Twelve years after he changed the history of comics with Jimmy Corrigan, a new graphic novel masterpiece by Chris Ware.
In Chris Ware's own words, 'Building Stories follows the inhabitants of a three-flat Chicago apartment house: a thirty-year-old woman who has yet to find someone with whom to spend the rest of her life; a couple who wonder if they can bear each other's company for another minute; and finally an elderly woman who never married and is the building's landlady...'
The scope, the ambition, the artistry and emotional heft of this project are beyond anything even Chris Ware has achieved before.
Building Stories is like nothing you've ever seen before. It will make Jimmy Corrigan look like novella.
Jimmy Corrigan is almost universally acknowledged as the most ambitious, most fully realized graphic novel ever published. In the UK it has sold more than 20,000 copies in hardback, 25,000 in paperback. It was also the first graphic novel/comic to win the Guardian First Book Award, a book 'which challenges us to think again about what literature is and where it is going'.
Comics fans have been waiting for this book for over a decade. Bits and pieces of it have appeared in magazines like the New Yorker and the Independent on Sunday. A quick web search will show how avidly people are anticipating this book.
It is the ultimate book as object. The term 'gift book' seems scarcely adequate, but it definitely applies. The US copyright catalogues its components as '14 easily misplaced elements'; the back of the box lists the varied contents as '14 distinctively discrete Books, Booklets, Magazines, Newspapers, and Pamphlets.'
Chris Ware is the author of Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, which won the Guardian First Book Award in 2001, and Quimby the Mouse (2003). Winner of countless awards, he is widely acknowledged as the most gifted cartoonist of his generation.