For as many misunderstandings that label opera/classical music as an elitist, expensive hobby for 30-year-old pimply virgins and senile senior citizens, there are just as many misconceptions about graphic novels -- Trade School dropout doodles, collected by adult children -- well, there are much worse things to collect out there!
Way before his comics adorned The New Yorker covers, Chris Ware's been a graphic art demigod for the perfection of his typography, intricate illustrations and blindsiding narratives aching with abandonment, alienation and melancholy.
The American legend has influenced awesome cheerleaders (and practically a surrogate family): Françoise Mouly & Art Spiegelman; fellow cartoonist Ivan Brunetti; brilliant Alfred A. Knopf designer/author Chip Kidd and silver fox poet/librettist J.D. McClatchy.
During the seven years that Ware wrote his y2k breakout, 380-page graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, which spans 1890's Chicago and 1980's Michigan as the eponymous anti-hero searches for his father, he was inspired by Brahms. In a current profile by Simon Willis for More Intelligent Life, he said of the artistic process:
"I thought of it musically," he told me. "I was listening to a lot of Brahms at the time—sorry, this sounds so pretentious, but it's true—and I remember feeling that I wanted to produce that sensation on the page, with a large image, and then something much more lyrical and textural, and then into a sweeping passage, and then focusing down into a point. I feel that music does that better than anything; it captures that weird sensation of writing one’s thoughts, that course of consciousness."
Now we want to know the soundtrack for his 2012 coup, Building Stories.