Dear Weblog Superfans,
A few years ago, when I was still in college and decided to be a writer instead of a lawyer, I took a class on basic literature studies. As a part of the curriculum, we read a graphic novel by Chris Ware called Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. And I loved it. It was strange and quirky and hard to read–I can’t find a decent picture of any of the difficult pages, but you can sort of see it in the one I’ve put up here. I hadn’t read a graphic novel since the Maus books years before, and I was excited about all the things it could do. There wasn’t much comic-bookiness about it; it was just the story of a kid who grows up and that kid’s family history. And the questions in this literature studies class were whether it was a “real” novel, whether it was literature or of one of the the less-austere “genres,” how, generally, such a thing as Jimmy Corrigan should be received.
Anyway, I wanted more of this graphic novel thing, but not too much, because I wanted to write non-graphic-novels and I didn’t want to lose my focus, man. So I decided to look into Chris Ware some more and see what came of it. Well, the Acme Novelty Library came of it. That’s a series that he did, in the fashion of comic books, I suppose, but without the regular super heroes, etc. Just awesome drawings about people who might or might not have maladjustment issues. That series was trimmed and anthologized, in a “best-of” way, I believe, into the Acme Novelty Library book. And my sister purchased that for me for my birthday a while back.
So I have my second book by Chris Ware; now all I have to do is read it.