DescriptionChris Ware Acme Novelty Library #3 Cover Original Art (Fantagraphics, 1994). Every now and then, an artist appears, seemingly out of nowhere, with a body of work that is stunningly new and original, and yet evokes a feeling of traveling back in time to a style that is at once familiar and strangely distant. Nebraska-born Chris Ware is just such an artist. His earliest published strips in University of Texas at Austin's Daily Texan had the look and feel of something right out of the 1920s or '30s, with a modern sensibility that struck a nerve with 1980s college kids. But it was Ware's 1993 series with Fantagraphics, Acme Novelty Library, that cemented his reputation as one of the most meticulously detailed artists working in the medium. His offbeat narratives covered often painful, tormented themes of isolation and depression, but you wouldn't know that by simply looking at his incredible, highly detailed art. Here's is the original cover art to the third issue in the series that was notable for the many different formats and sizes for each individual issue; this one features oversized art that was greatly reduced for the final printed book (which was booklet-sized at 6" x 8"). The art is in ink and blue pencil on Bristol board, with an overall image area of 14.5" x 19", with a core illustration that measures 6" x 8". The intricate leaf and flower background design is partially drawn in blue pencil, as a guide; a second artboard includes the 3.5" x 3.5" inked pattern that was shot and repeated for the final version. This second board also includes some of Ware's incredible hand-drawn lettering, plus a color guide overlay for the background. The main cover artboard has unfortunately been folded completely across the image area horizontally about 6" to 7" down from the top edge, leaving it in overall Good condition, while the 15" x 7" second board is in Excellent condition. From the Eric Sack Collection.
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