Bleak, yet brilliant. The party line on Chris Ware’s ongoing Rusty Brown graphic novel is in no danger of wavering with its latest installment. Following an issue devoted to Ware’s architecturally inspired “Building Stories,” the sad saga of longtime Ware doormat Rusty Brown continues in issue 19 of “The Acme Novelty Library” (Drawn & Quarterly). Ware introduced Brown in his weekly Chicago Reader strips, which were subsequently collected in issues 16 and 17 of “The Acme Novelty Library” and the 2005 book The Acme Novelty Library Final Report to Shareholders and Rainy Day Saturday Afternoon Fun Book, a tome as ambivalent as its title. Don’t worry if you missed the earlier episodes, however: As with all great strip art since time immemorial, every Chris Ware comic is the same just as every Chris Ware comic is different.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 26, 2008