Chris Ware’s Building Stories

By Stephanie Rebick | Posted on August 10th, 2012

The New York Times Magazine‘s funny pages has done a consistently admirable job at including contributions from some of the comics world’s most innovative and interesting artists. Everyone from Seth to Daniel Clowes to Gene Luen Yang have graced their pages with new short-form, serial projects. My all-time favourite though has to be Chris Ware’s exquisitely composed and poignantly narrated Building Stories, which is among the best work he’s completed to date. Building Stories focuses on a single apartment building in Chicago and provides a glimpse into the lives of the diverse cast of characters who live there. I love Ware’s beautiful architectural renderings and the way that each instalment in the series offers different pacing and movement, and way of breaking down both architectural spaces and the characters’ psyches. You don’t even have to be a fan of comics or the graphic arts to be able to appreciate Ware’s remarkable illustrations and challenge to the traditional comics grid. I could not be more excited to learn that Ware’s masterpiece will be reissued by Pantheon in October. Instead of a standard graphic novel format that requires a conventional beginning and end to the narrative, the Building Stories book is comprised of a number of mini-comics that assume a variety of forms from fold-outs to strips to a more traditional comics page. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book and become immersed once again in the poetic and emotional world of Building Stories.


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