“Quimby the Mouse” illustrator to speak at the Cleveland Public Library

CPL brings authors and illustrators to speak about works and process.

Jessica Yang, Contributing Reporter

The Cleveland Public Library has yet again brought back their “Writers and Readers” series, featuring authors, illustrators and personalities like Chris Ware (illustrator for “Quimby the Mouse”), Ta-Nehisi Coates (former editor at The Village Voice and The Atlantic) , Jesmyn Ward (author of “Salvage the Bones” and “Where the Line Bleeds”) and Dan Savage (founder of the It Gets Better Project).

On Oct. 5th, illustrator Chris Ware will be speaking at the main Cleveland Public Library in the Louis Stokes Wing auditorium about his works and his process. Ware is the illustrator behind popular children’s novels and comics such as “Quimby the Mouse,” “Rusty Brown,” “Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth” and “Acme Novelty Library.”

Chris Ware is known for his exploration of depression, social isolation and loneliness. Self-trained, Chris Ware creates most of his comics by hand, except for a small portion of the text. However, his stories go beyond the art, since his comics have won multiple literary prizes and acclaim, breaking the norm for comics. He’s changed the comic world, stabilizing its place in both literature and art.

Poet J.D McClatchy, a fan of Ware, has said, “Chris Ware is the Emily Dickinson of comics. He takes all the accoutrements of an ordinary household and… first the floorboards disappear and there’s a void. And where you would expect demons, there’s your family— familiar, grotesque and menacing. Then the ceiling rolls back, and where you might expect God is emptiness. A blank bubble of meaning, the meaning of our anxious fears and ravenous desires.”

This sentiment has been echoed by others, even by Pulitzer-Prize winning artist Art Spiegelman, author and illustrator of “Maus.” Spiegelman was responsible for Ware’s first national publication in RAW, an international magazine legendary for non-mainstream comic artists.

Especially stressed at the event will be his most recent works, the “Jimmy Corrigan” series, which has been lauded by critics, with The New Yorker calling it “the first formal masterpiece of the medium” and “Building Stories,” an unconventional comic that’s packaged in a box with fourteen different objects such as flip books, newspapers and broadsheets.

After the talk, there will be an audience Q&A and a book signing.

The Chris Ware event is at the main Cleveland Public Library in the Louis Stokes Wing auditorium at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. The event is free to the public and there will be books available for purchase.