Building Stories

Building Stories After years of sporadic work on other books and projects and following the almost complete loss of his virility it s here a new graphic novel by Chris Ware Building Stories imagines the inhabitants o

After years of sporadic work on other books and projects and following the almost complete loss of his virility, it s here a new graphic novel by Chris Ware Building Stories imagines the inhabitants of a three story Chicago apartment building a 30 something woman who has yet to find someone with whom to spend the rest of her life a couple, possibly married, who wonderAfter years of sporadic work on other books and projects and following the almost complete loss of his virility, it s here a new graphic novel by Chris Ware Building Stories imagines the inhabitants of a three story Chicago apartment building a 30 something woman who has yet to find someone with whom to spend the rest of her life a couple, possibly married, who wonder if they can bear each other s company another minute and the building s landlady, an elderly woman who has lived alone for decades Taking advantage of the absolute latest advances in wood pulp technology, Building Stories is a book with no deliberate beginning nor end, the scope, ambition, artistry and emotional prevarication beyond anything yet seen from this artist or in this medium, probably for good reason.

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Building Stories

  1. CHRIS WARE is widely acknowledged as the most gifted and beloved cartoonist of his generation by both his mother and seven year old daughter His Jimmy Corrigan The Smartest Kid on Earth won the Guardian First Book Award and was listed as one of the 100 Best Books of the Decade by the London Times in 2009 An irregular contributor to This American Life and The New Yorker where some of the pages of this book first appeared his original drawings have been exhibited in the Whitney Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and in piles behind his work table in Oak Park, Illinois.

213 Reply to “Building Stories”

  1. 4 12 I just finished this brilliant, brilliant book that comes in a game box, larger than a Monopoly box , with various sizes and colors and shapes of books and magazines and flyers and a children s book and a game board Why a game box, with a game board To resuscitate, in part, the idea of reading as game, if not exactly fun on that later I think the publication of Building Stories is one of the most important events in the history of graphic literature, an instant classic, but it is not all p [...]

  2. The title Ware chose for this wonderful assemblage of art work and words makes me think about the many ways in which authors tell their tales It also prompts thoughts on how we size people up Ware s creation gives us plenty to say about story building and profiling Context, the narrative arc, appeals to our emotions, structuring, and connections among characters and to our empathetic selves all enter into it You ve no doubt seen the box that houses the contents In it are 14 individual booklets o [...]

  3. Beautiful box Beautiful books and newspapers and foldout strips An epic of the everyday The graphic novel response to Ulysses, with all the humour and ebullience removed Like B.S Johnson s book in a box The Unfortunates, each of the separate components can be read in either order, and like that fine novel, each deal in part with loss and devastation and loneliness and devastating loneliness The protagonist of this novel is a miserable neurotic woman with an artificial shank whose entire life is [...]

  4. Note this review looks much better on the site from which it comes And has pictures There are an unexpected number of grocery shots in this book Back in March 2011, during that year s Tournament of Books, I was introduced to what might be best described as a concept book Nox is Anne Carson s literary project to unearth the identity of her recently departed, long estranged brother Instead of pages of text bound between a front and back cover, Nox is a box containing a robust accordion fold colle [...]

  5. 4.5 starsThis work contains, in a beautiful carton, fourteen discrete pieces one that looks like a Little Golden Book another as large and colorful as the Sunday comics and another with print so small I had to take off my glasses to read it, same for the few small illustrations along the inner side of the bottom part of the box I read somewhere that the creator of this work says it can be read in any order and I m sure that s true, as the work is anything but linear I read it in the order that s [...]

  6. While I comport myself in a solid even keeled way, topped by a serious face, inside I ride waves of turbulent emotions My inner moods pendulum between absolute cosmic bleakness and star hopping ecstasy, with an occasional glide through stretches of dull unspecified sadness The rest is routine involvement in those things I enjoy doing, and so could be called happiness I suppose, though looking at me few would know The stretches of dull unspecified sadness are the least interesting to me, though e [...]

