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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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On Modernism’s Ruins: The Architecture of “Building Stories” and Lost Buildings

On Modernism’s Ruins: The Architecture of “Building Stories” and Lost Buildings

Chapter:
(p.107) On Modernism’s Ruins: The Architecture of “Building Stories” and Lost Buildings
Source:
The Comics of Chris Ware
Author(s):

Daniel Worden

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604734423.003.0008

This chapter examines the prominence of Chicago in Chris Ware’s comics, particularly in Lost Buildings and the “Building Stories” comic strip. It discusses the importance of flânerie, mechanical reproduction, and modernity’s ruins in Ware’s representations of architecture in Lost Buildings. The chapter considers Ware’s critique of the impersonal, homogenous, and stultifying qualities of the International style popularized by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and contrasts this with his understanding of architecture as the impetus for a renewed aesthetic sensibility and connection to the outside world. It also explores the presence of melancholy in both “Building Stories” and Lost Buildings, and how Ware remakes it into the imagination of the ruin as whole by engaging with the built environment.

Keywords:   comics, Chicago, Chris Ware, flânerie, mechanical reproduction, modernity, ruins, architecture, Lost Buildings, melancholy

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