Chris Ware’s ACME Papercraft

Comics you can build!

By Gareth Branwyn

WHEN YOU PICK UP A CHRIS WARE “comic book,” such as his critically acclaimed ACME Novelty Library series, you know you’re about to encounter something extraordinary, even before you crack it open. The covers themselves immediately work to tickle our too frequently jaded fancies. Ware’s books are usually oversized or off-sized and sport evocative art and snazzy embellishments (such as foil stamping, paper banding, and pockets hiding mini-comics) designed to communicate difference: this is not your ordinary comic book.

Peering inside a Ware comic is when the psycho-activity begins to peg your novelty meter. As one reviewer put it, “You don’t read a Chris Ware book so much as open ...

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