Award-Winning Cartoonist and Graphic Novelist Chris Ware to Present Lecture

Award-winning cartoonist and graphic novelist Chris Ware will present a free public lecture on the Rutgers–Camden campus at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29.

The talk, which is free of charge and open to the general public, will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room on the main level of the Campus Center, located on Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Rutgers–Camden campus. A reception will follow and Ware’s books will be available to purchase and for him to sign.

Ware’s visit is part of the Rutgers–Camden master of fine arts (MFA) program’s celebrated Writers in Camden series, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.  It also coincides with “Compulsive Narratives:  Stories that MUST Be Told, The Graphic Novel as Confession and Inspiration,” an exhibition at the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers–Camden.

“We are pleased to welcome renowned graphic novelist Chris Ware to Rutgers–Camden,” says Cyril Reade, director of the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts. “His visit and lecture reflects a convergence of interests from several disciplines across the Rutgers–Camden campus.”

Beginning on Jan. 16, the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers–Camden will become a haven for artists displaying comix versions of their life stories through a marriage of drawings and text, and comix-influenced work in other mediums. For further details, including a full list of graphic novelists appearing in the show, please visit news.camden.rutgers.edu.

Hailed for his versatility and innovation, Ware attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he published a regular comic strip in the student newspaper, which caught the attention of Art Spiegelman, who gave the unknown cartoonist four pages in RAW magazine. He moved to Chicago in the early 90s and began publishing in the pages of the Chicago alternative weekly New City and then, until 2006, The Chicago Reader, which has formed the bulk of material that he's been collecting in his regular periodical, The ACME Novelty Library, since 1994.

Offering both serialized stories and short experiments in comics form, a collection of the same name was issued in a large-format hardcover by Pantheon Books in 2005. From both this strip and periodical emerged the graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan – the Smartest Kid on Earth (Pantheon, 2000), which received an American Book Award in 2000, the Guardian First Book Award in 2001, and the French comics award "L'Alph Art" in 2003. In 2009, Jimmy Corrigan was named as one of the “100 Best Books of the Decade” by The Times (London).

Ware is also the author of The Acme Novelty Datebook Volumes 1 and 2 (Drawn & Quarterly, 2003, 2007), Quimby the Mouse (Fantagraphics, 2003), was the editor of the 13th issue of McSweeney’s (2005), and was the guest editor of Houghton-Mifflin's The Best American Comics 2007. He is a contributor to The New Yorker, and was the cartoonist chosen to inaugurate The New York Times Magazine’s Funny Pages section in late 2005. His most recent book Building Stories was a New York Times Top 10 Book of the Year and was, amongst other honors, awarded four Eisner Awards. He is currently at work on a long-form graphic novel, Rusty Brown.

Ware's work has appeared in many national and international art exhibits, including the Whitney Biennial exhibit in 2002. He continues to publish his strips as he finishes them, in the pages of the Virginia Quarterly Review. His ongoing Acme Novelty Library series reached its 20th issue in 2010. He was recently awarded the Hoi Fellowship by the newly formed United States Artists, a nonprofit organization that makes direct grants to working artists. Ware currently resides in Oak Park, Ill., with his wife, Marnie, a high school science teacher, and their daughter, Clara.

The Stedman Gallery is located in the Fine Arts Complex on Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, on the Rutgers–Camden campus. For directions to campus, please visit camden.rutgers.edu/resources/getting-to-campus.

For further information regarding Ware’s visit, please contact Patrick Rosal at 856-225-6121.

For further information regarding the gallery show, please contact Cyril Reade at 856-225-6242.

Tom McLaughlin
Rutgers–Camden
Editorial/Media Specialist
(856) 225-6545
thomas.mclaughlin@camden.rutgers.edu

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