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  • Published: 1 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9780224078139
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 356
  • RRP: $60.00

Rusty Brown



The long-awaited new book from the author of Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth and Building Stories.

Discover the long-awaited new book from the author of Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth and Building Stories. The perfect gift for graphic novel fans!‘The week after I finished the last page of Jimmy Corrigan I immediately started a new long story based on characters who had originated as parodies, but whom now I wanted to humanize... amidst a setting of memories of my Omaha childhood and Nebraska upbringing.’ (Chris Ware, Monograph)

Now, twenty years later, Ware is publishing Rusty Brown in book form. It is, he says, ‘a fully interactive, full-colour articulation of the time-space interrelationships of six complete consciousnesses on a single Midwestern American day and the tiny piece of human grit about which they involuntarily orbit.’ The six characters are Rusty Brown himself, a shy schoolkid obsessed with superheroes, his father ‘Woody’ Brown, an eccentric teacher at Rusty’s school, Chalky White, another schoolboy, Alison White, Chalky’s sister, Jason Lint, an older boy who bullies Rusty and Chalky and fancies Alison, and the boys’ teacher, Joanne Cole. Ware tells each of their stories in minute detail (or as he puts it, ‘From childhood to old age, no frozen plotline is left unthawed’), producing another masterwork of the comics form that is at once achingly beautiful, heartbreakingly sad and painfully funny.

‘A treasure trove of invention… With its awe-inspiring exploration of regret and ageing, anxiety and ennui… Rusty Brown is a human document of rare richness’ Guardian ‘Chris Ware is one of the great writers of our generation…I spent 20 minutes reading the cover of Rusty Brown. Buy it. Buy all his work. Make your life larger.’ Mark Haddon, Observer

  • Published: 1 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9780224078139
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 356
  • RRP: $60.00

About the author

Chris Ware

Chris Ware lives in Oak Park, Chicago, Illinois. His books include Jimmy Corrigan, the SmartestKid on Earth, which won the Guardian First Book Award in 2001, Building Stories and most recently Monograph, which is part memoir, part retrospective of his career to date. He has won countless awards for his work and has been the subject of several museum exhibitions and scholarly monographs. His work appears regularly in the New Yorker.

Also by Chris Ware

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Praise for Rusty Brown

An astounding graphic novel about nothing less than the nature of life and time... Ware's dazzling geometric art – pointillism for Woody's eyesight sans glasses; close-ups of Joanne's face through the decades – has never been better... Ware again displays his virtuosic ability to locate the extraordinary within the ordinary, elevating normal lives into something profound, unforgettable, and true.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A treasure trove of invention With its awe-inspiring exploration of regret and ageing, anxiety and ennui, Ware’s latest graphic novel is…deserving of sustained and repeated attention… Rusty Brown is a human document of rare richness – infinitely sad, intimately attuned to desolation and disappointment, but never closed to the possibility of a breakthrough, of someone transcending a dead-end, sad-sack fate. Though pain is germinal, love and hope exist.

Leo Robson, Guardian *Book of the Day*

Chris Ware's adventurous, sprawling, dazzling book [Rusty Brown]...is so intricately designed that, like many of Ware’s books, the result is an art objectYou feel protective, anxious about dog-earing anything, worried you’ll blink and miss something. And that’s before you reach the story… there are winter days here I haven’t seen since childhood, and a stillness so evocative and tender you feel like an intruder. Which is the point, a generous act of detailing, and honoring, everyday life.

Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune

Moving, sourly funny and virtuosically drawn… It’s hard to express in prose how imaginatively and effectively Ware marries words to images, how expressive his almost diagrammatically minimalist style can be, how he juxtaposes banality and trauma, how he sketches the passing of time and the sense of nowhereness in blank wide shots.

Sam Leith, Daily Telegraph

The biggest story in graphic novels this year was the return of Chris Warethe epically inventive Rusty Brown is a single day at a Nebraska school in the mid-1970s, from which Ware spins the life stories of a shy nerd, his frustrated father, the privileged class jerk and a thoughtful, banjo-playing teacher.

James Smart, Guardian *Books of the Year*

Rusty Brown is a towering achievement… [and] a powerful and sometimes heartbreaking book.

Doug Johnstone, Big Issue

Once seen, the Ware technique is compelling and unmistakeable… those who loved Jimmy Corrigan are going to faint with delight at Rusty Brown… the combination of a hypnotic drawing stlye and the characters rattling around within the doll’s house his technique creates makes for a mesmerising few hours.

Strong Words

Mordantly funny and beautifully drawn.

Sarah Hughes

Charting the lives of Nebraskan outcast Rusty Brown and his family, friends, and enemies, Ware brings his telescoping lens to the large and small details of his characters’ intersecting, brutally human experiences. His dazzling geometric art amply rewards the challenge posed by each puzzle-like page.

Rich Johnston, Bleeding Cool

Ware's storytelling holds a magnifying glass over their existences, revealing their lives in intricate, miniscule detail. His artwork is evocative and strangely hypnotic – veering between funny, sad and thought provoking.

Natalie Xenos, Culturefly, *Books of the Year*

Chris Ware is one of the great writers of our generation whose graphic novels make most novels (both the graphic and the regular kind) seem thin and simplistic. I spent 20 minutes reading the cover of Rusty Brown. Buy it. Buy all his work. Make your life larger.

Mark Haddon, Observer, *Books of the Year*

Rusty Brown… [is] utterly amazing…push[ing] the form [of graphic novels] in new directions.

Rachel Cooke, Observer, *Books of the Year*

A mindblowing volume of draughtsmanship.

Strong Words, *Books of the Year*

A huge, elaborate, non-linear work… Chris Ware illuminates our current condition of fragmented alienation and stunted desires.

Teddy Jamieson, Herald, *Books of the Year*

This is the work of a tremendously gifted cartoonist whose formal brilliance is indisputable, and whose sprawling narratives come to us via endlessly inventive pages. Rusty Brown is another masterpiece from Ware, and is unmissable.

Pete Redrup, Quietus, *Books of the Year*

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