Acme Novelty Library #17 by Chris Ware is the second graphic novel by this cartoonist about the tribulations of Rusty Brown, a lonely kid in a Midwest school whose closest friend is his Supergirl doll. Chalky White and his sister have moved to town, and now their lives are miserable, too. The two boys meet in class, as the reader follows the school routine in all its painful detail. The cartoons are incredibly detailed and executed in a cleanly flat way that serves to make the delivery of this angst even more acute. Not for kids, nor those already depressed, this book will appeal to those who want a break from their own lives and who can put up with the squirming brought on by the oeuvre of Chris Ware. A cool book for quirky folks who like beautifully drawn depictions of life that is considerably less beautiful.
Hardcover, 64 pages. ACME Novelty Library, 2006.