Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library Set At Auction Today

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Acme Novelty Library is one of the most important comic books published in the last 25 years. Steeped in the past, reflecting cartoons and designs of the twenties and thirties, with a sensibility of the fifties, Acme Novelty Library created and collated a bunch of comic book storytelling innovations that used the very concept of design to elicit emotional responses from panel-to-panel storytelling. Creator Chris Ware had worked on RAW Magazine, created strips for alternative newspapers and self-published a number of mini-comics, but it was the bold, brash insanity of the over-sized Acme Novelty Library #1 from Fantagraphics Books in 1994 that announced a superstar of indie comics and set him on the path to win the kind of awards that were at the time reserved for novelists, and gain sales that would outstrip his peers in the process. The boldness of the style and pizazz was also in counterpoint to characteristics of the work, a nihilistic, depressive melancholy, a collation of failures, and the way society pushes people down to fit certain dehumanising roles. Especially challenging for collectors is the varying sizes of issues of Acme Novelty Library from oversized A2 pages, to A5 mini-comics, with a variety of characters that came and went, including Quimby the Mouse reflecting the earliest Disney cartoons, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, a visual precursor to Stewy from Family Guy and Rusty Brown. I picked up the first copy on a whim, ordered blind through Diamond Previews. What I got was something I never prepared for, and it changed the shape of what I thought comic books could be. And now it's your turn – and right now it's priced at an absolute bargain, as part of Heritage Auctions Search, Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction 122130, and with current bids of a mere $26, below cover price, with eleven hours to go.

Acme Novelty Library Set At Auction Today
Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library Set At Auction Today
Acme Novelty Library Set At Auction Today
Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library Set At Auction Today
Acme Novelty Library Set At Auction Today
At Auction Today

The Acme Novelty Library Group of 8 (Fantagraphics Books, 1993-2000) Condition: Average NM-. Acme Novelty Library #1 (2 copies, 1st and 2nd printings), 2 (oversized), 3 (digest sized), 4 (oversized), 5, and 6 (both #5 and 6 are digest-sized), plus the first printing hardback Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. Art and story by Chris Ware. Some light handling wear, but overall in Excellent condition. Fogel's Underground Price & Grading Guide NM- 9.2 value for group = $205.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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