Skip to main content

Chris Ware's greatest fans are philistines.

Chris Ware's comics are playful, well honed, much honoured, and have been highly influential over the last decade.  However, their appeal eludes me.  His drawings, design, and layouts are cold.  So, too, his bone dry humour.  Frankly, I find his work boring, in form and function.   Intellectually and as entertainment, it offers me nothing.

I feel (somewhat) similarly disconnected to the music of Charles Mingus. Still, when people tell me Charlie is a genius, a fantastic band leader, and quite possibly the greatest jazz bassist ever, said persons almost always know more about jazz than I do.  I believe, in this case case I may be missing something others key into.  I believe it because it is an oft held view among people who understand the medium and its history better than I do.

I don't think that's what's going on when someone tells me Chris Ware is a genius.  More often, it's like people who hardly know anything about art praising 'the Mona Lisa' (of which there are something like 14 largely comparable versions, mostly by Leonardo's students) simply because others have done so.  I call BS.  I don't doubt there are people who have exposed themselves to his material for better reasons than copying others, following indy trends, or the like; I don't doubt some of them have enjoyed his fare; but I do doubt anyone who calls the man or his work 'genius' knows what they are talking about.  That is, unless they're using irony, or selling something.

I do like the flowers he's drawn, though.


  1. The panels are so tiny and cluttered looking....


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Well now.

I think I'm going to try to revive my online writing habits, outside of Facebook.

And what have I been thinking or feeling in the interim, across the last couple years or so? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In part, this.

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Happy Valentine's Day

Mindful concentration and earnest effort make health, safety, and creativity more likely, but there are no guarantees. Every plateau has a cliff. Each incline can become a decline. These paths require attention. When we traverse uncertain ground in the darkness, if the wind sweeps past, we may keep our feet or we may lose our footing and tumble down.
When I requested February 14th off from work, I didn't expect to spend the day alone, you know. Now, it's just another day on which I should be doing chores. There is so much to do around my small apartment. It's almost amazing. But of course I realize, keeping our spaces clean requires persistent effort, as well.
Still, there are cliffs all around. Some of them seem treacherous, others quite comfortable.