Franklin Christenson "Chris" Ware is an American cartoonist known for his Acme Novelty Library series and the graphic novels Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, Building Stories and Rusty Brown. His works explore themes of social isolation, emotional torment and depression. He tends to use a vivid color palette and realistic, meticulous detail. His lettering and images are often elaborate and sometimes evoke the ragtime era or another early 20th-century American design style.
Ware often refers to himself in the publicity for his work in self-effacing, even withering tones. He is considered by some critics and fellow notable illustrators and writers, such as Dave Eggers, to be among the best currently working in the medium; Canadian graphic-novelist Seth has said, "Chris really changed the playing field. After him, a lot of [cartoonists] really started to scramble and go, 'Holy [expletive], I think I have to try harder.'"