Bottomless Belly Button
After 40-some years of marriage, Maggie and David Loony shock their children with their announcement of a planned divorce. But the reason for splitting isn't itself shocking: they’re "just not in love any more." The announcement sparks a week long Loony family reunion at...more
It's almost overwhelming, but I totally ignored one of the caveats of this graphic novel and read all three parts all 700 odd pages straight through early Friday morning....more
This is the kind of stuff Daniel Clowes and Jeffrey Brown make sing. This does not sing. This is like Parker Lewis Can't Lose compared to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
If Zach Braff were a graphic novelist this woul...more
There is detail here. Shaw has paid attention to it and so should you. Note the coming of dusk. Note the one "true" glimpse of Peter. Note how the "x" marks the "spot."
Sound is not usually something you think of when you think of comics. Shaw offers up a cacophony. A melodic cacophony. His is a noisy book.
Floor plans. Portraits. Cinematic scenes. I felt like I was watching a movie directed...more
It is superficially simple and the drawing may appear rough- even crude (it is actually highly accomplished). The storyline - a family coming together for a last time in the house they grew up in to mark their parents' separation - does not create much narrative drive and is really a framework for Shaw to explore characters and themes.
But the remarkable quality of this book is Shaw's very subtl...more
If the main character didn't have a face like a frog, and if occasional forays into the literal architecture o...more
Anyway, that's how I felt at the beginning. As it went on, I grew more into it, though I still couldn't say exactly why one brother is a...more
First of all it seems as if a 10-year old without any sense of drawing was responsible for the artwork: No proper depth and horrible depictions of the simplest things (faces, couch, limbs, door, etc). This guy draws so bad he needs to explain the actions/movements by adding the word to it ('nodding', 'shake', 'drop', etc) - why, why, why can anyone enjoy such ho...more
This book is long. Shaw's art made m...more
There are elements of this I really like-- the color scheme is really wonderful, as is the essential humanity of these characters; despite the almost iconi...more
The style is cartoonish but the content is not. Truth be told I was not sure if I would enjoy the book as I started to read but, I was sucked into a fairly realistic plot. It chronicles the development of a family, building the characters somewhat loosely but in a way that...more
Overall, I enjoyed it... and you will to if you like the sort of quirky slice-of-life independent films that never really go anywhere.
A lot of questions I had at the start were answered (chief of which was - Why is Peter a frog and why is no one addressing it?) but many weren't (e.g. What's with all the secret passageways in the house?). Usually unanswered questions make me cranky but I think i...more
For one thing, this seemed pretty blatantly autobiographical. The title infers self-inspection, and one character (and only one) is depicted as having the head of a frog in all but one frame (where he is asking a love interest if he looks like a frog). I admire...more
Fortunately, Dash Shaw knows how to entertain. The dialogue is uniformly sharp, and a few bits are even laugh-out-loud funny. Some favorites of mine include Chill Jill meeting "the n...more
This is one big and heavy book! I had it mailed at work and had to carry it all the way home with me and it really weighed on my shoulder. Once home I got into it right away but followed the author advice and forced myself to take a 24-hour break between the different parts of the story. This was quite a good advice because in spite of its hugeness it is a fairly quick read - which can be a little disappointing because when you get that big a book you expect it to last ages.
It was great to get t...more
Oddly, the most notable dysfunction about this book is its weight. I was reading it in bed one night and I accidentally dropped it on my face. I was so angry that right then and there I decided to never finish reading it. That's how much it hurt. I was sure I would end up with two black eyes, not much unlike the time I was reading Atlas Shrugged at Habitat for Humanity. And they say objectivis...more
His style felt very familiar, though I can't seem to place it--I like the little details the author cal...more
I thought about giving it 5 stars because everything worked for me, but the drawing style (the same element that made the reading so sm...more
Grown children (and their children) come together for a reunion only to hear the announcement that their elderly parents are filing for divorce after 40 years of marriage. Each child comes to term with this separation in their own way. Hidden passageways in the family home are discovered.
The artwork is great. I especially like the attention paid to water and sand. The narrative...more