Stars of ’08: Dash Shaw

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chap1page4 Stars of 08: Dash Shaw
With THE BOTTOMLESS BELLY BUTTON a 720-page graphic novel coming out later this year (from Fantagraphics), stories in MOME and Marvel Comics, and the online serialization of his new comic Body World busting across the blogosphere this week, Dash Shaw is set to break out big time in 2008. Mixing themes of botany and anatomy — plant and animal — with a visual approach that uses diagrams, call-outs, text and other non-comics elements, his work looks like nothing else you’ve seen. His stories are rich, complex explorations of family dynamics, and misguided relationships. His characters can sometimes barely communicate verbally; Shaw uses his elegant symbolism to connect their dots for them.

Over on his blog, he gives us the BodyWorld faq:

* New pages uploaded on the BodyWorld site every Tuesday starting January 1st.
* A romance about bodymind telepathy.
* Will have detailed explanations of how this telepathy works.
* In book form it will be 360 pages. 12 chapters.
* Looks like a weird Bruce Timm cartoon.
* I am having a blast drawing this comic.

Comments

  1. Looks friggin’ great so far … nice style … haven’t really seen anything like it so far. Wondering how much is traditional ink and how much is done on computer.

  2. After that horrible Dr. Strange story which looked like a blind 3 year old drew it, this guy is now picked as a breakout artist for 2008?

    What is going on in comics when a no talent like “Dash” is being praised for passing off kindergarten level crayon drawings while masters of the comic arts like Norm Breyfogle and John Byrne have to beg to get work from crummy companies like IDW and Dynamite comics!

  3. The Beat says:

    Is there some kind of Anti Dash Shaw league organizing somewhere? If you don’t like his work don’t read it.

    I don’t allow name calling on this forum, and have removed several of the more ridiculous posts here.

  4. Heidi,

    Those Dr. Strange pages I did really pissed some people off. That’s the history behind this.

  5. The Beat says:

    You are now even more of a hero in my eyes.

  6. What can I say? I’m no John Byrne.

  7. Lawson sent some hate and then came back to this post two and a half hours later to say more bad things about me. And Gohn Clam spent a while here too. You guys are dedicated.

  8. The Beat says:

    NO MORE TROLLING.

  9. Fascinating work, I was not aware of it before. Thanks for letting us know about this.

  10. “Mixing themes of botany and anatomy — plant and animal — with a visual approach that uses diagrams, call-outs, text and other non-comics elements, his work looks like nothing else you’ve seen.”

    This sounds like a lazy excuse to avoid making REAL comics to me. Whatever happened to simple skills like being able to DRAW and tell a STORY? Gimmicks are nice, but gimmicks aren’t comics.

    Oh well. I’m sure SOMEBODY will lap this up.

  11. The Beat says:

    Criticism is welcomed. Obvious trolls are not. Just call me Three Billygoats Gruff.

  12. Lawson says:

    Let me be … a moderate troll?

    Best of luck to anyone pursuing their dreams, etc.

    But the “indie comix” scene has a reputation for spawning very, very long and self-indulgent works by people with (at best) crude writing and drawing skills. And that’s fine, I guess, up to the point where the bad writing and bad art becomes an attempted selling point. “His characters can sometimes barely communicate verbal [sic],” etc. This looks like more of the same.

    Personally, I’d rather see attention focused on indie comics (or comix or whatever) in which the creators have learned to write and draw well. I think the whole genre would be taken more seriously as a result. That’s just me.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t get this guy’s reference to Dr. Strange. Did he really draw Dr. Strange, the Marvel comic book?

  13. Eric Reynolds says:

    NORM BREYFOGLE RULEZ!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Tadea Omo says:

    Whatever. I’m amazed at level of sensorship from an “indie supporter”. My comments were deleted along with others critical of Dash’ previous work. Because I don’t share your same sense of wonderment, hero-worship of his marginal and common fare, that makes my opinion less valid? Being out of country means I often get works later than many here.
    I read here often and rarely comment because I haven’t covered previous work; in this case, I finally have some histories and get my comment deleted. Nice commentary on the state of “commentary”.

  15. The Beat says:

    Yes and I’m amazed when a bunch of first time posters suddenly show up to call someone names.

    The Beat wasn’t born yesterday.

    It is perfectly fine not to like the work of Dash Shaw, and to find his work “marginal and common.” I honestly had no idea his work was such a lightning rod to draw so many from the woodwork. I guess we have found the “One More Day” of indie comics fare!

  16. Tadea Omo says:

    I saw a lot of work equally worth his in college; common. I dont comment upon what I have not read and rarely respond, but loosing my few comments due to others is unfair, I think. While I realise I have not your experience, I would expect the consideration of not grouping all comments together. I don’t recall any name-calling in my response, unles not being enlivened by it is such.

  17. Brad Curry says:

    I don’t know if anyone (Dash) is reading this anymore, but I’m a huge fan of Mr. Shaw’s work. The Dr. Strange preview is actually what put him on the radar for me. It was so much more inventive than most super-hero comics.

    I wrote a lil’ review of Bodyworld so far on White Chapel:
    http://freakangels.com/whitechapel/comments.php?DiscussionID=750#Item_1

    Eagerly looking forward to The Bottomless Belly Button.

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