Originally published in 2004, Dave Cooper’s breakthrough book is one of the great graphic novels of the 21st century (“Easily the best new book of the year,” hailed the cartoonist Seth in ’04), and remains Cooper’s landmark opus.
In Ripple, Martin is a floundering painter desperately attempting to pursue his fine-art inclinations rather than toil in the world of commercial art. He hires a model, Tina, to pose for a series of paintings he dubs “The Eroticism of Homeliness.” Over time, their relationship evolves from a tenuous working relationship to a confused sexual entanglement. Martin’s initial repulsion for Tina slowly turns to attraction, causing him to re-evaluate his own notions of beauty and sexuality. Tina’s motives in working for Martin are slowly turned upside-down as well, leading towards the book’s inevitable, explosive ending. Throughout it all, Ripple is a complex love story poked and prodded from all angles, from Martin and Tina’s physical and emotional feelings toward each other, Martin’s dishonesty to himself, Tina’s self-loathing, and everything in between. Sad, funny, and often uncomfortably titillating, Ripple is a remarkably introspective graphic novel, rendered with kinetic realism.
"This new hardcover edition of Dave Cooper's Ripple is yet another comics art masterpiece that belongs on the shelf of greatest graphic novels. It is essentially the story of an artist and his muse - but it explores that thin line between repulsion and attraction and the eroticization of homeliness. Plus, Cooper's art is uniquely magnificent." — Largehearted Boy