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The Comics of Chris Ware$
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David M. Ball and Martha B. Kuhlman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604734423

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604734423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Inventing Cartooning Ancestors: Ware and the Comics Canon

Inventing Cartooning Ancestors: Ware and the Comics Canon

(p.3) Inventing Cartooning Ancestors: Ware and the Comics Canon
The Comics of Chris Ware

Jeet Heer

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines how Chris Ware has helped reshape the canon of comics history, paying particular attention to his book designs. It argues that through his work as an editor and book designer, Ware has constantly evoked cartoonists from the past, particularly the newspaper cartoonists of the early twentieth century and the pioneering superhero artists of the 1930s and 1940s. He has also championed artists who engage in formal experimentation or focus on everyday life, such as George Herriman, Frank King, Rodolphe Töpffer, and Gluyas Williams. To understand why Ware and his fellow cartoonists are rewriting comics history, the chapter places their work in a historical context. By looking at his comics such as Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Lost Buildings, and Quimby the Mouse, it shows that Ware is engaged in an act of ancestor creation, of giving a pedigree and lineage to his own work.

Keywords:   comics, Chris Ware, comics history, book designs, cartoonists, George Herriman, Frank King, Jimmy Corrigan, Lost Buildings, Quimby the Mouse

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