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The ACME Novely Library Annual Report to Shareholders

Guest Wall Bird

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Guest Wall Bird

Alright guys, I recently picked up a copy of Chris Ware's 'ACME Novelty Library Annual Report to Shareholders' and came across this strip. I was so impressed by it's composition that I had to post it all for everyone to see.


A little bit of background for those who haven't read Big Tex before. It's a relatively simple comic strip in which Big Tex, a clueless dimwitted moron, is constantly treated cruelly or insulted by his father who is embarrassed by his son.


That's it. There's not really a punch line to any of Chris Ware's writing, so don't expect one.


Anywho, let's look at this comic:




Although clearly delineated by a set of panels it can be viewed as a series of window pains observing the exact same view at differing points in time. The comic is presented in a reverse chronology showing first the decay of Tex's family home, the death of his parents, the actions of "present day" Tex, and the past abuses by his father, all the way back to Tex's childhood where he plants the tree that dominates the perspective.


Although this is a fantastic example of Chris Ware's command over the medium, for those who have seen his work before they will know that it is only a fraction of his graphic virtuosity. The book that I read this in is itself an astonishing example of Ware's total craftsmanship. Let me explain:




The book came packaged in shrink-wrap. Once removed there was a beautiful paper ribbon displaying the title, author, library info, etc… across it. It's the kind of paper strip that one would normally throw away upon purchase. I could not bring myself to do so. Upon removing it I found that the underside of said ribbon featured a full color comic across it, written from the author's perspective, apologizing for the material inside and admitting that it was simply a collection of work that he has put out in between his frustrated attempts to create another graphic novel with a fully resonant storyline worthy of release. Thanks to Chris' immaculate design I now have a fragile and awkward, yet beautiful scrap of paper floating around my home that I cannot bring myself to throw away.


There are a million details that I could illustrate, but there are simply too many and they would fail to convey the sense of awe that one gets from simply holding this magnificently rendered book in their hands.


Way to go Chris.


Here are a few more examples (not from the book) to drive it home:





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