Bottomless Bellybutton by Dash Shaw

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man he is SO OFF about david b. at least re. "epileptic."

strongohulkingtonsghost, Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:11 (nine years ago) link

i know you and douglas love the guy but I can't really track him.

DON'T PASS ON A SUGEBAN 4 FORKSCLOVETOFUALS I'M GRUNDLE (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:12 (nine years ago) link

i'm not saying you need to bow before dude like he's the burning bush -- though i would definitely class "epileptic" top ten of the decade -- but there's so much of his stuff that's dependent on the visuals to "work" that i just think shaw's way off base. but at the same time, yeah: i suspect david b. would be an equally excellent prose author, whereas i can't imagine reading a mazzucchelli or shaw _novel_ and getting as much out of it as their comics.

strongohulkingtonsghost, Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:19 (nine years ago) link

(all of my david b. books are 100 miles away right now so i cant pull out specific examples so mea culpa.)

strongohulkingtonsghost, Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:20 (nine years ago) link

oh for sure.
not to be spoilery, but the "do you think you look like a frog" thing is only do-able in this medium. come to think of it, like 90% of polyp is impossible to imagine in non-comics form too.
fwiw, mazzucchelli loves david b

DON'T PASS ON A SUGEBAN 4 FORKSCLOVETOFUALS I'M GRUNDLE (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:21 (nine years ago) link

in shaw's defense, once i sit down and read "bodyworld" in one book-sized chunk, i'll probably end up rating it above "epileptic." dude's chops as a formalist are just freaky scary for his age.

strongohulkingtonsghost, Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:25 (nine years ago) link

his use of color alone just makes my head spin/heart swell. (and is -- potential heresy alert -- more radical/effective than mazzucchelli's in polyp.)

strongohulkingtonsghost, Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:26 (nine years ago) link

that's saying a lot. you know that mazzucchelli was his teacher for awhile, right?
i'm real excited to read bodyworld; i've avoided reading it online so i can get the one sitting read effect.

DON'T PASS ON A SUGEBAN 4 FORKSCLOVETOFUALS I'M GRUNDLE (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:29 (nine years ago) link

shaw's definitely TRYING to be more radical than polyp - the formal use of colour is actually pretty reserved [even obvious] in polyp, it's just that everything it's doing is stuff that no-one normally bothers, cares or tries to do in comics

Audrey Wetherspoons (sic), Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:31 (nine years ago) link

yeah i guess it's just the philistine in me that reads "reserved" as "obvious," at least until i remember that 75 percent of what passes for "good color" in comics still looks like the artist/colorist wiped the pages somewhere unpleasant.

another way of saying it that's possibly less divisive/defensible: polyp's use of color: depicting emotional states. bodyworld's use of color: as much for dramatic/narrative effect as anything else.

strongohulkingtonsghost, Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:47 (nine years ago) link

nb: i'm on like my third bourbon (and approximately four hours of sleep) if this makes no sense/if i'm stating the obvious.

strongohulkingtonsghost, Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:51 (nine years ago) link

also "less divisive/_more_ defensible"

strongohulkingtonsghost, Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:52 (nine years ago) link

three weeks pass...

read Bottomless Bellybutton and Bodyworld yesterday. This guy is now my favourite person ever.

Going to go back and decode the stuff in Bottomless Bellybutton that I didn't bother with when I was reading it.

Isambard Kingdom Buñuel (jim in glasgow), Monday, 18 January 2010 15:36 (nine years ago) link

His collaboration with Ted Tom Kaczynski in the latest issue of MOME is pretty great. It's beautifully drawn, and has an intriguing digital dystopia setup which is bizarre but logical in a funny kind of way. The inhabitants are "living" as digital copies, but they're stuck in the Uncanny Valley which makes some inhabitants "bio-nostalgic" for their lives as hard copies (AKA, their human bodies). Any comic short that gets you to look up "Dyson sphere" on wikipedia deserves accolades imo. But then, it just...ends. It wraps up. Always leave 'em wanting more, I guess.

chicken sandwich CARL!! (Z S), Monday, 18 January 2010 16:24 (nine years ago) link

didn't know bodyworld was available yet, gotta get that

The tendrils INTERTWINE with gentle undulations. (forksclovetofu), Monday, 18 January 2010 16:49 (nine years ago) link

The hardcover isn't out yet. I think the release date is April. The online version has been available for free on his website, though.

chicken sandwich CARL!! (Z S), Monday, 18 January 2010 16:54 (nine years ago) link

yeah i just read it online. Will definitely buy it when it's available. Thought it was a great improvement on Bottomless, which i loved anyway.

