Chris Ware’s “Hurricane Harvey”

The latest issue of The New Yorker, ironically dated September 11th, features this timely, sad, and poignant cover by Chris Ware, titled “Hurricane Harvey.”

Click to enlarge this photo of my issue.

Mr. Ware went to school in Austin, as his long time readers know, and spoke about those days recently, here.

My thoughts are with readers, and everyone effected, or about to be, by Hurricanes Harvey & Irma. As I write this, Irma may be about to hit. I hope it makes a drastic last minute turn and heads out to the Atlantic Ocean. If not? Stay safe.

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Drop What You’re Doing And Read The Story of Emil Ferris

NOTHING stops Emil Ferris.

-Not the West Nile virus that left her paralyzed from the waist down at 40, while she happened to be the single mom of a 6 year old daughter.

-Not the resulting loss of the use of her right (drawing) hand.

-Not being so poor she learned to live on free bank coffee and food store samples.

-Not having to relearn how to use her hand and eventually even rising from her wheelchair to be able to walk, again, with the aid of a cane, or two on a “bad day”.

-Not even the loss of the entire run of her book when the Chinese shipping company transporting them went bankrupt resulting in their ship being confiscated at the Panama Canal.

“‘I was also severely hunchbacked, which is why I loved monsters,” Ms. Ferris said. “‘Absolutely astonishing,’ Chris Ware,” is quoted at the bottom

Those are some bullet points. Ms. Ferris, herself, draws her story better than I can tell it—–> here. And, you can actually hang out with her while she draws, here. The Times wrote about her, here.

There are few, if any, stories in today’s Art world more compelling, and more downright remarkable than that of Emil Ferris. What this Artist has overcome to produce her riveting and extraordinarily well done first graphic novel, “Mr Favortie Thing is Monsters” is nothing short of astounding.

All 400 pages of it.

A signed copy.

Though I recently listed her among those I feel should have been included in the Whitney Biennial, I would be extremely remiss if I did not add my voice to the chorus lauding her accomplishment, unbelievable inner fortitude, unimaginable dedication, AND talent. But, my voice will not even register alongside those of the “father of the graphic novel,” Pulitzer Prize winner, Art Spiegelman (Ms. Ferris’ “hero.” She cried after he shook her damaged right hand in congratulations last winter), and the contemporary master of the graphic novel, fellow Chicagoan Chris Ware- both have heaped raves on Ms. Ferris and her book.

I’m not here to sell you anything, but if you were to go out and buy a copy of it from your favorite brick and mortar Bookstore, now that the second edition of it is out, you’d be supporting a very deserving Artist.

…like The Strand. I love Heather’s signs, but I don’t endorse violence…especially against Art books.

No matter what the rest of the year brings the Art World, 2017 will, also, be remembered as the year Emil Ferris overcame EVERYTHING, and, then astonished the world.

*- Soundtrack for this Post is “Shining Star,” by Earth, Wind & Fire.

Thanks to kitty for research assistance.

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“You Look So Much Better”


“Little Triggers you pull with your tongue”*

Chris Ware, the brilliant graphic artist who gave us “Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth,” in 2000, and the more recent “Building Stories,” in 2013, is someone who always seemed to me to be fascinated by the history of graphic design and artists, but wary of technology and the prospects of “advancing” a paper-bound art through the use of cutting edge tech. That seemed to have softened in September, 2014 when his next book, “The Following Saturday” began appearing in installments ONLINE at The Guardian. I was surprised, though Ware has history with The Guardian, who famously gave him it’s best First Book Award in 2001 for Jimmy C, the first time the award had ever gone to a graphic novel.

This week, however, he has broken new entirely ground by taking his poignant drawing for this week’s New Yorker (above) and turing it into an animated short! It’s the first animated work of his I’ve seen (though he refers to 2 cartoons he did in 2007-9 in the accompanying column he wrote, which also may be a first). And? With it he steps right into some pretty deep water. The result is something I recommend you check out here, in full screen.

So, be careful what you say to those you love!

*-Soundtrack for this post is “Little Triggers” by Elvis Costello and published by Universal Music Publishing. It appears on his early classic album, “This Year’s Model,” also highly recommended.

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