Episode 185: Chris Ware

March 15, 2009 · Print This Article

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Chris Ware
This week: Duncan and Richard are extremely excited to talk to legendary cartoonist Chris Ware!

They discuss Chris’s work and career and much, much more. Duncan pokes fun at Richard for being a dork! Much mirth, music, and mayhem is had by all. This show is not to be missed!!!

Photo by Tom VanEndye.
Chris Ware
BAS blog
The Rag Time Ephemeralist
Woody Allen
Art Spiegelman
Iron Man
Dark Knight
Brian Michael Bendis
John Updike
The New Yorker
Jimmy Corrigan
Robinson Crusoe
Scott McCloud’s Zot!
Whitney Biennial 2002
Art Institute of Chicago
Masters of American Comics
Jack Kirby
Winsor McCay
Will Eisner
The Spirit
Dan Clowes
Charles Burns
Lynda Barry
Gary Panter
Ivan Brunetti
Acme Novelty Library
Dash Shaw’s Body World
Robert Crumb
Frank King
Mad Magazine

20 thoughts on “Episode 185: Chris Ware”

  1. tom says:

    did u re record the questions post partum? or does chris ware actually really live in a separate universe where the is white noise and u guys are in the tower of silence?

  2. Richard says:

    We were using SM-58s He was using a lapel Mic and we were in a noisy public place. I made the difficult choice to edit out the background noise when he wasn’t speaking, even though it would sound a bit choppy in the interest of sound quality. it is a bit odd sounding but it is worth overlooking for an excellent discussion with a super-interesting artist.

  3. Steve Hamann says:

    I love Chris Ware. I met him at a signing at Revolution Comics in Evanston. He could not have been nicer.

  4. tom says:

    hmmmm. ok. i kinda liked the tower of silence idea. but oh well.

  5. tom says:

    it might be fun to mix in some “other” white noise, that way it would stil lsound “choppy” but u could bring in some other references

  6. Richard says:


    I’ll be sure to mix in the sound of a babbling brook and repost.

    My kid has one of those white noise machines in his room, maybe I’ll record that.

    The choppiness is bad only in the beginning. Later on when he is giving longer answers it isn’t such a big deal.


  7. Or really cool would be diffrently “evocative” backgrounds for each speaker, as if you were in different dimensions or locations or something — like a babbling brook and birds behind you Richard, super Stevie Wonder/Curtis Mayfield-like party sounds behind Duncan and bad elevator music and dings and so behind the guest.

  8. Richard says:

    I used to put a music bed under the whole show, but it proved too distracting and we killed the practice.

  9. Yeah such stuff is distracting. It makes everyone sound like they are in a shopping mall or something, no matter what the music is.

  10. I just finished listening. Great interview. Chris is a creative wonder as well as a technical great. R & D did a fine job. Compliments all around.

    Chris, although you criticize your own speaking, here and elsewhere I have heard you, I always find you to be a good speaker — direct, clear, about the work.

    Since you all mention the Masters of Comics exhibition, let me remind listeners of the interview on Bad at Sports with Jennings and Duffy the curators of Out of Sequence which is touring museums and was created as an extension and critique of sorts to Masters. Much work in it is specifically for exhibition, Chris’s work, to my eye, always looks great on display, let me add. Link here:

  11. tom says:

    i was thinking u could have someone in the background reading from one of chris ware’s stories, u know a couple of folks acting out the various parts, that would make for an interesting subtext….

  12. koi says:

    No it wouldn’t

  13. Richard says:

    No, that’s true, it wouldn’t. Silly perhaps.

  14. amytalluto says:

    WOW! That was so great! Chris Ware is so self-effacing but I found his philosophies on creating comics and being an artist so honest and complex and interesting. It was also nice to hear more about Linda Barry who gets left out of things way too much.`Thx for the interview BAS!

  15. Awesome Interview. It’s always great to hear the man talk.

    I particularly enjoyed the discussion on superhero comics and the differences between Ware’s own work.

    Also enjoyed yours and Chris’ reminiscence of Bob Loescher and his altruistic ability to respond to work and teach. Even in teaching comics, as in a painting or whatever fine art class, the teacher is going to impose their view of what comics are which is either going to be superhero, or personal narrative, or like a Scott McCloudy mish-mosh of both. What comics are capable of, I think it’s very similar to painting, i.e. you have an idea or concept and you have the execution of that idea through process.

    Heavy political and social undertones, disguised melodramatic men, and irrational abstract-views of personal reality. There’s tons more to it than that, of course but its two sides of the same coin.

  16. Lugh says:

    I think something that Ware was getting at but he couldn’t quite verbalize is that people live in different worlds of entertainment and literature and such and that it’s okay for those worlds to co-exist. Sometimes we can visit those strange other places, too.

  17. Gordon S. Fisherman says:


  18. Andries says:

    Chris Ware is the cartoon art genius of our time.

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