New McSweeney’s a masterpiece of design

Bookninja linked earlier this week to a designer’s rhapsodic post about the latest issue of McSweeney’s, Number 13, which was guest edited and designed by Chris Ware, and has just appeared. “It goes far beyond anything McSweeney’s has ever done,” the designer says. “It is extraordinary.” Agreed.

Here’s my (quick, informal, relatively inarticulate) take on the new issue:

It’s stunning, possibly the most beautiful book I’ve ever seen — hardcover, 316 pages, with a foldout, Sunday comics-style cover. Inside are fascinating personal essays from Ira Glass and Chris Ware, along with a historical perspective on the art of comics. And it’s packed with selections from some of the most prominent contemporary cartoonists. It’s a great introduction for the uninitiated like me, those unfamiliar with comics and graphic novels aside from, say, Ghost World, Peanuts, and Spiegelman’s Maus books.