New Hampshire Sentinel Source recommends Chris Ware and Adrian Tomine for Christmas gifts

“Gift books for Christmas” / New Hampshire Sentinel Source / Tom Beer Newsday / December 2, 2012

Yes, we live in digital times, but there’s still nothing that can top a beautifully produced and illustrated book. Here are some that would make great presents this holiday season.
No, it’s not a board game. Open the rectangular box of Chris Ware’s “Building Stories” (Pantheon, $50), and you’ll find an assemblage of 14 gorgeously illustrated booklets, in different shapes and sizes, all chronicling the lives of the residents of a fictional Chicago apartment building. Ware is the innovative cartoonist behind “Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth,” and there’s no correct order in which to read the various contents here. But they do add up to a magnificent, moving whole, and piecing them together is half the fun.

Adrian Tomine’s cover of the post-Sandy New Yorker — a man wielding a flashlight and wading through floodwaters to his polling place — is surely one of the iconic images to come out of the superstorm. That illustration wasn’t completed in time to get into “New York Drawings” (Drawn and Quarterly, $29.95), a collection of the artist’s work for the magazine. But what’s here — covers, comics, sketches — is in the same quietly poignant vein.

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