Did you hear that, according to a disappeared tribe who knew a thing or two about a solid cliffhanger, the world is totally going to end in a few weeks? As cinematic as all of us waiting to be incinerated by a gas giant on a collision course with Earth sounds (you could call it Kirsten Dunst-ing), perhaps the apocalypse the Mayans had in mind was more about the death of our culture’s collective attention span.
You probably had to start that paragraph over because you got distracted by checking whether your crush liked your latest photo on Instagram or not. It’s an illness that we multi-tasking monsters all suffer from: compulsive texting on top of neurotic emoji assemblage on top of listening to some album that just leaked while playing Words with Friends and walking at the same time. What happened to enjoying a double rainbow (omg, it was so crazy!), a kitten in a sweater, or just a good hair day without immortalizing it on the internets?
Well, something cataclysmic definitely happened to the simpler times of liking something purely in your brain and that’s not entirely a terrible thing. Social media does allow for a village-type mentality that fosters a sense of community (however warped it might seem to our ancestors), but it’s important to take a breather every now and then from being connected to everything everyone else is doing and zero in on what’s right in front of you. And with the release of Building Stories, Chris Ware (a.k.a. the dude to thank for the lovely 826 Valencia mural) has created a graphic novel that is the perfect antidote to our distracted times, a work of art that forces you to consider it, not while elbow-warring on the bus or during other transitory in-between moments, but while keeping things stationary in a quiet place where you feel comfortable having your world rocked.