  7. Check out that photo above that I stole from Isn t it pretty It s a whole bunch of reading devices that fit into a colorful box There s a hardbound book, there s a Little Golden Books style book, a couple newspaper sized comics, and several doodads and even two or three various whatchamajigs It weighs in at six pounds.This is the incredibly creative Building Stories by Chris Ware In it, the reader discovers the lives of mainly four characters who share the same building They re all very normal T [...]

  8. I finally got my hands on BUILDING STORIES and was disappointed to discover that all of the reviews that called it a ground breaking new format where the reader connects the pieces to assemble an apartment building full of interlocking stories weren t literal Guys, I really thought this book was a kit to build an actual model building I m so bummed

  9. A collection of interwoven graphic stories meant to be shuffled and read in random order, Ware s Building Stories has gotten a lot of attention in 2013 as comic writing continues to sidle awkwardly past puberty like a wimpy kid hoping to get past a group of dicks with their hats backwards before they notice him and take his lunch money Metaphors, bitch It s reasonably effective The lead story here, about a young woman who s convinced her life is awful and then later is convinced it s awful in a [...]

  10. A recent, happy holiday in Germany alone with my wife afforded me both a cheap copy of Building Stories discovered, by some fluke, in a spa town fleamarket and the chance to read it, in collusion with my wife, over three quiet evenings with the various pieces of Chris Ware s puzzle spread across the loungeroom floor It was quite an experience Some readers my wife included have suggested that Ware s opus is depressing Goodreader Eddie Watkins referred to Ware s Asperger s of sadness and MJ Nichol [...]

  11. Where do we start What do we do next How do we make sense out of all this With Chris Ware s Building Stories, as with life, the answer seems to be, Just keep going It will all come together, probably Building Stories is a challenging, rewarding reading experience I can t say book I can t say graphic novel I can t say comic None of those words quite fit Building Stories Chris Ware s newest work is the story of woman s life, and it comes in what looks like a game box, similar to Monopoly or Life A [...]

  12. The problem with Building Stories is that while Ware is still a skilled and intelligent cartoonist, in context of his own work it doesn t really represent any kind of move forward It s really of the same, with razzle dazzle in the form of packaging The characters are moribund and whiny, endlessly going on their gloomy, bitter monologues to the point where the whole venture becomes tiresome Part of this is due to the fact that Ware relies less on his visuals and presentation to tell a story and [...]

  13. This book gets all the stars.Wow Not only a crazy innovative, unconventional format for telling stories with sequential art, but the actual stories are substantive and brilliantly insightful, AND the art is simplistically fantastic.Each story adds so much color, fleshing out the history of a woman s life And Chris Ware uses the graphic format to penetrate life on the surface and get into this woman s head in a way that is unique to the medium he is using I LOVE BOOKS THAT RAISE THE BAR OF WHAT A [...]

  14. First impressions Wow this is heavy Last impressions Still heavy.To label this as comics as I did here is wrong on so many levels But it is the word I picked for graphic novels, even though this is outside of that shelf too This is like a box of melancholy, slices of lives lived in an apartment building in just on the outskirts of Chicago.We follow the lives of the old landlady, the amputee woman dreaming of love, and of a young couple disappointed in how partnership turned out to be so flat, so [...]

  15. An amazing piece of art literature that works on so many levels, absolutely brilliant and affecting and beautiful From the box to each of the books object within, each element works together and independently to build enough story for many years worth of rewarding re reads

  16. Building Stories is a sprawling, obtuse, non linear mess of a book, if it can even be called a book or any sort of unified narrative It centers mostly around the life of a perfectly average woman who, like most of Ware s characters, spends most of her life being miserable If you haven t heard of it or seen it, it s a set of 14 distinctively discrete books, booklets, magazines, newspapers and pamphlets that hails from the author of Jimmy Corrigan probably the best comic book I ve ever read , who [...]

