By Dash Shaw. Published by Fantagraphics.
Hardcover, 340 pages, Colour, 2013
In Dash Shaw’s new, full-color original graphic novel, a boy goes to seek his brother on a theme-park island.
In this brand new graphic novel from the acclaimed author of Bottomless Belly Button and BodyWorld, Dash Shaw dramatizes the story of a boy moving to an exotic country and his infatuation with an unfamiliar culture that quickly shifts to disillusionment. A sense of “being different” grows to alienation, until he angrily blames this once-enchanting land for his feelings of isolation. All of this is told through the fantastical eyes of young Danny, a boy growing up in the ’90s fed on dramatic adventure stories like Jurassic Park and X-Men. Danny’s older brother, Luke, travels to a remote island to teach English to the employees of ClockWorld, an ambitious new amusement park that recreates historical events. When Luke doesn’t return after two years, Danny travels to ClockWorld to convince Luke to return to America. But Luke has made a new life, new family, and even a new personality for himself on ClockWorld, rendering him almost unrecognizable to his own brother. Danny comes of age as he explores the island, ClockWorld, and fights to bring his brother home. New School is unlike anything in the history of the comics medium: at once funny and deadly serious, easily readable while wildly artistic, personal and political, familiar and completely new.
“Dash Shaw’s New School is the most beguilingly fascinating, smartly innovative, deliberately off-putting work of comics art that I’ve read in several years. ... It’s profoundly disorienting and disorientingly sincere. It’s a generous work of art that also hides and obscures itself from the reader. It feels loose but has a tight structure that reveals itself with rereading. New School is a beguiling paradox.” — Jason Sacks - Loser City