Chris Ware quotes

  • There is absolutely no single aspect of one's personality that is more important to develop than empathy, which is not a skill at which men typically are asked to excel. I believe empathy is not only the core of art, literature and music, but should also be at the core of society, from ethics to economics.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Art #Believe #Men

  • I'm only trying to present as honest a portrayal of the grimness of human ambition as I can. I'd hope it's rather uplifting, actually, since I find the sort of blind optimism and empty laughter of a great deal of "contemporary culture" to be more depressing than something that admits to a potential for disappointment and a gnawing sense of existential mockery.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Uplifting #Depressing #Laughter

  • I don't think of myself as an illustrator. I think of myself as a cartoonist. I write the story with pictures - I don't illustrate the story with the pictures.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Writing #Thinking #Stories

  • The modern world seems to make fun of people in a lot of ways.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Fun #People #World

  • Whereas in a memory you edit things out and sort of restructure the things to seem a little bit more heroic, or to focus on particular aspects that magnify or reduce certain things.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Memories #Focus #Littles

  • There's a rhythm to the words combined with the pictures [in a comic]. Whenever I'm working on a comic strip I re-read it, probably hundreds of times through to pay attention to how all of those things work. Sometimes even changing the angle of a character's eyebrow can really, seriously alter the effect and overall interpretation of a scene. And the insertion of a pause or a cough or a sniff, and all these things that we do in conversation, can bring it to life in a strange way.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Character #Eyebrows #Attention

  • Comic strip is almost like music on a page that you perform in your mind. It's not just pictures. There's a particular rhythm and structure to it that is unlike anything else. It literally is like music. You hear it in your mind as you read it.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Mind #Pages #Comic

  • There is something about the medium [in comics] that allows for a simulation of actual experience with the added benefit of actually reading. You're reading pictures, but you are also looking at them. It's a sort of combined activity that I can't really think of any other medium having, other than, say, a foreign film when you are reading and seeing. It allows for all sorts of associations that might not come up with just words or just pictures.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Reading #Thinking #Benefits

  • Comics is different than writing because when you draw something you are trying to visualize it and you are trying to put yourself in that space. And when you're drawing something, all sorts of associations come up in my mind that I never would have thought of otherwise.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Writing #Drawing #Space

  • Fortunately, I'm able to make a living from comics, so I'm privileged enough to be quite choosy, though most cartoonists can't afford to be. It's really an uncomfortable situation, since I'm not an illustrator, though I do get calls from morally indefensible businesses offering me money to decorate their ambitions. It's extremely rare, almost unheard of, in fact, that I am asked to do a comic strip. Do writers get calls to pen Toyota advertisements? Do composers get asked to write chamber pieces about exercise machines?
    -- Chris Ware

    #Ambition #Writing #Exercise

  • I was used to being disliked as a kid. Not that I didn't deserve it: I was a pretty sad and unappealing creature, and still am, I guess. It's sort of simplistic to think that one tries to make stuff that accounts for one's repulsiveness as a person, but there's some truth to it. So, when I read something unfavorable, I always take it deeply personally. It's as if my efforts have been in vain, and I should just quit.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Kids #Thinking #Effort

  • I don't trust art that promises a 24-hour joyride. In fact, there seems to be a modern sense of entitlement for such constant "ups," which is a repugnant attitude any way one chooses to look at it. I definitely believe in the possibility of happiness, though; it's just something that I think, rightfully, is rare in its genuine form, and that it can't be counterfeited.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Art #Attitude #Believe

  • "Real" drawing is about specifics. It's about describing an object as accurately as possible. In a comic strip you have to draw a picture of the idea of the object. You have to draw the word that you are picturing, then you have to mix in specifics with it for it to work as a story. But you are still working with drawn words.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Real #Ideas #Drawing

  • I don't think there's any independent cartoonist whose stuff I don't like or respect in at least some way or another. We're all marginal laborers - we're practically medical oddities - so I don't see why we can't all be nice to each other.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Respect #Nice #Independent

  • Drawing on a computer doesn't make any sense to me. It's not intuitive.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Drawing #Computer

  • Cartoons are not real drawings, because they are drawings intended to be read.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Real #Drawing #Cartoon

  • A book sometimes seems to impose a through-line to life that real life doesn't actually have.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Real #Book #Lines

  • I believe that the development of language - of naming, categorization, conceptualization - destroys our ability to see as we age.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Believe #Age #Development

