November 27, 2012
To prove we still need books printed on paper.
A great review at The Guardian: Chris Ware's new graphic novel comes in a cardboard box, like BS Johnson's The Unfortunates, or an old-fashioned board game. Inside, are 14 "distinctively discrete" books and pamphlets of varying sizes. Each one of these stands alone, and since – in theory – they may be read in any order, several members of a comic-loving family could happily read Building Stories over the course of the same afternoon. But they work together, too, combining to depict, in rich and multifaceted fashion, the mostly unhappy lives of the inhabitants of a single Chicago apartment block. Ware's box, then, isn't a gimmick, but a sort of proxy. Like the crumbling building at his story's heart, it's a repository of misery, loneliness and misunderstandings. As Philip Larkin had it: "Home is so sad."
At Amazon.ca. (Unfortunately cheaper at Amazon.com). Also at Indigo.