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Cartoonist Chris Ware talks art careers

March 6, 2019

Cartoonist Chris Ware offered characteristically self-effacing and humorous advice to those considering a career in comics.

“Don’t do it!” he joked during the second-annual Winter/Miller Lecture at Skidmore College’s Tang Teaching Museum Feb. 28.

Ware has created numerous New Yorker  magazine covers and is the author of the graphic novels “Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth” (2000), “Building Stories” (2012), and  “Monograph” (2017). He is often lauded as one of the greatest cartoonists of our time.

Chris Ware signs books before the Winter/Miller Lecture
Chris Ware signs books before the Winter/Miller Lecture

The annual Winter/Miller Lecture is unique because Skidmore students who hold the Eleanor Linder Winter ’43 Endowed Internship at the Tang help select the recipients based on their own intellectual and creative interests.

E.B. Sciales ’19, who currently holds the prestigious internship, organized this year’s talk and interviewed Ware onstage. Earlier in the day, Ware also visited Associate Professor Paul Sattler's drawing class, which was crafted to accompany Ware's visit.

E.B. Sciales '19 and Chris Ware at the Tang Teaching Museum
E.B. Sciales '19 and Chris Ware at the Tang Teaching Museum

Ware conveyed his customary humor, but also revealed his humble and generous character as he discussed the influences on his career.

“Charles Schultz gave us the first comics character we empathized with in Charlie Brown,” he explained. 

Ware added that his own  career success sometimes surprised him.

“I thought I would be that guy working at a frame shop that everyone would avoid (because) ‘He’s that guy working on that book,’’ he quipped.

Chris Ware speaks to students in Associate Professor Paul Sattler's drawing class
Chris Ware speaks to students in Associate Professor Paul Sattler's drawing class

Sciales told the audience that she didn’t hesitate when Ian Berry, the Dayton Director of the Tang, asked her who she wanted to bring. She immediately said, “Chris Ware.”

An English major with minors in studio art and art history, Sciales revealed that she had loved Ware since she was 13 years old, when her mother bought her “Jimmy Corrigan.” His work changed her views of what comic books could do forever. Now, her senior capstone project is a 30-page graphic novel, and she was able to meet one of her heroes.

Her experience, and Ware’s appearance, are made possible through a gift from the family of Eleanor Linder Winter ’43. More information about the Winter Internship and other opportunities at the Tang are available at http://tang.skidmore.edu.

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