From the astonishing imagination of Dash Shaw, visionary author of Bottomless Belly Button, comes a darkly fantastical graphic novel about a small town, a lowlife botanist, and a mysterious plant with strange powers.
It’s 2060, and a devastating civil war has left the country in shambles. Professor Paulie Panther–botanist, writer, and hopeless romantic–arrives in the experimental forest town of Boney Borough to research a strange plant growing behind the high school. As he conducts his research, he befriends some of the local residents: Miss Jem, the alluring science teacher; Billy Borg, Boney Borough’s star athlete; and Pearl Peach, the rebellious schoolgirl. Paulie soon discovers that the plant, when smoked, imparts telepathic powers. But when he shares this remarkable drug with his new friends, he finds that they’re not interested in mind-expansion. In fact, it appears that Paulie’s brash individualism might not be at all welcome in a town that prefers conformity to eccentricity.
Nominated for a 2009 Eisner Award and with a bold, innovative design, BodyWorld is a mind-blowing blend of science-fiction, classic high school drama, and futuristic what-if. It is at once funny and fearless–and sure to be the graphic novel event of the year.
…Shaw is as eager to entertain as he is to mess with the parameters of his medium, and he goes out of his way to guide readers through the obstacle course he's laid out…Shaw isn't yet much of a draftsman, but he's a hell of an artist, constructing vivid, uncanny compositions with a spectacular sense of color and space…His sense of pacing is odd but very effective…And he seems to have fully absorbed the visual vocabularies of whole schools of cartooning that barely took notice of one another: old Japanese adventure comics, the art brut Fort Thunder scene, animation storyboards.