Franklin Christenson "Chris" Ware (born December 28, 1967) is an American cartoonist known for his Acme Novelty Library series (begun 1994) and the graphic novels Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth (2000), Building Stories (2012) and Rusty Brown (2019). 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.'"
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Ware resides in the Chicago area of Illinois. His earliest published strips appeared in the late 1980s on The Daily Texan's comics page, the University of Texas at Austin student newspaper. In addition to numerous daily strips under different titles, Ware also had a weekly satirical science fiction serial in the paper titled Floyd Farland: Citizen of the Future. This was eventually published in 1988 as a prestige-format comic book from Eclipse Comics, and its publication even led to a brief correspondence between Ware and Timothy Leary.