By Dash Shaw. Published by Fantagraphics.
Softcover, 720 pages, Monochrome, 2008.
This is a reprint of the graphic novel that launched Dash Shaw as a major young cartooning talent: Official Selection, 2009 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée de Angouleme; named one of Publishers Weekly's 2008 "Best Books of the Year: Comics."
Bottomless Belly Button is a graphic novel comedy-drama that follows the dysfunctional adventures of the Loony Family. When the parents announce their divorce, the family comes together at their beach house for a week. Dennis, the eldest son, is having marriage troubles of his own, and searches for clues, trap doors, and secret tunnels. Claire, the middle child, is a single mother with a troubled 16-year-old daughter, Jill. The youngest child, Peter, is a hack filmmaker suffering from paralyzing insecurities who establishes an unorthodox romance with a mysterious day care counselor at the beach.
"Shaw's online and bound comics inhabit surreal spaces both cerebral and emotional, leaping from zombie love stories to futuristic set pieces without resorting to predictability...It's probably safe to say he has arrived." — Wired
"Reads almost like a John Updike novel... [Dash Shaw] really utilizes the medium to its fullest capacity." — Benn Ray on WYPR Baltimore public radio
"Bottomless Belly Button is a wonderful book that I strongly recommend for every comic fan... Dash Shaw is a name to remember." — Laurent De Maertelaer - freaky.be
"Formally inventive and emotionally acute, Bottomless Belly Button indeed proves to be… as fascinating and affecting a depiction of family ties as Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections or Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums." — Ed Park - Los Angeles Times
"Using Peanuts-like comic strips in addition to pie charts, letters, and floor plans, Shaw draws an honest, meditative 720-page portrait of a multigenerational middle-class family..." — GQ