Addressing the ever-shrinking credibility of rock journalism since 2007. With a sasquatch.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Off The Shelf: Swallow Me Whole

Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell
Swallow Me Whole is a 216 page graphic novel by Nate Powell. First published by Top Shelf Comix in 2008, the book was the 2009 Eisner Award winner for Best Graphic Novel, winner of 2008's Ignatz Award for Outstanding Debut and nominated for an L.A. Times Book Prize.

The book deals with a family strained with dysfunction and mental illness. It's has gotten a lot of positive reviews from national and international reviewers. Forbidden Planet, a web zine in the U.K., calls Swallow Me Whole a: "- hypnotically dark tale that slowly, quietly and masterfully tells a story that will demand multiple readings. All the way through Swallow Me Whole there’s a desperate sense of lives spiralling out of control." The New York Times in a rare turn towards the accurate called the book: "Scaldingly dark ... Powell’s flowing, impressionistic artwork, with its ravenous expanses of negative space, swirls the reader’s perspective through his characters’ perceptions...".[0]

Powell's art style uses a thin line to describe form and sparse color to create depth. He describes himself on his site See My Brother Dance as: " - born in 1978 in Little Rock, Arkansas... began self-publishing comics and zines in 1992 at age 14, and graduated from The School of Visual Arts (in New York City) in 2000." Today, Powell lives and works in the Bloomington, Indiana area and also play venues around America as part of an alt-rock band called Universe.

[0] = Quote directly from Douglas Wolk's 2008 review of Swallow Me Whole for The New York Times.


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