Top 79 Quotes & Sayings by Chris Ware

Explore popular quotes and sayings by an American artist Chris Ware.
Chris Ware

Franklin Christenson "Chris" Ware is an American cartoonist known for his Acme Novelty Library series and the graphic novels Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth (2000), Building Stories (2012) and Rusty Brown (2019). His works explore themes of social isolation, emotional torment and depression. He tends to use a vivid color palette and realistic, meticulous detail. His lettering and images are often elaborate and sometimes evoke the ragtime era or another early 20th-century American design style.

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Well, there are better cartoonists now than there ever have been. I firmly believe that. There's some amazing work being done.
I guess I just don't like being physically in front of people I don't know very well, because I expect to be 'seen through,' or, even worse, instantly hated.
I don't think of myself as an illustrator. I think of myself as a cartoonist. I write the story with pictures - I don't illustrate the story with the pictures. β€” Β© Chris Ware
I don't think of myself as an illustrator. I think of myself as a cartoonist. I write the story with pictures - I don't illustrate the story with the pictures.
I prefer to imagine that my wife, a few friends, and occasionally my mom are the only ones who read what I do, though I realize that this is somewhat unrealistic.
I still can't get over the idea that respectable adults now go to see superhero movies and that such films get reviewed in the 'New Yorker.' Clearly, I am seriously out of step with the times.
As children, as we learn what things are, we are slowly learning to dismiss them visually. As adults, entirely submerged in words and concepts, we spend almost all of our time thinking and worrying about the past and the future, hardly ever looking at or engaging with the world visually.
I have a preponderance to look smug in photos; something to do with the way my mouth turns up at the corners.
The real power of comics is writing as you draw.
I can definitely say that of all my friends who I consider to be really great cartoonists, we're all trying to aim at basically the same thing, which is an ever closer representation of what it feels like to be alive.
Comics, at least in periodical form, exist almost entirely free of any pretense; the critical world of art hardly touches them, and they're 100% personal.
My wife has joked that if anything ever happened to me, she'd gladly live out her life without anyone else around. I think it bugs her I'm home all the time; such is the life cycle of the cartoonist, however.
The first thing I do when I get up is I look out the window. I've been looking at the same image for six years. It's imprinted in my mind like an afterimage template.
I think it has most to do with the way in which a story is told, whether it feels real either via the music of the telling or the 'honesty' of the story.
As I've gotten older I've occasionally found myself nostalgic for earlier periods of solitude, though I realize that's also likely a false nostalgia, as I know there was nothing I wanted more during those periods than to not be alone, whatever that means.
Drawing on a computer doesn't make any sense to me. It's not intuitive.
My grandmother was an unparalleled storyteller who gave me a preview of how life might turn out, and also fortified my empathy. β€” Β© Chris Ware
My grandmother was an unparalleled storyteller who gave me a preview of how life might turn out, and also fortified my empathy.
Lately, I can't shake the feeling that I've been living a dream for the last 10 years or so; I can't account for most of my 20s, and I have to continually remind myself that certain people are dead now and many of my friends have children.
During my Austin years, I was drawing a regular strip for the University Of Texas newspaper, going to school, delivering blood, and trying to change my approach and 'style' as much as I could, since I knew that I'd calcify as I got older.
No one blames themselves if they don't understand a cartoon, as they might with a painting or 'real' art; they simply think it's a bad cartoon.
Sometimes I get worried I'm getting too caught up in the nauseatingly oily smoothness of my own line, when all I'm trying to do is make it as clear as possible.
Ragtime has about the same amount of respect as comics. And in a way they're similar art forms. Ragtime is highly compositional, and the emotion in the music is built in, whereas in jazz a lot of that emotion comes from the way it's performed.
My head looks like an uncooked ham with glasses.
I had a messy signature as a child, and my grandmother said this suggested I had no regard for other people. She was right.
A book sometimes seems to impose a through-line to life that real life doesn't actually have.
The thing I don't understand is why so often one hears discussion of the fruits of human labor as if it's all the creation of some alien race.
The thing I like most about books is that anybody can afford them. They have an innate valuelessness.
There seems to be such a laziness in - and I hate to use this phrase - the modern world. Everything is pumped out so quickly so that you can read it while passing by, like billboards or those flashcards before movie shows.
One of the things that appealed to me most about comics was that you can pick the ones you like and build your own personal pantheon.
Mostly, I was only interested in television as a kid, and the majority of reading material I collected was an adjunct to that central concern, comic books and magazines included.
Cartoons are not real drawings, because they are drawings intended to be read.
When I was a kid, I liked books that just seemed so dense you could lose yourself in them for a whole afternoon. They were like their own whole world.
When I was 11 years old, I thought, 'All I really wanna be able to do is my own comic book,' and I'm doing it. I don't have any other real ambitions. I have nothing to conquer at all.
There seems to be a peculiar kind of clamor for comics. And I'm not sure how much a part of reality that is. I think partly it's based on some idea that comics are what everybody wants to read - and I don't think that's the case.
I believe that the development of language - of naming, categorization, conceptualization - destroys our ability to see as we age.
I don't think there's any independent cartoonist whose stuff I don't like or respect in at least some way or another. We're all marginal laborers - we're practically medical oddities - so I don't see why we can't all be nice to each other.
My mother was always encouraging about my wanting to be an artist.
Comics are not a genre, but a developing language.
Comics are not illustration, any more than fiction is copywriting. Illustration is essentially the application of artistic technique or style to suit a commercial or ancillary purpose; not that cartooning can't be this (see any restaurant giveaway comic book or superhero media property as an example), but comics written and produced by a cartoonist sitting alone by him- or herself are not illustrations. They don't illustrate anything at all, they literally tell a story.
