Monday, 27 June 2016

Chris Ware: winner of Nobel Prize for Literature 2016

The Graphic Novel (Baetens, Fry, 2015)

'If awarding a 'special Pulitzer Prize to Art Spiegelman's Maus in 1992 had been controversial... giving the Nobel Prize for Literature to Chris Ware in 2016, announced here in advance as a scoop by the authors of this book, will  no longer be received as a subject of comparable surprise.'

It is a matter of some surprise to me that this has not been more widely reported in the press.

Franklin Christenson "Chris" Ware (born December 28, 1967), is an American cartoonist known for his Acme Novelty Library series (begun 1994) and the graphic novels Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth (2000) and Building Stories (2012). 

His works explore themes of social isolation, emotional torment and depression. He tends to use a vivid color palette and realistic, meticulous detail. His lettering and images are often elaborate and sometimes evoke the ragtime era or another early 20th-century American design style.

Ware often refers to himself in the publicity for his work in self-effacing, even withering tones. 

He is considered by some critics and fellow notable illustrators and writers, such as Dave Eggers, to be among the best currently working in the medium; Canadian graphic-novelist Seth has said, 'Chris really changed the playing field. After him, a lot of [cartoonists] really started to scramble and go, 'Holy [expletive], I think I have to try harder.'

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