  • Sometimes I get worried I'm getting too caught up in the nauseatingly oily smoothness of my own line, when all I'm trying to do is make it as clear as possible.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Trying #Lines #Sometimes

  • No one blames themselves if they don't understand a cartoon, as they might with a painting or "real" art; they simply think it's a bad cartoon.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Art #Real #Thinking

  • I had a messy signature as a child, and my grandmother said this suggested I had no regard for other people. She was right.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Children #Grandmother #People

  • My head looks like an uncooked ham with glasses.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Glasses #Looks #Ham

  • My mother was always encouraging about my wanting to be an artist.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Mother #Artist

  • One of the things that appealed to me most about comics was that you can pick the ones you like and build your own personal pantheon.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Pantheon

  • The real power of comics is writing as you draw.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Real #Writing #Draws

  • Well, there are better cartoonists now than there ever have been. I firmly believe that. There's some amazing work being done.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Believe #Done #Wells

  • As children, as we learn what things are, we are slowly learning to dismiss them visually. As adults, entirely submerged in words and concepts, we spend almost all of our time thinking and worrying about the past and the future, hardly ever looking at or engaging with the world visually.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Children #Past #Thinking

  • I can definitely say that of all my friends who I consider to be really great cartoonists, we're all trying to aim at basically the same thing, which is an ever closer representation of what it feels like to be alive.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Trying #Alive #Aim

  • I guess I just don't like being physically in front of people I don't know very well, because I expect to be "seen through," or, even worse, instantly hated.
    -- Chris Ware

    #People #Hated #Wells

  • The thing I like most about books is that anybody can afford them. They have an innate valuelessness.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Book

  • My grandmother was an unparalleled storyteller who gave me a preview of how life might turn out, and also fortified my empathy.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Grandmother #Empathy #Might

  • As I've gotten older I've occasionally found myself nostalgic for earlier periods of solitude, though I realize that's also likely a false nostalgia, as I know there was nothing I wanted more during those periods than to not be alone, whatever that means.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Mean #Solitude #Nostalgia

  • One of the most valuable things one of my art teachers said to me was, ‘Don’t get upset by criticism. Value the fact that at least someone noticed what you did.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Teacher #Art #Upset

  • Every city began as a campsite - pg. 25
    -- Chris Ware

    #Cities

  • Even the disappointing diffusion of a sheer curtain can suggest the most colorful bouquet of unspeakable secrets.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Secret #Bouquets #Disappointing

  • It's somehow more comforting to imagine that one's suffering is unique, and to measure against what one doesn't know, rather than against what one does.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Unique #Comforting #Suffering

  • I think it has most to do with the way in which a story is told, whether it feels real either via the music of the telling or the honesty of the story.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Honesty #Real #Thinking

  • Lately, I cant shake the feeling that Ive been living a dream for the last 10 years or so; I cant account for most of my 20s, and I have to continually remind myself that certain people are dead now and many of my friends have children.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Dream #Children #Years

  • I have a preponderance to look smug in photos; something to do with the way my mouth turns up at the corners.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Looks #Mouths #Way

  • The thing I don't understand is why so often one hears discussion of the fruits of human labor as if it's all the creation of some alien race.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Race #Fruit #Aliens

  • Mostly, I was only interested in television as a kid, and the majority of reading material I collected was an adjunct to that central concern, comic books and magazines included.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Book #Reading #Kids

  • Comics, at least in periodical form, exist almost entirely free of any pretense; the critical world of art hardly touches them, and they're 100% personal.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Art #World #Transformation

  • During my Austin years, I was drawing a regular strip for the University Of Texas newspaper, going to school, delivering blood, and trying to change my approach and "style" as much as I could, since I knew that I'd calcify as I got older.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Change #School #Texas

  • I prefer to imagine that my wife, a few friends, and occasionally my mom are the only ones who read what I do, though I realize that this is somewhat unrealistic.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Friends #Mom #Wife

  • Unlike prose writing, the strange process of writing with pictures encourages associations and recollections to accumulate literally in front of your eyes; people, places, and events appear out of nowhere. Doors open into rooms remembered from childhood, faces form into dead relatives, and distant loves appear, almost magically, on the page- all deceptively manageable, visceral, the combinations sometimes even revelatory.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Love #Writing #Eye

  • I still can't get over the idea that respectable adults now go to see superhero movies and that such films get reviewed in the 'New Yorker.' Clearly, I am seriously out of step with the times.
    -- Chris Ware

    #Ideas #Superhero #Adults