Telling Stories in a VERY Unique Way…

When I read the New York Times Book Review of Chris Ware’s “Building Stories,” I found myself scratching my head. He did what??

Ware created a graphic novel, called “Building Stories,” that comes in a box containing 14 pieces:

  • four newspaper-like broadsheets
  • three magazines
  • two pamphlets
  • two standalone strips
  • one four-panel storyboard that will remind nerdier readers of a Dungeon Master’s Screen
  • one hardbound book
  • something that looks like the Little Golden Book series for children, down to the gilt on its spine.

Source: NPR

Talk about an extensive bill of materials!

“Which order should one read them?” asked the writer of the Times review, Douglas Wolk.

Now there’s a dilemma. But somehow, I still wasn’t getting a visual.

Special thanks to A/V Club for putting this piece together. Scroll down to see a video of the “unboxing” of Chris Ware’s graphic novel.

I’d love to interview Mr. Ware regarding his inspiration for no only the stories, but how the stories are presented.

I am kind of blown away by the fact that it is non-linear — the reader can select a point of entry and just dive in. If I were stuck somewhere without electricity and a dead Kindle, this might be just the thing to “while away the hours.”

I Googled around to see what other folks were writing about Ware’s work.

Rachel Cooke of The Observer said:

“Building Stories does things no traditional novel can, or not without much lumbering effort; and it does other things no comic has hitherto pulled off. No wonder, then, that opening it for the first time makes you feel like a child at Christmas. It’s a thing to be treasured, a box of delights.”

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NPR’s Glen Weldon (Bits Of Beauty Amidst The Gloom In ‘Building Stories’) talked about how the format is what sets the work apart and how fundamentally that format shapes the reader’s experience.

“…The medium allows us to adopt a perspective that is not merely omniscient but truly godlike: Ware’s characters remain trapped in their tiny panels, but we are above them, looking in, and can see what they can’t — the travails that await them — with a simple flick of our eyes across the page…”

Okay, I need to check it out for sure!

 

It lists for $50, but can be found for $30 at Amazon.

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