  17. A plot synopsis really doesn t do Building Stories justice Chris Ware is telling a pretty simple story here tracking the lives of a small collection of Chicago apartment dwellers over a 10 year period or so, with occasional flights of fancy in which the building itself is a character Oh, and there s also a side story involving a bee named Branford If you ve read Ware s most well known comic, Jimmy Corrigan, you ll notice a lot of similarities most prominently the trademark art style intricately [...]

  18. I remember my high school art teacher telling me a story once about when Bob Dylan met the Beatles for the first time at a party According to my art teacher, Dylan saw the Four from across a room and sneered, You guys have so much power, and you could do anythingd you choose to make this And in no way, obviously, could anything Chris Ware does be worthy of such vitriol It s too smart, too intricate, too multi faceted a monument to what craft, focus, and workmanship can create And with Building S [...]

  19. I ve not read many graphic novels where the protagonist didn t wear a cape or their underwear outside of their pants With that confession out of the way I d like to say that Chris Ware has done something special with the medium here His artwork is not lush in fact it has a geometrical quality Most of the panels are tiny, and large objects such as the building just provide another opportunity to showcase a lot of small panels The real story here is how Ware is able to use the compact panels to co [...]

  20. How to describe this strange yet wonderful box of loveliness Building stories is odd, sweet, sad, beautiful and quixotic yet that barely scratches the surface Made up of what I can only guess are chapters in varied formats, with no true end or beginning, its sprawling size is a bit overwhelming straight out of the box Yet the melancholy story of the tenants of an old building is fascinating despite or, maybe because of the fact that it s a cartoon It is an intimate look at the human condition th [...]

  21. It s amazing that Pantheon had the guts to publish this in the form it deserved Chris Ware is one of a kind and we are very lucky that he uses comics to tell his stories He pushes the boundaries of what is possible in the medium I find his work incredibly inspiring A project like this makes me want to work harder.

  22. It s hard to know what to say about this On the one hand, it s a fascinating experiment fourteen comics pieces, in various formats including fold out game board and sizes right up to newspaper size for two of the pieces , with no designated reading order Therefore, readers to some extent build the story themselves by selecting the reading order Ware probably has no equal when it comes to innovative page design Many ways you might imagine a page being constructed or the panels being sequenced and [...]

  23. I don t know why I keep reading Chris Ware s stuff I know I m going to wind up depressed when I m done reading, but I do it anyway Maybe that s part of his genius His comics graphic novels alternate between whimsy like Quimby the Mouse and something in the realm of literary fiction, and I eat it up But much like some people do with popular fiction s most famous authors i.e Stephen King, John Grisham, even Nicholas Sparks , Mr Ware releases something new and I say to myself, Must get So how does [...]

  24. This was a really cool concept and a really great book However, the story is kinda depressing and while it was super realistic and cool it was also kind of morose So five stars on this super cool way to create a book I don t even know whether to call this a graphic novel or not I really loved this whole thing However, only 3 stars on the story because there was really no message from it in the end and was kinda depressing for depression s sake or something.

  25. The positive I enjoy Chris Ware s artwork style I also appreciate his typography talents, and his use of some very beautiful cursive style lettering I like the cursive capitals he uses in some of the text passages I liked the architectural style of the exploded view of the apartment building it reminded me of lego assembly instructions, and you could see sort of the mapping of the rooms of each floor Also the fruit in tidy rows and very uniform pictures are great More of that, please The negativ [...]

  26. It comes in a large rectangular cardboard box, assorted as 14 various sized booklets, pamphlets, magazines.There is no particular order to read them in They contain a story of the lives of residents in a three story Chicago apartment, and they give each reader the opportunity of experiencing a different and personalized book with the same material.As in his previous works, this one also offers very powerful and emotional stories They follow around the four inhabitants, who are somehow connected [...]

  27. As someone who handles the printing and manufacturing of high production value illustrated books for a living, I have to say I was not at all impressed by this package No offense to the legendary Andy Hughes who handled the production on this quality is lovely, just not all that impressive So apparently this artful jumble of 14 supposedly varied and unique pieces are meant to be a celebration of the lost art of printed matter, a return to the tactile ur wonders of comics art, a paean to the many [...]

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