Chris Ware (1967 – )

Chris Ware

Born December 28, 1967 (Omaha, Nebraska)
American author, illustrator

Comic book artist Chris Ware is sometimes compared to literary giants Raymond Carver, William Faulkner, Charles Dickens, and James Joyce. Poet J. D. McClatchey has called him the “Emily Dickinson of comics,” referring to the nineteenth-century poet known for her sometimes obscure poems. Ware himself shies away from such comparisons, telling interviewers that he is a poor writer and generally playing down his talent and achievements. He told Beth Nissen of CNN Book News, for example, that “The pictures are ideograms—drawn words, if that makes any sense … the pictures tell the story—I’m a terrible writer.” He is famous for his meticulously drawn images, tiny details, and careful colorings. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Ware’s first full-length graphic novel, took seven years to write, but it won him the prestigious Guardian First Book Award in 2001. A reviewer for Book magazine wrote that “Ware’s are some of the most beautiful pictures ever seen in comic books.”

Drawing was the only way I had of distinguishing myself, of trying to impress people … with my one pathetic ability.”

Raised in Nebraska

Franklin Christenson Ware was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on December 28, 1967, the only son of Doris Ann Ware, a single mother who was a reporter on the same newspaper as her father, the Omaha World-Herald. Ware did not know his father and grew up living with his mother and maternal grandparents. He often spent hours copying cartoons from back issues of the newspaper while his mother worked on the other side of the desk. For a while he studied art at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, but he learned about comics primarily by studying and copying them. Known in school as “Albino” because of his pale complexion, Ware has said that he used drawing as a way to avoid being bullied. He told Nissen, “Drawing was the only way I had of distinguishing myself, of trying to impress people—impress people with my one pathetic ability,” he said, with a rueful laugh. “There’s nothing less impressive than a scrawny kid with poofy hair, drawing

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