book Prize. Ware lives in Chicago with his wife, Marnie.From Publishers Weekly:
This large-format collection of Ware's early work, mostly from 1990 and 1991, repackages material that appeared in Acme Novelty Library as well as other publications, but still feels amazingly fresh. Even in these early strips, Ware displays a virtuoso ability in both rendering and storytelling. The material consists of primarily one or two page strips focusing on Quimby's remarkable bad luck in life and everything else. Quimby resembles a distant cousin of Disney's iconic Mickey Mouse, but instead of being a chipper mascot, he's a tiny, bleak figure travelling across a hostile world. The depressing subject matter is clothed in the peppy antics of primal cartooning, making the strong emotions that much more potent for being so surprising. All of the work is packaged impeccably-Ware's beautiful gold foil stamped cover alone is worth the book's price, while his running joke that the book is, in fact, a discarded library book is funny and touching, underscoring comics' ephemeral quality. Ware also provides a wonderful autobiographical introduction that gives the work context without ever explaining it; he simply adds another layer. Fans of Ware's earlier Jimmy Corrigan will find much to enjoy here; the tragicomic sensibility, beautiful drawing and impeccable packaging that marked that book are all here in full effect.
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