Comic Book Heroes: Chris Ware

I went to the 3rd East London Comic and Arts Festival (ELCAF) on 14 June 2014 – it was a great little festival, too little as it happens because it seems a lot of people were left outside waiting even though they were ticketholders.  Lucky for me I got there early enough to get in and I managed to get a book signed by Chris Ware at the Drawn & Quarterly stall and later saw his “in conversation” session.  He’s a lovely chap but perhaps I should have read what it said in the book I asked him to sign because I rather excitedly started chattering and telling him how I’d seen and met him before with Dan Clowes and he looked really shy.  Afterwards when I looked at the book, suddenly I understood!

“The mating ritual of the North American Midwestern cartoonist is mysterious and largely undocumented.  If, for any reason, you (1) are a girl and (2) should happen to encounter the author publicly, please approach him carefully, open the book to this page, place it in his hands, and retreat to a safe distance after asking him to inscribe.”  (Excuse the  quality of the photo, I really didn’t want to fold the page down too firmly or scan it because I don’t want to ruin the book).

Chris Ware autograph

Ha ha!  Too late, I’d totally ignored his instructions but he did a cute little sketch too so I didn’t have to note his behaviour in the space below the dedication.  He’s lovely anyway and funny with a very dry sense of humour.  Here’s a couple of my snapshots of him from ELCAF:

CNV00019Chris Ware with Seth, doing book signings at the Drawn & Quarterly stand


Chris Ware screening his Quimby the Mouse cartoon during the In Conversation session

Chris Ware sketching in my book

Chris Ware sketching in my book

If you’ve not seen the Quimby the Mouse cartoon, you can watch it here.

Anyway, like I said to Chris Ware, I’d met him before when he and Dan Clowes did a joint “in conversation” session in London in 2010 – now that was an excellent session, the two of them clearly get on really well and have the same sense of humour.  Here’s a couple of photos from the Foyles session at The Cochrane Theatre from 24 May 2010:

Chris Ware Dan Clowes Cochrane Theatre 240510Chris Ware Dan Clowes Cochrane Theatre 240510 B

Poor Chris Ware – he looks so unhappy in front of a camera!

One final thing to add to this post, whilst in San Francisco recently we were told (thanks to the lovely chap at Isotope) about this Chris Ware mural above the pirate supply store (!) at 826 Valencia.  It’s very difficult to photograph as it’s quite a busy road, here’s the best shot I could manage:



All photos by Hero Culte (Raechel Leigh Carter), taken using an Olympus Trip and a Lomography Diana F+.  If you’re going to link to these photos elsewhere on the internet, please be decent and credit me – I thank you!