Chris Ware’s “Building Stories”

Because I was not present for our last class meeting, I wanted to use one of my blog posts for the semester to discuss the book I chose to read and analyze, “Building Stories” by Chris Ware. I selected this book because I took a graphic literature course and recognized Chris Ware’s name. Therefore, I thought this book would be similar to some of the other works I had read by him. However, I was shocked to open up my package from amazon.com and find not one novel, but fourteen different works in the box instead. As always, I was impressed by Ware’s artistry throughout the different works that make up “Building Stories.” His usage of color, line, and space are all carefully coordinated to illustrate works that are not only interesting in textual content, but pleasant to view. The book’s main character is a woman who was in a boating accident as a child, thus resulting in the loss of her right leg below her knee. While faced with other struggles of daily life, this still remains a major part of who she is as a person and thus is something she must constantly deal with. We watch her deal with many typical twenty-something experiences in the early parts of the work, such as living on her own and dating. We continue to see her grow up, and she eventually has a child and settles down. However, the book always seems to draw back to the too familiar life dilemma of whether or not she is truly happy.

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