The Acme Novelty Library

Written by: Chris Ware

The Acme Novelty Library Book Cover
Utterly eschewing the general bonhomie surrounding the newly-minted contemporary regard for the comic strip medium as a language of complicated personal expression and artistic sophistication, professional colorist and award-winning letterer F. C. Ware returns to the book trade with "The ACME Novelty Library," a hardcover distillation of all his surviving one-page cartoon Utterly eschewing the general bonhomie surrounding the newly-minted contemporary regard for the comic strip medium as a language of complicated personal expression and artistic sophistication, professional colorist and award-winning letterer F. C. Ware returns to the book trade with "The ACME Novelty Library," a hardcover distillation of all his surviving one-page cartoon jokes with which he tuckpointed the holes of his regular comic book periodical over the past decade.

Sometimes claimed to be his "best work" by those who really don't know any better, this definitive congestion of stories of the future, the old west, and even of modern life nonetheless tries to stay interesting by including a luminescent map of the heavens, a chart of the general structure of the universe, assorted cut-out activitites, and a complete history of The ACME Novelty Company itself, decorated by rare photographs, early business ventures, not to mention the smallest example of a Comic Strip ever before offered to the general public. All in all, it will likely prove a rather mild disappointment, but at least it catches the light in a nice way and may force a smile here and there before being shelved for the next generation's ultimate disregard and/or disposal.
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The Acme Novelty Library Reviews

Adam
More ware brilliance. Some crazy logorrhea in 4pt font on some of his old timy adverts/text that after a bit I glazed over, but the "rusty and chalky white" series was worth the library checkout alone. Not the first Ware book I'd recommend (Jimmy Corrigan or lint gets that vote) but brilliant and I'm thankful I have met Mr. Ware, my current number 1 author.
Peacegal
Like Ware's other books, the detail in this one is nothing short of incredible. A variety of bitterly ironic comics and mock advertisements explore rejection, misery, and the futility of life in general. I enjoyed it quite a bit, even if Ware's tiny writing makes my already-weak eyes feel even worse. Someday I'm gonna need Large Type comic books. Now get offa my lawn!
Melissa
Why are graphic novels the saddest? There are some laugh out loud jokes thrown in, but even those are based in deeply dark humor. TYou can find occasional tiny glimpses of movement & understanding, but overall it feels like wallowing. There was a time I would have liked that more; now it just feels too heavy. Still, a very smart collection, and visually lovely.
Book One: Work, 1986-2006 :: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom :: The Long Run: A Tale of the Continuing Time :: Live from New York: An Oral History of Saturday Night Live :: Making History
Mr. Lopez 7a
The cover glows in the dark, for crying out loud! That and the microscopic comics found inside, as well as the beautifully written and painstakingly hand-drawn art inside. Chris Ware IS American comics.
Brian
Everyone who enjoys graphic novels should be reading Chris Ware's books. I am always amazed (and sometimes lost) by the layout design of his stories.
This was my first experience with his work and got me hooked on melancholic humor. You should read this or something by him.
Brian
Lots more "reading" in this graphic novel than in some of Ware's other work. Many of the short written excerpts are entertaining (and sarcastically accurate), but I prefer the illustrated panels best. Fortunately, there are still plenty of those!
David
covers such a wide swath of miserableness and anxiety in the human experience. the young rusty brown and rocket sam stuff was probably the most depressing. so incredibly detailed especially in the fake ads
Klaxondia
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the book is beautiful, the design elements show a range of styles, great lettering, details and perspectives, but narratively it's all over the place.
carla
2.5 stars. Depressing. Not really entertaining.
Jess
Bittersweet, sick, tear-your-heart-out, nihilistic, amazing satirical compilation of Ware's works. Must read. Although I do not recommend reading the entire book in one sitting.
Mira
Why Chris Ware has not won a MacArthur Award, I don't know. I can't wait until the entire Rusty Brown odyssey is finished. If only I had a brain like his...
Christopher
There is a sad irreverence to these comics that remind me of a Bright Eyes’ lyric: “the sound of loneliness makes me happier.”
Rodger
Gorgeously designed, squint-inducing microcomix in tiny type. A work of depressing genius, but a pain in the ass to read.
Jim
This is an intense and interactive read, which carries that delightful melencholic blend of corportate verbage and depression that F C Ware is so darn good at producing.
Deborah
This is an impressive book. I'd suggest reading other Chris Ware before attempting this one.
Laughing Man
This guy manages to draw the most depressing comics possible and loves to write the text balloons with the smallest text he can fit, it's a hell reading them.
Adam Flor
Arguably one of the most brilliant comic creators out there. I have yet to see work as visually and mentally intriguing as his.
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