Chris Ware is neither a luddite nor a technophobe. He’s created computer apps and hearing him talk about his ideas for the technology, it seems that the cost of doing what he wanted is the sticking point for is vision. HE’s also made a few animations, in celebration with Jon Kuramoto and Ira Glass. There’s a new on up on the New Yorker website this week which deals with a story told to Glass by a fellow NPR correspondent about her daughter and makeup, with original music by Nico Muhly. In the companion essay, Ware, whose godlike cartooning and art powers certainly set him in the highest echelons of human, reveals that as a father, he’s just as befuddled as the rest of us:
In the weird synchrony of life imitating art (or at least of life imitating half-finished New Yorker covers), this year ten-year old Clara’s Halloween costume employed as its crucial component the application of “scary/sexy” makeup. You know—black lipstick, green eye shadow. Though it was a sinister look, her strategy had an innocent purpose: she just wanted to try on lipstick. Worried, I did some intel with the local moms and discovered, not surprisingly, that this same costume idea seemed to be a coördinated plan within many of the pre-teen sleepover cells in our neighborhood. But I wasn’t ready for this moment, and neither was my wife; for years, my daughter had yelled at her mom for putting on lipstick because it made her “look fake.” But now, dear God, she wanted to see what it looked and felt like herself—the first application of a fiction to mask her remaining few months of childhood. This led to some convoluted car discussions. “Dad, if you say women are doing it just to accommodate men, then what are men doing to accommodate women? You’ve always said women can do anything men can, right? So, as a woman, I want to wear makeup!” And so on. But—point taken.
Michael Cavna also has an insightful look at the piece here.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.