Any among you who were anxious that Mr. Ware might choose to rest on his laurels and start "coasting" or "phoning it in" will have all their worries laid soundly to rest with this amazing volume. Yes, this is a continuation of the "Rusty" Brown saga, but right from the start it takes a quite unexpected turn, the full implications of which are not fully apparent until the conclusion of the volume, and even then will likely inspire considerable pondering on the part of the reader. The level of sophistication and nuance inhering to Ware's narrative strategy reaches new heights in this complex, multi-part and multi-layered work that is at once painfully embarrassing and deeply moving; a disturbing, fascinating and, finally, profound exploration of a callow nature and the genesis of an arrested development. Ware's mastery of the craft of comics clearly continues to grow as well, and is on full display here, particularly in the beautiful subtleties of the coloring and in the use of page layout to finesse the stories' pacing. In as much as one of the themes dealt with here is the 20th century American conflation of technology and the fantastic, it might be appropriate to describe Ware as creating a delicately constructed narrative feedback loop to inter-link the stories that constitute Acme Novelty Library 19, and thereby forge a single unified piece that pulses with living complexity, a method that carries with it an echo of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein -- the employment of mechanistic means to create an organic end -- which ushered in the conjunction of science and fiction. Suffice it to say that Chris Ware's talents continue to astound and amaze. (Also amazing and astounding is the fact that the price of this issue of Acme Novelty Library is less than that of the last two!) Now out of print.