cover image The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D.

The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D.

Dash Shaw. Fantagraphics, $19.99 (104pp) ISBN 978-1-60699-307-1

Collecting storyboards and comics from the animated series created for the Independent Film Channel along with short stories previously presented in Mome , this anthology spotlights Shaw’s complex visual poetry about human relationships. The book opens with alternating full stories and storyboards taken from Shaw’s work on his animated project, about a special agent in the far future sent to impersonate a robotic life model at an art school in order to secretly break the custom against drawing real human beings. Shaw’s artwork creates a unique, fantastic future and gives the reader insight into his creative process through its presentation of multiple stages of production. The rest of the book assembles short pieces on how people relate to each other. Often with elements of science fiction and distorted time presentation, the best of these, “First Son of Terra Two” combines both into a story of a man and a woman from different worlds, each traveling in an opposite direction in time. In a stunning display of visual creativity, each story has its own distinct artistic style and presentation format. Color and shape serve as language as much as if not more than written words in this striking collection. (Jan.)