EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was part of our It’s Mice That takeover on April Fools’ Day 2014. You can read our explanation post here or peruse the mice archive here.
It’s widely accepted that Chris Ware is a master comic book artist. What he’s achieved in his career would have taken multiple lifetimes in the hands of anyone else. His storytelling, draughtsmanship, design skills and sense of humour have won him fans the world over, and the respect even of those nay-sayers who once dismissed the comics genre as being pre-adolescent pulp.
But before Chris became a legendary cartoonist, he was just a really good one, and it was during this period that he first created the character of Quimby the Mouse; a visual hybrid of Felix The Cat and Mickey Mouse, with a personality more like Daniel Clowes’ Wilson than what might be expected from a bug-eyed rodent. His first Quimby sketches began to appear in the early 1990s while he was studying at The University of Texas at Austin and displayed many aspects of Chris’s self-deprecating characteristics.
Later on however, Quimby became a bit of a shit, and as sketches began to appear in editions of the Acme Novelty Library it became clear that Quimby could be a very unpleasant mouse indeed, despite being immaculately drawn. His self-centred egotism lead him into all sorts of nasty scrapes and he struggles to find happiness in his life – but that’s quite a big ask for a mouse.
Still, it’s beautifully drawn, expertly written and full of black humour, and for Chris’ second ever graphic novel perfectly displays why he’ll forever have the adoration of millions of comics fans.