A novel gift for the holiday season

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By Staff Archive

Oak Park resident Chris Ware, a graphic novelist, has found another way for Oak Parkers to connect to his work.

This holiday season, The Book Table, 1045 Lake St., will offer two styles of gift cards designed by Ware.

The new designs, featuring a portion of The Book Table's storefront, are adaptations of previous work by Ware. The fine print on the back of the card is also written by Ware in his trademark wry style, according to a news release from The Book Table.

Ware, who lives in Oak Park with his family, has been a regular customer at The Book Table since it opened in 2003. In 2012, he published Building Stories, the critically acclaimed graphic novel-in-a-box, in which Ware also included a panel depicting their storefront.

"Giddy doesn't even begin to describe it," said co-owner Rachel Weaver. "Being featured in the work of an iconic, genre-defining artist like Chris Ware feels like winning the lottery."

Eventually, Jason Smith and Weaver approached Chris about using the two renderings of the store on gift cards.

"We knew that he's wary of commercialism, so we fully expected to be shot down, but it just seemed like it was our job as business owners to at least ask the question," Weaver said. Ware agreed and tweaked the artwork to fit the gift card design.

The gift cards are now available for purchase at The Book Table, and on their website, booktable.net.

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