Acme Novelty Library

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Acme Novelty Library is a singular and artistically adventurous comic book created by Chicago cartoonist Chris Ware and published by Fantagraphics Books. It is considered a significant work in alternative comics.

Various issues have been printed in different formats, sometimes a small paperback, sometimes a standard comic book, and sometimes a large "poster book" measuring 17 inches on a side.

The defining characteristics of Ware's work include a pervasive sadness and nihilism, tales of disappointment, thwarted affection, and the dehumanization of the individual in a modern and mechanized world. The series defies artistic and publishing conventions while remaining accessible.

Early issues serialized Ware's first major graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, a saga of a lonely childlike man and his alienated ancestors. Partly inspired by Ware's hopeful but unhappy reunion with an absentee father, the novel was later reissued in hardcover and paperback editions, to much acclaim.

Acme has also showcased early Ware comics like Quimby the Mouse from The Daily Texan; more recent strips from New City, a Chicago weekly paper; plus original novelties such as cut-outs, flip-books, and prose parodies set in tiny fonts.

Ware is one of comics' most unpredictable and versatile artists, going from style to style with no conspicuous effort. Yet consistently evident is his love for the aesthetics of early 20th century America; many strips achieve an "old-fashioned", almost iconic look.fr:Acme Novelty Library

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