Under Ware

McSweeney's Issue 13 was guest-edited by Chris Ware, creator of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (from which the above image is taken). Ware also designed Issue 13, and the result is stunningly beautiful.

The guests on this episode of The Connection are three contributors to Issue 13: Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Ben Katchor. This show was originally broadcast on September 28, 2000.

Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes were interviewed together again on the November 30, 2000, episode of Bookworm.

On the February 8, 2001, episode of Bookworm, Chris Ware was the only guest.

Here's a CNN article, from October 3, 2000, about Ware and Jimmy Corrigan.

An excerpt:

The compact imagery, the compacted plot and subplots, make "Jimmy Corrigan" more akin to a novel by Faulkner or Dickens than to "The Adventures of Spiderman." The book is not a quick read. Skim a page and you'll miss a tiny delight -- a Thumbelina landscape; a postage-stamp still-life; an entire treatise, in Lilliputian letters, on vinyl siding as a metaphor for life.

It took Ware seven years to do the book's scenes and sequences -- most of which initially appeared in his Jimmy Corrigan comic strips and comic books, published in Ware's "Acme Novelty Library" and sold in comic book and specialty stores. It not only takes time to draw such meticulous detail, but to research it: Ware says he can spend hours researching an image for a single frame or panel.

He collects and uses real objects as models; he draws from history books and from photographs. To get just the right look for the segment in the book where Jimmy goes to a small town in Michigan to meet his father, Ware went to a small Wisconsin town and took snapshots of the diner, the burger place, the gas station.

He worked from old photographs of 1890s Chicago for the stunning architectural drawings that illustrate the novel-within-a novel about Jimmy's grandfather. "Turn of the century -- I prefer things from that era," said Ware. "The style then seemed to have more respect for the viewer. What was presented was something handmade, something crafted with care and skill."