Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Couple Pages From the Last Thing I Read

With some of my Christmas book-cash, I went to Barnes and Noble and bought the Acme Novelty Library Vol. 16, written and drawn by the oft-discussed graphic novelist, Chris Ware. I've been reading Ware's stuff each week in the New York Times Magazine -- late last year they started publishing a page each week of a series called Building Stories. The story in the Acme Novelty Library is like the Building Stories: depressing, hyper-realistic, usually told in real-time about crushingly regular people having bad times that may likely strike the reader as eerily familiar. Anyway, in ANLVol.16 (what a goofy title), Chris Ware puts himself into the story. In interviews he talks about the perception that he draws depressing comics, and insists that depressing people is not his aim. He addresses this perception very neatly in (deep breath) Acme Novelty Library Vol. 16 in these two pages. The punchline is, for me, hilarious. See what you think.

(Also: any opinions or notes on whether or not my posting this copyrighted material on my blog is illegal or not? It feels kind of illegal. I mean, what's stopping me from scanning in the whole thing and posting it, right? Is an attributed, 2-page sample constitute copyright violation? Does anyone have any info on this subject?)

All right. Tomorrow be Friday. More then.

4 comments:

blankfist said...

I just don't get it. Maybe it would help if you scanned in the entire graphic novel giving me a broader sense of what they were talking about, being that in no way that would be illegal. Copyrights are more... guidelines than laws, nowadays. If someone really didn't want you to copy their materials, then they wouldn't let it out of their sights, instead they'd horde it like money in the matress.

But, seriously, what's the punchline? These two guys are chatting in what appears to be a teacher's lounge, and the one, Chris, starts going on and on about some philosophical point of view regarding depersonalization and the what nots. It's all very tedious and disinteresting, which is how it is when you're reaching out for a personable connection, hoping the person you're bearing your soul to will find the subject matter relatable and offer valuable insight, but instead he gives you a lengthy denunciation of modern civilization, which is, of course, not what you were searching for. You were not searching for someone to act as surrogate tutor for decent and proper courses in your life. You were not searching for a worldy opinion of personal disillusionment from a self-appointed pious shepard. But there you are, staring at the flapping jowls of an intellectual, and your efforts to find someone with a true relatable connection are lost beneath their self-satisfying perspectives of your problem compared to their skewed views of the current political climate or a sense of social discontent or whatever. But, alas, in the end, after you've been utterly reduced to a factory of uncertainty, you can always rest in the knowledge that everyone else around you can also see this guy to be an asshole.

What is the punchline?!!!!!

Craig Moorhead said...

Acme Novelty Library is brilliant. Is that the volume with the "smallest comic ever drawn" on the lip of the front and back covers? Awesome stuff. Take your money and buy all the other ones, too.

blankfist said...

Crane doesn't have any money. Housewives rarely do.

blankfist said...

Harwell? I tossed you a gem there, and I haven't heard your typical "ah, noob, that made me laugh, slipnuts"...