Isambard Kingdom Buñuel (jim in glasgow), Monday, 18 January 2010 16:55 (nine years ago) link

Yeah...I liked BBB a lot, but I never thought that the same guy who wrote that would be producing these awesome sci-fi stories.

CATBEAST!! (Z S), Monday, 18 January 2010 16:57 (nine years ago) link

agreed!

Nhex, Monday, 18 January 2010 17:06 (nine years ago) link

the unclothed man in the 35th century AD is a pretty awesome sci fi story too... also, tom kaczynski is awesome in his own right - i've only read his mome stories, but they're all fantastic.

a bold plan drawn up by assholes to screw morons (ytth), Tuesday, 19 January 2010 02:41 (nine years ago) link

'Any comic short that gets you to look up "Dyson sphere" on wikipedia deserves accolades imo.'

It might be homage to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1__ZyAOQuc

When Riker goes, "A Dyson sphere?", Picard goes, "I'm not surprised you haven't heard of it" then I swear he mutters "YOU IGNORANT AMERICAN" under his breath.

re: bottomless bellybutton, I read somewhere the guy just walked up to gary groth with no references and dropped a 40 pound manuscript on him and the next day groth called him up and said, "Hey you, I must publish this." How many times has this approach ever worked in comics?

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 20 January 2010 05:43 (nine years ago) link

is that true? he wasn't exactly a no-name before BBB came out, although he was a much smaller name.

a bold plan drawn up by assholes to screw morons (ytth), Friday, 22 January 2010 03:58 (nine years ago) link

three weeks pass...

tbh I had never read Bodyworld because I always figured I'd wait until the print edition came out, but my willpower broke down last night and I started reading it. This made me lol for some reason:

http://i50.tinypic.com/htd5w5.jpg

I don't want to skip to the end and ruin it, but can someone tell me if the full story is online, or does it cut off early?

(According to his bloggins he's also at work on a new comic called Torture Hospital.)

^^potentially not true at all, sry^^ (Z S), Friday, 12 February 2010 15:25 (nine years ago) link

It's all online, but from what I understand the print version has extra, new or revised material, so you might just want to get that one if you can wait.

Nhex, Friday, 12 February 2010 15:27 (nine years ago) link

http://i49.tinypic.com/24xna0y.jpg
Last thing I'll mention this before actually reading all of it, promise. :)

^^potentially not true at all, sry^^ (Z S), Friday, 19 February 2010 05:01 (nine years ago) link

man i really want that book!

forksclovetofu, Friday, 19 February 2010 05:14 (nine years ago) link

http://dashshaw.blogspot.com/2010/03/making-abyss-mocca-show.html

Kinda tempted to head out for his appearance, though I'm always too lazy to show up for these things... haven't been to a Mocca thing in years.

Nhex, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 03:48 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

planning on seeing him sign bodyworld april 13 at the strand; any other ny'ers wanna go with me?

forksclovetofu, Thursday, 18 March 2010 02:18 (nine years ago) link

ditto for me in SF/berkeley!

a bold plan drawn up by assholes to screw morons (ytth), Thursday, 18 March 2010 02:38 (nine years ago) link

well, on april 26th - 28th, not on the 13th (obv)

a bold plan drawn up by assholes to screw morons (ytth), Thursday, 18 March 2010 02:39 (nine years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Oh hell yes – Body World came in the mail today. The title page says it's "Intended for the 'ideal reader'" and to read it "naked in bed."

Ponies are horse children (Abbott), Thursday, 15 April 2010 05:50 (nine years ago) link

ha ha, i got that today too <3. acne novelty library.
have not gone further than the first few pages, while i finish up something else; kinda curious to see if unfolding the map is as integral as intended. it is a weird shiny object.

having read it on the internet i would say no, but maybe try and read it with the map in mind just to please ol' dash.

404s & Heartbreak (jim in glasgow), Thursday, 15 April 2010 11:56 (nine years ago) link

also i must buy this!

404s & Heartbreak (jim in glasgow), Thursday, 15 April 2010 11:56 (nine years ago) link

bought my signed copy yesterday it's kind of scaring me a bit in its monotlithicness

forksclovetofu, Thursday, 15 April 2010 14:14 (nine years ago) link

also got it in the mail 2 days ago.

dan selzer, Thursday, 15 April 2010 14:41 (nine years ago) link

mine should come in on monday... he's doing a few signings in the bay area, so i'll be sure to bring it. if anyone else is dying for a signed copy, let me know!

a bold plan drawn up by assholes to screw morons (ytth), Friday, 16 April 2010 06:23 (nine years ago) link

three weeks pass...
two weeks pass...

Lots more about The Ruined Cast, including a 4-minute teaser. It looks AWESOME. holy shit.

fuck it we're going to Applebee's® (Z S), Saturday, 29 May 2010 21:30 (nine years ago) link

Expected to be released 4Q 2011, let the countdown begin!

btw this thread should maybe be renamed "Dash Shaw's Bottomless Bellybutton", or something that incorporates his name to make it easier to search for ilx0rs of the future

fuck it we're going to Applebee's® (Z S), Saturday, 29 May 2010 21:32 (nine years ago) link

btw, what did everyone think of Bodyworld? I really loved the first 3/4 of it or so, but tbh I thought it started tailing off a bit at the end. Still one of my fav things he's done so far, though.

btw, did anyone else pick up the The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century compilation? There's a story in there about people of the future living in some self-contained spaceship with many floors in a system designed to prevent inbreeding that's probably my very favorite thing of his that I've seen.

fuck it we're going to Applebee's® (Z S), Saturday, 29 May 2010 21:38 (nine years ago) link

Satellite CMYK was the name of the short I was referencing with the people living in the isolated floors, btw

fuck it we're going to Applebee's® (Z S), Saturday, 29 May 2010 22:04 (nine years ago) link

Also, (sorry I'm on Dash Shaw overload today) there's a decent interview here.

I especially like this, which is basically an awesome unwritten epilogue to Bodyworld:

That said, if there was a telepathy-inducing drug, I think it should be experimented with, in a controlled environment, and I would definitely want to try it. But it's dangerous because if it becomes too widespread, it would lead to a hive mind, which is what happens in "BodyWorld." However, eventually, after the hive mind has become the norm, then people would find ways to "shield" their bodymind from the other members of the hive and things would return to almost exactly the way things are now, pre-telepathy. But that would all happen many years after the "BodyWorld" story ends.

And also this little bit about how his animation work is affecting his comics:

oing animation increases your sensitivity to your body, because you have to think about how you walk and move. You have to do a million little drawings for the most mundane things. You could do a comic like that, but it'd take a lot of pages and very little would happen, which is I guess what "Bottomless" is like. Now that I'm doing animation more, my comics are getting leaner, tighter, and more detailed. If you do a hundred drawings of someone sitting down for an animation, you want to work on one detailed comic page next, to keep yourself balanced.

fuck it we're going to Applebee's® (Z S), Saturday, 29 May 2010 22:10 (nine years ago) link

I thought bodyworld was fun and well structured but showed his need to mature as a writer... he got away with some silly scripting in bellybutton but it felt a bit strained and precious at times in bodyworld
that said: i'm so excited this guy is on the scene. hope he doesn't become a filmmaker

forksclovetofu, Saturday, 29 May 2010 23:46 (nine years ago) link

name-checking P. Chung twice - nice! wouldn't have guessed that as influence

Nhex, Sunday, 30 May 2010 01:32 (nine years ago) link

btw, did anyone else pick up the The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century compilation?

I bought UNCLOTHED MAN this week, just thinking it was a collection of miscellaneous Shaw shawts. Imagine my annoyance when, removed from plastic shrinkwrap, the inside flap helpfully explains that it's 20% storyboards for a cartoon I can't watch, and 80% stuff I already have. Fuuuuck off, helpful bookshop.

― Oh boy, Midgard! That's where I'm a Viking! (sic), Saturday, 1 May 2010 18:12 (4 weeks ago)

Señor Communications Adviser (sic), Sunday, 30 May 2010 01:47 (nine years ago) link

You can watch the ifc stuff free online, although none of them look nearly as cool as the trailer to his new film imo

fuck it we're going to Applebee's® (Z S), Sunday, 30 May 2010 02:40 (nine years ago) link

I watched all of Unclothed Man online and thought it was amazing.

dan selzer, Sunday, 30 May 2010 03:20 (nine years ago) link

IFC even started geoblocking their podcasts a few years ago!

Señor Communications Adviser (sic), Sunday, 30 May 2010 11:27 (nine years ago) link

I backed it 6 years ago too, but I got a poster already for it, printed by a guy I later ended up working with a bit.

dan selzer, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 17:55 (two years ago) link

oh hey this is showing in my city next month, must remember to go see

-_- (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:13 (two years ago) link

i haven't kept up with this dude's work since bodyworld

-_- (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:14 (two years ago) link

Doctors and Cosplayers are both great

dan selzer, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 20:55 (two years ago) link

i'll try to find some of those. probably should've made the effort to see him this weekend at the Metrograph

Nhex, Tuesday, 18 April 2017 03:08 (two years ago) link

whoa, that's awesome forks, thanks. i've been reading through his other articles on tcj.com:

http://www.tcj.com/dash-shaw-day-one/ (discipline)
http://www.tcj.com/dash-shaw-day-two/ (cosplayers)
http://www.tcj.com/dash-shaw-day-three/ (high school sinking)
http://www.tcj.com/dash-shaw-day-four/ (u.s. premiere of high school sinking at fantastic fest)
http://www.tcj.com/dash-shaw-day-five/ (more thoughts about fantastic fest)

(i put what they're about in parentheses). they're really well written, just a casual look into his process and what he's thinking about as works on various projects. for example, this bit describing his work on high school sinking:

When I first started making longer animations (the IFC webseries I did in 2009) I would only storyboard. I’d read that that’s what Miyazaki did. He’d storyboard and then people would write scripts based on his boards. That made the most sense to me, as I believed film was primarily a visual medium (something I no longer think).

However, in order to get other people involved (like actors, and producers, and editors) I had to start writing scripts for them. I spent years writing scripts for different projects and went to the 2010 Sundance Screenwriting Labs and did a lot of back-and-forth working and reworking scripts only to have them change dramatically once I storyboarded them.

Now what I’ve arrived at is this: I write a script (which takes a year or two), show it to some people, and then storyboard it and then rewrite the script based on the storyboards. The storyboarding happens in the middle and I consider it part of the scriptwriting process. Jason Schwartzman told me that when he was offered The Grand Budapest Hotel, he was sent simultaneously the script and a private Vimeo link to a drawn animatic of the entire movie with Anderson doing all of the voices. When I heard that, it completely made sense to me… Movies are so complicated and expensive, and screenplays are difficult to decode. You have to in some way completely visualize it and have something to show to get other people involved and on the same page. Especially when you’re making an animated thing with an unusual aesthetic, it’s nearly impossible to just hand someone a screenplay of it. I was only able to get the High School Sinking cast after I had the majority of the film drawn. I was able to show producers and other people sections of the movie and say, “This is what this is — I’m making this thing and I want you involved.” Which is a completely different position than “Here’s a word document describing something I want to make.”

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 18 April 2017 08:14 (two years ago) link


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