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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Once a thriving working class neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, the “Bottomyards” is now the definition of urban blight. When an aspiring fashion designer named Darla and her image-obsessed friend, Cynthia, descend upon the neighborhood in search of cheap rent, they soon discover something far more seductive and sinister lurking behind the walls of their new home. Like ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Fantagraphics
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  348 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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David Schaafsma
Ezra Clayton Daniels (Upgrade Soul) wrote this, BTTM FDRS, (pronounced Bottomfeeders) and Ben Passmore (My Black Friend) illustrated this, which deals with issues of gentrification and white privilege in the guise of what I didn't even know was a thing: "Gentrification horror"!? There is also "body horror," which is physical horror, think: David Cronenberg, sliming, a range of gross stuff. As with other horror comics, such as The Swamp Thing, there is horror that matches the social horrors of ...more
Jon Nakapalau
A very surreal tale of gentrification...unique vision that echoes questions that we fail to ask when we change the enclaves that have existed before new visions evict with old economic rules.
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Hmm... this is a tough one to rate. I think I'll go with 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for GR.

The pros: first of all, I heard this graphic novel referred to as gentrification horror, and that sums it up incredibly well. It's horror, it's spooky and it's weird, but it also deals with a lot of commentary regarding gentrification, POC lives being pushed aside and erased for white comfort, etc. There's a ton of good commentary going on here, including the black MC's best friend having a meltdown over
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
BTTM FDRS is a bonkers sci-fi/horror tale that’s told with a talent for character, with actual insights into the past and present of housing segregation, and with a genuine affection for goofy, B-movie horror.

The story, setting, and premise are the perfect collaborative match for the uncanny body-horror of writer Ezra Clayton Daniels (Upgrade Soul) and the pop-punk anarchism of artist Ben Passmore (Daygloayhole).
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Daniels and Passmore offer up a wonderful kaleidoscope of urbanity & its horrors. Stemming from poverty, gentrification & capitalism, broken bodies, isolation...this world could be dire. There are a few moments of deep commentary, especially around white privilege, SJW-ism and commodification of colonial communities and communities of color, but Daniels injects the right amount of humor into the script. Couple that with Passmore's illustrations, so full of expressiveness, and the horror ...more
Hannah Garden
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, august-2019
I liked this pretty well but I wanted the connection between gentrification and body horror to be more explicit, or have a firmer punchline. Passmore is the gloopy goopy dayglowiest and Daniels is a supremely sharp creepy writer, this just didn't knock it out of the park as a collaboration. Really good though and definitely recommended, just more fun good than incredible good.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh man, this book is so much fun. You can tell both the writer and the artist enjoyed making it (especially the drawings of the amorphous monsters). I'm new to Ezra Claytan Daniels (but long time fan of Ben Passmore), but this book has put me solidly in the lifelong reader camp.

I'm currently reading Upgrade Soul (which, holy crap, is incredible - easily my favorite comic I've read this year, and I'm not even finished), and there are some thematic similarities. Like the best sci-fi writers,
Stewart Tame
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't really know what to expect going into this. The cover was intriguing and mysterious. The artwork kind of reminded me of Julie Doucet’s work. And the quote on the front cover promised “Gentrification horror …”

I honestly didn't recognize Ezra Claytan Daniels’ name from Upgrade Soul, which I loved. Shame on me.

So what's the story with Bttm Fdrs? Darla is an aspiring fashion designer who's just moving into an apartment in the Bottomyards, one of Chicago’s examples of urban decay. But the
Rod Brown
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
The start is a bit slow, but this sci-fi take on a haunted house story picks up steam as it goes. The art and coloring very effectively convey the bizarre and eerie tone.
Liz Yerby
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The characters and struggles felt very real, not sure I followed the full monster metaphor but I still appreciated it none the less. It’s one of those books that I think could’ve benefitted from being longer, because I enjoyed it so much, but the action scenes felt rushed. As expected the coloring was excellent!
TammyJo Eckhart
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The art is very colorful and has an edgy quality to it that I don't normally like but it really worked with the story. The changes in colors signaled what was happening, ratcheting up the creepiness without relying on the traditional dark-light or grayscale format.

Our main viewpoint character is Darla, an artist who is returning to where she grew up in Chicago, the Bottomyards, which has decayed through institutional and social racism. Darla may complain about people buying up the buildings but
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
that was wild
Dakota Morgan
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
All the pull quotes for BTTM FDRS call out that it's a weird mixture of body horror and gentrification horror and those quotes are not wrong. This is some weird shit. It's got a lot to say about classism and racism. It's also got an apartment building with no windows that appears to be devouring its residents. So, it's a real dense stew of ideas.

I found myself enjoying the mix, for the most part. The class/race stuff could feel heavy-handed at points, but it was also apt for our current climate
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t know that the world needed gentrification horror but it absolutely does.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Art Story

The punk comic style art & the colouring were so very appealing, but i don’t think it conveyed the monster & gore horror aspect of this story well-in either a realistic or satirical way.
I was totally on board with the themes of gentrification, white privilege, and science manipulated for profit & political gain, but unfortunately the dialogue did not allow the complex story to delve deeply enough to make me care. I really enjoyed this graphic novel, but it could have been
Recommended for fans of Jordan Peele, this wry horror graphic novel pokes at gentrification and complicity. Great art with a bright, surreal palette.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Like if Cronenberg did Candyman. This is packed with commentary, most of which is right on the money. Daniels is an outstanding satirist and uses his characters well in this regard without straying from their true characterization for the sake of a joke or comment. A horror story - body horror - through the lens of gentrification and cultural appropriation is very timely, but the art style's reflection of silent film color filters and early American alt-comics and cartoons (think Crumb, Charles ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Like so many reviews of this book: 3.5 stars, rounded up. The art is a perfect match for the subject. Monster horror, exploitation of urban black culture, sexism, and gentrification issues combined into one. If there was a stronger focus on the social issues, I would have been more impressed. A fairly short read but worth seeking out.
Matthew Metzdorf
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a weird fiction urban/gentrification horror with sick art that hits Cronenberg-level body horror. A very unique kind of graphic novel that might make some people queasy and uneasy, but I loved it.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this *idea* a lot and I loved the characters and the art and the commentary but also body horror just isn't really for me. This is maybe also the point, but I found the "monster" really difficult to see and conceptualize, which I think made it a little less scary. Overall I would recommend.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was not for me. Nor do I know who I would recommend it to. A bit too far-fetched and cartoony. There were some touches of social commentary about race and privilege in the early scenes between characters but the real driving story is the gloppy growing grasping monster thing. And the sacrificing savior ending is a bit corny and not clearly justified by adequate character motivation. I read it through to see where it was going but I’m no wiser, not really affected, and wish I had spent that ...more
Woody Chichester
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was bonkers- weird and creepy. Gentrification horror is real!
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
So glad I picked this up! It was weird and amazing in all the right ways.
Nick Klagge
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The blurb on the front says, "Gentrification horror at its finest." I can't disagree with this, but it makes me wonder, is "gentrification horror" a subgenre that predated "BTTM FDRS"? If so, I definitely would like to read other examples!

I thought this book did a great job of taking on some of the complex issues around gentrification without coming across a preachy. Mostly, I think it achieved this by just being weird as hell and sticking to its guns. Passmore's art is very distinctive, with
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so weird and wonderful. It's hard to write a story that is so original that it's unpredictable. I had no idea how to plot would unfold and that kept me hooked. Ben Passmore's illustrations are so detailed and delightful that I want to read this a second time to pick up on all the visual jokes I missed the first time.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror-y, comics, fictive
Passmore and Daniels, what a combo! A creepy, gross, darkly funny comic that sets the scene succintly and gets right to the action/gore and has a sort of(?) redemptive ending. The commentary on gentrification, microaggressions and the co-opting/stymie-ing of Black genius by whiteppl combines with the sci-fi and horror in a particularly seamless way.
Tyler Gardner
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
liked the art and the point. but the ending kind of fell flat for me.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
The story and art didn't quite sync up in this book, unfortunately. I've enjoyed other works by these two, but it was kind of like when two musicians collaborate on a song that's just okay. I could see what each person brought to the table, but would rather read their solo stuff instead.
Luke Stacks
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent pacing and composition set this book apart from more formulaic horror-as-social-commentary. Daniels and Passmore really, really, really want you to know this book is about gentrification, as the characters discuss at length. Luckily, the central horror story makes the point more effectively and features gonzo details that make the book linger and resist easy codification (a la "the real monster is X").
Sean Kottke
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, 2019
An almost Lovecraftian piece of gentrification horror, where the monsters aren't just the tentacled beasts from another world. The story is a great satire of gentrification and the (literal) care and feeding of urban communities. There's a whole lot of exposition saved up for the final quarter of the book, and the oddly distorted rendering of physical spaces within the building at the center of the story contributes to the eerie atmosphere.
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Ezra Claytan Daniels is a writer and illustrator based in Los Angeles, CA. His work has been featured at the Fantoche International Animation Festival in Baden, Switzerland; the Fumetto International Comics Festival in Lucerne, Haarlem Stripdagen in the Netherlands; and the Whitney Museum. His graphic novel, Upgrade Soul, was the recipient of the 2017 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, ...more
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