I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got one new comic plus two hard cover collections:

  • Usagi Yojimbo – 127
  • “The Creeper” by Steve Ditko
  • “It Was the War of the Trenches” by Jacques Tardi
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • “The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century AD” by Dash Shaw
  • This is an odd collection of stories published by the Independent Film Channel and Fantagraphics Books. They are by Dash Shaw whose work “The Bottomless Belly Button” I’ve reviewed here before. This book prints a bunch of Shaw’s story boards from and animated IFC story he had does plus some other short stories that have appeared before. All except one story was new to me.

    Most of the stories take place in the future and have a strange otherworldly quality to them. There is a distance to the characters as they go through whatever the story puts them through. At least one of the stories is straight up dream-like.

    This isn’t to say that the stories aren’t involving. They are. But they aren’t involving in the same way a plot driven story is when you are wondering what is going to happen next to a person because you have grown to care about them. It’s more like you are watching what is happening to them but not quite understanding it all. Like watching through the veil of a dream.

    I think the futuristic stories in the first half of the book have the most interesting ideas in them. One is a story of a war between two planets who are moving through time in opposite directions, another is about survivors of the Earth’s destruction creating their own new society in a weird way, and yet another is about a rebellion against art school in the future. Not your usual topics.

    The artwork is a mixed bag of styles from quickly drawn story boards to fairly polished graphics and other styles in between. I don’t think Shaw is a particularly talented artist yet but he does his best to keep things interesting and if he eventually develops a command of all these techniques he could become quite formidable.

    So if you’re looking for something a little different, a little more out there, and a little more challenging then check out “The Unclothed Man”.