Fantagraphics Logo

  • Share this book:

Bottomless Belly Button

$29.99
✔ In print
Buy it digitally: Buy Bottomless Belly Button on comiXology Buy Bottomless Belly Button on Google Play Buy Bottomless Belly Button through the Sequential app

Bottomless Belly Button is a comedy-drama that follows the dysfunctional adventures of the Loony Family.

After 40-some years of marriage, Maggie and David Loony shock their children with their announcement of a planned divorce. But the reason for splitting isn't itself shocking: they’re "just not in love any more." The announcement sparks a week long Loony family reunion at Maggie and David's creepy (and possibly haunted) beach house.

The eldest child, Dennis, struggles with his parents' decision while facing difficulties of his own in his recent marriage. Believing that his parents are hiding the true reasons behind their estrangement, Dennis embarks on a quest to discover the truth and searches through clues, trap doors, and secret tunnels in attempt to find an answer. Claire, the middle child, is a single mother whose 16-year-old daughter, Jill, is apathetic to the divorce but confounded by Claire and troubled by her own "mannish" appearance. 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.

In a six-day period rich with atmospheric sequences, these characters stumble blindly around one another, often ignoring their surroundings and consumed by their own daily conflicts. Visually, Shaw employs a leisurely storytelling pace that allows room for exploring the interconnecting relationships among the characters and plays to his strength as a cartoonist — small gestural details and nuanced expressions that bring the characters to vivid and intimate life.

Official Selection, 2009 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée de Angoulême

This book is available with two different covers. When ordering, please indicate your preference for "Mom" or "Dad."

Download an EXCLUSIVE 37-page PDF excerpt (1.3 MB), which includes the first two chapters in their entirety.

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

Pages:
720
Colors:
monochrome
Format:
Softcover
Dimensions:
6.25" x 8.5"
ISBN-13:
978-1-56097-915-9
Year:
2018

Press Highlights:

"Bottomless Belly Button is a groundbreaking debut graphic novel. ... Shaw creates a piercing, meditative portrait of middle-class family life as happy and sad, dysfunctional and functional." — NPR Books

"Bottomless Belly Button is a very compelling 720-page graphic novel. ... Most of Mr. Shaw’s creative decisions simply leave the reader marveling at his work." — The New York Times
 
“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.” — Los Angeles Times
 
"Shaw's approach, drawn in delicate black and white panels, allows him to depict small moments of change with the clarity of a novelist. ... Shaw finds beauty, especially in the deceptively simple conversations between restless parents and lost children." The Guardian
 
"Shaw's stunningly conceived and executed comic opus captures one moment of change in a family." — Publishers Weekly Starred Review
 
"Shaw renders in comics situations and characters identical with those of mainstream realistic novels and movies and handles them with the sensitivity and humor of the best humanist novelists and filmmakers." — Booklist Starred Review
   

Bottomless Belly Button is a comedy-drama that follows the dysfunctional adventures of the Loony Family.

After 40-some years of marriage, Maggie and David Loony shock their children with their announcement of a planned divorce. But the reason for splitting isn't itself shocking: they’re "just not in love any more." The announcement sparks a week long Loony family reunion at Maggie and David's creepy (and possibly haunted) beach house.

The eldest child, Dennis, struggles with his parents' decision while facing difficulties of his own in his recent marriage. Believing that his parents are hiding the true reasons behind their estrangement, Dennis embarks on a quest to discover the truth and searches through clues, trap doors, and secret tunnels in attempt to find an answer. Claire, the middle child, is a single mother whose 16-year-old daughter, Jill, is apathetic to the divorce but confounded by Claire and troubled by her own "mannish" appearance. 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.

In a six-day period rich with atmospheric sequences, these characters stumble blindly around one another, often ignoring their surroundings and consumed by their own daily conflicts. Visually, Shaw employs a leisurely storytelling pace that allows room for exploring the interconnecting relationships among the characters and plays to his strength as a cartoonist — small gestural details and nuanced expressions that bring the characters to vivid and intimate life.

Official Selection, 2009 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée de Angoulême

This book is available with two different covers. When ordering, please indicate your preference for "Mom" or "Dad."

Download an EXCLUSIVE 37-page PDF excerpt (1.3 MB), which includes the first two chapters in their entirety.

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

You May Also Like: