Found this article compelling. I don’t completely agree with everything that’s said but I’m sympathetic to all of it. Space is such a huge concern in all of Ware’s comics, so it’s nice to read an interview that actively provides a few layers of context (background, environment) in which to read the comics. Most of the ideas and facts covered are familiar but it’s almost like the framework of the interview led me to appreciate the small details about interview itself. In turn, his life and work. Specific quotes. It felt humanizing in a way I hadn’t.. considered before.
On his earlier work:
Experimental’ comics,” Chris admits. “Well, basically: really pretentious, bad comics. I went through a whole period of doing comics that were about comics, which is something only an eighteen year old should do (or not at all if one can avoid it.) Then I finally starting drawing comics about real life, but without words, trying to tell stories only with pictures and to get in touch with the rhythm that pictures make in the mind when they’re read (what I’ve tiresomely called for years the ‘music’ of comics—essentially the sounds one hears when reading that can’t really be put into words, and seem to harness some odd, primal energy of emotion and action.)
On Gasoline Alley:
“There was a warmth and an unabashed unpretentiousness to it;” Ware reflects. “It was about family life, which really struck me as sort of gutsy and honest, because he wasn’t simply going for stupid gags or mean-spirited humor; he was really trying to get at something more tender and touching. His work made me feel as if it was ‘okay’ to take this approach, as well—and it had been what I’d been trying to do, but I’d been setting up all sorts of self-conscious art school obstacles in front of myself in the process. I just really wanted to put my deepest feelings on paper, and he helped me to start trying.”