George Marshall's Reviews > BodyWorld

BodyWorld by Dash Shaw
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Oct 06, 2010

really liked it

This book is a fantastic experiment and a major contribution to the comic art form. It should be in any collection of remarkable new work. What I value and respect in this book is the astonishing use of colour (aha- you can see i am English!) and the overall palette, the design of the book itself especially the mirrored cover (part of the new maturity of graphic novels is that the books are becoming artforms in their own right, not just fat comic books), the idea of creating grid references for the locations and mixing maps with story images (surely other artists will pick up on this) the layering of multiple images in the drug sequences, the experiments with panels and pacing. I like to just pick it up every now and then and flick through it.

What I did not like so much was the flat and stereotyped characterisations. One aspect of this was Prof Panther's cartoon violence and self harming which added nothing to his character and seemed like immature writing. The plot was one note (druggy finds drug, gets high, gets into trouble) and I yearned for it to go further. Dash Shaw's talent is clear and he he has broken new ground with this book, so he deserves recognition as a pioneer, but others will go further.

(later note- having just read more books by Shaw, I would change that last sentence to say that DASH SHAW will go further- he is still young and has so much talent)
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