Chris Ware - comic review (4 stars)

Chris Ware

The ACME Novelty Library 17 (Mr FC Ware and the Acme Novelty Library)


The 17th volume of Chris Ware’s now self-published irregular comic continues the sad tale of Rusty Brown, a pre-pubescent dork who lives in a snowbound small town in America’s mid-west, where he stubbornly clings to his best friend, a Supergirl doll, even though newly arrived nerd Chalky White attempts, falteringly, to pal up with the loser loner.

Ware’s ongoing efforts to stultify the reader are, despite the storytelling reaching a new nadir in pointless misery, doomed to fail. The more pathetic the story, the funnier it gets: Rusty wetting his pants in front of the class; picking bark off a tree in the school playing field while daydreaming of being a superhero named Ear Man; Supergirl’s head being torn off by bullies. Likewise, the microscopic text and over complex page layout is intended to flummox the reader, the design of the strip is beautifully executed. You’ll have to try harder than that, Mr Ware, you warped genius.

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