Friday 15 January 2010

Presuming on his Senses! The Unclothed Man

Dash Shaw’s new collection titled The Unlcothed Man (Fantagraphics £15) is one of the most beautifully presented books in some time. A transparent acetate featuring the title and drawing of a man in his pants pulling off his shirt – ie an image of mundane awkwardness - covers a flowing, abstract painting suggesting the interior of a spaceship. But this cover isn’t just a pretty picture; it perfectly conveys much of Shaw’s preoccupations. Exploring the details of human behavior contrasted with the wonders of science fiction. The big and the small then.

Anyone familiar with Shaw’s work will know the hefty and impressive Bottomless Belly Button (Fantagraphics) a family drama, whilst online he has been producing work such as the sci-fi Bodyworld strip and The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D animation series. The Unclothed Man book brings together some previously published work in the excellent ongoing Mome (Fantagraphics) anthology as well as other short stories and storyboards for the animation work.

From a Titanic (the movie) take on his high school days to the story about The Spitting Man, a clever cross between The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Momento (with added sci-fi of course), it's great to see a good creator at play in his work and presented with due attention by the publisher.

For more Dash Shaw and his thoughts on The Unclothed Man look here or take a further look at his animation work here. For a one-stop taster of everything look at his website.

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