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Chris Ware's Cinefamily cover

November 27, 2008 |  8:45 am


Acclaimed comic artist Chris Ware's artwork has made a surprising L.A. appearance -- on the cover of the current Cinefamily schedule. Cinefamily is an organization of film aficionados that program screenings at the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax. They've shown all kinds of esoterica, including music movies (like "The Apple"), camp classics (like "Queen of Outer Space") and classy art films.

That's what Ware has illustrated: a classy art film. 1953's "Tokyo Story" screens Friday night with "Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family" to close a monthlong series of films by director Yasujiro Ozu. Ozu directed his first picture in 1927; his last was released 35 year later. He was a favorite of critics, many of whom consider "Tokyo Story" to be among his best films; a 2002 British Film Institute poll ranked "Tokyo Story" the No. 5 film of all time.

Ware's three panels give a sense of stillness and melancholy. Which I'm guessing is something like the movie.

The connection between Cinefamily and comics is Sammy Harkham, a comic artist who bought the movie business with his brother in 2006. (He also owns Family, a small and cool independent bookstore up the street). Harkham has done covers of the Cinefamily schedule himself, and has recruited others from the comics world to make a really fine-looking, practically collectible program each month. But if you can't get your hands on one, the calendar is online too.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Illustration by Chris Ware