Chris Ware, Charles Burns

Two eminent cartoonists, together on one stage to discuss their craft. The work of 54-year-old Philadelphia-based Charles Burns (who guest edited the 2009 edition of Houghton-Mifflin’s The Best American Comics)appeared in the pages of Art Spiegelman’s celebrated Raw magazine in the 80s, and his illustrations have graced magazine covers (Time, the New Yorker, the Believer) and record sleeves (e.g., Iggy Pop’s Brick by Brick). His new graphic novel, the hallucinatory X’ed Out (Pantheon), follows a young man who’s apparently sustained some sort of head injury as he ventures through surreal passages filled with typical Burnsian creepy, alienlike characters. The story itself deals with nightmares, physical revulsion, and the angst of youth—it’s viscerally unsettling. Oak Parker Chris Ware, 42, is probably best known for his Acme Novelty Library series; his work is currently serialized in the Virginia Quarterly Review, and Acme Novelty Library No. 20 will be published by Drawn & Quarterly in November. This should be a fascinating, wide-ranging conversation—especially if the self-effacing Ware doesn’t defer too much to the near legendary Burns. a Tue 11/2, 7:30-9:30 PM, Unity Temple, 875 Lake, Oak Park, 708-386-9800,, $10 (tickets can be redeemed for $10 off the purchase of either of the artist’s books). —Jerome Ludwig

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