Comic strip is almost like music on a page that you perform in your mind. It's not just pictures. There's a particular rhythm and structure to it that is unlike anything else. It literally is like music. You hear it in your mind as you read it.
I was used to being disliked as a kid. Not that I didn't deserve it: I was a pretty sad and unappealing creature, and still am, I guess. It's sort of simplistic to think that one tries to make stuff that accounts for one's repulsiveness as a person, but there's some truth to it. So, when I read something unfavorable, I always take it deeply personally. It's as if my efforts have been in vain, and I should just quit.
I guess we all make choices as to how we want to live, right? β€” Β© Chris Ware
I guess we all make choices as to how we want to live, right?
Storytelling is one of comics' esthetic hurdles at the moment, which was the novelist's problem 150 years ago: namely, to take comics from storytelling into that of "writing," the major distinction between the two to me being that the former gives one the facts, but the latter tries to recreate the sensation and complexities of life within the fluidity of consciousness and experience. As far as I'm concerned, that's really all I've been trying to do formally for the past decade or more with comics, and it's certainly time-consuming, since it has to be done with drawings, not words.
I don't think that people are necessarily going to films simply because they were adapted from comics, though I could be wrong. Comics aren't really misunderstood either, they've just been mostly silly for the past century, and those genre-centered stories have found their way into the movie theaters over the past couple of decades because a generation who grew up reading them has, well, grown up.
There is absolutely no single aspect of one's personality that is more important to develop than empathy, which is not a skill at which men typically are asked to excel. I believe empathy is not only the core of art, literature and music, but should also be at the core of society, from ethics to economics.
I do worry that beginning cartoonists could feel somewhat strangled by the increasing critical seriousness comics has received of late and feel, like younger writers, that they have to have something to "say" before they set pen to paper. Many cartoonists feel even more passionate about this idea than I do, vehemently insisting that comics are inherently "non-art" and poop humor or whatever it is they think it is, but that attitude is a little like insisting that all modern writing should always take the form of The Canterbury Tales.
The "essence" of comics is fundamentally the weird process of reading pictures, not just looking at them. I see the black outlines of cartoons as visual approximations of the way we remember general ideas, and I try to use naturalistic color underneath them to simultaneously suggest a perceptual experience, which I think is more or less the way we actually experience the world as adults; we don't really "see" anymore after a certain age, we spend our time naming and categorizing and identifying and figuring how everything all fits together.
The modern world seems to make fun of people in a lot of ways.
Comics is different than writing because when you draw something you are trying to visualize it and you are trying to put yourself in that space. And when you're drawing something, all sorts of associations come up in my mind that I never would have thought of otherwise.
Fundamentally, I have no idea how the world works, though I am trying to figure it out.
A comic is a way of literally experiencing someone else's vision with a purity that I don't think any other medium offers; there are no technical, electronic or financial limitations; one only has to work harder to improve. Lately I think a new attitude has prevailed that comics aren't inherently an Art form, but that some cartoonists are genuinely artists.
Unlike prose writing, the strange process of writing with pictures encourages associations and recollections to accumulate literally in front of your eyes; people, places, and events appear out of nowhere. Doors open into rooms remembered from childhood, faces form into dead relatives, and distant loves appear, almost magically, on the page- all deceptively manageable, visceral, the combinations sometimes even revelatory.
I lose faith every time I have to start a new page, and this is no joke. I've occasionally been criticized over the past couple of years for publicly "complaining" about how difficult drawing comics is, yet I've only mentioned it so that the younger cartoonists who are trying it out and finding it difficult and painful realize that they're not alone. There's not really any set way of learning how to do this, and it's always a struggle to improve, and, more importantly, see accurately whether or not one's work is communicating any shred of feeling or truth at all.
There is something about the medium [in comics] that allows for a simulation of actual experience with the added benefit of actually reading. You're reading pictures, but you are also looking at them. It's a sort of combined activity that I can't really think of any other medium having, other than, say, a foreign film when you are reading and seeing. It allows for all sorts of associations that might not come up with just words or just pictures.
Drawing the kind of comics that I do takes so long that to specifically address something as transitory as a political matter in it would be about as effective as composing a symphony with hopes that it would depose a despot. On top of that, I personally don't think that my version of art is the best way to deal with political issues at all, or, more specifically, the place to make a point. Not that art can't, but it's the rare art that still creates something lasting if its main aim was purely to change a particular unfair social structure.
One of the most valuable things one of my art teachers said to me was, β€˜Don’t get upset by criticism. Value the fact that at least someone noticed what you did. β€” Β© Chris Ware
One of the most valuable things one of my art teachers said to me was, β€˜Don’t get upset by criticism. Value the fact that at least someone noticed what you did.
I wouldn't classify television as "cool," because to me anything that involves the reader's consciousness to drive and carry a story is an "active" medium, and anything that sort of just pours into the eyeballs and ears is the opposite.
I think cartooning gets at, and re-creates on the page, some sixth sense ... in a way no other medium can.
Even the disappointing diffusion of a sheer curtain can suggest the most colorful bouquet of unspeakable secrets.
Cartooning isn't really drawing, any more than talking is singing... The possible vocabulary of comics is by definition unlimited, the tactility of an experience told in pictures outside the boundaries of words, and the rhythm of how these drawings 'feel' when read is where the real art resides.
Lately, I cant shake the feeling that Ive been living a dream for the last 10 years or so; I cant account for most of my 20s, and I have to continually remind myself that certain people are dead now and many of my friends have children.
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